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How Often Should You Replace Your Mattress?

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The utmost relaxation and overall excellent sleep quality are the hallmarks of a quality mattress. Unfortunately, even the most comfortable mattresses have expiration dates. Learning how often you should replace your mattress is essential as it'll help you consistently maintain the quality of your mattress for a restful and comfortable sleeping experience.

In this article, I'll discuss the top factors that affect the lifespan of a mattress, six tell-tale signs that your mattress needs replacing, how you can extend the lifespan of your mattress, and why you need to ditch your old mattress and purchase a new one, among many other things.

Key Takeaways

  • Although different factors are involved, you should replace your mattress under normal conditions after 6 – 8 years. You should replace your mattress if you notice damaged or saggy mattress parts, an increase in allergies, and regularly waking up with joint or muscle stiffness.
  • The factors influencing how often you should replace your mattress include mattress material, care and maintenance, weight and size, sleeping position, and pets and children.

How Often Should You Change Your Mattress?

While the answer to this question depends on many factors, which I'll share later in this article, you should change your mattress after every 6 – 8 years. By this time, your mattress has lost its support, comfort, and buoyancy.

The coils and fibers take a toll over the years, and what cradled you in some cloud-like comfort no longer holds

What Affects The Lifespan Of A Mattress

The factors that affect the lifespan of a mattress include:

Mattress material

There's no doubt that the materials utilized in the manufacturing of a mattress have a significant impact on how long it lasts. In my experience, lower-quality foam and innerspring mattresses have shorter lifespans than hybrid mattresses.

The former are susceptible to body impressions and sagging. The latter, on the other hand, while still prone to those issues, are costlier and feature higher-quality materials that make them more long-lasting.

When I compare all mattress types, latex mattresses emerge as tops for durability.

I advise choosing those with lower coil gauges for hybrid and innerspring mattresses, which translates to thicker coils. Thicker coils mean improved durability and superior support. I've realized that the robust internal support system of a lower coil gauge mattress evenly distributes my body weight across the entire mattress surface.

For the foam mattresses, I recommend choosing mattresses with higher foam densities, such as the Koala Mattress. When I decided on this mattress, I never knew I'd enjoy many years of a balanced combination of resilience and softness. Like mine, mattresses with higher foam densities (5+ PCF for memory foam and 1.7+ PCF for polyfoam) maintain their supportive and shape densities for extended periods for a more restful sleep.

Koala mattress
Koala mattress

For latex mattresses, I recommend the natural kind over the synthetic ones. Natural, whose source is rubber trees sap, is famous for its eco-friendliness, hypoallergenic properties, and exceptional durability. On the flip side, chemicals characterize the manufacture of synthetic latex mattresses, making them lack a similar level of breathability and resilience as their natural counterparts.

In terms of sagging and body impressions, I've come to appreciate learning how to fix a sagging mattress in my experience with mattresses. Depending on the sag's severity and underlying cause, I'd recommend rotating or flipping your mattress, checking the foundation or box spring, using plywood for support, adjusting your bed frame, and, in extreme cases, considering mattress replacement.

Care and maintenance

Care and maintenance will go miles to extend the lifespan of your mattress. One of the things that I have already suggested you do is rotate or flip your mattress. I recommend doing this after every three months or following the recommendations of the manufacturer.

Using a mattress protector also plays a role in the care and maintenance of your mattress, thus extending its life. Mattress protectors act as an efficient barrier as they safeguard your mattress against an array of potential contributors of wear and tear, like body sweat and oil, allergens, dust mites, stains, and spills that can sip into your mattress fabric over time.

Using a protector ensures these mattress wear and tear elements don't permeate the core layers or materials. This goes miles to maintain hygiene, freshness, and durability with time.

Body weight and size

Your weight and size and of anyone sharing your bed can influence the rate of your mattress degradation. Mattresses for heavier individuals tend to sag faster compared to their lighter counterparts, who have less impact.

