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How Long Should A Mattress Last

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A good mattress brings joyful sleep that energises and guarantees healthy rest. However, once the bedding loses quality, it does more harm than good. How long does a mattress last and when the old one should be replaced? This definitive guide unveils the factors affecting mattress lifespan and prompts practical advice on boosting it.

Key Takeaways

  • A latex mattress lasts the longest at a maximum of about 8-9 years because of its sturdier construction and robust materials.
  • A hybrid mattress lasts about 7.5 years because it has strong inner coils and dense memory foam layers.

How long should a mattress last? Practice shows that the average service life is 7-10 years. During this time, the mattress’s inner structure degrades, it collects moisture, dust, and the particles of skin that bed mites feed on. Besides, its construction decays and becomes uncomfortable if not harmful for health.

The mattress’s cost doesn’t equal quality and durability. 

In fact, a mattress’s lifespan is defined by its material, for example:

The Average Lifespan Of A Mattress

  • Innerspring models serve around 5.5-6.5 years because they have a low resistance to sagging and limited durability.
  • A memory foam mattress lasts 6-7 years (low-density ones last less).
  • Hybrid ones have an average lifespan of 6.5-7.5 years. 
  • Latex mattresses are the most durable ones - they serve up to 8-9 years. They restore shape easily, breathe freely, and tend to collect less moisture (consequently, there’s no mould and any kinds of bed mites). 

Why do some manufacturers give a 10-year or even a 25-year warranty for their models? Most likely, a long warranty covers separate parts of a mattress, particularly - coils. Metal springs decay slower than a textile cover and filling, be that foam, latex, coconut coir, etc. 

Yet, material is not the only factor that comes into play.

What Does The Mattress’s Lifespan Depend On?

Frequency of Use

Because a mattress is generally used daily, these standard lifespans of 5-6 years for an innerspring mattress, 7 years for a memory foam mattress, and 9 years for a latex mattress, are what you can expect to get out of your mattress. Assuming, of course, that the mattress is turned or flipped and cleaned frequently. However, a mattress used in a guest room will last much longer because it is not used every day and will have fewer indentations in the foam layers (2).

Overall Quality

A cheap mattress won’t last as long as a high-end costly model because of materials and technologies used for production. Quality is seen in details: the type of external cover, coils (independent pockets or not), and even seams. 

The Type of Mattress

As it has been mentioned, mattresses with coils tend to last less. Their complicated construction gets distorted by users’ weight and movements. Meanwhile, memory foam and latex mattresses can keep their shape for years, especially when they are flipped once in a few months.

Latex models are the most long-lasting ones because they don’t collect moisture and rarely become a breeding ground for bacteria and bed mites.

My experience when using a latex mattress was that I felt cooler during the night and didn't experience waking up sweaty or clammy, because of the mattress’s natural ability to dissipate heat during the night. I also enjoyed the latex’s responsiveness and motion isolation whenever I changed positions. 

When sleeping on the hybrid mattress, I found that the coils had some movement across the surface that caused my partner to stir slightly whenever I shifted sleeping positions during the night. I also would have liked to flip the mattress to its other side to adjust its firmness, but this wasn’t possible with the hybrid mattress.

Side sleeping on the hybrid mattress
Side sleeping on the hybrid mattress

Sleep Position and User’s Weight

Being under the pressure of heavy users, mattresses start sagging. The same problem happens with side sleepers: their hips and shoulders press against the surface, which causes grooves. In order to avoid it, it’s recommended to rotate a flippable mattress (most of them are two-sided) once in 3-6 months.

Do firm mattresses last longer? Indeed, their surface is less prone to sagging. For this reason, mattresses for bad backs can be more durable. My experience when sleeping on a firm mattress was that the harder surface was not ideal for side sleeping, which is the position I prefer. Also, because my partner and I are average weight, we don’t exceed the maximum combined weight of 500 pounds that most mattresses can support. This means that we don’t place extra stress or weight on the mattress surface.

Maintenance & Care Routine

Proper care makes mattresses last longer. By cleaning them and protecting against wear-off, users can add extra 2-4 years to the lifespan.

Part of proper mattress maintenance and care is to regularly vertically flip and horizontally rotate your mattress if it has two flippable sides (3). However, if your mattress is a hybrid mattress, it is a one-sided mattress and can only be rotated horizontally to refresh the sleeping surface. 

Not to mention that when children or pets climb onto the bed, they often place extra wear and tear on the mattress edges, which can cause the edges to collapse or sag. Sometimes, however, having your children or pets climb into bed with you is unavoidable. If this is the case for you, then we suggest having a small foam step on the side of the bed to make it easier form them and prevent your mattress edges from getting damaged. The full maintenance schedule will be covered in this guide a bit later.

