How Long Should A Mattress Last Before Sagging

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How Long Does a Mattress Last

How do you know if you need a new mattress? If you’re waking up tired and sore, it may be time to replace. Find out how long pillow top, memory foam, hybird, latex and more can last.

How Long Should a Mattress Last?

The average mattress lasts around 7-10 years depending on the type. Read on to learn the lifespan of each kind of mattress type.

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Innerspring Mattress
These typically have a lifespan of8 years. A continuous coil mattress tends to last longer, as its single coil is less likely to break.

Memory Foam
Memory foam mattresses contain an extra layer of foam for added comfort. With proper care, they can last for10-15 yearsdepending on the density of the foam.

Gel Memory Foam
This type of mattress helps to dissipate the heat throughout the bed and keep the mattress cooler at night. It also has a lifespan of10-15 years.

Latex
A natural latex mattress lastsup to 15 yearsdue to its elasticity. If the top layer wears out, you can replace it rather than purchase a new mattress. Latex mattresses are also the only mattresses that are naturally resistant to dust mites, making them particularly good for people with allergies or asthma.

Hybrid
The lifespan of a hybrid mattress depends on its material. Typically, a hybrid mattress combines inner coils with foam and has a lifespan of8-10 years.

Waterbed
Waterbeds are made with a vinyl covering that can puncture or tear. With proper care, a waterbed can last between8-10 years.

Pillow Top
The soft top of a pillow top mattress shortens its longevity. With proper care and rotating, it can often last about7 years.

Some mattresses, like memory foams and latex, can last up to 15 years, much longer than the average innerspring. In the end, it’s up to you how long your mattress lasts. If you’re still getting a good night’s sleep, you might not need to make a change.

How to Extend the Life of Your Mattress

Mattresses can last longer than expected depending on their use and care. Here are some preventative measures to extend the life of your mattress.

    Use a secure base
    Without the right support, your mattress will sag prematurely. Use a proper foundation, such as a box spring, wooden slats, or a metal base.

But consider to purchasing a new base if yours:

    No longer retains its shape

Has dents or sagging areas

  • Squeaks when you move around on the bed
  • Get a Mattress Protector
    Dust, sweat, body oils, and lotion seep into the mattress and wear down its fibers.

    Clean Your Mattress
    Ideally, your mattress should be cleaned twice a year. Sprinkle it with baking soda and vacuum after 30 minutes.

    Wash Your Sheets
    Wash your sheets weekly to eliminate dust, body oils, and debris that collect. This will prevent the debris from leaking into the mattress.

    Rotate Your Mattress
    Overuse of the area that supports your body will cause your mattress to feel less comfortable. Rotating it every 3 months can eliminate wear and tear in one area.

    Don’t Jump on the Bed
    This can cause wear and tear. For certain types of mattresses, you also risk damaging the springs.

    Don’t Sleep with Your Pets
    Your pet’s oils, dander, and urine can leak onto the mattress.

  • Prevent Bed Bugs
    Always check your luggage and clothing for bed bugs when traveling. Getting bed bugs may require buying a new mattress altogether.
  • How to Know if You Need a New Mattress

    Here are some telltale signs that your mattress may be past its prime:

      You wake up feeling older than your age- One of the biggest signs that it’s time to replace your mattress is when you consistently get a poor night’s sleep. Pay attention to how often you feel worse upon waking than you do when going to bed.

    You feel like the coils poke you in your sleep- This could be a sign of advanced wear and tear, depending on the type of mattress. It means you don’t have proper support and will likely affect your sleep quality.

    Your bed has become noisy- You’ll want to make sure that the mattress’ base is secure and still supports the mattress. You may have to replace both at once, or just one at a time, depending on the level of wear and tear.

    You just can’t get comfortable- Though an old mattress isn’t always the culprit of sleep discomfort, it should be one of the first things you check.

    Sleeping aggravates your allergies/asthma- Some dust mites live in every mattress and pillow, but they can accumulate over years of time. In addition to dust mites, common allergens, including mold, can grow in your mattress.

