How Often Should You Replace Your Mattress?
A mattress is one of the essential assets in your home. It directly impacts your sleep quality, affecting your energy and overall health. Most mattresses cost a lot of money; therefore, it's only wise to get one that can last longer and serve you better. Unfortunately, mattresses eventually meet their demise. When your mattress starts to degrade, it's time to consider a replacement.
But how often should you replace your mattress? An average mattress lasts about eight years. A good quality mattress can take you up to 10 years or more. However, at about 6 years, you should start shopping for a new mattress. This guide will help you decide if you need to replace your mattress and guide you through the next steps.
How to Tell That You Need a New Mattress
Don't wait for your mattress to get so bad that you need to rush to replace it. There are many signs that tell if your mattress needs your immediate attention. Here are the most common signs to look out for.
Sagging usually occurs if the memory foam has lost its shape or the springs are weak. Body impressions are also a sure sign of wear. So if you get out of bed and your mattress doesn't bounce back, then it's high time you considered purchasing a new mattress. But if you don't want your mattress to sag prematurely, then be sure to read this full guide.
Mattresses producing a squeaking sound indicate loose or damaged springs. This occurs with innerspring mattresses and hybrid models. If the issue is a loose bed frame, then the simple solution is to tighten loose bolts. But, if the noises are loud and only occur when you get in bed, then it's your springs that need your attention.
An old mattress usually has mildew, dust, and dust mites which may trigger and exacerbate your allergies. If you've been waking up with teary eyes, headaches, and a runny nose, allergens like waste from dust mites might be the cause. However, materials such as wool and natural latex can prevent the build-up of allergens. If your mattress never used to host allergens then suddenly it starts to, it could mean that its materials are wearing out and losing their hypoallergenic power.
Sleeping Better On A Different Mattress
Do you sleep well on a different mattress other than yours— say, a hotel mattress? If you wake up with joint pain or a stuffed nose on your bed, it's a sign that your mattress may be causing these problems.
Factors that Affect Mattress Durability
The durability of most mattresses depends on many factors, such as material quality, personal hygiene, body weight, how you care for your bed, and many others. We've discussed these factors in detail, as shown below;
Mattresses are primarily made of a combination of foam, coils, fabric, and batting. They differ in durability and quality. Typically, mattresses made of high quality materials tend to last longer, with exquisite performance and reliability. For instance, higher quality materials like latex or high-density polyfoam last longer than polyurethane.
Sleeping Position and Body Weight
Sleeping positions also have a significant impact on mattress lifespan. For example, side sleeping can create body impressions on the mattress surface around the hips and shoulders.
If you're a heavyweight sleeper, then there's the possibility of your mattress sagging prematurely. That's why it's essential to choose a mattress that matches your preferred sleeping position. For instance, memory foam mattresses are an excellent choice for side sleepers.
How you care for your mattress will determine whether or not it'll last longer. A proper care routine involves using a mattress protector, following the manufacturer's care guidelines, and routine cleaning. Though some mattresses are flippable, it's imperative to check the manufacturer's recommendation before flipping your mattress.
If the mattress is meant for lightweight sleepers weighing 130 pounds and you're a heavy sleeper, that mattress won't last long. Moreover, if not paired with a proper foundation, this will most likely hamper the mattress's lifespan.
The mattress industry is loaded with all kinds of mattresses. And your mattress type also affects its lifespan. So whether you're using an all-foam, innerspring, or hybrid mattress, its longevity will vary depending on material construction. For instance, a latex mattress lasts longer than any other type.
High-density polyfoam and memory foam mattresses also last longer. But those made of low-density memory foam are susceptible to wear and tear as most of them aren't made of durable materials.
How Different Types of Mattresses Age
As already mentioned, mattress type largely depends on the material construction. Below is an outline of how different types of mattresses age and how often you need to replace them.
Construction-wise, innerspring mattresses have thicker coils at the base layer topped with a comfort layer of wool or cotton. Also, some innerspring mattresses come with extra padding at the comfort layer and a pillow top to provide sleepers with premium comfort. These mattresses usually contain latex, cotton, memory foam, fiber, and wool fill.
A high-quality innerspring bed should last up to 10 years. However, with proper maintenance, such as flipping and cleaning the mattress regularly, the mattress will last more than ten years. Rotating and flipping this mattress at 180 degrees every six months to a year will help improve your sleep quality while also boosting its lifespan.
Compared to any average mattress, a lower quality innerspring mattress may not last as long. This is primarily due to the breakage of the coil system, leaving you with saggy mattresses.
Latex Mattresses are known to last longer than any mattress. In fact, they can retain their tip top shape for up to 15 years. Due to their incredible breathability, they are known to provide individuals who frequently sleep hot exceptional cooling relief.
Because of their incredible longevity and other benefits, most customers tend to gravitate toward them despite their high price tag. According to LatexMattress.org, natural latex mattresses can last 20-25 years without sagging or losing shape compared to a typical synthetic latex mattress.
Additionally, mattresses made of natural latex usually come with extensive warranties lasting up to 25 years. Remember that a latex mattress's lifespan relies on semi-frequent rotation (twice a year), guaranteeing a better night's sleep.
Memory Foam Mattresses
These mattresses are famous for their unique close body-conforming nature. Memory Foam Mattresses are good at delivering pinpoint pressure relief, minimal motion transfer, and deep compression support. These and other features make them appealing to a wide range of sleepers. Generally, a memory foam mattress can virtually accommodate any sleeping position. Aside from offering sleepers the comfort and support they need, they are also durable.
