Is your mattress starting to sag? Do you notice that you take longer to fall asleep or wake up during the night? Are you worried that you’re not getting the support you need for a restful night’s sleep?
All of these are valid concerns and may come down to a single thing: the age of your mattress. Mattresses aren’t designed to last forever and sleeping on an old, unsupportive mattress can impact your sleep quality and how you feel when you wake up.
How long have you had your mattress? If you can’t remember, it’s probably time for a new one. Here’s what you need to know about how long you should keep a mattress and how to extend your new mattress’ lifespan.
How Long Should a Mattress Last?
While there are a variety of factors that influence the life of a mattress, they generally last between 7 and 10 years. You should expect to get at least 5 years out of a mattress, but it may start losing shape and stability after that.
Mattresses generally don’t come with an expiration date. You can tell it’s time for a new mattress if yours develops impressions or starts to sag. If you wake up feeling stiff and sore, or if you have trouble falling asleep, it could be an issue with your mattress. Don’t underestimate the importance of a well-made, supportive mattress.
Buying a new mattress can be expensive, but it’s important to invest in something that’s going to last. You might save a few dollars by downgrading to cheaper materials, but the mattress may not last as long. You have your comfort to sleep quality to think about as well.
Factors Influencing the Life of a Mattress
Though mattresses can generally be expected to last 7 to 10 years, there are a number of factors which may influence mattress lifespan. Some of these factors include:
- Quality – The original quality of the mattress plays a key role in determining longevity. That being said, a higher price tag doesn’t always equate with quality, so do your research.
- Materials – High-density materials like latex and memory foam tend to last longer than softer materials. For spring and hybrid mattresses, models with individual coils may last longer than continuous coils simply because your weight is better distributed.
- Type – The firmer the mattress, the longer it should last. Latex mattresses typically offer a long lifespan, as do high-density memory foam mattresses. Softer foam models and hybrid mattresses come next with innerspring beds having the shortest lifespan.
- Body Weight – Your body weight impacts how and where the mattress wears. Heavier individuals may find their mattresses barely reach the 7-year mark while lightweight sleepers may be able to get a full 10 years out of a mattress.
- Sleep Position – The position in which you sleep can impact how the mattress wears as well. Side sleepers, for example, may find the mattress wears around the hips and shoulders.
It’s also important to consider how well you maintain your mattress when it comes to longevity. You may not think of a mattress as being something you need to care for (aside from changing the sheets), but you’d be wrong. Regular cleaning and rotating can significantly extend the life of your mattress and even a relatively inexpensive mattress cover can make a big difference.
What to Look for in the Longest Lasting Mattress
Shopping for a new mattress may seem overwhelming, especially considering how many options are out there. You used to be limited to the models available at your local mattress store, but now there are dozens of options available online. So, how do you know you’re spending your money wisely?
Here are some shopping tips for mattresses:
- Think about what level of firmness you prefer. Generally speaking, firmer mattresses tend to last longer so, if you’re not sure, aim for something around 5 to 7 on the 10-point firmness scale.
- Consider your body weight. If you’re a heavier individual or sleep with a partner, it may be worth getting something designed for larger individuals. Look for a thick base layer and high-density materials like latex or high-density polyfoam.
- Check the mattress specs and construction. Most online mattress companies tell you exactly what their mattresses are made from and how the layers are arranged. If it’s a foam mattress, look at the density and thickness of the layers. For spring mattresses, check the shape and gauge of the springs – thinner coils may not last as long as thicker ones.
- Look for cooling materials. Not only can cooling materials be a benefit for individuals who sleep hot, but a mattress that retains less heat may last longer.
- Check the sleep trial and warranty. Most companies give you at least 60 days to try the mattress at home (some sleep trials are as long as 365 days). Be sure you know how long you have to return the mattress if you don’t like it and check the warranty as well.
- Understand the foundation requirements. Box springs are no longer the standard for mattress foundations, but you still need to put your mattress on a firm, flat, and supportive surface. Platform beds work well, just make sure they have plenty of support or slats across the middle.
You don’t necessarily need to spend a fortune to get a decent mattress. Regardless how much you spend, however, you want to make sure it lasts. Read on to learn how to increase mattress lifespan.
Tips for Increasing Mattress Lifespan
If you want a long-lasting mattress, do your research and make sure to purchase one made from high-quality materials. Once you’ve made the investment in a new mattress, you want to protect it. Proper maintenance is important for maximizing your mattress’ longevity.
Here are some simple tips for increasing the lifespan of your mattress:
- Use a mattress cover to protect against dirt, dust, and spills.
- Remove and wash your bedding at least once a week.
- Use a mattress pad, ideally in combination with a mattress cover.
- Rotate your mattress by 180 degrees every 3 months.
- Consider a zippered mattress encasement to protect against bed bugs.
- Wash your bedding more frequently if you have pets.
- Vacuum your mattress once a month using the upholstery attachment.
- Avoid eating or drinking in bed to prevent spills.
- Make sure your mattress is supported with a firm foundation.
If you find yourself wondering whether it’s time for a new mattress, it probably is. While you can certainly get by sleeping on an old mattress, it will only become more uncomfortable over time and may even contribute to health problems. Take what you’ve learned here to determine whether it’s time for a new mattress and to shop smart when you’re ready.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know if my mattress is worn out?
If you aren’t sure how old your mattress is, there are a few signs that it’s worn out and ready to be replaced. If you’re not sleeping well or if you wake up with aches and pains, it could be time. Other signs include visible sagging or indentations and an increase in allergies or asthma symptoms.
How long does a mattress last?
Though it depends on quality and materials, most mattresses last between 7 and 10 years.
When should a mattress be replaced?
You should replace your mattress when it no longer feels comfortable. You may be able to stretch to 10 years, but after that point most mattresses have outlived their optimal function. Services like 1-800-Got-Junk? are helpful for removing a mattress.
What mattress types last the longest?
The longest lasting mattress is one made from dense, high-quality materials. Latex and high-density memory foam tend to last the longest while softer mattresses wear out more quickly.