Understanding Mattress Warranties

Mattress warranties: read carefully.
Understanding Mattress Warranties
Tom Greenspan
December 21, 2022

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The warranty comes just when you think you have navigated the minefield of the ins and outs of buying a mattress. But hold your horses. Given that mattresses constitute a significant investment, you need to understand what is covered and what is not. This is just as important as any other aspect of your mattress. You will know all the wonderful warranties mattress manufacturers and retailers offer. They seem incredible, with 365 days no, quibble money-back guarantee. What could go wrong? Lots. Such as, tearing off the tags on the mattress will void your warranty. And you will have to shoulder the costs of returning the mattress, which could be significant.

This article will enlighten you about the ins and outs of mattress warranties. Not knowing this information could leave you high and dry with a faulty mattress. We answer many questions bringing factual information to increase your knowledge. 

Let's get straight into it.

Did your mattress retailer tell you this?

The majority of people who buy new mattresses typically don't take much time reading through a warranty until an issue occurs. The problems are usually pretty similar when buying a mattress. Premature indentations, sinking, and noticeable impressions in the foam; a flaw with the outside covering, such as a sewing error or unraveling of the quilt; and other physically apparent flaws.

Shifting of contents illustrates a typical flaw that is essentially invisible to the end user and may be caused by an adhesion defect, which is a flaw in how the layers are glued together. To better understand what was covered, customers can check for the warranty description on the retailer's website and pay attention to a few crucial statements.

If a replacement mattress is required, you must understand the terms of the warranty, including the time period it covers, whether it is limited or not, and most importantly, the prorated schedule for defects, who will pay and when, and whether you will be responsible for shipping to and from the factory. A manufacturer will frequently take advantage of the mattress's shipping costs by loading the price to prevent you from invoking your warranty protection.

It's essential to keep in mind that if you ordered the mattress online, the mattress you received most likely arrived rolled up in a box, making the shipping costs much lower than if you had to fold it in half and wrap it in plastic (a physically impossible task for most people) or had to ship it back flat. 

This means that the mattress is shipped unrolled, making it infinitely more expensive to return. In fact, it frequently costs more to send a flat-packed queen-size mattress back to the supplier than it did to purchase it.

Some of these retailers are slippery guys to deal with.

Let's talk about the trial time first, and then we'll talk about the confusing nomenclature terminology used for mattress warranties, so you will know exactly what to look for.

What's a fair and just trial period?

A trial period has nothing to do with a warranty, which is the first thing you need to understand. The trial period is merely when the retailer or manufacturer permits you to "try out" the mattress to determine if you like it or want to return it. In most cases, the trial period runs from the day you receive the product, not the day you order it, until the day the trial period expires. 

Some businesses only require that you notify them that you intend to return the mattress by the final day of the trial period, while others insist that you contact them well before you have the mattress picked up. Retain the contact information and the website that you can print or save. Call the retailer in ample time to return the mattress and make sure they acknowledge your call. 

Ensure you get a representative on a chat, and asking them to explain the details is the best way to ensure that you are aware of them.  Customers who don't comprehend the trial period's duration and rules frequently end up with mattresses they never intended to keep. Your trial period should be at least 90 days long, if not more. Many businesses permit up to 180 days, while a few permit an entire year. Usually, after 30 days, you'll be able to tell if the mattress is right for you. 

Even if you often travel for work or only sometimes use the mattress, a month will provide you enough time to assess it. Make it known to the retailer if you need a more extended trial period.

Top tip

The typical retailer cannot afford the cost of returning a mattress to the factory because it is too expensive. Almost always, they will request that you simply dispose of the bed or donate the mattress to a good cause.  In most cases, you won't be aware of this unless you contact them to learn about your alternatives upon returning. Since mattresses cannot be sold again legally, once you have tried one out, it will undoubtedly end up in a landfill, which is an issue. 

You may need proof of donation if you donate it, but even that is unlikely due to the hassle.

What your warranty means

Federal laws apply to most consumer transactions, including those for automobiles, homes, appliances, electronics, and even apparel.  A corporation is required by law to offer a warranty. After all, the only insurance or safeguards you have prevents you from being forced to use a faulty item.

A warranty, which ensures that the product will arrive free of any flaws, damage, or other hazards that prevent it from functioning as promised, is simply an agreement or promise between a manufacturer and a customer to support the goods.  Before making a purchase, the consumer must receive a clear presentation of the guarantee.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is the warranty watchdog, and you can file a complaint with the organization if there are problems with a product you've bought, notably if the manufacturer has failed to uphold the warranty. There are essentially two components to the warranty for mattresses that you should be aware of:

Any mattress manufacturer and the merchant must provide a written guarantee, typically contained in a single contract, and commit to fixing or replacing a defective product as long as certain conditions are followed.  The warranty given to them by the third-party fabricator who is making the mattress for several online bed-in-a-box retailers is being used. 

