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.
Mattress Warranty: Are You Covered?
May 3, 2016
Filed under: Mattress Care
Most of today’s brand name mattresses come with a manufacturer’s warranty to protect against manufacturing defects. It’s important to understand what a mattress warranty does and does not cover – and the simple steps you can take to ensure complete mattress satisfaction.
What’s Covered: Manufacturing Defects
Established brands like Serta conduct ongoing quality testing to determine what constitutes a defect. Your new mattress will come with a warranty brochure that clearly states what is and what is not covered based on what’s considered a manufacturing defect. It’s important to read this carefully and store the information somewhere safe, although most manufacturer websites will have electronic versions of the warranty.
What’s Not Covered: Comfort Preference
Your personal comfort is not covered by the manufacturer’s warranty. This is because comfort is unique, personal and subjective. A perfectly made plush mattress may feel great to your friend, but you may personally find it too soft and, therefore, uncomfortable.
That’s why it’s important to research online and try different types of mattresses in person with your partner before making the purchase. Online tools like our Mattress Selector can help narrow down the options before you shop.
Finally, many mattress retailers offer a trial period, allowing you to return or exchange a new mattress if you find it’s not the right match. Be sure to ask your retailer what their policy is so you know your options.
A mattress warranty is designed to protect the craftsmanship and quality of the mattress. By understanding what it does and does not cover, you will shop smarter and enjoy your new mattress for several years.
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 many years should a Serta Perfect Sleeper mattress last?
How many years is the warranty on the Serta Perfect Sleeper Woodlyn Hills Firm mattress? Is that how long I can expect it to last?
I’d like to start by addressing your second question, regarding the relationship between warranty and longevity, as this is something that many mattress shoppers miss. The most important thing to know is thatthe length of a mattress warranty hasnothingto do with how long the mattress will last. Some products with 25-year warranties will lose their comfort or support in 5 years or less. Likewise, a product with a 5-year warranty might serve you well for 10 years or more.
A warranty only protects you againstmanufacturer defects. Defects, like springs popping out or fabric not being stitched properly, are most likely to appear in the first year — so in most cases it wouldn’t really matter whether the warranty is 1 year or 100 years. Things like loss of comfort or support are generallynotcovered by the warranty, unless they reach truly extreme levels, which are most commonly defined as a 1.5" sag that can be assessedwithout anyone lying on the bedby stretching a string across the mattress and measuring the distance from the bottom of the sag to the string. Naturally, a mattress with a sag bigger than this is in pretty dire straits, and thus its condition is considered to be the result of an unexpected defect in the manufacturing process. The reason that nothing below this standard is covered is to make it clear thatthe amount of sagging and/or body impressions that can be expected under normal wear and tear isnotconsidered a defect and thus isnotcovered at all under the warranty.
So, in terms of how long you can expect this mattress to last, our data suggests that on average, Perfect Sleeper owners tend to keep their mattress a little over 10 years before it needs replacement due to it being old or worn out. This is a typical length of time that is consistent with the average product longevity for all mattress brands.
Now, to address your first question about the warranty length of this specific model. According to the website of JCPenney, which is the only retailer that carries this model under the "Woodlyn Hills" name, this model has a 10-year limited warranty. The warranty information they provide seems to indicate that this is a pro-rated warranty, meaning the replacement value would be pro-rated based on the amount of time the mattress was used prior to a warranty claim being made.
Of course, you have surely noticed that in this case, the warranty length and the average length of ownership line up exactly, but it is nonetheless important to understand that this is merely a coincidence, not a causal relationship.
The Serta Warranty &
Quality Assurance Program
We aim to build the highest quality and most durable products, so you can enjoy your Serta mattress for years to come. Our promise is backed by our Serta Quality Assurance Program, one of the most stringent and rigorously enforced product quality programs in the home furnishings industry.
We’re confident in the quality, design and craftsmanship of our products, so all Serta products are warrantied against manufacturing defects in workmanship and material as outlined in the warranty brochure you received with your mattress or mattress set.
This Serta limited warranty protects the original purchaser from defects in material and workmanship during the coverage period (see law tag for warranty code). Consumer damage and comfort are not covered by the warranty.
If you notice a defect, contact the Serta retailer from where you purchased the set for warranty service. Our valued retail partners are authorized to provide warranty service, and can do so promptly and efficiently. If you have moved or if your retailer is no longer in business, please contact Serta Customer Service for warranty service at 1-888-55-SERTA (1-888-557-3782) between the hours of 9am and 5pm EST, Monday–Friday.