Should I change my mattress? Is it time? If you wake up sore or stiff, it might be time to get a new mattress. Other reasons include an increase in allergies, you feel tired after a full night of sleep, you end up getting a better night’s sleep on another mattress while on vacation or visiting family or your mattress has visible signs of use. As a general rule of thumb, the Better Sleep Council recommends that consumers change their mattress if it is seven years or older.
This guide provides more information on how often specific types of mattresses are expected to last, as well as specific signs you can be on the lookout for to help you decide if it’s time to change your mattress. We also included some tips on how to prolong the life of your mattress.
When should I change my mattress?
Because we all spend thousands of hours on our mattresses, it is not uncommon to wonder, “when should I change my mattress?” Unfortunately, there is not a one-size-fits-all answer. Instead, how long a mattress lasts depends on its type, the quality of its materials and its use.
Hybrid mattresses have an innerspring system as well as a gel or memory foam top layer. The coils in the main body of the mattress should last six years. The top layer should last just as long. However, over time, those materials tend to get less comfortable. Because there is a coil construction in these mattresses, the weight from consistent use could cause them to sag over time.
Innerspring mattresses first entered the consumer marketplace in the 1800s. Depending on how often you sleep on it and the quality of its construction, an innerspring mattress should last approximately five and a half years. If you purchase a high-quality innerspring mattress, the thick coils are less likely to deteriorate quickly. If the coils must absorb a significant amount of weight, this could shorten the lifespan of the mattress.
Memory foam mattress
In the 1970s, NASA invented the foam used in memory foam mattresses. The lifespan of memory foam mattresses depends on factors like the weight of the people sleeping on it and the foam’s density. If you choose a low-density memory foam mattress, that money-saving option could result in it being more prone to sagging. However, on average, these mattresses should last up to seven years. If the material stops bouncing back and no longer conforms to your body, it may be time for a replacement.
Latex mattresses are made using a variety of manufacturing processes, as well as many different materials. For example, some latex mattresses feature all-natural materials, while others are constructed using synthetic latex. In general, you can expect a latex mattress to last up to eight and a half years.
Pillow-top mattresses feature a top layer material that resembles a standard pillow. That means, just like a standard pillow, it breaks down and becomes lumpy over time. These mattresses are a type of innerspring mattress, except they feature a comfort layer. On average, a pillow-top mattress lasts approximately six and a half years.
Waterbed mattresses are a large vessel for water and require maintenance. Caring for your waterbed ensures it lasts between seven and nine years. You must use a treatment called a waterbed conditioner to maintain the water in the bed. Otherwise, there is the potential for microbes and minerals to break down the vinyl of the mattress. There might also be occasional leaks that you must patch. If your mattress develops several leaks, then it is time for a replacement.
Signs you need to change your mattress
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 70 million Americans are suffering from chronic sleep issues. A good night’s sleep is crucial for everyone’s health and well being. While many instances of poor sleep might have to do with medical conditions, your mattress could also be the culprit. Here are signs that it might be time to change your mattress.
- Allergies worsening: Your mattress might be causing issues if you notice an uptick in symptoms and it is not allergy season. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America teaches us that dust mites cause significant issues for those with allergies. If not kept properly clean, an older mattress can attract a build-up of allergy-aggravating dust mites.
- Coil problems or other damage: When you move around on your bed, does it make squeaking sounds? If so, that could mean there are coil problems or other damage. Coils in innerspring mattresses sag, squeak and poke through the top layer of the mattress as they age. If you notice this or any other visible signs of use, it might be time for a replacement.
- Muscle pain: Sleep Science reports mattresses featuring layers of foam and medium firmness could reduce muscle pain. If you wake up sore, and if the pain subsides after stretching a bit, that could mean it is time for a different mattress.
- Sagging: If you find a dent that is the same shape as your body, that is a sign that your mattress is experiencing too much wear. Sagging can occur in just about any type of mattress.
How to prolong the life of a mattress
Even though each type of mattress has its general lifespan, there are things you can do to ensure you’re getting the most use out of your mattress investment as possible. Here are some tips for prolonging the life of your mattress:
- Avoid jumping: Kids love jumping on beds, especially innerspring mattresses featuring bouncy coils. However, that causes unnecessary pressure and weight on the coils that could cause them to break down.
- Keep your mattress clean: Vacuum your mattress at least twice annually to prevent the build-up of allergens, dust and sweat. A good way to vacuum is to do it seasonally when rotating your mattress. It is also a good idea to spot clean as soon as you see any dirt on the mattress.
- Use mattress protection: Using waterproof mattress protection, like a zippered cover, keeps it resistant to spills and other mishaps.
- Ensure proper support: If your mattress is not on a box spring, foundation or solid platform, it is unable to wear evenly. Check with the mattress manufacturer to make sure you are using the right type of support for your mattress type.