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, even if just a limited warranty, that kicks in if the product is defective can offer both protection and peace of mind.
Some mattress warranties are much better than others, depending on their time span and coverage. While mattress warranties or the limited warranty return and sleep trial policies can be complicated, it’s worth the little time and effort needed to find out exactly what your choices are if time proves your new mattress does not meet expectations.
What Is a Mattress Trial Period?
A mattress trial period – also known as a sleep trial – is almost always included when buying a mattress online. It gives you a set amount of nights to sleep on your new mattress, and if you decide the mattress isn’t working for you, you can return it for a refund (minus shipping charges from the original purchase in some cases). You could say that trial periods are less of a free trial and more of a money-back guarantee.
A mattress trial is not the same as a basic return policy. Most return policies require you to return an item unused to receive a refund. But with a mattress trial, the entire purpose is for you to thoroughly test out the new mattress by sleeping on it.
What to Look For in a Sleep Trial
The specifics of the sleep trial period can vary significantly from brand to brand; that’s why it’s crucial to read the fine print in the warranty claims area before purchasing a new mattress. Here’s what you should consider:
- Trial Length: The most obvious area where mattress trials differ is their length. The average sleep trial is typically 90 to 120 nights, but you may see shorter sleep trials of 30 nights or longer trials of a year or more. You should go with the option that offers the longest sleep trial, so you can be confident in your mattress purchase. Most often you will see a 100-Night Sleep Trial.
- Break-In Period: Many mattress trials also include a required break-in period. A break-in period is a minimum amount of time you must try the mattress before requesting a return. This prevents customers from immediately requesting a return after one or two nights of less-than-ideal sleep on a new mattress. Break-in periods are typically between 2 weeks to 1 month, which is how long it generally takes to become accustomed to the feel of a new mattress. It also helps alert you of any defects in material that might come up.
- Return Process: The return process typically starts when you initiate a return with a customer service representative. Most companies require mattresses to be clean and free of defects to qualify for a return. Companies don’t require you to repack bed-in-a-box mattresses since shipping a mattress can be challenging, especially once unboxed and decompressed to its full size. To make the process easier, mattress companies may schedule an at-home pickup. Alternatively, you may be required to recycle or donate the mattress yourself. Most returned mattresses end up being donated or recycled anyway.
- Refund Type: Depending on the specifics of the policy or dependant upon a period of time, you may receive a full refund, or you may be responsible for covering shipping, handling, or restocking fees. Fees that were initially paid for expedited shipping or extra services like old mattress removal are usually non-refundable. These additional costs can make a substantial dent in your return amount. Refunds typically show up within a period of time, such as 14 business days and are returned to your original form of payment.
What is a Mattress Warranty?
Regardless of where or how you purchase your mattress, any newly purchased mattress will have a warranty. A mattress limited warranty is a guarantee from the manufacturer to repair or replace a mattress with physical defects within a certain period. Warranties can differ by brand, retailer, and model, so it’s essential to understand the exact terms of the warranty of your mattress.
A mattress warranty or even a limited warranty is important because it protects your purchase in cases of manufacturing defects. If you purchase a mattress with faulty innerspring coils that cause the mattress to sag very quickly, the product didn’t do what it was supposed to do.
What Is Covered By a Mattress Warranty?
Mattress warranties, along with limited 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. Mattress warranties typically cover two defects, usually Manufacturing Defect; sagging and faulty manufacturing.
Sagging is the most common issue to be covered under a mattress warranty. Warranties won’t cover sagging brought on gradually by normal wear and tear over several years. But most of them will cover excessive sagging or sagging that occurs early in the life of a mattress because that’s a sign that something about the product might be defective. Most warranties have a specific threshold for sagging before they will replace it. For instance, some warranties require that the mattress sag at least one and a half inches before the warranty will apply.
Also, many mattress warranties will guarantee repair or replacement of the mattress if there is a clear example of poor workmanship of your mattress. Some examples of this could include:
- Defective seams that are split or otherwise come undone
- Broken, burst, or bent coils (in innerspring or hybrid mattresses)
- Broken or torn mattress handles
- Significant bunching of materials
Factors That Can Void A Mattress Warranty
You may void your mattress warranty if the manufacturer can prove you’ve done something explicitly forbidden in the warranty, so it’s important to avoid these things if you want to preserve your warranty’s coverage. Some of the most common factors that effectively void a mattress warranty include:
- Removing the law tag
- Transferring ownership
- Sagging below the stated threshold
- Customer misuse (failing to use proper support, stains, rips, etc.)
- Natural wear and tear
- Stains, discoloration, or unsanitary conditions
- Failure to remove the mattress from its shipping materials quickly enough
- Failure to flip the mattress on a specified schedule
What Are The Different Types of Mattress Warranties?
A mattress warranty can be prorated, non-prorated, or a combination of both in the period that the warranty covers.
- Prorated warranties: Under this warranty, you’re responsible for paying a certain percentage of the cost of repairing or replacing the mattress. This percentage typically gets larger as time goes on. For example, if you purchase a mattress with a 10-year warranty, and it becomes faulty after 5 years, any eligible repairs or replacements will only be covered by 50%. If it becomes faulty after 8 years, it will only cover 20%.
- Non-prorated warranties: 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 this case, you would not be responsible for paying any portion of the repair or replacement costs during the designated warranty period. Usually, the only costs that you might incur are shipping fees if sending the mattress out for repair.
- Combination warranties: In many cases, a mattress warranty might include both types. For example, you may have a 10-year warranty that’s covered by a non-prorated warranty for the first few years after its purchase and then a prorated warranty for the rest of the warranty period.
How Long Do Mattress Warranties Last?
As a general rule, mattress warranties tend to last longer than the expected lifespan of the mattress in question. Most mattress lifespans are shorter than the warranty period by a year or more. Mattress warranties may range from 5 years to a full lifetime warranty, but the most common range is between 10 and 20 years.
Although mattress warranties return and sleep trial policies can be somewhat confusing, when you better understand what they include, you can shop confidently, knowing your investment is protected. If you’re looking to buy a new mattress or memory foam mattress, browse our extensive No Bull Mattress collection. Contact us for more information on our sleep trials, return policies, and mattress warranties.