In the same light, chances are higher that a mattress handling a couple will wear out sooner than a single sleeper. The cumulative effect of two people's different sleeping patterns, movement, and weight can exert more strain on a mattress, thus fastening the deterioration process.

Sleeping position

Yes, I know what you might be thinking, does sleeping position play a role in how often you should replace a mattress? 

Yes, your sleeping position can affect how long your mattress lasts. Since I'm a side sleeper, I create body impressions on the surface around the shoulders and hips. This means that my mattress for side sleepers tends to suffer from uneven wear and a reduction in its overall supportiveness.

Compared to side sleepers, back sleepers distribute their body weight more evenly across the surface of the mattress, which can reduce the formation of deep body impressions. Their type of mattress wear happens when the spine's natural curve leads to the slight sinking of the mattress at the lower back region.

Side sleeping on a mattress
Side sleeping on a mattress

Stomach sleepers place more pressure on the abdomen and hips, possibly leading to compressions in the said areas.

Pro Tip: If you're a stomach sleeper, it is prudent to consider a mattress that features slightly firmer support coupled with pillow adjustments to reduce strain on your neck.

Kids and furry friends

Do you share your mattress with small children or pets? Chances are high that mattress replacement will be necessary more often. On top of additional weight, children and your furry pets are more prone to stain or damage your mattress.

Children's curious and playful nature increases the chances of minor damage to the mattress, such as punctures, tears, or scratches. Although they might seem insignificant, these damages can accumulate over a period to cumulatively harm your mattress's supportive qualities and structural integrity.

How Do I Know When My Mattress Needs Replacing? 6 Tell-Tale Signs

Here are six tell-tale signs that I believe paint a picture its time to replace your mattress:

Visible wear and tear

The most unambiguous indication that you must replace your mattress is visible wear and tear.

I recommend checking worn spots, indentions, and rips in your mattress.

The evidence of wear and tear compromises your mattress's general aesthetics, support, and comfort levels.

Lumps or sagging

Lumps, dips, and sags indicate it's time for mattress replacement, mainly if your mattress is spring. Whether you're grappling with uneven lumps terrain that disrupts the smoothness of the surface or uncomfortable dips that do not conform to the contours of your body, you have to change your mattress.

Pro Tip: The structural issues will compromise your pressure points and spinal alignment, so there’s a need to give them the seriousness they deserve.

Squeaks

Some mattress types start squeaking whenever it's time for a replacement. Hybrid and innerspring are the two common culprits. Whenever their springs lose strength and tension, they rub together as they compress under your weight.

The contact makes such an unpleasant screeching sound, particularly during changes in sleeping positions which disrupts sleep.

Sleeping hot

Sweating and overheating make it challenging to fall asleep. Although the main culprit might be a medical condition, thermostat, or even hormonal changes, like in my case, most of the time, you should never rule out your mattress.

Some mattresses, such as those made with memory foam, feature certain materials that enhance elasticity but bring with them the uncomfortable side effect of heat-trapping. If you're a hot sleeper, consider replacing your mattress with a more breathable, heat-dissipating material.

How To Extend The Lifespan Of A Mattress

You can extend the lifespan of your mattress by doing the following:

Regular cleaning and maintenance

Regular and proper cleaning and maintenance of your mattress will extend its lifespan. In terms of cleaning, I clean mine 2-3 times every year, and I've seen it do wonders when it comes to durability. On top of that, I spot-clean any spills or stains immediately after I experience them.

As I vacuum my mattress, I use baking soda, allow it to sit for 24 hours, and put it close to the window. Doing this removes any awful odors from the mattress.

Always use a mattress protector

Mattress protectors are magical in helping prolong the life of your mattress by preventing dirt, dust mites, and stains. Protectors, like mattress pads, are available in different sizes and materials, so knowing precisely what you want for your needs is prudent.

I prefer cotton mattress protectors as they're machine washable. I wash them as regularly as possible as part of my routine for the utmost cleanliness.

A mattress protector
A mattress protector

Flipping or rotating your mattress

The frequency of flipping or rotating your mattress depends on your mattress type. Different mattresses boast various wear patterns, resilience, and materials that interact with your sleeping posture and body weight.

