Understanding Mattress Warranties
When purchasing a new mattress, the conditions of the warranty should be one of your primary considerations. How long is the warranty valid? What are the prorated and non-prorated terms? How does the warranty address issues like sagging? These are some of the questions that all potential mattress buyers should ask before finalizing the sale. This guide will cover key terminology, processes and risk factors associated with mattress warranties. But first, let’s discuss some basic information about what warranties are and what they are designed to do.
Why Are Warranties Important?
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) defines a warranty as a promise made by a seller or manufacturer to ‘stand behind’ a given product. A warranty guarantees that any product sold with structural flaws, faulty parts or other defects will be replaced or repaired at no added expense to the buyer. For this reason, most major purchases ? such as automobiles, homes, household appliances and electronic devices ? come with some sort of warranty. Per federal law, all product warranties must be available to consumers before a purchase is made.
For mattresses, two types of warranties typically apply.
- The manufacturer or seller of the mattress will provide awritten warranty, which promises to repair or replace a defective product as long as certain conditions are met. Written warranties provide coverage for a given length of time; most written warranties for mattresses are valid for five, 10, 15 or 20 years, depending on the brand and the seller. Written warranties are not required by law.
- Implied warranties, on the other hand, are protected by law in all 50 states. Implied warranties include two fundamental components. Awarranty of merchantabilityensures the product will perform all essential functions and meet consumer expectations. Additionally, awarranty of fitnessguarantees that the product can be used for any and all specific purposes agreed upon by the buyer and seller.
For example, ‘warranty of merchantability’ is a promise that a mattress sold to a customer will provide a suitable place for sleeping. If the customer chooses to buy a self-heating mattress, then ‘warrant of fitness’ guarantees the mattress will be self-heating.
It’s important to note that even products not covered by a written warranty are still protected under implied warranties unless the product is sold ‘as is’ to the consumer. ‘As is’ sales are prohibited by law in several states and the District of Columbia.
What Is Covered in a Mattress Warranty?
Next, let’s look at problems that are protected – and not protected – under most mattress warranties. First we’ll look at recognized defects. Although specific warranty conditions vary between brands and sellers, most mattress warranties cover the same general defects.
Sagging, or sinking, is the most common mattress defect covered under warranty. Today’s mattresses are designed to retain a firm, comfortable shape for long periods of time. While some sagging will naturally occur after years of use, premature or excessive sagging is often the result of a product defect ? faulty inner springs, in most cases.
Mattress warranties will include a specific sagging depth; if the mattress sags below this threshold, then the manufacturer must replace the product free-of-charge. The sagging depth for most mattress warranties is one inch (1″), although sagging depth may fall anywhere between half an inch (1/2″) and two inches (2″). To accurately measure the sagging depth, first stretch a length of string over the entire width of a fully stripped mattress; when the line is taut, use a ruler or tape to measure the distance between the string and the deepest indentation.
Other physical defects covered under most mattress warranties include:
- Coils that break, bend or burst out of the side.
- Seams that come undone.
- Irregular bunching in certain areas (usually associated with foam mattresses)
What Is Not Covered in a Mattress Warranty?
Warranties are designed to protect consumers against product defects, but not normal wear and tear that occurs after prolonged use. For mattresses, normal wear and tear may include:
- Sagging that does not reach the minimum depth threshold as covered in the warranty.
- Lumpiness or uneven surfaces caused by long-term use.
- Discoloration as a result of machine or hand washing.
Furthermore, warranties do not cover structural damage caused by the owner. Examples include scuffs or tears that occur when moving, pet-related scratches or bites, and permanent indentations caused by someone jumping or falling on the mattress. Foundational support is another common consideration. Most mattress warranties will specify which types of bases or foundations are permitted, including materials, number of legs, and slat gap measurements.
Another important consideration: mattress warranties do not guarantee that the buyer will ‘like’ the mattress after using it, or that he or she will be satisfied with the product for as long as the warranty is valid. Unless caused by a measurable product defect, problems like ‘reduced comfort’ or ‘lack of softness’ are considered normal wear and tear, and will not be covered under standard mattress warranties. These types of issues are normally handled during the sleep trial.
Finally, warranties will not cover the cost of replacing non-defective pieces or parts. If, for example, a mattress comes with a single defect, then the manufacturer or seller is only responsible for replacing that particular component.
Things that Void a Warranty
The most common factors that lead to a mattress warranty being voided by the seller or manufacturer include the following:
- Removal of the Law Tag:All mattresses will be sold with a small tag attached, usually somewhere on the back surface. This tag, referred to as thelaw tag, will read ‘Do not remove this tag under penalty of law’. The ‘penalty of law’ in this case only applies to the seller or manufacturer, and the buyer is allowed to remove the tag at will without facing any legal repercussions. However, the law tag is considered a proof of purchase, and removing it will automatically void the warranty.
