Mattress Warranty, Indicator of Expected Life?

December 6, 2010
In the Bedroom

How long do you think a mattress should last?

One of the biggest surprises people find out about when purchasing a new bed is finding out how poorly most mattresses sold today perform, but hey wait it has a warranty right? Listen to sales people; read warranty cards, or go by the life of your last mattress and you may very well be disappointed with the purchase of your new bed when you find out that Mattress Warranty is Not an Indicator of Expected Life. Today’s mattress warranty cards have some of the longest manufacturers’ warranties of any industry out there and based on how mattresses have held up in the past why shouldn’t they have at least 10 to 20 years or more of assurance?

10 year warranty
20 year warranty
30 year warranty

For consumers these manufacturers’ guarantees are the presumed life expectancy.

The fact is you shouldn’t always believe everything you read or better yet actually sit down and read the entire warranty and what it really covers. The reality is most mattresses fall far short of such lofty promises and once you read the fine print of the written assurance an incomplete puzzle begins to become a clearer picture.

Unusually long guarantees are used and abused by everyone in the mattress industry…

from manufacturers who build the beds to the salespeople that sell them. Warranties are often used to give comfort and reassurance to the consumer who believes the expected comfort life and quality of the bed should match the warranty card. Customers are often disappointed when they find that mattress sets fall far short of their lofty implied expectations.

Consumer Reports and mattress forums like WhatsTheBestMattress.com, are flooded with complaints of companies who won’t stand behind their products and they all say the same thing, warranties don’t cover much and they don’t mean much. We agree and say they are all written by lawyers for the manufacturers to protect them not to protect your purchase. Most tell you up front that body impressions are normal and part of the beds “breaking in period”. In most cases warranties will not cover mattresses that have body impressions or sagging until it reaches a depth of a least 1 ½ inches. Picture that before you read on.

The fact of knowing the bed and knowing the problems that plaque it before you buy it arms you and prepares you in the event that you have to exercise a warranty claim on your mattress. Know what is expected of you and your specific responsibilities as the buyer. You need to know if regular turning or flipping your mattress is required. You need to know if your warranty is valid if there is a scuff, mark, or stain on it. You need to know how to protect your mattress from accidental stains or markings. You need to have a valid proof of purchase such as a receipt. Not complying with your requirements and responsibilities is how many of the retailers and manufacturers weasel their way out of standing behind their product. Lawyer jargon covers their rear don’t make it easier for them by not holding up your end of the bargain.