Is there such a thing as a mattress for life? We explore forever warranties

White mattress that comes with a lifetime warranty placed on a beige bedframe
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Do mattresses with forever warranties truly last forever? Not quite, but these warranties often suggest that they'll at least hit the typical 10-year lifespan of a well-made mattress. The term 'forever' in this context is more about your ownership period. The warranty is valid from the time you purchase your mattress until you get rid of it.

However, as with any standard mattress warranty, there are caveats to consider and fine print to comb through. Drawing from my experience testing some of the best mattresses money can buy, I'm here to shine a light on lifetime warranties:  what's covered, what's not covered, and what you might have to pay for.

If you're eyeing a bed with a forever warranty during this year's Black Friday mattress deals, I've compiled a list of sleep brands that offer such protection so you'll know just where to shop. Just understand that warranties won't cover personal comfort preferences, so it's wise to opt for a mattress that also comes with a generous trial period, allowing you to get a feel for it before making a full commitment.

Can a mattress really last forever?

No. Like anything else, mattresses have a limited lifespan – seven to 10 years on average. A lifetime warranty (or forever warranty) lasts for as long as the original buyer owns the mattress, which could exceed the average. 

However, lifetime mattress warranties may be prorated, which means the level of coverage will diminish over time and you'll eventually be on the hook for any replacement fees or repair costs. Always read the terms of your mattress warranty carefully.

What do forever warranties cover for a mattress?

The terms of a forever warranty will vary between brands but most of them cover the following issues:

  • Defects in materials and workmanship
  • Visible indentations between 1" and 1.5" deep
  • Cracks or splits in the foam layers
  • Manufacturing flaws in the mattress cover
  • Loss of mattress height (over 1")

With forever warranties, mattress companies typically offer free replacements or repairs for a limited time, ranging from the first couple of years of ownership to up to 10 years. It's rare for brands to provide cost-free replacements for the entire duration of a lifetime warranty.

If you have a prorated mattress warranty, you'll assume more of the financial burden over time for replacements and repairs. This could be a minimal fee to cover transportation costs or up to 80% of the original price you paid for your mattress. 

Remember that if you get a replacement mattress under your lifetime warranty, the warranty of the replacement may only be valid from the original purchase date of the defective bed. 

What do forever warranties not cover for a mattress?

For the most part, lifetime mattress warranties don't cover the following scenarios:

  • Minimal sagging that's less than 1" or 1.5"
  • Physical abuse (tears, burns, stains)
  • Minor imperfections that don't affect overall comfort
  • Increase in softness from regular use
  • Buying the mattress second-hand

Your lifetime warranty also won't cover anything related to your comfort preferences because it's such an individual, subjective metric. After all, it's why we have mattress trials but if you're well past that point, you can alter the feel of your bed with a mattress topper if it's still in decent shape.

Also, don't cut your lifetime warranty too short through misuse. Common mistakes include removing the mattress cover, using an incompatible bed frame, or even ripping off the law label. Terms vary between manufacturers, which is all the more reason why you should review the fine print of your mattress warranty.

Which mattress brands offer lifetime warranties?

If buying a mattress with a lifetime warranty will put you at ease, here are the brands you'll want to focus on...

Saatva – The Saatva 'Friends for Life' warranty applies to all of its mattresses. Replacements are free for the first two years, but then you'll have to pay for repairs or replacements thereafter (up to 80% of the original cost from year 11). For the Solaire adjustable mattress, repairs are free for the first five years. View the warranty terms at Saatva

Nectar – The Limited Nectar ‘Sleep Forever’ lifetime warranty includes a free replacement mattress in the first 10 years. After that, repairs, re-covers, or replacements will incur a $50 transportation fee each way (though those charges can be waived if Nectar confirms the existence of a defect). View the Sleep Forever warranty at Nectar.

DreamCloud – The Limited DreamCloud Sleep Lifetime Warranty provides a free replacement for defective mattresses in the first 10 years – then a repair, re-cover, or replacement for a $50 transportation fee each way (which can be waived if DreamCloud confirms the existence of a defect). View the DreamCloud Limited Lifetime Warranty

Awara - The Awara Limited Forever Warranty comes with a free replacement mattress within the first 10 years. Beyond that, Awara will provide repairs, re-covering, or replacements with a $50 transportation fee each way. (However, Awara will waive those charges if the brand confirms the existence of a defect.). View the Awara Limited Forever Warranty.

Layla - Layla only provides a limited lifetime warranty for its Layla memory foam mattress.  (The Layla Hybrid comes with a 10-year warranty.) At most, customers will have to pay transportation fees. View the Layla Sleep Warranty FAQ.

Nolah - The Nolah lifetime limited warranty offers the first two years non-prorated with only transportation fees required for replacements or repairs between years three and 10. Starting in year 11, prorated replacement charges will apply (up to 60%). View the Nolah Sleep Limited Lifetime Warranty.

Puffy - The Puffy Mattress lifetime warranty includes free replacements for the entire lifespan of your mattress. View the Puffy Lifetime Warranty.

A final note on lifetime mattress warranties

On the surface, forever warranties seem like your mattress purchase will be backed, well, forever. Truth is, your mattress will be protected for as long as you have it, provided you're the original buyer. But even then you may have to fork over some cash to replace or repair it, and those fees can increase the longer you own your mattress. 

Don't be caught by surprise. Carefully read the terms of your forever mattress warranty so you'll know what to expect if you need to file a claim down the line. You'll also want to brush up on what the warranty doesn't cover – and perhaps even more importantly, what could void it. 

A forever warranty is a nice insurance policy but you'll still want to do your part in keeping your mattress in sleep-worthy shape for many years. Start by investing in one of the best mattress protectors to keep it free from stains, spills, and dust. You'll also want to make sure you're not making any common mattress care mistakes.

Alison Barretta
Freelance reviewer and writer

Freelance writer and editor Alison is an expert mattress tester for Tom's Guide, and hails from Philadelphia, USA. Alison has reviewed a wide range of mattresses, pillows and other sleep accessories for Tom's Guide, putting the latest hybrid, memory foam and cooling mattresses from Casper, Nectar, Awara, Brooklinen and other leading brands through their paces. Alison has been sharing buying advice and retail news for over a decade. When she isn't reviewing mattresses, other home products or hunting for great deals to save you money, Alison can be found teaching/training in martial arts, fawning over skincare, and indulging in her quarantine-borne hobby: cooking.