- Improper Support:Warranties assume the buyer will utilize a box spring and/or bed frame that provides adequate support for the mattress. A warranty may be voided if the box spring is old, misshapen or damaged, or if the bed frame is not equipped with a stable metal bar that supports the mattress in the center. A standard mattress warranty will include specific support guidelines that the buyer must follow.
- Stains:Many liquids can corrode mattress foam, causing the product to break down and lose its structural integrity. Mattresses with irremovable stains are also considered unsanitary, and thus legally unfit for storage in company warehouses. For these two reasons, even small stains from water, coffee and other innocuous fluids can void the entire warranty. In order to keep their mattress stain-free, buyers are encouraged to use a mattress protector starting with the first night of use.
- Failure to Unpackage the Mattress Quickly:Although compressing mattresses for shipping will not damage the bed, owners should remove their mattress from its boxes as quickly as possible. Some brands stipulate that the mattress must be removed from its boxes within a certain period of time, typically two to four weeks after the delivery date.
- Failure to Follow Rotation Schedule:In some cases, mattress warranties will require the buyer to periodically flip over the mattress. This process rejuvenates the upholstery fabric and internal foam layers, and can prevent premature sagging.
- The Mattress Has Been Sold or Given to Someone Else:Warranties normally do not extend to anyone who buys or receives a mattress from the original purchaser. Therefore, most mattress warranties will be voided if the mattress changes hands.
Warranty Length and Mattress Lifespan
Next, let’s take a closer look at warranty length and mattress lifespan expectations. For the purposes of this guide, the ‘lifespan’ of a mattress is the length of time it is considered useful and comfortable for sleeping.
Many buyers assume that a warranty will cover a mattress for its entire lifespan. However, this is rarely the case because the lifespan of a mattress usually falls short of the warranty length. Findings from this survey are featured in the table to the right.
The Better Sleep Council notes that most good-quality mattresses should be replaced after seven years, regardless of the warranty length. For this reason, prospective buyers should carefully consider purchasing a mattress with a warranty that extends beyond 10 years – especially if the bed has a high price-point due in part to its lengthy warranty coverage.
Prorated vs. Non-prorated Warranties
Warranty coverage is not always cut-and-dry when it comes to costs for the owner. Most warranties includenon-proratedandprorated coverage.
Non-prorated coveragemeans that the owner will not pay out-of-pocket to repair or replace a mattress that has been deemed defective. However, the owner will often be responsible for transportation and inspection costs. Most mattress warranties of 10 years or less will feature exclusively non-prorated coverage; for warranties longer than 10 years, the non-prorated coverage will usually be in effect for some ? but not all ? of the warranty length.
Prorated coveragemeans that the owner is responsible for covering a certain percentage of repair and replacement costs. Prorated coverage will kick in as soon as non-prorated coverage is invalid, and will continue until the warranty expires. In most cases, the percentage paid by the owner for prorated coverage will gradually increase every year until the warranty expires.
Let’s say a mattress has a 20-year warranty with 10 years of non-prorated coverage. When prorated coverage begins at the beginning of the 11th year, the owner will typically be required to pay 50% of the replacement and repair costs; this number will then rise by increments of 5% for each successive year until the warranty ends.
Mattress buyers should carefully study the non-prorated and prorated terms of their mattress warranty. The two most important considerations are:
- The length of non-prorated coverage compared to the overall warranty length
- The percentage owed by the owner for repairs and replacement expenses during the prorated coverage period
How to File a Warranty Claim
If a mattress is defective or not performing up to par with the conditions of its written and implied warranties, then the owner is most likely eligible to file awarranty claim. Consumers should be aware of certain costs they stand to incur during the claim-filing process.
- Mattress companies will usually send an inspector to the owner’s home, where they will take measurements of the mattress and evaluate its overall condition to ensure the claim is valid. If the inspector determines that the mattress is defective, then this service may be covered by the manufacturer or seller. However, many owners will be required to pay for the inspection out-of-pocket. Home inspection services typically cost between $40 and $60. In some cases, the mattress owner will have the option of performing a ‘self-inspection’ using a kit that is mailed to them. This option costs roughly $25 to $30, and kits generally arrive within five to seven business days.
- If a claim is filed during the warranty’s prorated coverage period, then the owner will be responsible for a percentage of the repair or replacement costs. This percentage will depend on the prorated coverage schedule listed in the warranty (see previous section).