Though all foam mattresses tend to have a short lifespan due to high susceptibility to wear and tear, a memory foam mattress can last up to 7 years. But a memory foam mattress made of thick high quality materials can last 10-15 years. Also, extending this mattress's lifespan depends on proper care, like regular rotation and thorough cleaning. Rotate and flip the mattress at 180 degrees every 3 to 6 months to ensure you're not sagging it out by sleeping on one spot.
Hybrid Mattress is a combination of foam and latex or an innerspring mattress. These mattresses comprise a coil system, a foam top, and a base layer. Note that the 2-inch comfort foam top layer is usually packed with latex or memory foam. Unfortunately, a hybrid bed isn't a longer lasting mattress like other types of mattresses.
The longevity of hybrid mattresses primarily depends on the type of coils used in their construction and the grade of the base layer. If you're using a hybrid mattress, you'll need to replace it with a new mattress after about seven years. Like any mattress, you can extend its longevity slightly with a proper care routine.
Ways of Making your Mattress Last Longer
Now that you know the different factors that play a role in aging your mattress, measures you should take to prolong its longevity are as follows;
Using a Box Spring
A typical box spring has some essential functions that will significantly preserve your mattress for a very long time. The primary role of box springs is to offer firmer support to the base of your mattress. An innerspring mattress benefits significantly from such a base since it reduces wear and tear and prevents sagging.
The firm base the box springs provide also helps keep the mattress off the bare ground, shielding it from dust mites and bed bugs. Notably, some mattress warranties specify the type of box springs to use. So, if you want to maintain the warranty's validity, use the right box spring or foundation.
Use a Mattress Protector
A mattress pad, cover, or protector sits directly on your mattress' surface. Most mattress protectors are waterproof and can keep liquids, dirt, and allergens at bay. Covering your mattress with this type of bedding is an effective way of extending the mattress lifespan. More importantly, ensure you choose a protector that matches your sleep comfort preferences.
Regular mattress cleaning will maintain your overall health and boost its lifespan. On average, it's best to clean your mattress once a year. If you've made a mess on your mattress, it's best to handle it immediately and appropriately.
For instance, when spot-cleaning a mattress, use a mix of baking soda, dish soap, hydrogen peroxide, and a piece of cloth.
Generally, proper mattress cleaning can help eliminate dead skin cells and other debris that might harm your health. In addition, vacuuming your mattress a few times a year can help prevent dirt build-up, which boosts its durability.
What to Look for When Purchasing a New Mattress
Once you've realized that your current mattress requires replacing, some of the factors to consider include the following;
All foam mattresses are most susceptible to wear and tear. But since the mattress industry has significantly evolved, some foam mattresses are now made of higher quality materials that can resist body impressions for a very long time. So, customers looking for high-quality foam mattresses won't have to worry about ending up with saggy mattresses prematurely. Ideally, it's best to go for a latex mattress due to its incredible longevity—if you're willing to add some extra cash.
Mattress firmness is a factor that depends on the sleeper's comfort preference and sleep position. Firmness scales are usually measured from 1-10, with ten being the highest level of firmness.
If you're a side sleeper, new mattresses to go for are those which provide a decent amount of body cushioning. These are usually medium-firm mattresses with a firmness scale of 6.0/10. On the other hand, a softer mattress is also a great pick if you seek more pressure relief on your shoulders.
If you're a back sleeper, it's best to pick an option firm enough to keep you from sinking deeply into the material. As a back sleeper, you don't need a mattress that wraps around you. Instead, it should hold your body weight excellently while helping relieve back pain.
For utmost comfort, a typical stomach sleeper should lie down in a straight line. But for support, they should go for a firmer mattress that keeps them in place.
Two sleepers—co-sleepers or sleep partners—tend to exert more weight on a mattress than a single sleeper. And this can significantly affect your mattress's lifespan. A suitable mattress for such individuals would be slightly firmer than average and large enough for couples. Common sizes for couples are the Queen, king, California, and Split king. More importantly, remember to purchase a mattress with minimal motion transfer to minimize sleep disturbances at night.
Mattress warranty usually lasts much longer than your mattress' expected lifespan. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requires all major sellers and manufacturers to stand behind major purchases of their products, such as mattresses with warranties. This means that mattress companies must commit to repairing your mattress in case it has any structural defects.
So, to ensure the longevity of your mattress, it's best to go for a high-quality new mattress with a warranty lasting longer than its lifespan. Remember to double-check the warranty because they vary from brand to brand despite the type of mattress.
If you tend to sleep hot, an incredible choice to go for is the latex mattress. Its cooling nature will assure you of a better night's sleep. However, hybrid models are also a good choice since the coils allow for efficient airflow, helping cool the entire mattress surface. But if you pick an all-foam bed, ensure it has cooling features such as gel memory foam or a breathable mattress cover.
Based on this article, it should be easy to tell when and how often you should replace your mattress. Otherwise, you risk poor sleep quality accompanied by aches and pains. More so, keep an eye on the mattress' discomfort, noise, and sagging since they're the surest immediate signs of an aging mattress. Also, consider sleeping on a different mattress for a few days, and if you notice the differences highlighted in this article, then it's time for a new bed.
After purchasing a new mattress, remember to follow all the maintenance routines recommended by the manufacturer. Finally, remember to use the mattress in ways that maintain the validity of its warranty to get the most out of your investment.
Gabe is the newest member of The Sleep Shop team. If you like the design of The Sleep Shop, give Gabe a thumbs up. He’s a digital marketing and design guru and the brains behind the design and SEO of The Sleep Shop. He also won’t say no to testing a ton of mattresses either, and helps on almost every mattress review.
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