  • Your mattress has dents or saggy areas- Depending on the mattress type, this can mean that the coils are damaged.
  • Overall, if you’re consistently waking up feeling unrested, it’s probably time to start shopping. You’ll likely be able to save some money by looking online instead of in mattress stores. Check out our mattress reviews, such as our review of Saatva mattress, to learn more.

    Bottom Line

    Finding a mattress that lasts long can be tough. Once you find the right one, prolong its lifespan by taking care of it properly.

    Note: This website is made possible through financial relationships with some of the products and services mentioned on this site. We may receive compensation if you shop through links in our content. You do not have to use our links, but you help support CreditDonkey if you do.

    7 Signs You Should Replace Your Mattress

    A good night’s rest is crucial to your health and well-being, yet millions of Americans suffer from lack of sleep. TheSleep in Americastudy by the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) found that 75% of adults have problems sleeping well. The study showed that 60% of respondents experienced daytime sleepiness that interfered with activities, caused work absences, or mistakes on the job. While medical conditions may be responsible for some instances of bad sleep, it might be your mattress that’s the issue. Review these seven signs that it’s time to replace your mattress to see if your bed is to blame for inadequate sleep.

    #1 Your mattress is 7-10 years old

    Research has found that mattresses have a life-span of roughly eight years, but this varies by manufacturer, mattress type, whether you sleep alone or with a partner, and how you sleep. If you’re a larger person, your mattress will likely wear out faster than manufacturer guidelines suggest.

    Mattresses were not designed to last forever, and excessive wear and tear will age a product faster. Inferior products don’t last as long, yet even the highest-quality mattress has a maximum lifespan and will eventually need replacing. If your mattress is old, that’s the first sign you may need a new one.

    #2 The mattress is saggy

    If there’s a dent in your mattress in the shape of your body, that’s a signal that your mattress is overly worn. Sagging can occur with almost any mattress material (aside from waterbeds) and can be observed under your sleep area, at the edges, or both. If your mattress has springs, they can break down and sag.

    Fiber, foam, and pillowtop materials all break down over time and the deeper the sag in your mattress, the more discomfort you’ll likely experience. Saggy mattresses can disrupt sleep and cause aches and pains. If your memory foam mattress core has softened, you may feel the sag as a “hammock” effect.

    #3 Your spine isn’t aligned when you sleep

    No matter how old (or new) your mattress, if it doesn’t offer proper support and alignment, you won’t get optimal sleep. For back or stomach sleepers, your spine’s natural S curve should be evident when you’re lying on your mattress. If it’s flattened or exaggerated, the mattress isn’t aligning your spine properly.

    For side sleepers, your spine should be straight from neck to bottom if you’ve got proper support. A yardstick or level can confirm adequate alignment. A good pillow may correct minor issues, but if you can slide a hand in the gap between body and mattress, it’s a red flag that you might need a different mattress.

    #4 Your mattress is uncomfortable

    Knowing whether your mattress is comfortable sounds like common sense, but many people adjust to discomfort. If you get better sleep on a hotel mattress or a friend’s guest room, your home bed might not be comfortable enough. A bed may seem comfortable in a showroom but then doesn’t perform well at home.

    The upper part of your mattress consists of “comfort layers” that should support your body and provide pressure relief. Comfort layers break down over time resulting in poor sleep and body aches but in some cases, your mattress choice might have been faulty from the start, and you need to replace it.

    #5 You wake stiff and sore

    Poor sleep can contribute to chronic back pain. If you wake up stiff and sore every day, your mattress could be part of the problem. If your back pain is worse when you wake but subsides when you stretch and move around, that’s a sign that the mattress is causing or contributing to your pain.

    A firm mattress may not be the answer. A study from the Kovacs Foundation in Mallorca found that medium-firm mattresses provided better comfort for chronic low-back pain. Experts recommend sleep testing different types of mattresses before buying if you suffer pain while sleeping or when waking.

    #6 Worsening allergies or asthma

    If it’s not allergy season and there’s no alternate explanation for an uptick in allergy or asthma symptoms, your mattress might be the culprit.Slateinterviewed an expert on dust mites that said your mattress is a “crime scene in terms of how it gets inoculated with [dust] mites” over time.