- Individuals who purchased their defective mattress are typically required to pay shipping fees for for their replacement mattress. New mattress shipping costs usually start at $80 to $100, but some sellers and manufacturers will discount the shipping fee if they are replacing a defective mattress.
Now that you’re familiar with standard mattress warranties, let’s compare the length, non-prorated/prorated terms, sagging depth and other warranty terms for some of the nation’s leading mattress brands. To read the warranties in full, please click the links found in the left-hand column.
|Brand||Models||Warranty Length||Type of Coverage||Sagging Depth||Additional Notes|
|Avocado||Avocado Green||25 years||First 10 years are nonprorated|
Years 11-20 are prorated at 5% multiplied by each year of ownership
Years 21-25 are prorated at a flat rate of 95%
|1″||Warranty will be voided if mattress is not removed from its packaging within two weeks of delivery|
|10 years for the Bear Mattress|
20 years for the Bear Hybrid
|Bear Mattress warranty is nonprorated|
Bear Hybrid warranty is nonprorated for the first 10 years; years 11-20 are prorated at 5% multiplied by each year of ownership
|1″ (Bear Mattress)|
1 1/2″ (Bear Hybrid)
|The mattress cover for both models is covered under a separate 1-year warranty|
|Brooklyn Bedding||Brooklyn Aurora,|
Brooklyn Bloom Hybrid,
Brooklyn Bowery Hybrid,
|10 years (all models)||The warranty is completely nonprorated||1″ (all models)||Mattresses must be used on foundations or bases with slats that are no more than 4″ apart|
|10 years (all models)||The warranty is completely nonprorated||1″ (all models)||Mattresses must be used on foundations or bases with slats that are no more than 4″ apart|
|Helix Sleep||Helix Dawn,|
Helix Dual Balanced,
Helix Dual Extra,
Helix LUXE models
|10 years (non-LUXE)|
15 years (LUXE)
|Both the 10- and 15-year warranties are completely nonprorated||1″||If a defect develops and owners must ship their mattress for repair or replacement, Helix will reimburse owners up to $100|
|Layla||Layla Mattress||Lifetime||The warranty is completely nonprorated||1″||Layla owners may pay up to $50 for mattress repairs or replacements|
Pinching the foam while flipping the bed may cause tearing, which is not covered as a defect
|Nectar||Nectar Memory Foam Mattress||Lifetime||The warranty is completely nonprorated||1 1/2″||Beginning in Year 10, owners must pay $100 ($50 each way) to have a defective mattress repaired or replaced; this money is refunded to the owner if a defect is confirmed|
|Lifetime||The warranty is completely nonprorated||1 1/2″||After 10 years have elapsed, owners may choose the Quick Sleep option if a defect develops; this allows them to order a replacement mattress at half the original price and keep the original mattress|
|Saatva||Saatva Mattress||15 years||The warranty is completely nonprorated.|
In Years 3-15, Saatva will repair and re-cover a defective mattress for a transportation charge of $198 ($99 each way)
|Saatva’s Fairness Replacement option allows customers to purchase a new mattress at 25% of the original price between years 3-5; 50% of the original price between years 6-10; and 75% of the original price until the warranty expires|
Owners do not pay shipping charges with this option
|Tuft & Needle||T&N Mattress,|
|10 years (both models)||The warranty is completely nonprorated||3/4″||Mattresses must remain in the U.S. to qualify for warranty coverage|
|Lifetime (both models)||The warranty is completely nonprorated||1 1/2″||WinkBeds offers the ‘Any Reason’ lifetime guarantee, which allows owners to replace their mattress for a new model at 50% of the original price|
A mattress warranty ensures that the manufacturer or seller will cover costs related to defects and other specific problems. You can further protect yourself from by exercising the following precautions:
- Make sure the law tag is intact once the mattress has been installed.
- Use a mattress protector from day one. This will shield the mattress from stain-causing liquids and substances.
- Make sure the box spring and bed frame are in good condition.
- Flip the mattress according to the warranty’s rotation requirements.
- If the mattress is defective, research inspection, removal and replacement costs to make sure filing a claim is within your budget.
- Compare mattress warranties before making a final purchase, and research different manufacturers and sellers using the Tuck Mattress Database and other consumer advocacy sites like the Better Business Bureau and Consumer Reports.
Sealy Mattress in a Box
Buy online now and get a fresh Sealy mattress shipped directly to your door!
Shipping & Delivery
When it arrives at your door, your mattress is compressed in a plastic sleeve and rolled into a box that is designed to be capable of handling by one person. We include unpacking instructions in the box (hint: they’re very simple).
Typically, your Sealy will arrive in 5 to 7 days.
Standard shipping is free.
