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How Long Do Memory Foam Mattresses Last?

Tyler Joseph (TJ) Thomas

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A high-quality memory foam mattress can last between 8 and 10 years when properly maintained. If you invest in a low-quality memory foam bed or neglect to care for the mattress by not cleaning it or failing to rotate it, your mattress won’t last as long as it should.

In this article, we’ll discuss what affects a memory foam bed’s longevity and the signs indicating it’s time to get a new bed. We will also explore how to prolong your mattress’s life expectancy and comfort.

What Affects a Memory Foam Mattress’s Longevity?

Time isn’t the only factor affecting your memory foam mattress. The frequency the mattress is used, how much weight it bears, and your mattress maintenance habits also affect your mattress.

Frequency of Use

A guest room mattress wears and tears less than a bed slept on every night. When you use a mattress regularly, the materials compress and won’t bounce back to the original shape after 7 to 10 years of use. Sagging and indentations occur naturally and cannot fully be prevented.

Think about it this way, the more time your bed bears weight, the faster your mattress deteriorates. This includes times you placed items such as bookbags or electronics on the mattress. While heavy objects aren’t the equivalent to the weight of a human being, concentrated weight can wear materials faster and cause premature sagging. Lying down distributes your weight across the mattress’s surface, minimizing material deterioration.

If you are looking to get a high-quality bed, we suggest looking at the mattress’s warranty. A company offering a 10-year warranty with a mattress purchase has tested the mattress model’s durability and found the mattress has an average lifespan of 10 years.

Body Weight

Your body weight affects your mattress’s longevity even though it’s dispersed by lying down.

Heavier people put more pressure on a mattress, causing the bed’s materials to compress more and wear prematurely. Sleepers below 130 pounds tend to have mattresses for longer because the materials aren’t as compressed night after night.

Maintenance

Regular maintenance extends the lifespan of a mattress. Eating and drinking in bed is common—especially if there is a TV in the bedroom. Spilling water, juice, and food can stain the mattress, leading to mold growth and bacteria build-up if not cleaned regularly.

Beds absorb sweat and can fill with debris such as dead skin cells and dust. Debris can cause the mattress to stink and create a breeding ground for bacteria, fungi, and dust mites, leading to material disintegration.

Signs Your Mattress Needs Replacement

While some signs of mattress deterioration are apparent, others aren’t. If your mattress shows any of the signs below, it’s time to get a new bed.

Sagging

Sagging or permanent indentations are the biggest sign it’s time to get a new mattress. It’s not uncommon for a sleeper to experience back pain and disrupted sleep on a sagging bed, as they lack the support needed for therapeutic sleep.

Unfortunately once a mattress begins sagging, small fixes like mattress toppers don’t do the trick; this is because the mattress below the topper cannot adequately support the topper, so you’ll still be sinking in the same places as you were before adding the extra layer of foam.

Excessive Softness

Memory foam mattresses soften over prolonged use, which may lead to less conformability and pressure relief. If your memory foam mattress becomes too soft, you may suffer from hip and joint pain.

In this instance, a memory foam topper can improve your old mattress’s support as a temporary solution; but eventually, you will still need to purchase a new mattress.

Back Pain

If you haven’t noticed sagging or excessive softness, but you have back pain, consider other reasons why your mattress isn’t helping you sleep. If your weight has changed or you’ve switched sleeping positions, the bed’s firmness probably isn’t appropriate for your new sleep needs.

Different sleeping positions and body types change the way a sleeper experiences the mattress’s feels:

  • Back sleepers need a medium to medium-firm mattress to promote spinal alignment and alleviate pressure in the shoulder and hips.
  • Firm mattresses are best for stomach sleepers, as these beds preserve the spine’s natural curve and limit back stress.
  • Heavy individuals place lots of pressure on the mattress’s surface. If a mattress is too soft, a large statured person will bend into the bed at the hips, causing spinal misalignment and lower back pain. We recommend firm mattresses for heavy people to promote healthy sleeping positions and offer adequate support.
  • Small-statured people need a soft mattress since their weight doesn’t allow them to sink enough to alleviate pressure points. A firm mattress will create pressure points, leading to muscle and joint pain.