    The protein in dust mite feces may cause allergic reactions and asthma attacks and so can the dust that accumulates in your mattress. Vacuuming, steaming, and flipping your mattress might reduce dust and mites to ease your symptoms. If these steps don’t help, a new mattress might be the solution.

    #7 You gained or lost weight (or added a co-sleeper)

    For those that experience a significant gain or loss in weight over the life cycle of your mattress, the change might alter the effectiveness of your mattress. A Canadian study linked both inadequate and excessive sleep to weight gain so how you sleep and what you weigh are intermingled.

    Heavier body types trigger more wear and tear on springs, foam, cushioning and mattress components. Also, if you were a solo sleeper but now have a partner in your bed, your mattress might not offer adequate sleep surface or support for the extra weight. That means it’s time for a new mattress.

    Become an informed consumer

    If you suspect you need a new mattress, do your homework, and educate yourself before you buy. Understand the lingo and gimmicks employed by mattress firms so that you get the product you need that fits your budget and gives you the best night’s sleep. There’s no prescription for which mattress will best fit your unique needs.

    Look for a mattress that offers adequate support for spinal alignment. Comfort is subjective – it’s how a bed feels to you. You might find a firmer mattress superior to a softer one or vice-versa. Mattress selection is highly personal and should be your preference at the cross-section of proper alignment, support, and comfort.

    How Long Should a Mattress Last?

    Quick Overview

    The average mattress – regardless of firmness, thickness, or material composition – will perform for approximately seven years before a replacement is needed. However, a wide range of factors can affect the expected lifespan of an individual mattress model, making some much more durable than others.

    This guide will look at how lifespans vary by mattress type, and also discuss ways to determine a bed’s longevity based on different variables.

    Mattress Durability and Lifespan

    When evaluating the longevity of a specific mattress, two key terms are ‘durability’ and ‘lifespan.’

    • Durabilityrefers to how well the bed withstands sagging, sinkage, and other forms of deterioration that can compromise comfort and support for sleepers. All mattresses eventually deteriorate, but some are much more durable and less susceptible to wear and tear.
    • Thelifespanis how long a mattress performs before it needs to be replaced. A mattress may deteriorate to some degree and still perform reasonably well, but if its comfort and/or support materials no longer function as intended then the bed is most likely due for a replacement.

    Because durability and lifespan are technically different terms, they may not necessarily be linked. A mattress made from durable materials may not have a very long lifespan due to the way it is designed or configured.

    Likewise, a mattress with less durable materials may have a reasonable lifespan if it is constructed in a way that promotes longevity. However, in most cases, durability and lifespan are directly correlated.

    How Do Mattresses Deteriorate?

    Mattress deterioration, otherwise known as wear and tear, comes in several forms. These include:

    Sagging:Sagging normally occurs along the surface of the bed in areas that support the heaviest parts of the sleeper’s body, such as the shoulders/chest and hips. Excessive sagging causes the surface to become uneven. This can lead to aches and pains for sleepers. Sagging is particularly common with couples, since the bodies of both sleepers are usually aligned.

    Body Impressions:Body impressions are a common issue with mattresses featuring foam and/or latex comfort layers and support cores. Over time, the surface will develop a semi-permanent imprint of the sleeper’s body. This may limit the sleeper to one position, since switching to a new position can cause the surface to feel uneven.

    Softening:All mattresses soften to some extent after regular, nightly use. Normal softening will not affect the bed’s comfort levels or pressure-relieving abilities. Excessive softening, however, can cause the materials to sag and develop indentations more quickly. Softening is most noticeable on mattresses that feel ‘Medium Firm,’ ‘Firm,’ or ‘Extra Firm.’

    Mechanical malfunctions:Mechanical malfunctions are an issue limited to airbeds, smart beds, and other mattresses with electrical components. These include issues with air pumps, manual and/or remote controls, and outlet connectivity.