Yes, although the options and costs vary depending on where you live. Call us and we can quote availability and costs for delivery options besides our free standard shipping.
For most orders, the carrier will leave the box at your front door. If you have special delivery needs, call our Customer Care staff.
Call us. In some cases, we can change your delivery address, depending on where the shipment is in the process. There may be a fee to make the change. It’s important to know that the carrier cannot change the shipping address unless our Customer Care staff requests it.
No, we do not ship outside the U.S.
Currently, all of our mattresses ship from our warehouse in Mississippi.
Choosing & Ordering
Our mattress is a medium feel with soft, responsive, and cushiony top layer for all points of your body. We offer a 100-night guarantee to make sure you love your mattress.
Yes. Some retail stores do carry the Sealy Conform Essentials mattress in a box line.
Your Sealy uses standard U.S. mattress sizing, and the weights vary by size.
Mattress Size(Sealy Conform Essentials 8”, 10” and 12”)
Twin: 38" width x 74.5" length x 8", 10” or 12” height depending on your selection
Twin XL: 38" width x 79.5" length x 8", 10” or 12” height depending on your selection
Full: 52.5" width x 74.5" length x 8", 10” or 12” height depending on your selection
Queen: 59.5" width x 79.5" length x 8", 10” or 12” height depending on your selection
King: 75.5" width x 79.5" length x 8", 10” or 12” height depending on your selection
Cal King: 71.5" width x 83.5" length x 8", 10” or 12” height depending on your selection
Box Size(for all mattress sizes)
16.5" x 16.5" x 44.5"
Mattress Weight 8”(Mattress only. The packaging weights approx 13-16 lbs.)
Cal King: 55 lbs
Mattress Weight 10”(Mattress only. The packaging weights approx 12-19 lbs.)
Cal King: 70 lbs
Mattress Weight 12”(Mattress only. The packaging weights approx 15-21 lbs.)
Cal King: 83 lbs
Set-up is simple: open the package, pull out the mattress, place it on the bed/foundation and unwrap it. Be sure to consult the instructions included in the box!
Once unboxed, your Sealy mattress should be mostly decompressed within ten minutes and ready to use within an hour.
We charge your credit card at the time the mattress ships.
How we Build your Mattress
Sealy Express Mattress:
This super-stretchable knit cover with rayon fibers helps provide cool comfort.
COPPER FUSION FOAM
Cooling, copper-fused memory foam works as a natural conductor, moving heat away from your body.
SEALYCOOL™ HD GEL MEMORY FOAM
High-density gel memory foam is ideal for all sleeping positions and delivers long-lasting support.
Exclusive to our 12" model! Sleep in total bliss thanks to this high quality cushioning foam. Available in a range of comfort preferences.
A firmer foam that creates a solid foundation for better sleep.
We’re happy to report that your Sealy is both designed and assembled in the U.S.
Sealy does not include chemical fire retardants, but uses an industry-standard “fire sock.” We put each mattress through grueling flame-resistance testing, and it passed. Rest assured…
When your Sealy arrives, there may be a slight scent. Think of this like the scent in your new car or new furniture. It’s the result of the cells in the foam opening. The most important thing to know is that the scent will disappear within a day or two.
You can spot clean your cover. The cover is not meant to be taken off or washed. If you are trying to remove a stain, dampen a cloth (do not saturate) with a mixture of water and delicate-friendly detergent. Gently scrub the spot and let air dry.
If you’re not happy with the feel of your new mattress, you have the option to return it. But we recommend sleeping on it for 30 nights—it can sometimes take a while to get used to a new mattress, especially if your old mattress was worn. But of course you can return it at any time during the first 100 nights.
You can use any sheet set designed to fit your selected mattress height. For the bottom sheet, a fitted sheet with strong elastic fitted works best.
Mattress Warranties: What You Should Know вЂ“ 2018
Unbiased Research Based on Data From 4,300 Mattress Owners
Avoid The Void
Mattresses can and often do have their warranties voided due to the use of an improper foundation / frame and the presence of staining, soiling or fluid penetration.
Improper foundation / frame
An improper foundation / frame can result in premature wear and sagging of the mattress. Read your warranty’s foundation / frame guidelines and follow them to the letter. Mattress companies do not give leeway on this issue; your foundation / frame either meets their warranty guidelines or it doesn’t.
Staining, soiling and fluid penetration
These can fully void a mattress warranty. Even if the staining, soiling or fluid penetration is not near a defective area, such as where sagging is located, the warranty will probably not cover the sagging.
Therefore, it is wise to use a mattress protector / pad from the first night onward. See mattress pad reviews for the top-rated pads.
