“How often should you change your mattress?”
It’s a question you’ve probably asked once or twice in your life – particularly after you’ve had the same mattress for a while.
Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be a universal answer.
The Better Sleep Council suggests that you probably need to replace your mattress every 7 to 10 years. However, while that recommendation might work for most, the only true answer is this: “It depends on you.”
If sleeping were a sport, your mattress would be your performance gear. Just like a great pair of running shoes help you to run faster and further by supporting your feet, a supportive mattress delivers healthier, more comfortable sleep.
So, how often should you change your mattress, really? Well, let’s find out.
How Long Should a Mattress Last? The General Guidelines
Let’s start with the basics.
If your mattress is past its “best before” date, then it might be time for a change.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, the average mattress lifespan is around 8 years. However, the type you buy will make a difference. For instance:
- Innerspring: Innerspring mattresses contain coiled springs that help to distribute your weight across the surface of your bed evenly. They last about 10 years, or longer if they’re two-sided and you can flip them regularly.
- Memory foam: Memory foam mattresses absorb your weight and give you a highly comfortable evening of rest. Excellent memory foam mattresses can last up to 15 years with the right care.
- Hybrid: Hybrid mattresses use both springs and memory foam. They usually last for around 8 years, but it depends on the exact composition of the bed.
- Latex: The lifespan of your latex mattress depends on whether you choose organic or synthetic materials. Some of these beds come with warranties that last for up to 25 years according to the Sleep Help Institute.
- Waterbed: Waterbed mattresses aren’t as prevalent today as they once were. These products can last between 5 and 10 years if you don’t accidentally pop one!
Why Is It Important To Replace Your Mattress?
You might be left wondering why you should bother getting a replacement bed. There are many reasons why it’s a good idea to change regularly. The most obvious answer is that after a while, an old mattress won’t be able to give you a good night’s sleep. A sagging or lumpy mattress can easily interfere with your sleep pattern.
Research shows us that when we don’t get enough sleep, our health begins to suffer. Lack of sleep has been linked to everything from diabetes, to heart and kidney disease.
Additionally, dust mites and allergens can also accumulate within a mattress, leading to worsening symptoms of asthma. The presence of dust mites in the bedroom is why it’s important to ask yourself not only when you need to replace your mattress, but also:
- How often should you change your pillows?
- How often should you change your duvet?
- How often should you change your bed?
Here’s an interesting video from Good Morning Britain:
Signs That It’s Time To Change Your Mattress
Since the general rule of changing your mattress, every 7 to 10 years doesn’t apply to everyone, the best thing you can do is look beyond the age of your bedding when you’re deciding if it’s time for something new.
For instance, if you’re sleeping with a partner, it’s likely that a mattress will wear out faster than if you’re sleeping alone. Similarly, if you’re a larger person, you may also need to replace more frequently (check our best mattress for heavy person reviews). Here are just a few signs that indicate it’s time for a replacement.
The Mattress Is Lumpy Or Saggy
If your mattress is infested with lumps, or there’s a dent in the middle in the shape of your body, that’s a good sign you need to go shopping. Sagging and lumps can happen with virtually any type (excluding waterbeds), and these symptoms indicate that you’ve worn away the material within.
The deeper the sag, or the larger the bumps, the more discomfort you’ll experience when you try to sleep. Even if the mattress isn’t lumpy or saggy yet, but you’re noticing that you get a better night’s sleep when you stay at a friend’s house or a hotel, that’s a clear sign that something isn’t right.
You Always Feel Sore When You Wake Up
An old mattress will struggle to support your spine properly when you sleep. That’s one of the many reasons why a bad bed can lead to chronic problems with back pain. You should be starting each day feeling fresh and well-rested. If instead, you’re crawling out of bed with an aching back or painful neck, then you’re in need of a new mattress.
Do you suffer from back pain no matter what you do? Don’t worry. According to a study from the Kovacs Foundation, medium-firm mattresses are best for people who suffer from lower back pain.
You’re Constantly Coughing Or Sneezing
Finally, if you’re always coughing and sneezing, or your allergies seem to be getting worse with no explanation, that’s another red flag. Mattresses are a magnet for dust mites and other allergens. Over the years, your bed becomes increasingly less hygienic.
If you find yourself waking up itchy, sniffly, and generally out-of-sorts no matter what you do, then it’s time to shop for a new mattress.
Can You Make Your Mattress Last Longer?
If you’re asking “How often should you change your mattress” because you’re worried that you need a replacement too soon, here are a few tips to help you prolong the life of your existing bed:
- Use a mattress protector to reduce exposure to dust and spills
- Make sure you rotate it every 6 months to promote even wear
- Clean the mattress according to the manufacturer directions
- Keep pets away from the bed to prevent damage from chewing and claws
- Don’t let the kids jump on the bed (no matter how much they plead)
- Open your windows occasionally to air out your room
- Flip 2-sided mattresses every 6 to 12 months.
Regular vacuuming can also help to keep dust mites and allergens in your bedroom to a minimum – ideal for those with allergies.