    Durability and Lifespan by Mattress Type

    Material composition is usually the most telling factor when it comes to determining the durability and expected lifespan of a mattress. The vast majority of mattresses sold today fall into one of the following categories:

    Innerspring

    Most innersprings are constructed with foam-based comfort layers and steel, non-pocketed coils in the support core. These mattresses have the lowest projected lifespan among all mattress types because they are most susceptible to sagging – sometimes after only two to three years of use. The average innerspring has a lifespan ofsix to six and a half years.

    For all-foam mattresses, longevity is often tied to foam density; low-density foams are considerably less durable than high-density, and even medium-density, foams.

    Memory foam also has better longevity than polyfoam, but both materials will eventually develop prominent body indentations that restrict movement or position changes for sleepers. The average polyfoam/memory foam mattress has a lifespan ofsix and a half to seven years.

    Latex

    Natural latex – derived from the sap of rubber trees – is one of the most durable mattress materials available. Some latex mattresses use synthetic latex instead; this material is not as durable as natural latex, but tends to perform longer than mattress foams.

    The chief issue with latex is softening, and some sleepers also report body indentations, but these issues normally do not affect the bed until after years of use. The average all-latex mattress has a lifespan ofseven and a half to eight years, with most natural latex beds outlasting mattresses with synthetic latex layers.

    Hybrid

    A hybrid, by definition, has memory foam and/or latex comfort layers and pocketed coils in the support core. Like innersprings, hybrids are particularly vulnerable to sagging and body impressions.

    Hybrids may also soften rather quickly, depending on how thick the comfort layers are and which materials are used. The average hybrid has a lifespan ofsix and a half to seven years, with latex hybrids typically outlasting memory foam hybrids.

    Airbed

    Airbeds, when properly maintained, have longer-than-average expected lifespans. Most are constructed from durable materials that withstand sagging, body impressions, and other forms of wear and tear. However, airbed are uniquely vulnerable to mechanical malfunctions.

    If addressed, these malfunctions may not impact the lifespan too much. Airbeds may also sag and develop body impressions if they have thick comfort layers. The average airbed has a lifespan ofeight to nine years.

    The table below breaks down durability and lifespan expectations for these five mattress types.

    Mattress TypeInnerspringFoamLatexHybridAirbed
    Average lifespan6 to 6.5 years6.5 to 7 years7.5 to 8 years6.5 to 7 years8 to 9 years
    Overall durabilityPoor to FairFair to GoodGood to Very GoodFair to GoodGood to Very Good
    Sagging potentialPoor to FairFairGoodFairFair to Good
    Body impression potentialGoodPoor to FairFair to GoodFair to GoodGood
    Premature softening potentialGoodPoor to FairFair to GoodFair to GoodGood
    Mechanical malfunction potentialExcellentExcellentExcellentExcellentPoor to Fair
    Overall longevity scoreFairGoodVery GoodGoodVery Good

    Warranty Considerations

    All mattresses come with a manufacturer’s warranty that protects the bed against early deterioration and ensures owners will not have to pay hefty fees if a defect develops. Most mattress warranty coverage period begin on the date of purchase or delivery, but will not fully kick in until the bed’s sleep trial has ended. The sleep trial – a period during which customers can test out the mattress and return it for a full/partial refund if they are not satisfied – typically lasts 90 to 120 nights, though some span one year or longer.

    A standard mattress warranty covers the product for 10 years, but 15-, 20-, and 25-year – as well as lifetime – warranties are fairly common. The warranty length is not necessarily tied to the bed’s durability or expected lifespan. In fact, because most mattresses need to be replaced within six to nine years, a warranty exceeding 10 years in length will likely be unnecessary. This is important to keep in mind because lengthy warranties can drive up the mattress price by a significant margin.

    Additional warranty details to consider include the following:

    Sagging/body impression depth

    Nearly all mattress warranties specify a sagging and impression depth that is considered a defect and warrants repair or replacement. Though this varies by model, the depth usually falls between half an inch (1/2″) and one and a half inches (1 1/2″).

    One thing to note: sagging and impressions that measure one inch (1″) or less are not associated with as much sleeper discomfort as those that exceed one inch in depth. Therefore, mattress buyers may want to think twice about models with warranties that only recognize sagging and indentations that measure at least one and a half inches deep.