Warranty Length ≠ Mattress Lifespan
Most mattress warranties are for a length of 5, 10, or 20 years. Our research strongly suggests that in most cases you shouldnotbelieve that your mattress will last the length of its warranty with regular, everyday adult use.
Sleep Like The Dead collected data from over 4,000 owners regarding how long they kept their mattress or how long they reported that it maintained most of its original comfort and support. This data was then compared to the length of the mattress warranty.
The results suggest вЂ“ as the table shows вЂ“ that the useful life of a mattress is often a fraction of its warranty length, and the fraction becomes smaller as the warranty length increases.
|Warranty Length||Average Useful Lifespan|
|5 years||4.7 years|
|10 years||7.1 years|
|20 years||8.2 years|
Keep in mind that our findings are true only in general. In other words, individual brands, individual models, and individual mattresses may perform somewhat better or worse. (Refer to the rating page of a particular mattress for information on its expected lifespan.)
Also, our findings suggest that there is indeed somewhat of a correlation between warranty length and the quality / durability / longevity of a mattress. In other words, good mattresses usually have longer warranties, while not-so-good mattresses usually have shorter ones.
The main complaint people have with their mattress is sagging вЂ“ especially in regard to innerspring beds in general and to a lesser extent foam, latex and air mattresses.
Owner experience data suggests that even moderate sagging can and often does result in less comfort and support. It may also cause back pain, especially for side and stomach sleepers. (See mattresses and pain for more analysis.)
As a result, mattress shoppers should pay special attention to how sagging issues are covered by the warranty. Most warranties will cover sagging only when the problem becomes severe enough, that is, when it reaches a certain depth.
For example, innerspring mattress warranties will often provide coverage for sagging beginning at a depth of 1.5 inches. By contrast, some memory foam mattress warranties, including Tempur-Pedic’s, will provide coverage for sagging beginning at a depth of .75 inches. In other words, innerspring bed warranties often require twice the depth of sagging that these memory foam bed warranties require before coverage kicks in.
It Will Cost You
Making a warranty claim and replacing a mattress under warranty can be expensive to the mattress owner.
There can be a fee to have someone come to your home to inspect the condition of your mattress to determine if it is eligible for warranty coverage. If it is eligible, there will be a fee to take the defective mattress away and to ship a new or repaired mattress to you. Given the heavy weight of many mattresses today, this fee may be substantial.
In addition, depending on the age of the mattress and the warranty terms of proration, you may have to pay a percentage of the replacement or repair costs.
Long Warranties Often Have A Catch
Mattress warranties with impressive length, namely 15 years or longer, usually have a catch. For example, most airbeds including Sleep Number have a 25-year warranty. This causes many owners to wrongly believe that if any manufacturer defect pops up in the next 25 years, the problem will be covered at little or no cost to them.
The whole story is that non-prorated coverage (coverage for which there is no cost to the owner to repair / replace the bed) often ends after just two years. If something goes wrong with the airbed after this time, coverage is prorated which means the owner will often need to pay at least 20% of repair costs.
Therefore, make sure to read the fine print of a mattress warranty that’s over 10 years.
Normal Wear Not Covered
Mattresses are discarded for a variety of reasons, but the main reason not surprisingly is usually related to a loss of comfort and support that occurs through normal wear.
As is true for virtually all product warranties, normal wear is not covered under mattress warranties; only faulty workmanship / materials as defined by the manufacturer are covered. These defects are problems that can be objectively measured or observed, such as sagging depth. Problems not objectively measurable or clearly observable, such as excessive softening or loss of support, are not commonly covered under warranty.
Better Business Bureau Rating
A mattress warranty is only as good as the manufacturer’s willingness to honor it. Often a mattress manufacturer’s BBB rating and or the number of BBB complaints from consumers in regard to warranty-related issues can be a good indicator of how well the company stands behind its warranty.
How do I get Sealy to replace my defective mattress?
Don’t look now, but chances are your mattress is covered by a ridiculously long warranty. Or so you might think. But Vijay Khasat recently found out what Sealy meant by “20 years” when he tried to get the company to replace what he claims is a defective mattress.
It turns out 20 years isnot20 years, at least in the traditional, dictionary-definition sense. His odyssey to replace a bad mattress is a reminder for all of us to read the fine print on your warranty. (The mattress police won’t save you, but maybe my advocacy team can help.)
“My wife was waking up with a backache”
Khasat says his mattress had problems the moment he purchased it in 2001 in Canton, Ohio. I know, that’s 18 years ago, but remember his mattress had a 20-year warranty. Or at least, that’s what he thought.
