How Long Do Mattresses Last?
written by sleep expert Lauren Hall
How Long Does My Mattress Last? Here’s everything you need to know:
When it comes to a good night’s sleep, one of the most important parts of our bedtime rituals is the mattress that we sleep on. But how long does a mattress last?
Take a second to think about the mattress that you’re sleeping on right now. Is it firm, soft, and comfortable? Do you find yourself getting quality sleep on it? Or do you find yourself waking up sore and unrested?
Well, this is a key indication that your mattress needs replacing.
The truth is our mattresses only last around 8-10 years, some last more, some last less. It is important to notice the signs of when our mattresses need replacing. Lucky for you I’m here to break down all the confusing features as to how long do mattresses last and when they need replacing.
Unfortunately, people often neglect their mattresses and see buying a proper one to be a chore. It isn’t surprising considering that mattresses are quite costly and are a hassle to transport into your rooms and get rid of.
A bit of TLC and buying a good quality mattress in the first place will make a world of difference when it comes to longevity, we spend a third of our life sleeping so it is so important that we are getting the quality of sleep we deserve on a mattress that is comfortable.
Without further ado, let’s get down to business!
How long should a mattress last?
So how long does a mattress last? Well this all depends on the type and brand of mattress you have, a different type of mattress may last a different life span to another because of the material they are made with and the quality of material used.
The general rule of thumb is that your mattress needs replacing every 8-10 years however, some mattresses last longer than others. If your mattress is no longer comfortable and has significant wear and tear then that is an indication that you need to buy a new mattress.
Now, this is only the average amount and will differ in different mattresses, some may last even shorter than above or even longer. It all depends on the design, quality of materials, and how well it is taken care of.
You can probably use your mattresses for longer as long as you maintain proper use and care.
Different types of mattress and how long they last:
The type of mattress you have all depends on how long it will last, it can range from 6 years to 15 years!
This type of mattress usually has a lifespan of around 6-10 years with proper care and maintenance.
There are two main types of innerspring mattresses: a hybrid mattress that combines coils and foam and then an innerspring mattress that uses single coils.
Hybrid innerspring foam mattresses will need replacing around every 6 years as the box spring wear out whereas plain innerspring mattresses will last up to 10 years (or even longer before it needs replacing).
If you can feel the box spring through the top of the mattress or have a poking feeling in your back that disrupts your sleep then thats a key indication that your mattress needs replacing. Springs may also become noisier as time goes on as they begin to rust.
Continuous coil mattresses tend to last longer as it uses a single-coil, meaning it is less likely to break.
Memory Foam Mattress:
This type of mattress is by far the most long-lasting mattress out of any other, they have an extra layer of foam for added comfort and durability. With proper care and depending on the density of the foam, they can last 10-15 years.
Memory foam mattresses are really beneficial for pain relief and support, this is because the memory foam conforms to your body’s shapes and curves in order to relieve certain pressure points and relieve pains throughout your body.
Gel Memory Foam:
Gel memory foam mattresses are almost identical to traditional memory foam but it has a gel infusion to dissipate body heat and promote a cool sleeping environment.
Gel memory foam also has a lifespan of 10-15 years.
Latex is another excellent option, very similar to memory foam. Natural latex will last up to 15 years thanks to its elasticity.
This is also because latex is the only mattress that is naturally resistant to dust mites, which means that these mattresses are not only brilliant for those with allergies or asthma but latex reduces wear and tear and lasts a long time.
Some latex mattresses have a number of layers that can be replaced when it wears and loses its comfort and support. The only issue with latex is that over a long period of time and use it can leave permanent impressions of the user’s body shape in the latex foam.
This significantly reduces the ease of movement on the mattress, not necessarily support deterioration.
Air mattresses have one of the lowest lifespans out of the lot, this is because they can go wrong in a number of ways. A simple puncture from a nail or valve failure can develop leaks and cause it to go down.
Airbeds can last a long time if they’re made out of a PVC material that is puncture resistant, but only tend to last up to 5 years. If you’re lucky enough you may receive a warranty so you can buy with confidence of how long that air mattress will last.
But generally, they have poor durability and don’t last as long as the others.
