Product Protection

Is a Mattress Warranty Enough? Here's Why Protection Plans Are Also Necessary

Aaron Sullivan
January 17, 2024

You’ve had a long day at work, and you’re just about to relax and settle into bed. There’s just one problem: you pull up the covers and realize your cat had an accident right where you sleep. Even worse, the accident leaked through your protector, so your $1,200 mattress is now ruined. 

Most customers in this situation would rightfully be frustrated. The last thing they want to hear is that they can’t get a hassle-free replacement — but unfortunately, that’s often the case. Mattress warranties typically cover product defects but not accidents. 

If you’re a mattress merchant, don’t limit your consumer protection to only a manufacturer’s warranty. Maximize customer retention and revenue by also offering hassle-free product protection. If you’re not sure how these plans work, this article is for you. We’ll break down what mattress product protection covers, what types of customers will pay for it, and what to consider when evaluating protection plan providers.

Mattress manufacturer warranty vs. product protection: What’s the difference?

Both mattress warranties and product protection plans offer repairs, replacements, and refunds when applicable. However, each offers coverage for different types of incidents and holds different parties liable. 

Manufacturer warranty 

Mattress warranties hold manufacturers liable for product issues that are their fault. These agreements vary from company to company, but a general mattress warranty might cover the following examples: 

  • Sagging. The warranty should state the minimum indentation from mattress sagging that triggers warranty protection.  
  • Cracks (if it’s a foam mattress).
  • Broken coils (if it’s a mattress with springs).
  • Split or undone seams.

Brands will always state in their warranty terms that they’re only liable if these manufacturing defects happen with normal usage. Consumers with a defective mattress can file a warranty claim to receive a repair, refund, or a new mattress. 

On the flip side, some retailers may not sell mattresses with warranties if: 

  • The mattress is a floor model and shows some signs of wear and tear, sagging, or accidental damage.
  • The mattress is used/returned because it didn’t meet the original consumers’ comfort preferences. This may void the original manufacturer warranty. 
  • The mattress was purchased from an unauthorized reseller.

Almost all mattresses automatically come with a 10-year warranty, though the warranty period varies. Some manufacturers will also prorate the warranty, meaning its value decreases as time passes, and customers must pay for a greater share of product repair or replacement.

Product protection

Mattress product protection plans cover accidental damage — like certain rips, tears, and stains — and typically last 5 or 10 years. But before you think about taking a DIY approach to offering product protection on mattresses, consider how cost-effective it may be. Offering mattress protection requires:

  • Service contract licenses. Various licenses must be obtained and renewed regularly in order to offer and administer service contracts. 
  • Regulatory filings of service contract terms and conditions — required in several states.
  • Engineering and analytics expertise to include product protection offerings on your website and to track and optimize plan performance. 
  • Taking on financial risk. You’ll need to reserve a chunk of revenue from every sale for potential product protection claims. 
  • Customer service and logistics to handle and fulfill product protection claims. 

A licensed product protection provider like Extend covers all of these responsibilities for your brand. Customers contact Extend if they’d like to file a claim, and Extend handles the claim process from end to end. 

What type of mattress customer buys a product protection plan? 

You might be wondering if your mattress shoppers even care about product protection. It’s safe to say they do based on our experience offering product protection for major mattress brands, including Casper and Mattress Warehouse. Many customers are eager to add Extend for peace of mind around such a major purchase. The mattress company Bear even increased its attach rate by 16% after offering Extend Product Protection because so many shoppers were adding plans to their orders. 

Accident-prone households

If you’re living with children or pets, you know how easily they can create a mess — including damaging your mattresses. A few common mattress incidents include: 

  • Bathroom accidents
  • Spilled water, juice, milk, or soda
  • Burns from cigarettes, curling irons
  • Punctures, cuts, tears, and rips

Adults in households with kids and pets recognize the likelihood of mattress damage, so they opt for product protection to play it safe. 

