As your mattress ages, it starts to feel less comfortable than it once did. What you may not realize, however, is that problems with old mattresses may run deeper than that – sleeping on an old mattress could be detrimental to your health and wellness.
An old, unsupportive mattress keeps you from getting the quality sleep you need to be and feel your best. It can contribute to daytime fatigue, elevated stress levels, body aches, weight gain, weakened immunity, and even cardiovascular issues.
Here’s what you need to know about when to replace your mattress.
How Long Does a Mattress Last?
Generally speaking, your mattress should last you somewhere between 7 and 10 years. That being said, the longevity of a mattress depends on the quality and firmness of the materials as well as the degree to which you clean and maintain it properly.
Here are some of the factors that affect mattress longevity:
- Materials – High-quality materials will last longer than poor-quality materials – it’s common sense. A long-lasting mattress will have a firm foundation like springs or high-density foam to help prevent sagging and indentations.
- Firmness – Firmer mattresses tend to last a little longer than softer mattresses simply because they are less prone to sagging. The quality of the materials still comes into play, however.
- Sleeper Size – Larger and heavier sleepers put more stress on a mattress than smaller sleepers, so your mattress may not last as long if you weigh over 200 pounds.
- Maintenance – As is true for most things, your mattress will last longer if you care for it properly. For the most part, that means rotating the mattress every three months or so and flipping it from time to time if you have a double-sided mattress. You’ll also want to use a mattress protector to help prevent liquids, bodily fluids, and other stains from affecting it.
- Cleaning – Keeping your mattress clean is essential for longevity but can be particularly difficult if you have children or pets who use the mattress. Kids and pets are more likely to cause stains and can also do damage to the mattress in other ways.
Every mattress is different when it comes to longevity. Differences in firmness and mattress materials play a significant role in determining how long a mattress will last but it also depends how well you clean and maintain the mattress. Read on to learn about signs it’s time for a new mattress.
Signs It’s Time to Replace Your Mattress
The average person spends roughly one-third of their life sleeping, so having a comfortable and supportive mattress is extremely important. Most mattresses last 7 to 10 years with proper care, but even so you may be wondering how to tell when it’s time to replace your mattress.
Here are some signs it’s time for a new mattress:
- It has developed indentations or body impressions
- You and your partner feel each other’s movements more
- The mattress has started sagging
- You have a hard time falling or staying asleep
- It has several significant stains on it
- It no longer feels as comfortable as it once did
- You wake up with aches and pains
- You’ve noticed an increase in allergy symptoms
If you’re still sleeping pretty well, you may be able to get an extra year out of your mattress, but it doesn’t hurt to start shopping around. You can find great deals on mattresses throughout the year, so it’s a good idea to keep an eye out so you can pounce when the right deal rolls around.
Tips for Increasing Mattress Longevity
Mattresses are expensive, so you want to get as much life out of yours as you possibly can. Once that 7-year mark rolls around, it’s time to at least think about looking for a new mattress even if yours is still okay for the moment. If you haven’t already, that’s also the time to start getting serious about mattress maintenance – you may be able to squeeze an extra year out of it.
Here are some general tips for increasing mattress longevity:
- Use a mattress protector to keep liquids, bodily fluids, dust, dead skin cells, and other things off the surface of the mattress.
- Don’t eat or drink in bed and keep your children from jumping on it.
- Make sure the mattress is properly supported with a box spring, platform bed, or some other type of sturdy foundation.
- Rotate your mattress 180-degrees every three months or so and try to sleep on different parts of the mattress, if you can, to prevent indentations from forming.
- Vacuum your mattress at least twice a year to remove dust mites and other allergens.
- Clean and deodorize your mattress at least once a year – sprinkle it with baking soda and let it sit in the sun with the windows open for 24 hours before vacuuming it.
The sooner you start taking care of your mattress the better. Taking these steps after your mattress turns 5 or 6 years old could certainly help, but your best bet is to get in the habit of properly cleaning and maintaining your mattress from the very first moment you bring it home.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the average life of a mattress?
Longevity varies based on numerous factors including materials, firmness, and care. That being said, most mattresses last somewhere between 7 and 10 years before they start to sag or lose shape.
Can a mattress last 20 years?
Some mattress companies use a lifetime warranty as a selling point, promising free repairs or replacements over the life of the mattress or up to 20 years. The trouble is most mattresses don’t last anywhere near that long – even with proper care and maintenance. If you want to maximize your mattress’s longevity, stick to dense, natural materials like latex.
What happens if you sleep on an old mattress?
While your mattress may not physically fall apart after 7 to 10 years, its function will start to decline. You may notice sagging, lumps, or indentations and it may not feel as comfortable as it once did. As the supportive structures become compromised, you may also find yourself waking up with aches and pains.