    Covered defects

    In addition to sagging and body impressions, a mattress warranty may also consider the following issues defects that warranty repairs or replacements:

    • Physical flaws in the bed that cause materials to split or crack
    • Manufacturing flaws associated with the cover, such as cracked/broken zippers or loose seams
    • Coils or wires that protrude through the bed’s surface and/or sidewalls

    Most warranties do not consider the following issues to be defects that justify repairs or replacements:

    • Sagging or indentations that do not reach the prescribed depth
    • Repairs or replacement requests that occur due to changes in the owner’s firmness, thickness, or material composition preferences
    • Physical damage that occurs due to misuse or improper support. This includes, but is not limited to, burns, cuts, tears, stains, and liquid damage
    • Mold, mildew, bedbugs, and other types of infestation
    Repairs and replacements

    In most cases, a mattress warranty will guarantee that the manufacturer will replace or repair a defective mattress for at least 10 years. The brand will cover the repair/replacement costs. However, owners may face the following charges for these services:

    • Mattress shipping and transportation costs
    • Mattress inspection fees
    • Upgrade costs if the mattress is replaced with a more expensive model

    Some warranties promise the manufacturer will repair or replace a defective mattress for a long as the warranty is valid; others offer a one-time repair or replacement. Always read the warranty’s fine-print carefully to minimize costs associated with repairs or replacements.

    Nonprorated vs. prorated coverage

    Customers should read the warranty carefully to see if it is entirely nonprorated or divided into nonprorated and prorated periods.

    Duringnonproratedcoverage, the manufacturer will repair or replace a defective mattress at no additional charge to the owner apart from the costs listed in the previous box. Nearly all 10-year warranties are completely nonprorated; longer warranties usually include at least 10 years of nonprorated coverage, as well.

    Duringproratedcoverage, owners must pay for mattress replacements – and in some cases, repairs too. Prorated charges vary by warranty. In most cases, they are calculated by multiplying a certain percentage of the original product price by the number of years of ownership.

    For instance, let’s say a mattress comes with a 20-year warranty that includes 10 years of nonprorated coverage and 10 years of prorated coverage. Once prorated coverage kicks in, the owner must pay 5% of the original price multiplied by the number of years they have owned the mattress. This means that, in Year 11, they must pay 55% of the original mattress price for a replacement; in Year 12, they pay 60%; and so on until the 20th year, when the warranty expires. Some prorated warranties max out the prorated charges at 90% to 95%.

    Prorated coverage is primarily used for warranties that span 15 years or longer. Most include at least 10 years of nonprorated coverage before the prorated charges begin, but some only feature two to three years of nonprorated coverage. Customers should carefully read the mattress warranty before purchasing in order to determine if the coverage guidelines meet their needs.

    Transferability

    All mattress warranties are non-transferable, making them exclusively available to original purchasers who buy their bed from the original manufacturer or an authorized retailer. Those who buy the bed from a non-authorized retailer – or buy/acquire it from the original owner – do not receive warranty coverage.

    Should You Replace Your Current Mattress?

    Based on the information above, you may decide it’s time to ditch your current mattress and buy a new one. Use the following checklist to determine if a replacement is necessary; more than one ‘yes’ response probably means it’s time for a new bed.

    • You and/or your sleep partner notice sagging in the sleep surface that compromises support to a noticeable extent
    • You and/or your sleep partner cannot move or shift positions in bed easily due to deep body impressions
    • Excessive softening in the sleep surface affects how supportive and comfortable the mattress feels
    • You and/or your sleep partner experience added aches and pains after sleeping that were not an issue before
    • You own a bed with mechanical components that seem to malfunction easily
    • Your bed’s warranty has reached a prorated period that will result in expensive charges if a replacement or repairs are warranted

    What You Should Know About Mattress Warranties

    Anytime you’re making a significant investment in a new product for your home — whether it’s a TV, an appliance, or a mattress — it’s natural to think about what happens if things go wrong. A warranty that kicks in if the product is defective can offer both protection and peace of mind.

