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  • 2019.11
  • Issue 517

Mattresses: 50% of All Complaints Concerned “Product Quality”; Pay Attention to the Terms and Conditions of Warranties

Mattresses: 50% of All Complaints Concerned “Product Quality”; Pay Attention to the Terms and Conditions of Warranties

A comfortable mattress with good body support can help you sleep well and relieve fatigue after a hard day´s work. The Consumer Council (or the “Council”) had received nearly 100 complaints this year in relation to mattresses, half of which were concerning product quality, especially about “sagging mattresses”. Generally speaking, certain part of a mattress may sag after being used for some time due to body weight. However, some consumers complained that their newly purchased mattresses started to sag soon after purchase. Some consumers also complained about the warranty and maintenance services which were far below expectations.


Whether a mattress provides sufficient body support may vary from person to person, and its comfortability can be a subjective matter.  Therefore, manufacturers generally do not extend their warrant cover to accommodate personal preference. Instead, they usually lay down more objective criteria in the terms and conditions, such as production or structural defects (e.g., faulty springs), and extent of the indent.  The consumer in Case 2 bought an expensive mattress, but after only two years, the mattress sagged and affected its comfortability. However, the manufacturer refused to provide a “free” solution, stressing that it did not meet the required conditions under the warranty.  In the end, the consumer was left with 2 options, i.e., to continue to use the mattress; or to pay additional money to repair or replace. This, inevitably, made him feel that the product was not worth the money. 

Mattresses are regarded as durable household items, and consumers generally do not change them frequently. Nowadays, many mattresses are advertised with a "10-year warranty". However, from the above case, consumers can see that problems with mattresses may start to emerge shortly after use and when they ask manufacturers for maintenance service, they then discover the numerous restrictions and conditions attached.  Therefore, consumers should not place too much expectation on the "10-year warranty". When purchasing a mattress, consumers should try it out thoroughly to test the support, quality and comfortability. They should also compare the warrant details of different manufacturers. After purchase, consumers should follow the manufacturers’ recommendations in terms of usage and maintenance.


In addition to choosing a suitable mattress according to their sleeping habits and postures, consumers should also read the terms and conditions of the warranties carefully and pay attention to the following points:

  • Check whether the bed base is suitable: Bed bases mostly come in 3 types: mesh, slatted and wooden board. A bed base may affect the weight distribution of a mattress and its durability. Consumers should take it into consideration when purchasing a mattress and check their compatibility with a sales staff to avoid potential issues with future maintenance.
  • Read the maintenance guidelines carefully: Mattress manufacturers generally provide some day-to-day maintenance guidelines to help extending the life a mattress, such as flipping / rotating the mattress, avoid standing or jumping on it, and using an appropriate cleansing method.
  • On-site inspections and repairs may cost money: Mattress manufacturers normally provide limited warranty coverage. Free on-site inspection and replacement are only available during a limited warranty period, e.g., within 2 years from the date of purchase. If an on-site inspection is required after this period, consumers should be prepared to pay for the inspection, repair or replacement.
  • Pay attention to the start date of the warranty period: It is quite common that a warrant period starts from the date of purchase (as shown in the invoice). In some situations, such as removal or renovation, consumers may want the suppliers to hold the deliveries for a period of time, and therefore should seek clarification regarding the start date of the warranty period before making any purchase.  For custom-made mattresses, consumers should know the time required to make and deliver the final products and agree with suppliers on late delivery arrangements and have them written on the invoice. Consumers should also check the mattresses thoroughly after deliveries and register for the warranties. Consumers should contact the suppliers immediately if they find any problems or defects. If they have difficulties in resolving the issues, they can contact the Consumer Council for assistance.