It is of the utmost importance to make informed financial decisions when investing in a large purchase for a home. The warranties accompanying these purchases play a major role in confident buying decisions and require some education to determine their added value.
A quality mattress is one of the big-ticket home items that pair with a warranty. Here is a detailed look at the ins and outs of what mattress warranties do and do not cover.
Definition and Requirements of a Warranty
Warranties are a required commitment made by sellers or manufacturers to replace, refund, or repair a product representative of a large purchase in the case of manufacturing defects. The primary defects of concern centre on those which hinder a product’s intended use.
This obligation is in place to hold sellers and manufacturers accountable and protect consumers against purchasing faulty products. Since mattresses fit into this category, each mattress product must pair with a warranty.
Now, just because a warranty has to be in place for a mattress does not mean that all warranties include comparable coverage. There is a wide range of warranty types, differing in cost, conditions, and timelines. Every brand or seller has individualized coverage standards.
Mattress Warranty Categories
Mattress warranties come in three different forms:
A prorated warranty binds the consumer to cover a percentage of repair or replacement costs. As a general rule, the percentage rises as the warranty timeline progresses.
Non-prorated warranties free the consumer of any financial responsibility when having a mattress repaired or replaced for the listed warranty duration, minus possible shipping costs.
Combination warranties are super common. Under this type of warranty, the consumer typically has a period where the warranty is non-prorated before switching to prorated after hitting a specified point in the coverage time.
Forms of Warranty
There are also a few different versions of how a warranty can be dictated to the consumer:
Implied warranties include warrants of merchantability (a guarantee that a product functions as intended) and warranties of fitness for a particular purpose (a guarantee that a product marketed for a specialized function performs that function).
Salespeople sometimes deliver spoken warranties at the time of purchase. These verbal commitments technically fit into warranty requirements, but acquiring a version in writing is always preferable.
Mattresses mostly come with written warranties. These warranties are physical documentation of the terms of a product warranty.
What Is Covered by a Mattress Warranty?
There is no definitive answer to this question as the specific terms of a warranty vary from seller to seller but, as a rule, there are some general coverage points that mattress warranties tend to provide.
Excessive or early onset sagging in a mattress commonly serves as a sign of a product defect. This type of sagging differs from expected wear and tear due to regular use over a mattress’s lifetime. A warranty will usually specify sagging conditions that merit a repair or replacement.
Normally, there is a predetermined sagging depth that the mattress must reach to qualify. This depth is commonly set at 1.5″ or more, but some warranties are more forgiving than others.
Faulty Materials or Workmanship
Mattress warranties will cover broken or bent coils, atypically bunched-up material, torn or otherwise undone seams, defective mattress handles, and other significant damages upon product delivery. These damages include broken box springs that did not receive damage by the fault of the consumer.
The mattress may not meet the indicated size requirements matching the purchase price and description. This error can be remedied by a correct product replacement, though it does not include the mattress height.
As can be seen, the areas covered by most mattress warranties are minimal. Typically, any damage that is not considered a physical defect in the product does not have coverage.
What Is Not Covered by a Mattress Warranty?
Product warranties protect consumers from making unknown purchases of defective or physically flawed merchandise. Thus, any form of damage outside of that strict definition is not required to be covered.
Here are some common problem areas not covered by warranties.
Discolouration is caused by normal wear and tear and is not covered by a mattress warranty. This condition includes fading from washing the mattress and other forms of staining.
A mattress warranty does not connect to consumer satisfaction with the product’s performance. Complaints about the mattress’s firmness, height, support, or temperature do not relate to the physical defects that a mattress warranty covers.
Sagging That Does Not Meet Warranty Standards
As previously noted, specific conditions determine whether or not a mattress’s sagging is suited for warranty coverage. If the depth of the mattress sag or timeline of when the sagging occurs does not fit within a warranty’s terms, it is not covered.
Mattress warranties do not cover accidental rips, bending, or other damage that might happen during mattress transportation, jumping on the mattress, or through any other product misuse.
Normal Wear and Tear
Manufacturers define natural wear and tear as the weakening of materials, scratches or scuffs, minor fabric bunching, and any result of regular product use over time that faulty construction did not cause.
What Voids a Mattress Warranty?
Here are certain circumstances that change what mattress warranties cover and do not cover. These circumstances include when a mattress warranty would be considered to be void:
- Transfer of ownership
- Staining from a liquid source or other discolouration
- Removal of the mattress tag
- Failure to flip the mattress as required
- Failure to open the mattress from shipment packaging promptly
- Using insufficient support for the mattress
As a consumer, it is also important to know the difference between a mattress warranty and a sleep trial. Many distributors offer sleep trials as a way to determine if the product suits a consumer’s personal preferences like comfort level, which is not related to the warranty.
It is important to know what mattress warranties cover and do not cover to become a confident buyer.
Get a copy of the mattress warranty in writing and thoroughly examine the terms and conditions to confidently make an informed investment.