Getting a new mattress with the right firmness will prevent future back pain and give you a good night’s sleep.

How Can I Extend My Mattress’s Lifespan?

Rotating

Most mattresses require you to rotate your mattress once every three months. Rotating evens out wear and tear and extends the bed’s lifespan.

Older mattresses sometimes need flipping; however, most modern beds are built from the base, which means the bed only has one sleep surface, making flipping unnecessary. Flipping and sleeping directly on the mattress’s core can deteriorate the high-density polyurethane foam, leading to premature sagging and indentations.

We suggest looking at the bed’s care instructions to see if the mattress needs flipped or rotated.

Spot Cleaning

Spot cleaning your mattress once a month lifts stains and prevents bacteria build-up in your bed. Stains can also void the bed’s warranty. Cleaning stains off your mattress ensures you can still file a warranty claim.

Vacuuming

Memory foam mattresses are resistant to allergens and debris. Still, if debris is left to sit on the material’s surface, it will grind into the memory foam and change the material’s firmness. Vacuuming the surface of your mattress every time you change your sheets lifts away debris.

Tip: When you vacuum your bed, make sure to get into any nooks and crannies as debris can accumulate in crevices.

Deodorizing

Memory foam mattresses are like a sponge—if the bed starts to smell, it may have absorbed moisture and needs airing out.

Airing out your mattress once a month prevents mold and mildew growth. We suggest placing your bed in direct sunlight to neutralize odors and sprinkling the mattress with baking soda to absorb moisture.

Foundation

The right foundation deters sagging. A memory foam mattress needs a supportive, solid base with slats no less than 3 inches apart. Without a supportive mattress foundation, a memory foam mattress’s core layer can dip beneath the slats, placing greater pressure on the core layer and causing premature material deterioration.

A platform bed, bunkie board, and adjustable foundation are examples of a sturdy memory foam mattress foundations.

Invest in a Mattress Protector

One of the best ways to care for your mattress is by preventing stains and debris from reaching it in the first place. Mattress protectors prevent debris, allergens, dust, and dead skin cells from building up on the mattress’s surface.

A waterproof mattress protector prevents debris from settling on the mattress’s surface and offers additional protection against moisture.

Other Types of Mattresses

While we promote memory foam beds as the best mattress type, other types of mattresses promote good sleep and pair better with some people’s sleeping needs.

Innerspring mattresses last between six to eight years before they need replacement. They are known for their support and ability to keep the sleeper cool. They are made with coil cores, thin comfort layers, and some have plushy pillow tops to add comfort.

Latex mattresses can last eight to ten years before they need replacement to preserve the bedroom’s hygiene; however, all-natural latex mattresses can maintain support for up to 12-20 years.

Natural latex is antimicrobial and hypoallergenic. Synthetic latex is made with a chemical compound to mimic the way latex feels, although it doesn’t have antimicrobial properties. For those with latex allergies, synthetic latex is the best option.

Blended latex is a mixture of natural and synthetic latex. It has antimicrobial properties, although not as powerful as natural latex’s.

We advise caution with synthetic latex mattresses because they may contain harmful additives. If you plan on buying a mattress with artificial latex, look for the CertiPUR-US® certification to ensure the materials are safe to use.

A hybrid mattress can last between six and eight years. It is made with memory foam comfort layers and coils cores, which gives the bed great conformability, motion isolation, and air circulation.

A water bed lasts between 5 to 10 years before the vinyl top begins to wear out. Water beds conform deeply to the sleeper to alleviate pressure and pain; however, they don’t isolate motions, causing disrupted sleep.

An air bed is different from an air mattress. Air mattresses are blown up for visitors and deflate to conserve space. Air beds are regularly used mattresses that adjust firmness based on the sleeper’s preferences. Sometimes the sleeper has to change the firmness themselves, and other times a mattress is designed to adjust the bed’s feel automatically. Air beds last between 10 and 15 years.

Conclusion

On average, a memory foam mattress lasts between 8 to 10 years. The better they’re maintained, the longer the mattress lasts.  If your bed is sagging, shows excessive softening, is or causing you pain, it’s time to look for a new mattress.

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