Innersprings may benefit from frequent flipping every couple of months to evenly distribute their wear. Memory foam, on the other hand, might need rotational adjustments to prevent body impressions and maintain optimal contouring comfort.

Why You Should Ditch Your Old Mattress And Replace It With A New One

Mattresses are a costly expense for sure. In my opinion, the investment is worth it.

A new mattress enhances your sleep quality, boosting your moods, reducing stress, lowering the risk of heart problems, having a sharper brain, steadier blood sugar levels, and even weight control (1).

You should ditch your old mattress for a new because of these reasons:

Enhanced sleep quality

New mattresses play a significant role in enhancing the quality of your sleep. Sleeping on a medium firm mattress, particularly one with an adjustable firmness, facilitates proper spinal alignment and improves comfort and general sleep quality (2).

Reduced motion transfer

Older mattresses tend to transfer more motion from one side of your bed to the other. What I observed is that this disrupted my sleep because my partner was constantly changing sleeping positions.

A new mattress, especially a hybrid or foam mattress, will transfer less motion, thus ensuring couples enjoy better sleep together.

Reduced allergies

Old mattresses accumulate bacteria, mold, dust mites, and other allergens at a high rate, and that's why it is essential to know how to get rid of an old mattress. I have discovered that most of the time, when my asthma or allergy symptoms are on the rise, one of the factors I can attribute to that is my mattress.

Reduced pains and aches

If you constantly wake up with neck, hip, shoulder, or even back pain, you must purchase a new mattress. Older ones sag in areas that reduce support, thus denying your spine proper alignment.

My Experience With Replacing A Mattress

From my experience, the lifespan of a mattress, whether it is based on the size such as king mattress or queen mattress, or whether it is a traditional vs. mattress in a box, isn't solely determined by a predetermined timeframe; many factors shape its endurance. As a solo sleeper, my mattress experiences the undivided weight of just one person. This aspect has undoubtedly contributed to its longevity.

It's seen me evolve from a restless sleeper to one who treasures a night of uninterrupted sleep.

In my quest to extend the life of my mattress, I've taken to heart the advice of rotating and flipping it regularly. This simple routine has helped distribute the pressure points and body impressions, ensuring the wear is more evenly spread.

Investing in a high-quality mattress protector has been a game-changer, shielding my mattress from spills, accidents, and the inevitable morning coffee mishap.

However, occasionally, when I allow my furry friend to step onto my bed, I have to put up with pee which, if I'm not careful and leave it unattended for long, can hinder my mattress's longevity.

Ultimately, I appreciate that while there's a general timeframe on how often I should replace my mattress, it doesn't apply to everyone. Each situation is different, and countless factors are always at play.

FAQ

What's The Importance Of Replacing My Mattress?

You need to replace your mattress often for better sleep quality, to avoid aches and pain, to avoid allergies and asthma, and many other reasons.

Can A Mattress Last 20 Years?

Yes, it is possible for a mattress to last 20 years, at least with proper care and maintenance. As aforementioned, many factors inform how often you should replace your mattress.

What Mattress Materials Last The Longest?

From my experience, compared to others, latex is the longest-lasting mattress material.

Conclusion 

A good mattress guarantees quality sleep. Over time, your mattress will deteriorate, and some core parts will be dysfunctional. Learning how often you should replace your mattress helps you to know what you need to be on the outlook for when it comes to mattress replacement for restful sleep.

I hope everything I have shared in this comprehensive guide on mattress longevity is valuable and insightful.

How often do you replace your mattress? What have you learned about mattress replacement with your experience? What different perspectives might be helpful? Please share them in the comments section below.

References

  1.  Surprising Reasons to Get More Sleep (July 15, 2023) Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/benefits-sleep-more
  2. Effect of different mattress designs on promoting sleep quality, pain reduction, and spinal alignment in adults with or without back pain; a systematic review of controlled trials (December 2015) https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S2352721815001400

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