    But anyone who’s ever had to file a warranty claim can tell you that while warranties may sound simple, they are actually defined by detailed terms and conditions. This fine print can affect how and when you may use a warranty and what you’ll receive if you successfully file a warranty claim.

    In the mattress industry, there can be many variables that affect a warranty and how much protection it actually offers to you as a customer. In this guide, we’ll cover the important concepts and terminology related to mattress warranties, and we’ll help make sure that you can confidently assess how valuable any specific mattress warranty will be for you before you make a purchase.

    What is a Warranty?

    At its most basic level, a warranty is a way that a customer is protected if a product is faulty. It works to make sure that customers have recourse if the product they purchase is a “lemon.”

    While there are some unstated warranties that apply to most products — known as “warranties of merchantability” and “warranties of fitness” — the more relevant type of warranties when it comes to mattresses are written warranties. That means that they are explicitly offered by the company and have defined terms and conditions.

    Almost all mattresses are sold with a written warranty. Though they share many characteristics, not all warranties are created equal. For this reason, we strongly suggest reading the fine print of any warranty before purchasing a mattress.

    If the mattress seller does not have the warranty terms available for you to read, we suggest waiting to make your purchase until those terms are provided to you.

    How is a Warranty Different From a Sleep Trial?

    One of the keys that have enabled the rapid expansion of the online, direct-to-consumer mattress industry is the in-home sleep trial. After purchasing the mattress and having it delivered, the sleep trial gives you a grace period during which you can return the mattress and get a refund if you’re unsatisfied with the mattress for any reason. Most sleep trials are for 100 nights, but they can range from 30-365 nights depending on the company. Most sleep trials also offer free return shipping or even pickup of a mattress from your home if you decide to return it.

    This sleep trial model is distinct from a warranty. The point of the sleep trial is to let you test out the mattress to see if you like it. The point of the warranty is to protect you as the customer if the mattress was built improperly. The sleep trial usually allows returns for any reason, including general dissatisfaction with the mattress, whereas a warranty applies specifically to defects with the mattress. Warranties last much longer than sleep trials and tend to be much more restrictive in their application.

    You can read more about sleep trials in our guide, How to Buy a Mattress Online.

    Does a Warranty Apply to the Whole Mattress?

    A mattress is made up of multiple different parts including its internal components and its cover. In most cases, the warranty will cover defects or flaws in any of these parts. However, it is important to read the warranty carefully because some may be more restricted when it comes to the cover.

    In addition, some mattresses are built with electrical components. For example, airbeds have remote controls and pumps that regulate air in the mattress. Mattresses that have sensor technology (often referred to as smart mattresses) may have these sensors built into a layer of the mattress. Keep in mind that often these components are not covered under the same terms as the other mattress components. Usually, they have a shorter time period for warranty coverage. If you’re buying this type of mattress, make sure to look closely to know for how long the warranty will apply to these parts of the mattress.

    What Is Covered By a Mattress Warranty?

    Mattress warranties do not provide coverage for everything that can go wrong with your mattress. Instead, they tend to focus on specific problems that may arise. Remember that every warranty is written with its own specific terms, but this section gives an overview of what is usually covered.

    Sagging

    Mattress warranties typically provide recourse if the mattress starts to sag significantly. However, the way that the mattress company defines “significantly” may be different from the way that you would. In order to have a warranty claim, most mattress companies require that an indentation in the mattress measure 1.5” in depth. Though you might notice indentations of a lesser depth, they would not be covered unless they reached the 1.5″ level. This also means that the warranty generally provides no coverage for minor sagging that just occurs as a result of regular use. Instead, it has to be a pronounced and deep level of sink for the warranty to kick in.

    Faulty Workmanship or Materials

    You likely have a legitimate warranty claim if there is a clear example of poor workmanship for your mattress. Some examples of this could include:

    • Defective seams that do not hold and that come apart
    • Coils that break and/or puncture the mattress exterior (in the case of an innerspring mattress)
    • Broken or torn mattress handles
    • Significant bunching of materials

    What Is Not Covered by a Mattress Warranty?

