How Can I Tell If My Mattress Is Defective?

Dmitry Rashnitsov

If you've recently purchased a new mattress and you feel tired in the mornings, or if your mattress gives you back pain or makes it difficult to sleep at night, you might have a defective mattress.

The large mattress companies such as Sealy, Serta and Simmons all offer warranties on their mattresses, sometimes up to 10 or 20 years. The trick is to make sure they actually honor their warranty and replace your defective bed. But first, you'll need to know the signs of a defective mattress.

Mattress Sags

The terms of the mattress warranty vary by each individual company, but if you claim that your mattress is defective because it sags, the company will send out a mattress inspector to your house to check your claim. The inspector will measure for body indentation by stretching a string across the mattress and measuring the indentation with a tape measure. The hollow must be a certain number of inches deep, based on the warranty, to be considered saggy and defective. Sometimes the manufacturers will just claim that you bought a mattress that does not match the comfort level you were looking for, and will suggest something more firm to prevent sagginess. In rare circumstances they will replace the mattress for free.

Box Spring Defects

Sometimes it’s not the top mattress that is defective, but the box spring below it. If the bed gives off a lot of creaking sounds at night when you toss and turn, or if you notice exposed nails or broken wood, this is a sign that the box spring is defective. This can also lead to sagging of the bed and a very uncomfortable night's rest.

Waterbed Defects

Waterbed mattresses, when first manufactured, caused lots of problems for individuals, but nowadays are much sturdier and more reliable. However, there are still some issues associated with these types of mattresses. The easiest way to tell if you have a defective waterbed mattress is if you notice a seam leak. The leak will surface within 24 hours of the mattress being filled with water, and you will notice this by getting wet at night or seeing puddles of water in the morning. The mattress will sag. Sometimes the vinyl casing becomes hard and brittle, causing a crack, or it can sometimes emit a strong odor that does not go away after 48 hours. If either of these occurs, your waterbed mattress is defective.