It’s worth noting that you don’t need pets or children to purchase mattress product protection. Many adults without either pay for a plan in case they accidentally damage the mattress, like mistakenly spilling coffee or wine on it. 

Consumers who don’t like mattress protectors

A mattress protector is a fitted sheet that protects the mattress from liquid spills. While many shoppers are happy to use a protector with their mattress, some don’t want to because they find them uncomfortable. Warm sleepers may find that the protector makes their bed warmer than they’d like. Some consumers also feel like the mattress provides less cushioning when there’s a protector on top of it. 

For these customers, product protection offers the best of both worlds. They can sleep comfortably because they don’t need to put a protector on their mattress and know they have coverage in case of an accident. 

What should a mattress protection plan provider offer? 

While product protection typically provides coverage for accidents, it differs in a few key ways:

  • Coverage: the accidents for which the plan offers replacements or repairs. 
  • Cost: the initial cost of the plan and potential additional fees. 
  • The claims process: specifically, the speed of initiating and resolving claims.

Each of these elements shapes your customer experience. Keep your mattress shoppers happy by opting for a product protection provider with the following traits. 

Comprehensive rip, tear, and stain coverage

Customers usually can’t predict what mattress accidents they’ll experience, so there’s no point in offering a product protection plan that only offers partial coverage. 

Look for a provider that offers protection for some of the most common incidents: stains, tears, and rips. For example, Casper offers Extend Product Protection to cover specific stains, burns, rips, tears, cuts, and puncture marks. 

Affordability and zero hidden costs

A mattress is a significant investment, so covering the item with a product protection plan does cost money. However, the plan’s price shouldn’t be exorbitant. The financial advisor Ray Martin recommends paying less than 10% of a product’s price when buying a protection plan. 

Say a shopper is buying a twin mattress for $899. Based on Martin’s rule, this mattress’ protection plan should be $89.90 or less. 

$899 x 0.1 = $89.90

Casper’s Extend plan remains under 10% of their mattress prices. For example, at the time of this article’s publishing, the brand’s Twin XL Original Mattress is regularly priced at $895, so its protection plan should be less than $89.50. 

$895 x 0.1 = $89.50

The mattress’ three product protection plan options fall below this maximum: $49.99 for 3-year protection, $59.99 for 5-year protection, and $74.99 for 10-year protection. 

Beyond pricing, consider whether product protection providers include hidden fees, which can lead to customer attrition. Instead, opt for a provider that offers full protection at one transparent price. 

A fast, hands-off claims process

Mattress shoppers today don’t want to wait long amounts of time to file product protection claims, especially given advances in AI. Nearly a third of US consumers reported they expect businesses to respond by email within an hour or less, according to a 2020 study. Meanwhile, 62% of customer experience leaders in Zendesk’s 2024 CX Trends study reported they don’t think they’re fully delivering the instant experiences customers want.

With these expectations in mind, look for a product protection provider who provides immediate claims processing. Extend processes 98% of claims in 90 seconds or less, thanks to our online AI assistant Kaley, so your customers can resolve their mattress accidents in no time. 

Drive mattress purchases by offering Extend Product Protection

Shoppers may hesitate to make a big purchase like a mattress because they’re worried about what might happen to it: what if they pay $1,500 for a product and then accidentally damage it? The thought of losing that much money is hard, especially for budget-conscious customers.

Based on our work with major mattress brands — including Casper and Bear — we’ve found that Extend reassures shoppers and encourages purchases. They know they’re covered if something goes wrong, so they can accept the big price tag. 

“Partnering with Extend was a no-brainer for us,” said Steve Catanzaro, VP of Ecommerce at 3Z Brands, the parent company of Bear Mattress. “Consumers can sometimes be hesitant to purchase big ticket items online, so product protection is ideal for offering peace of mind to our shoppers.”

Curious about how Extend Product Protection works? Read on to learn more

Aaron Sullivan
Aaron Sullivan is senior content marketing manager at Extend. He specializes in writing about e-commerce, finance, entertainment, and beer.

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