Testing the edge support
Testing the edge support

Children and Pets

Family life has its perks but, ideally, users shouldn’t share their bed with kids and pets. Toddlers are likely to damage the mattress’s inner structure by jumping, while their four-legged friends can leave stains and scratches on the bedding’s surface. Accidents happen, you know.

How To Make A Mattress Last Longer?

Breathe out, it’s not about cleaning…

There’s no way one can wash a mattress properly without calling a dry-cleaner. The user’s task is to prevent pollution. This can be done by following a simple mattress maintenance (1) routine:

  1. Buy a waterproof mattress topper. It protects both internal and external layers against spills and all kinds of biological substances. That’s the best thing one can do for preventing bed mites and mould. The protector should be machine-washed at least once a month.
  2. Keep sheets and pillowcases clean. Replace them once in a week or two. 
  3. Vacuum the mattress once a month using an upholstery brush - it will keep dust mites at the bay. 
  4. Flip the mattress once in a few months. Once grooves start forming, it’s high time to change the side. This way, a mattress will feel comfier, and its structure can be preserved better. 
  5. Don’t jump on it. No matter what’s inside - coils or foam - mattresses aren’t designed to withstand such a huge load. By exposing them to extreme pressure, users risk spoiling the construction irreversibly.
  6. No food in the bed! Occasionally spilt drinks and crumbles won’t do any good for bedding.
  7. Choose a Sturdy Bed Foundation. The ideal mattress foundation is a bed base because it has a strong outer frame and springs or supportive materials like high-density foam in the middle to properly support the weight of the mattress and sleepers that rest on it. If you find that your mattress has started to sag in certain areas, then using a good quality mattress foundation can quickly fix a sagging mattress so you don’t have to buy a new one.

FAQ

When is it time to change the mattress?

There are many telltale signs of mattress wear off - they are impossible to ignore:

  • It feels uncomfortable on an ongoing basis. That can make sleepers toss at night and wake up with sore muscles. 
  • It smells strangely and somewhat repulsive. That’s probably because of moisture detention. Such mattresses become a breeding ground for bacteria and bed mites.
  • Users have regular allergy outbreaks and tend to be more sensitive to particular allergens. That means the bedding is teeming with bed mites, dust and allergens. Time for a new mattress in a box!
  • It has uncomfortable grooves and sags. Through years of use, foam and coil mattresses lose their structure, but it can be slowed down by regular rotating. 
  • Partners start disturbing each other. Rolling and tossing overnight means people cannot find comfort sleeping on their bedding. 
  • Waking up with pains and aches in muscles and joints. Sleep on an old, sagging mattress can affect the back and joints in a long term. First of all, it manifests into body aches that can last from a few minutes to the entire day. 

It’s recommended to perform a mattress check-up if 7 years have passed from the moment of its purchase.

Why Should A Mattress Be Replaced?

There’s a host of reasons to replace the old mattress, including:

  • Improved quality of sleep.
  • Reduction of muscle and joint pain.
  • Less movement transfer when sleepers toss.
  • Lower risk of allergies and asthma. 

A new mattress makes a significant difference in the efficiency of night rest. Deeper sleep means better well-being.

What mattress types last longer?

Latex mattresses typically last longer than other mattresses. Latex mattresses can last from 9-15 years because of their composition and natural materials. Some of the reasons why latex mattresses last longer include:

  • Their resistance to mold, dust mites, and bacteria extends their longevity.
  • Their resilience to pressure helps them maintain their shape and responsiveness. 
  • Their natural or synthetic rubber compound makes them more supportive and strong.

Conclusion 

In order to have a comfortable and efficient rest, it’s important to sleep on a quality mattress. Any model degrades over a few years, so it should be replaced in a timely manner in order to avoid health issues. By following the above-mentioned guidelines, one will know how long should a mattress last and buy a worthy replacement when the old bedding becomes unfit for use.

Hope this article was useful. Are there any new insights you’ve got? 

Feel free to share new recommendations on mattress maintenance and other ideas. 

References

  1. Ashley Iredale (December 7, 2018). How to care for your mattress. Retrieved from https://www.choice.com.au/home-and-living/bedroom/mattresses/articles/how-to-care-for-your-mattress
  2. Elise J.C. Heule, MSc; Richard H.M. Goossens, Ph.D.; Ruth Mugge, MSc; Eva Dietz, MSc; and Freerk Heule, Ph.D. (November, 2007). Using an Indentation Measurement Device to Assess Foam Mattress Quality. Retrieved from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18057447/
  3. Haye, B. (2005). American Scientist, the magazine of Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society: Group Theory in the Bedroom. Retrieved from: https://www.math.mcgill.ca/rags/JAC/124/Groups-Intro.pdf

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