One of the leading causes of bed failure is the development of body impressions - an indentation in the bed that corresponds to the spot where the sleeper lays most of the time. Body impressions form mostly in the top comfort cushion layer of the mattress because of the permanent compression of the cushioning foam.
“Body Impressions are normal” - this statement or one very like it is commonly found in most mattress guarantee documents, and it is completely true that body impressions are normal. Most bed manufacturers will consider a body impression to be a warrant able defect at some point - usually ranging from one inch in depth to two inches in depth. Here’s the catch though - as a general rule the bed will usually be very uncomfortable long before the body impression reaches the point that it’s covered by the manufacturer’s guaranty. Body impressions are one of the normal indications that the mattress is wearing out.
Your mattress set may come with a 20 year warranty, but in many cases it will become unusable long before that because of unwarrantable body impressions. You may think that this is dishonest of the manufacturer, and in some cases it certainly is. If you read and understand your mattress guarantee what you will find is that most of them really only guarantee that the bed will be free of manufacturing defects during the warranty period, not that it won’t wear out. Consumers of course want to believe that a 20 year warranty means that the mattress will last 20 years under normal use, but that is usually not going to happen.
Nothing lasts forever. Everyone knows this, but people allow themselves to be fooled by extravagant warranty claims because they want to believe that the mattress they’re paying hundreds of dollars for will last for an entire generation. The truth is you usually get what you pay for - if you buy a 3-400 dollar mattress set from a discount store it probably isn’t going to last very long. Good beds are usually expensive. And even expensive beds don’t last forever.
So why don’t the manufacturers just come out and tell the truth, instead of playing word games, and making meaningless promises?
- Consumers don’t really read the guarantee - all they want to know is that it says 15-20 years.
- It’s a competitive business - the competition will eat you for breakfast if you don’t play the game.
- The real life span of the product is variable and could actually be very long depending on the users weight and use patterns.
If you have realistic expectations and use your head when you shop you will probably get a fair value out of your mattress purchase.