    Unfortunately, the list of things that are not covered by a warranty tends to be longer than the list of covered items. Items not covered by most warranties include:

    • Sagging below the stated threshold:if your mattress starts to give out or indent, but it’s less than the stated threshold in the warranty (1.5” in most warranties), there won’t be any coverage provided, even if this sagging is having a major effect on the support and comfort that you receive from your mattress.
    • Natural wear and tear:if the problem with the mattress comes about from its use rather than from faulty construction or materials, then you shouldn’t expect the warranty to provide any coverage. This includes natural weakening of materials, scuffs, scratches, discoloration of the cover (from use or washing), or minor lumps or bunching.
    • User-inflicted damage:if you accidentally rip your mattress or cause damage to it in regular use or in moving it, it won’t be covered. This also includes damage that might be inflicted by a pet or by a child jumping on the mattress. If the damage happened by your hand, don’t expect warranty coverage.
    • Dissatisfaction with size, feel, or performance of the mattress:the warranty is not designed to assure your satisfaction with the performance of the mattress from the perspective of support or comfort. It also doesn’t cover any issues related to the size or height of the mattress, whether it sleeps hot, whether it’s good for sex, or whether it permits too much motion transfer.

    It’s critical to know in advance that your warranty won’t cover your purchase in these cases, and it makes it all the more important that you choose wisely when shopping for a mattress.

    How Does a Mattress Warranty Become Void?

    In order to be able to file a warranty claim if something goes wrong, the warranty has to be valid. The fine print of a warranty generally states various actions that can cause the warranty to become voided. For example, almost all of these issues would be likely to void a mattress warranty:

    Removing the law tag

    Every mattress has a tag on it that gives some basic details on the mattress. On the tag, you’ll see some variation of this phrase clearly printed: “Do Not Remove Under Penalty of Law.” That phrase is why this is known as the “law tag.” For mattress makers, this is part of your proof of purchase, and they generally will immediately reject a warranty claim if this tag has been removed from the mattress.

    Transferring ownership

    A standard stipulation in the fine print in mattress warranties is that any transferring of the mattress to another person voids the warranty. This means that if you sell the mattress or give it to a family member or friend, they will not be able to make a warranty claim even if something goes wrong.

    Customer misuse

    Because the warranty is designed to offer protection if the mattress was not built properly, mattress companies are quick to void a warranty if there are signs of customer misuse that could relate to the problem with the mattress. Examples of customer misuse that can void a warranty include:

    • Not following instructions for supporting the mattress: most warranties state that the mattress must be used with a certain type of support base in order for the warranty to be valid. Make sure that any frame or box spring that you use complies with the terms stated in the warranty in order to avoid this issue.
    • Failure to rotate the mattress as directed: the warranty may state a certain frequency with which the mattress must be rotated in order for the warranty to remain valid.
    • Stains: many warranty claims are denied because of stains, even small stains and even ones that may not appear to be related to the issue that the customer is having with the mattress. A mattress company may take stains as a sign of general misuse that can void a warranty. For tips on avoiding stains and cleaning them up when they happen, check out our guide, How to Clean Your Mattress.

    Warranty Lengths

    As you look at different mattresses on the market, you may notice that there’s a wide variation in the length of the warranties that are offered. Warranties may range from 5 years to a full lifetime warranty. The most common range is between 10 and 20 years.

    It’s common for shoppers to assume that the length of the warranty is the same as the expected lifespan of the mattress, but this is not the case. In most cases, a mattress gives out from wear-and-tear well before the end of the warranty period. In order to judge the likely durability and useful life of a mattress, look at the quality of its materials and construction, not at the length of its warranty.

    Prorated Warranties

    One important element of mattress warranties that you need to be aware of is that some are prorated while others are not. This relates to what kind of remedy you are entitled to if you have a valid warranty claim. As a general rule, non-prorated warranties are better for you as the customer.

