Everybody knows mattresses are built to last. Nobody would spend thousands on a bed expected to hold up for only a year, right? But before buying new bed, many people wonder, “how long does a mattress last exactly?” Unfortunately, there isn’t one set answer.
Even the best mattress will eventually sag. A mattress’ lifespan is influenced by various factors; including the type of mattress it is, the amount of wear and tear, and how you have cared for it over the years. However, many beds have a lifespan of around 10 years.
When It’s Time to Replace Your Old Mattress
There are several signs it’s time for a new mattress. These can vary from visible wear and tear to less obvious signs that can impact your health. Below, we talk about these a bit more.
Mattress Wear and Tear
If your mattress is looking lumpy, out of shape, or sagging, it’s time for a replacement. Over time, you might see a dent in your mattress from overuse. This type of denting or sagging can impact your quality of sleep if your body is not getting proper support.
Once you start seeing tears or rips in your mattress, it’s time to get a new one. These tears can worsen and deteriorate your mattress more quickly.
Dust mites are attracted to mattresses. These tiny bugs feed on mildew-degraded house dust and especially areas of high humidity. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, dust mites thrive in carpeting, furniture, and the inner layers of bedding.
Dust mites are a common allergen. They can cause symptoms such as sneezing, a runny nose, itchy eyes and nose, or a cough. They can also worsen asthma symptoms.
If you find yourself waking up with these symptoms, it could be a sign that it’s time to get a new mattress.
Poor sleep can lead to chronic stress; and increased stress over a long period of time can suppress the skin’s immunity, as discussed in a New York Academy of Science study.
If you find yourself dealing with skin flare-ups or a dull complexion, changing your mattress could be a start to improving your skin quality.
Trouble Falling Asleep
If you are having trouble falling asleep, your old mattress is an obvious culprit. Rather than tossing and turning each night to find a comfortable position, the solution may be changing your mattress. And not just changing your mattress, but choosing a different firmness level.
According to a Science Direct study published in 2015, older adults experienced a big reduction in pain when switching from a high-firm mattress to a medium-firm mattress. It also took study participants less time to fall asleep after the switch.
Aches and Pains
You should not wake up from a night’s sleep with back pain or other aches. If you often pull yourself out of bed with pain, it’s time to take a look at your mattress, as it may be old and degraded. Or it may be time to switch the type of mattress you are using.
Finding the best mattress for back pain relief is one of the best ways to combat recurring discomfort and prevent new pressure points.
In the next section, we discuss some of the more common mattress types and how they age over time.
Mattress Types and How They Age
There are many different types of mattresses. Answering the question, “How long does a mattress last?” will depend on what type you buy. Mattresses feature different materials, from memory foam to latex. Each of those materials wears in a unique way.
Memory Foam Mattress
Many online mattress companies sell memory foam beds as they’re easiest to ship and show up in a convenient package right to your door.
Memory foam was first created by NASA. These mattresses feature poly-foam and other materials. This creates a matrix, which allows air to move through the mattress and conform to your body.
The mattress lifespan will depend on the quality of the mattress. Memory foam can be inexpensive to produce. However, cheaper mattresses are often made by mixing low-cost materials, such as petroleum-based products. This means a higher Indentation Load Deflection (ILD), which will cause the mattress to harden.
Now, some memory foam mattresses rely on plant-based foam, such as coconut and soy. These materials are more springy and natural. Another option is gel foam, which helps cool the mattress to prevent “hot sleeping.”
A latex mattress uses material harvested from rubber trees. This improves elasticity and returns the mattress to its original shape.
Latex mattresses feel firmer memory foam beds because they have a springy quality. You can find both natural latex and synthetic latex options. Both are long-lasting because of latex’s durability. Latex mattresses are generally durable because of the cell matrix structure.
An innerspring mattress relies on coils inside the mattress. The most common is the pocketed coil, which uses individually wrapped coils to reduce motion transfer. These coils can lead to indentations in your mattress and visible sagging with time.
A well-cared for mattress can last a decade, but an innerspring mattress will typically start to show dents and start sagging before this as coils wear down and shift.
One way to reduce the discomfort from indentations in a coil mattress is to add a pillow-top. These mattress toppers will add a comfort layer over the coil spring mattress.
The average lifespan of a waterbed may surprise you. Waterbeds don’t have coils in them and other materials that break down in other types of mattresses. This means waterbeds can last anywhere from 12 to 15 years.
Still, waterbeds come with a lot of maintenance. The beds must be filled up and conditioned annually. They also need to be drained anytime you want to move them. Also, you’ll need to fix leaks from time to time.
How to Make Your New Mattress Last
Once you replace your old mattress, you want to make sure the new one lasts as long as possible. There are easy things you can do to help extend the life of your mattress and improve your quality of sleep.
Support Your Mattress
Proper care of your mattress includes making sure it has a supportive foundation. For an innerspring, this means putting a good box spring beneath the mattress. For a memory foam mattress, the support is different.
Memory foam mattresses work best with a slatted bed frame or an adjustable bed frame. Online bed-in-a-box companies offer these adjustable frames as well. If you are using a box spring with a memory foam mattress, you need to add a thin piece of plywood between the bed layers.
Mattress protectors keep your bed protected from spills and other accidents that can reduce the average lifespan of the mattress. They also protect your mattress from absorbing body oils and sweat, along with dust.
One German study looked at allergen-reducing mattress toppers and found these toppers can reduce the presence of allergens such as dust mites. This can help keep your mattress from contributing to any potential allergic reactions such as sneezing, coughing, or a runny nose.
Rotate the Mattress
It’s good to rotate your mattress regularly to encourage even use. Regular rotations allow each part of the bed to wear down equally. On average, a bed should be rotated at least every half a year. This is especially true in the beginning as you break in the new mattress.
Protect the Mattress in a Move
When you move, it’s important to protect your mattress. A mattress can get damaged in the jostle of putting all your furniture into a moving truck and getting it up and down the staircase. Cover your mattress well during a move to ensure it stays in good shape.
Keep Out Bedbugs
Bedbugs are a sure way to shorten the lifespan of a mattress. There’s a chance of taking bedbugs from a hotel bed back to your home. It’s important to keep your luggage and clothing away from your bedroom if you suspect bedbugs after a trip.
If you are concerned about how long a mattress lasts in a place where bedbugs are common, such as a crowded apartment building, you can buy a special mattress protector to seal the entire mattress and make it infestation-proof.
Follow the Cleaning Instructions
For the best care, you should wash your mattress every three or four months. If your mattress is stained, skip harsh stain removers and instead use natural cleaning solutions to fix the affected area, as chemicals can break down the materials. A mattress cover is much easier to clean than a mattress itself.
With a mattress cover, you can remove the cover and wash it in cold water on a gentle cycle. Allow it to air dry and then return it to the mattress.
Know Your Mattress Warranty
Even the best mattress on the market is going to age. A good way to know how long a mattress will last is to look at the company’s warranty policy.
Most standard mattress warranties offer ten years of coverage. However, many brands are beginning to offer 15, 20, and even lifetime warranties with their beds. When judging a warranty, read the fine print to determine what’s covered and what fees you’d be responsible for in the event of a warranty claim.
Being prepared ahead of time makes repairing or replacing your mattress much easier.
Is It Time to Replace Your Bed?
If your mattress is showing obvious signs of wear and tear, or your sleep is suffering, it may be time for a new bed.
A high-quality mattress can last you more than a decade. Durable materials and good construction play an important role. But it also depends on how you treat your bed over the years. When investing in a new bed, take proper measures to help it last for years to come.