Importance of 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.
What is a warranty and how important is it?
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 a written 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. A warranty of merchantability ensures the product will perform all essential functions and meet consumer expectations. Additionally, a warranty of fitness guarantees 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.