    In a non-prorated warranty,the remedy for a defective mattress is the same throughout the entire warranty period. In most non-prorated warranties, for example, this means that if the mattress is defective at any point during the warranty coverage, the company will repair or replace your mattress at no cost to you. Usually the only costs that you might have with a non-prorated warranty could be for transportation of the mattresses and/or for the inspection of your mattress to validate your warranty claim.

    In a prorated warranty,the remedy changes depending on how long the warranty has been in effect. For example, as time elapses, the company may not offer a refund or replacement but may provide only a percentage of the value of the mattress as a refund. These types of gradual declines in the value of your remedy can be different for each manufacturer, so this is yet another reason to carefully read through the warranty before purchasing a mattress.

    Not all warranties fit neatly into the categories of “prorated” or “non-prorated.” Some mattresses also come with a warranty that is a combination of prorated and non-prorated timeframes. An example would be a 25-year warranty that would be non-prorated for the first 10 years (offering a full refund or replacement) and then prorated for the last 15 years (with a gradually decreasing monetary value provided in case of a valid warranty claim).

    How to File a Warranty Claim

    If you notice a defect in your mattress that you think may meet conditions listed under your warranty, follow these steps:

    1. Take a series of photos of your mattress that provide the best evidence possible of any problems or defects.
    2. Find a copy of the mattress warranty and look at the terms and conditions in detail. Honestly assess whether your warranty is still valid and whether your situation meets the circumstances under which the warranty may apply. In this process, make sure to ask yourself, “how or why might this claim be denied?”
    3. Contact the company that you bought the mattress from. In some cases, you will need to deal with the retailer for warranty issues. If the retailer refers you to the mattress maker, or if you bought directly from the manufacturer, then contact the manufacturer to initiate a claim.
    4. File any required paperwork or forms in order to intiate a warranty claim. Make sure to read these forms carefully for any notations about costs involved with filing the claim. If requested, submit any photos or other evidence of the problem.
    5. The company likely will send an inspector to examine your mattress and review your claim. This usually comes at a cost to you of $25 to $50. This may be refunded if your claim is determined to be valid.
    6. If you have a valid claim, you may also be responsible for shipping the mattress back. This can cost between $50-$100 depending on the shipping method. Again, some companies may pay this cost if you have a valid claim.
    7. Communicate with the company directly about the process for processing your claim and determining your remedy. Make sure to advocate for yourself to try to speed this process up as much as possible.

    Be aware that there is a strong chance that your warranty claim will be denied. This doesn’t mean that you should never file a claim, but it is necessary to be realistic, especially when assessing whether or not your mattress warranty will still be valid or whether it could be void due to things like stains or signs of misuse.

    Tips for Extending the Life of Your Mattress

    When most of us think about a warranty, what we’re really hoping for is to never have to use it at all. When we put good money into a major purchase, we want to make sure we get as much quality use out of that purchase as possible. In that vein, there are steps that you can take that will both help with upkeep of your mattress and make it more likely that your warranty will still be valid if you do need to file a claim:

    • Try to keep pets and kids off of your mattress:children and animals can both put a great deal of strain on a mattress. Whether it be from spills, accidents, jumping, or sharp paws, it’s easy for a mattress to get damaged by your kids or pets, and this kind of damage is likely to invalidate a warranty.
    • Use a mattress pad or protector:these are products that provide an extra layer or barrier to defend the mattress against things like spills and stains. A mattress protector offers more robust defense by fully encasing the mattress, but a mattress pad can still be helpful as well.
    • Don’t skimp on your mattress base:it may be tempting to buy the cheapest frame on the market, but remember that both the frame and the mattress are involved in supporting you during sleep. In addition, a faulty frame or a frame that doesn’t meet certain characteristics can void your warranty.
    • Follow a regular mattress cleaning routine:there are a number of ways that you can keep your mattress clean and fresh. For more on mattress maintenance, review our guide, How to Clean Your Mattress.

    Mattress Warranties: What You Should Know – 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 – as the table shows – 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 LengthAverage Useful Lifespan
    5 years4.7 years
    10 years7.1 years
    20 years8.2 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.

    Sagging

    The main complaint people have with their mattress is sagging – 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.

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