I read an interesting article today that cited how people put off buying a mattress until the last minute. This is so true. We have many folks call at the last minute, in their final desperation, to find a new mattress so they can get a good night’s sleep. That’s because a mattress is something we need, not necessarily something we want. So we put it off, and put it off, waiting for the good old warranty to expire to tell us when it’s time to get a new one.
The thing about warranties is they basically let you know how long the mattress should “last” before it begins to slowly self-destruct with the inevitable breakdown of the components. Warranties don’t include normal wear and tear such as stains, kids jumping on the bed, use of improper foundations, or lack or owner’s maintenance. But the most important thing they don’t cover is changes to our body over the 10 year period. Because we do change in age and sometimes in size, the comfort will change as well. As you age, you may find you need a softer surface to cradle areas of your body and relief pressure points. But most people will hold on to that mattress for the length of the warranty, and sometimes longer, even though it is no longer comfortable.
Speaking of warranties… a mattress is one of the few household items where the warranty is over 5 years. Heck, when you buy that plasma TV for $2000 it carries at most a 2 year warranty. The same goes with an expensive washer or dryer. If you want 10 year coverage, you have to buy an extended warranty. But since this has been industry standard for years, everyone expects a 10 or 20 year warranty with their mattress. And since it doesn’t cover the wear and tear, and there are no moving electronic parts, it’s not that hard to offer one. Just remember to keep in mind that simply because it will last that long, it doesn’t mean it will offer the same comfort 10 or 20 years down the line. Because sometimes it does. And sometimes it doesn’t.
The most important thing in comfort, even long-term, is to know what components are used to make the mattress. For example, foam has a tendency to break down quicker than latex. Using many layers of thick natural fiber batting such as wool and cotton, will compress and create a very firm mattress. Obviously, with time, innersprings have a tendency to squeak, and possibly sag (depending on the gauge and coil count), zippered latex beds which come in layers, often shift, create friction or oxidation if any air gets in there, which can deteriorate through latex-dusting. So knowing how your mattess is constructed, and the components within, will help you understand just how long that warranty is valid in terms of comfort.
If you find your bed to be unbearable, make a checklist:
1- Did you age-up into a new decade? (for instance from 30′s to 40′s)
2- Have you lost or gained weight?
3- Have you had any injuries? (specifically back, neck, shoulder or hip)
4- How is the mattress constructed?
5- What materials are inside the mattress?
6- How old is the mattress?
The answers to the above questions are a big part of the comfort-zone for your bed. And don’t forget, if you’re under more-than-normal amount of stress, that too will have a factor on your comfort since we tense-up and can’t relax compeletly with extreme anxiety. And it’s a fact that we carry stress in our backs which we feel during sleep and when we rise. But yoga or exercise can help with stress, so try that before buying a new mattress!
My point in writing about this topic isn’t intended to be all doom & gloom. In fact, just like other companies, we also carry the industry-standard mattress warranty. I’m writing because we get calls from people who seem so discouraged because they bought a mattress from “such & such a company”, and the mattress is only eight years old. They don’t understand why it’s uncomfortable when it should have two more years left. It would be easy for us to say: “Well, you shouldn’t have bought a ‘Brand X’ mattress” (which perhaps could be valid in terms of quality). But mostly we just tell them the truth about natural body changes, and how a warranty can’t cover that. We’re not saying this is the case all the time. Certainly there are mattresses with manufacturer’s defects, however they tend to reveal themselves within the first six months. So if you’ve had your mattress for more than 10 years, and you’re still comfortable, pat yourself on the back for a sound investment. There aren’t too many things out there that can really have an impact and affect the quality of your life. And a comfortable mattress is one of them.
To learn more, call us at 800.229.7571. We’ll be happy to discuss the various materials used in mattresses and how they’re beneficial (or not) in terms of quality AND comfort.