“The problem involving undue sagging, which started a few years after we purchased the mattress,” says Khasat. “We just kept on postponing contact with the dealer. But a few years ago, it became really bad – so bad that my wife was waking up with a backache.”
Khasat found the warranty for his mattress, which clearly indicated a “20-year Premium Warranty.”
He contacted the Canton dealership where he purchased the mattress. A representative there said Sealy in Canton would replace the mattress “for free.”
Problem solved? Unfortunately, no.
Khasat now lived in Hayward, Calif., 2,512 miles from Canton. That’s a 36-hour trip — way too much to deliver a defective mattress.
And that’s when his troubles started.
Surprise! Here’s how we define 20 years at Sealy
Sealy said the codes on his mattress indicated his warranty was only valid until 2011.
So 20 years is just 10 years in Sealy-land.
“This is the epitome of unadulterated deception,” says Khasat. “The dealer provides a written premium warranty of 20 years. However, the manufacturer tells you the warranty is only 10 years. This is a conspiracy of the first kind designed effectively to deceive the trusting consumer, and thus allowing dealers to sell cheap ineffective products.”
The discrepancy between the dealer’s warranty and the manufacturer’s warranty is what caused the Elliott Advocacy team to get involved. Our advocate Dwayne Coward asked for the paper trail on Khasat’s defective mattress case, which showed him trying — and failing — to escalate the case to Sealy corporate.
By the way, Sealy never really explained why it only showed a 10-year warranty on the mattress. Not to him, not to us.
Why is Sealy refusing to replace this defective mattress?
Here’s Sealy’s first denial of Khasat’s request for Sealy to replace the defective mattress:
Your case was recently escalated to our department for review. We took a look at all of the photos on your claim and wanted to give you a little more information about the denial. Your mattress has an innerspring system, although it does contain foam for comfort. For our innerspring mattresses, we use the 1.5″ standard for impressions when reviewing warranty claims, because this mattress does have coil technology.
The impressions shown in the photos provided being less than 1.5″ means these impressions are a normal occurrence in your sleep set, and indicate that the upholstery layers are performing as they were designed to do by conforming to your body’s individual contours. Today’s mattress industry produces products filled with cotton, foam, and other fillers, which will settle over time. Mild impressions, or indentations are normal, and are not an indication of a structural failure, or a manufacturing defect.
While we are unable to offer a warranty replacement at this time, please understand your warranty is still in effect for the limited term per your original warranty for a manufacturer defect, and this matter can be revisited in six months, if the issue persists.
DENIAL REASON: normal indentations or sagging (not associated with sag in foundation) of less than 1½” for Latex or Innerspring mattresses, or less than 3/4″ for Memory Foam mattresses, IS NOT COVERED. If it is determined that an indentation is caused by misuse, abuse or factors other than a product defect, this warranty will not cover that condition.
What does the warranty say about a defective mattress?
Let’s have a look at that warranty before we continue. Here are Sealy’s warranties for a mattress purchase in 2001.
Here’s the relevant language:
Torn handles, stitches pulled out of the handle where it’s sewn to the mattress, and tears in the mattress fabric where the handles are attached.
Coils or wires that are loose, broken, ripped or protrude through the fabric.
Body indentations of an inch and a half (1.5″ inches). Click here to find out how to accurately measure an indention.
Unnatural sagging: Your warranty covers mattresses that are continuously supported by a matching box spring, or equivalent, with an appropriate frame.The frame has to include a rigid center support with at least five legs, or a rigid center support with at least five hardwood cross slats for queen and king sets. [Emphasis mine.]
That prompted this rebuttal from Khasat:
- During sag measurement by your representative, Edward, on May 25, 2019, I witnessed the sag to be more that 1.75 inches, not less than an inch as reported.
- Your rejection criteria does not hold water. Average weight of an American man is 197.9 Lbs. Whereas, I weigh less than 112 pounds (medical records can be furnished upon request). Based on the laws of physics, the sag is directly proportional to the weight applied. Thus, sag limit should in this case should be adjusted accordingly, i.e. should be reduced by 112/197.9 = 56.59%. This is simple logic. I will present this fact to the judge in the Small Claims Court of Alameda County.
- I hope that Sealy considers this matter with honesty and integrity and replace our defective mattress. Otherwise, please provide us with the Sealy’s Agent in California as requested above.
Sealy won’t replace thisdefectivemattress
And here’s the final rejection:
Your warranty claim request has been reviewed. Unfortunately, we must decline the request as the documentation and/or pictures provided do not allow us to determine that the claim falls within the guidelines of warranty coverage. The underlined bullet below explains the reason for the denial of your claim.