Top tip

Find a mattress supplier who is a one-stop shop and manufacturer without subcontractors. Similar to an insurance policy that details the policy's risks, written warranties provide coverage for a specific period of time (the things that are covered).  The warranty typically does not transfer if you give a friend or relative the mattress. 

In general, the majority of mattress manufacturers offer 10–20 year warranty coverage. Still, a brave few offer lifetime warranty coverage and will repair a defective mattress for as long as you keep it.

Implied warranties

Whether or not there is a written document, products and services come with an implied warranty to protect consumers. The implied warranties of satisfactory quality for services, habitability for a dwelling, and title, which gives the seller the authority to sell the items, are all included in this warranty, in addition to any formal documents provided at the time of sale.

As is consideration

In certain places, the wording "sold as is" or similar phrases do not absolve a retailer of implied warranties. U.S. law upholds implicit agreements, including implied warranties.  These are not protected by federal law since they are governed by state laws, where implicit warranties are unwritten. 

Thankfully, you'll never have to purchase a mattress that is being sold "as is.


The goods must be marketable and meet reasonable buyer expectations in order to be covered by the implied warranty of merchantability. There is an implied warranty of merchantability on the majority of consumer goods.  This warranty is predicated on the idea that a good or item serves its intended purpose. It applies to both brand-new and pre-owned merchandise.

Fit for purpose

A product is guaranteed fit for a particular use if it comes with a fitness warranty. Below the merchantability warranty is this kind of implied warranty.  For instance, you may return the item under the implied warranty of fitness if you tell the salesperson you want a saw for cutting metal, but it doesn't work on metal. For instance, a "warranty of merchantability" is essentially a promise to you that if you purchase a mattress from a vendor, it will offer a suitable space for sleeping and resting.

What's typically covered by a mattress warranty

What should a good mattress warranty specifically cover? Except for minor variations like the use of coil components in an innerspring mattress, different types of foam layers, and different fabrics and quilting materials used for the outer encasement, known in the industry as "ticking," almost all mattress manufacturers sell products that are nearly identical to those of the next manufacturer.

Indentations and sagging are frequent issues that customers report and could lead to a warranty claim.  Nowadays, the majority of mattresses are made with layers of specialized polyurethane foam that withstand compression that usually spring back when pressure is applied to them or after they have been wrapped and sent to the customer.

Mattress warranties frequently specify the exact depth at which an indent must exist in order to qualify as a defect and frequently provide instructions on how to measure the depth of sagging.  When you take off any bed covers, extend a straight edge at least 3 feet long over the sagging area and measure the depth of the indentation at its deepest point. 

Most mattress warranties generally state that anything deeper than 1" is defective.

What's not covered by the mattress warranty?

Long-term use is typically aligned with the warranty's duration, and typical wear and tear are frequently explicitly covered.  It is not covered, for instance, if you permit your dog to continually jump on and claw his way up the side of your mattress, likely causing tears and rips in the fabric.

Spilled liquids, urine, and other substances that could result in mold and mildew growth are not covered by the warranty. 

Top tip

When you get a new mattress, ensure to put a protector on it immediately.

What makes the warranty void?

  1. Removal Of Fire Label Or Tag: Each mattress will have a little tag affixed when sold, usually on the surface of the back. The law tag will have the text "Do not remove this tag under penalty of law" on it.  The customer can remove the tag without legal ramifications, but only the seller or manufacturer is subject to the "penalty of law" in this situation. The legal tag is seen as a confirmation of purchase. Therefore removing it will typically cancel your warranty. Just let it be.
  1. Not Opening Your Mattress Right Away: Although compressing mattresses for shipping doesn't harm the mattress, it is the end user's responsibility to remove their mattress as soon as possible from its shipping bags and boxes.  It's suggested 2 weeks is the maximum time frame for any compressed or rolled-up mattress because certain manufacturers specify that the mattress must be removed from its boxes within a specified amount of time.
  1. Warranties typically do not transfer to anyone who purchases or receives a mattress from the original owner, whose name is not listed as the buyer in most cases.

Do mattress warranties last the life of the mattress?

The likelihood that you won't keep a mattress for anywhere near that long if you purchase one with a 20-year warranty is high.  Because of this, the majority of mattress guarantees are not intended to last the entire 20-year lifespan of the mattress. Mattress manufacturers manage this reality through their warranties by gradually lowering the coverage from 100% to 0% throughout the mattress's lifespan.