Factors that can affect your mattress’s lifespan:
Mattresses can last longer than expected depending on use and care, here are my top tips for prolonging the life of your mattress:
How often and thoroughly you clean your mattress also has an effect on its lifespan. This is to prevent unseen bacteria, mold, and mildew from settling into the material and gradually eat away at it.
Cleaning a mattress is definitely no easy task which is why people tend to overlook it. To make it easier for you I would recommend vacuuming your mattress every time you wash your sheets using a hand-held vacuum.
Make sure you get into all the nooks and crannies where dust mites , dirt, and dead skin cells tend to collect. I would also recommend doing a deep clean every 6 months by spot cleaning and sprinkling your mattress with baking soda.
Leave the baking soda for 8-10 hours in direct sunlight then vacuum it up. This will help to deodorize your bed and also help with deep cleaning your mattress.
Regularly flipping or rotating your mattress also helps keep it firm as you’re exerting you’re distributing your body pressure on both sides. If you can afford it, you can even hire a professional cleaning service that can get the job done properly.
You can also help keep your bed stays clean by not using it more than necessary — that means no working and snacking in bed!
Sometimes resorting to household methods of cleaning means turning to conventional chemical products which can reduce the lifespan of your mattress.
In the case of nasty, hard-to-get-rid-of stains such as bloodstains, using a heavy-duty stain remover like hydrogen peroxide, can damage the material of your mattress.
Try to avoid using harsh chemicals unless absolutely necessary. Start by blotting out stains with a damp cloth and see if you can’t get it out with some thorough brushing. Instead, use diluted white vinegar or diluted cleaning solution.
But make sure to dry your mattress afterward as a damp mattress can cause mold to form. Try to leave in direct sunlight as this can actually work wonders for your mattress.
Get a Mattress Protector:
A mattress protector is true to its name and actually prolongs the life of your mattress. This is it protects your mattress from bacteria, mold, sweat, and much more caused by sleeping on it.
Dust mites, sweat, body oils, and fluids seep into the mattress and wear down the fibers within the mattress which contribute to the deterioration of the mattress.
Wash your bedding weekly:
Make sure you wash your sheets weekly to eliminate dust mites, body oils, and dead skin cells that build-up, it will also prevent it from seeping through to your mattress.
On the day that you wash your sheets, I also recommend leaving that as your cleaning day to vacuum your whole mattress.
When is it Time To Replace My Mattress?
Even with all the extra steps you’ve taken to keep your mattress in good condition for as long as possible, it’s good to recognize when your mattress has reached its end and when it’s time to replace your old mattress with a new mattress.
Don’t be stubborn in convincing yourself that your mattresses can last forever — the sooner you can let them go, the sooner you can replace your mattress and help yourself get better sleep.
The main question you should ask yourself before replacing your mattress is: Does sleeping on this mattress make me feel comfortable?
If you were once sleeping fine on the same mattress and realizing that you’re not getting the same quality of sleep, it might be a sign that the mattress has lost its quality over time.
You should also check for visible signs of wear and tear. Any sagging or lumps on the surface of your mattress can cause back pain and hearing the bed springs when you lie down or sit on the bed, is also a sign that the springs aren’t as strong as they used to be.
Again, the general rule of thumb is to replace your mattress every 6 to 10 years — if the person who sold it to you says it can last much longer.
Prioritize your health and how you feel instead of taking someone else’s word for it. Once you stop feeling comfortable sleeping on your own bed, it might be time to replace your old mattress with a new one.
Signs your mattress needs replacing:
The best way to tell when your mattress needs replacing is by the feel of it.
Wear and tear signs that you need a new mattress:
- If you notice sagging, lumps, and bumps in your mattress this is a key indication that your mattress has seen better days and needs replacing.
- If you can feel the box-springs through the top of the mattress and have a poking feeling in your back, disrupting your sleep.
- Whenever you move you are faced with the squeaking noise of noisy old springs. This can be very disruptive, especially if you or a partner moves a lot during the night.
- Your bed begins to hammock and lose its shape whenever you get up.