As stated in your warranty certificate, Sealy reserves the right to deny a warranty request for the following reasons:
Mattress is outside of warranty period
Physical abuse or damage to the structure and/or cover material, including but not limited to, burns, cuts, tears, liquid damage, or stains. However if there is a warranty defect not caused by the abuse or damage then the mattress would be covered under the standard warranty.
Damage associated with an improper bed frame, foundation, or adjustable base. See attached for description and illustrations of a proper bed frame.
Replacement of the accompanying piece in the Sealy sleep system where only one piece is defective, unless that accompanying piece is also defective.
Still more reasons for this rejection
Floor models or demonstration samples (“demos”) sold at a discount (See separate warranty for demos and floor models if coverage is provided by retailer).
Product sold by resellers who are not authorized retailers.
Product sold “as-is”, “preconditioned”, “reconditioned”, “used”, “comfort return”, “returned”, “previously owned”, or any other similar wording indicating that the product is not “new” or of “first quality”, or has previously been purchased or used by another consumer.
Also, normal indentations or sagging (not associated with sag in foundation) of less than 1½” for Latex or Innerspring mattresses, or less than 3/4″ for Memory Foam mattresses, IS NOT COVERED. If it is determined that an indentation is caused by misuse, abuse or factors other than a product defect, this warranty will not cover that condition.
If you feel a manufacturing defect has developed at a later date, please call us to initiate a new warranty request at that time.
Wow, that’s alotof reasons.
Elliott Advocacy asks Sealy for an explanation
Warranty information should be clear, unambiguous and uniform across the company, whether you’re dealing with a franchise location, a corporate-owned store or directly with the company. What’s more, the company shouldn’t throw a lot of denial reasons at the ceiling to see what sticks. If you ask a customer to send photographic evidence of a mattress defect, you need to do the same. You can’t justsaythat the warranty is void. You need to prove it.
Dwayne contacted Sealy on Khasat’s behalf to get some clarification. Khasat had complicated the case by threatening to go legal, but he hadn’t done it yet. Fortunately, Dwayne caught this before Sealy referred this case to its legal department.
A representative promised to review Khasat’s case and to contact the customer with a resolution.
And that’s exactly what happened. Sealy reached out to Khasat with a proposed fix.
“They said they will replace the mattress for a nominal charge,” he reported. “Today, they told me the nominal charge is about $2,150. This is laughable.”
Sealy decides to replace the defective mattress — at a cost
Dwayne agreed that the resolution was less than ideal. So he circled back with Khasat. Sealy re-reviewed the request for the replacement of the defective mattress and agreed to send him a new one for $1,000.
Now, why anyone would want a new mattress when the company refused to stand by an old one is beyond my comprehension. But Khasat was happier with this deal, and he took it.
For the rest of us, the lessons are clear:
- Get your warranty in writing and make sure you keep it somewhere safe.Two decades is a long time — and your mattress company might be using a different calendar. (Like airline math.)
- Read your warranty. Know what it covers and what you have to do to file a claim, if necessary.
- Remember the layers of appeal when you’re dealing with a mattress company.The dealership and the corporate location may be singing from a different hymnal, as they say.
Your final level of appeal is your state attorney general or a consumer advocate. But that’s a long shot. (Credit card disputes after 18 years arehighlyunlikely to work.)
- Reality check: Mattresses wear out with age.The industry-funded Better Sleep Council recommends replacing your mattress every seven years. While that may be self-serving advice from the mattress manufacturers, the truth is, Khasat was near the end of his mattress life cycle anyway. Maybe he should have purchased a new mattress from a company with a less restrictive warranty.
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Mattress Warranty Guide
What You Need to Know
First, know that a 25-year mattress warranty does NOT mean that your mattress will last 25 years, but mattress companies certainly want you to believe this.
While a warranty can be a gesture of good faith on the part of the manufacturer, and an indication that the company stands behind its products, you’ll want to understand what your warranty can and cannot do for you. And there are several “gotcha” scenarios where you might inadvertently void your own warranty.
Your new mattress will probably be between 10 and 25 years in length for most manufacturers and some offer a “lifetime” warranty.
Also know that many of those super-long warranties are pro-rated after 5 or 10 years, meaning that a fee can be subtracted for the amount of time the mattress was used, in which case the warranty may not cover the full purchase price or replacement value of the mattress.
Problems Covered by a Mattress Warranty
While a long warranty might sound impressive, warranties are only designed to cover defects and construction flaws like broken springs and extreme breakdown of mattress materials. Keep in mind that true defects will likely become apparent in the first year of ownership.