Noticeable changes to your quality of sleep:
- You wake up in the morning feeling restless, tired, and achy. You notice more pains in your back and side and feel that you haven’t rested well throughout the night.
- You find it hard to get comfortable throughout the night, you often find yourself tossing and turning often and struggle to find a comfortable position which you used to find quite easy to find.
- You can feel every movement from your partner, more than you used to. Mattresses are designed to absorb the shock and allow for minimal disruption. Sounds also wake you when your partner moves around.
- You find it difficult to fall asleep and often find yourself waking up a lot throughout the night.
What Should I Look For In A New Mattress?
So, you’ve finally decided to get a new mattress. With so many brands and options, from foam to innerspring and pillow-top, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the mattress buying process. And with companies aggressively marketing their mattresses as the best and most healthy ones on the market, it can be hard to discern truth from myth.
Not One Size Fits All
Even though companies tout their mattresses as “one size fits all,” different mattresses offer different levels of support to different people. Your body type, body weight, and bone structure mean that you have a unique set of needs that a unique mattress must be able to meet.
You’ll mostly want a durable mattress, especially if you carry a lot of weight. Terms like indentation force and indentation load deflection are used as a metric to measure how firm a mattress is.
Taking a moment to understand these terms and see which one is suitable for you can make all the difference when buying the right mattress. Your weight is a good indication as to how much support you will need, as you may sink into one that is too soft and won’t get the right spinal support.
Other things to look out for are the density, the level of comfort you feel, the thickness of the material, and spinal alignment and support. One sure-fire way to know if a mattress is right for you is to, of course, sleep on it.
There are mattress sellers that offer a trial-basis lending system, which means you can return the mattress after trying it out for a couple of nights if you don’t like it. If the retailers don’t have this option, keep in mind that you might be able to return it, but often that process is complicated and costly.
If you’re looking for a firm mattress that offers good support, it would be a good idea to familiarize yourself with the term coil gauge. Used for innerspring mattresses, the coil gauge is a measure of how thick the spring coils within a mattress are.
Keep in mind though that the higher the gauge, the thinner the coils are. A good firm mattress ranges around 14 or higher, while a softer mattress with gentler springs would be 13 or lower.
Innerspring isn’t a good idea if you’re also looking for durability, as thinner coils mean the mattress is less durable and less likely to last long.
If you’re on a budget, but still want an innerspring product there are options such as the pillow top or Eurotop mattress that not only have increased durability but also have a soft comfort layer to help ease you into a firmer higher coil gauge.
Get yourself a Mattress Topper
If you can’t afford to fully shell out for that premium high-quality mattress, you can always add comfort to what you have with affordable supplements such as a mattress topper.
You can choose and customize your bed with a variety of material options such as memory foam, gel, polyester, and cotton, to top your bed with a surface that provides better support and comfort.
As you can see, taking care of a mattress and replacing one can become a complicated process if you don’t understand the types of mattresses out there and what your sleeping needs are.
Here’s a recap of what we’ve learned so far and how you can check to replace your mattress:
– Prolong mattress life span with proper use and care — while your mattress will probably last a long time on its own, help increase its lifespan by keeping it stain-free, not using it more than necessary and cleaning it regularly.
– Look for signs of wear and tear — keep an eye out for any visible signs of wear and tear. Sagging, lumps and creaky springs are all good signs that your mattress is in need of replacing.
– Check the quality of your sleep — prioritize your comfort and sleep needs by asking yourself if you’re getting good sleep on your mattress. Do you wake up feeling sore and unrested? Are you experiencing back pain you’ve never had before? Are you allergic to your mattress? If yes, your mattress probably needs to be replaced.
– Replace the mattress with one that is suitable for you— when looking for a replacement consider your sleeping habits and need. Do you have back pain? You’d benefit from a mattress that can offer spinal support. Do you carry a lot of weight?
A firmer, innerspring might be better to support you every night. And of course, choose a bed that’s comfortable, and if possible find a company that offers a trial service.
Buying a mattress can be a costly and tedious task, but hopefully, with this guide, you’ve learned how to make the most of your pricey mattress and find one that is suitable for you.
Once all the work is done, you’ll be rewarded with a comfortable mattress — and a good night’s sleep!
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