Body impressions and sagging
If you’ve read some consumer-written mattress reviews, sagging and body impressions are THE biggest mattress complaint. You’ve probably been on an old mattress at some point and noticed yourself rolling into a sunken spot. The cause for this is compression of the top couple of layers of a mattress to the point where the mattress fails to come back to shape, leaving body impressions, generally where the heaviest parts of your body contact the bed.
Manufacturer warranties differ greatly by how deep a body impression must be before it triggers a warranty claim. The industry standard for innerspring mattresses is 1.5” while memory foam is typically 3/4," but there’s a lot of variation from brand to brand. And manufacturers measure body impressions in a very specific way. With no one in the bed, a string is stretched across the bed. Then the distance from the string and the lowest point of the bed is measured. The problem? You can feel the ‘sinkhole’ even if it isn’t deep enough to be measured in that specific way, so it’s worthwhile to consider buying from a company that has a body impression warranty of an inch or less. You’ll find that information within the warranty info.
Some mattresses have better than average body-indentation warranties. Examples include the King Koil World Extended Life bed (which is marketed to heavier and plus-size persons), which warrants body impressions of just ½”—that’s the best we’ve seen recently. Several have policies of ¾”, including Loom & Leaf, Spindle, Tuft & Needle, and Tempur-Pedic.
You can help prevent body impressions by rotating your mattress 180 degrees every 3 months. (Note that most mattresses cannot be flipped; check if your particular model is "flippable" and flip periodically according to the manufacturer guidelines.)
Flaws in design, materials, and construction
As a general rule, most warranty failures are the types of problems that will reveal themselves in the first few years of ownership. Examples include broken springs (on an innerspring mattress), poorly stitched seams that haven opened, broken zippers, and split/cracking foam. Be aware that in certain types of beds (like air beds, waterbeds, or beds that have remote controls or other electronics), the warranty for specific components might be shorter. Some warranties exclude the cover entirely or have a separate warranty for it.
What’s NOT Covered by a Warranty
Generally, only observable, measurable defects are covered by a mattress warranty. Some issues that are not covered include:
Changes in comfort
The fact is that all mattresses will change over time. Generally, they become softer over the years. Changes in firmness/softness are never covered by the warranty.
Loss of support
You might find over the years that a mattress is no longer reaching up to support your lumbar area, or you’re sinking in more deeply than you once did. That’s normal, and could be an indication that it might be time to replace your bed, but it’s not covered under the warranty.
Normal wear and tear
Handles can eventually break; trim or cording might become frayed, or the cover may show pilling or wear in certain spots. These are considered normal wear and tear and are typically not covered.
There are several ways you might accidentally void your own warranty, and they’re all spelled out in the mattress warranty. Most can be prevented, so it’s a great idea to read your warranty before you need it, and to take precautions. Mattress warranty claims can and do get rejected for these reasons:
The mattress is soiled or stained
Most manufacturers state they won’t honor the warranty if the mattress has stains–including sweat stains, spilled substances, etc.–even if the stains aren’t visible. We’ve even heard of warranty inspectors checking a mattress with a black light to find hidden stains. The solution? Get a mattress protector and use it from day one.
You didn’t use a supportive foundation/frame
The mattress must be supported properly in order to make a warranty claim. Check the owner’s manual or warranty for what types of foundations are required for your bed, as well as which are prohibited under the terms of your warranty. Check out our page on foundations.
You aren’t the original owner
Most warranties are not transferable. Especially those with “lifetime’ warranties are not valid if you aren’t the person who initially bought the mattress. The warranty applies only to the original owner, so be sure to save your receipts to prove ownership.
You didn’t buy it from an authorized seller
Think you’ve found a good deal on Overstock? Think again. If you purchase your bed from an unauthorized reseller, it will not be covered by the manufacturer’s warranty. (The retailer might offer a substitute warranty, but that’s not a given.)
You removed the tag that says “do not remove under penalty of law”
That tag (called a law label) really isn’t for you – it’s a guarantee by the manufacturer that all-new and sanitary materials were used in the mattress. It’s illegal for a new mattress to be sold without the tag. Once it’s in your home, you can remove it, but it’s a good idea to leave it on, as some warranties won’t be honored without it.
What Happens if I have a Warranty Claim?
In the event of a problem, the manufacturer will want to have the mattress inspected. Depending on the retailer, the store where you bought the mattress might help you coordinate the details of submitting your complaint to the manufacturer. Someone might come to your home to inspect the mattress, or arrange pickup. In both cases, be aware you may be on the hook for shipping or inspection fees. If your warranty claim is approved, those fees might be refunded.
If you do file a claim, document everything and keep copies of any submitted photographs or forms and note all important dates. Be sure to dig up your original receipt and be prepared to verify that the bed has been properly supported.
See our guide on Filing a Warranty Claim for more on what to do.