How long does a mattress last?
My mattress is getting on in years. In fact, Bill Clinton was in his first term as president when I last bought a new one. Is it time for me to replace my mattress?
You’ve probably logged more than 30,000 hours in your bed, and your mattress has likely become less comfortable and less supportive. But there’s no set formula for determining when you need to replace a mattress. It might be time to buy one if:
•You regularly wake up tired or achy—you make Oscar the Grouch seem as cheerful as Mr. Rogers.
•You tend to sleep better away from home, than in your own bed. Are you planning unnecessary business trips or looking for any reason to go on a weekend getaway?
•Your mattress looks or feels saggy or lumpy—it needs go on the Abs Diet.
•You’re over age 40 and your mattress is five to seven years old. Remember, your body tolerates less pressure as it ages. As if getting older weren’t tough enough . . .
A mattress can be an expensive investment—we’ve tested models that cost in excess of $4,000—but if you treat your new one properly, it could easily last 10 years. Our advice:
•Don’t let your kids use your bed as a trampoline.
•Rotate your mattress. If you have a single-sided mattress (you sleep on only one side), rotate the mattress from end to end—that is, move the mattress 180 degrees. The foot of the mattress is now at the head, and vice versa.
If you have a double-sided mattress, rotate it as above, then turn it over so the bottom is now on top.
Perform these steps every two weeks for the first three months you have your new mattress, then once every two months thereafter. You’ll find illustrated instructions on a number of different Web sites.
• Use a bed frame that has a center support.
Essential information:See “How to buy a mattress without losing sleep” for detailed advice on finding the perfect bed. And watch our video buying guide.
7 Signs You Should Replace Your Mattress
A good night’s rest is crucial to your health and well-being, yet millions of Americans suffer from lack of sleep. TheSleep in Americastudy by the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) found that 75% of adults have problems sleeping well. The study showed that 60% of respondents experienced daytime sleepiness that interfered with activities, caused work absences, or mistakes on the job. While medical conditions may be responsible for some instances of bad sleep, it might be your mattress that’s the issue. Review these seven signs that it’s time to replace your mattress to see if your bed is to blame for inadequate sleep.
#1 Your mattress is 7-10 years old
Research has found that mattresses have a life-span of roughly eight years, but this varies by manufacturer, mattress type, whether you sleep alone or with a partner, and how you sleep. If you’re a larger person, your mattress will likely wear out faster than manufacturer guidelines suggest.
Mattresses were not designed to last forever, and excessive wear and tear will age a product faster. Inferior products don’t last as long, yet even the highest-quality mattress has a maximum lifespan and will eventually need replacing. If your mattress is old, that’s the first sign you may need a new one.
#2 The mattress is saggy
If there’s a dent in your mattress in the shape of your body, that’s a signal that your mattress is overly worn. Sagging can occur with almost any mattress material (aside from waterbeds) and can be observed under your sleep area, at the edges, or both. If your mattress has springs, they can break down and sag.
Fiber, foam, and pillowtop materials all break down over time and the deeper the sag in your mattress, the more discomfort you’ll likely experience. Saggy mattresses can disrupt sleep and cause aches and pains. If your memory foam mattress core has softened, you may feel the sag as a “hammock” effect.
#3 Your spine isn’t aligned when you sleep
No matter how old (or new) your mattress, if it doesn’t offer proper support and alignment, you won’t get optimal sleep. For back or stomach sleepers, your spine’s natural S curve should be evident when you’re lying on your mattress. If it’s flattened or exaggerated, the mattress isn’t aligning your spine properly.
For side sleepers, your spine should be straight from neck to bottom if you’ve got proper support. A yardstick or level can confirm adequate alignment. A good pillow may correct minor issues, but if you can slide a hand in the gap between body and mattress, it’s a red flag that you might need a different mattress.
#4 Your mattress is uncomfortable
Knowing whether your mattress is comfortable sounds like common sense, but many people adjust to discomfort. If you get better sleep on a hotel mattress or a friend’s guest room, your home bed might not be comfortable enough. A bed may seem comfortable in a showroom but then doesn’t perform well at home.
The upper part of your mattress consists of “comfort layers” that should support your body and provide pressure relief. Comfort layers break down over time resulting in poor sleep and body aches but in some cases, your mattress choice might have been faulty from the start, and you need to replace it.
#5 You wake stiff and sore
Poor sleep can contribute to chronic back pain. If you wake up stiff and sore every day, your mattress could be part of the problem. If your back pain is worse when you wake but subsides when you stretch and move around, that’s a sign that the mattress is causing or contributing to your pain.
A firm mattress may not be the answer. A study from the Kovacs Foundation in Mallorca found that medium-firm mattresses provided better comfort for chronic low-back pain. Experts recommend sleep testing different types of mattresses before buying if you suffer pain while sleeping or when waking.
#6 Worsening allergies or asthma
If it’s not allergy season and there’s no alternate explanation for an uptick in allergy or asthma symptoms, your mattress might be the culprit.Slateinterviewed an expert on dust mites that said your mattress is a “crime scene in terms of how it gets inoculated with [dust] mites” over time.
The protein in dust mite feces may cause allergic reactions and asthma attacks and so can the dust that accumulates in your mattress. Vacuuming, steaming, and flipping your mattress might reduce dust and mites to ease your symptoms. If these steps don’t help, a new mattress might be the solution.
#7 You gained or lost weight (or added a co-sleeper)
For those that experience a significant gain or loss in weight over the life cycle of your mattress, the change might alter the effectiveness of your mattress. A Canadian study linked both inadequate and excessive sleep to weight gain so how you sleep and what you weigh are intermingled.
Heavier body types trigger more wear and tear on springs, foam, cushioning and mattress components. Also, if you were a solo sleeper but now have a partner in your bed, your mattress might not offer adequate sleep surface or support for the extra weight. That means it’s time for a new mattress.
Become an informed consumer
If you suspect you need a new mattress, do your homework, and educate yourself before you buy. Understand the lingo and gimmicks employed by mattress firms so that you get the product you need that fits your budget and gives you the best night’s sleep. There’s no prescription for which mattress will best fit your unique needs.
Look for a mattress that offers adequate support for spinal alignment. Comfort is subjective – it’s how a bed feels to you. You might find a firmer mattress superior to a softer one or vice-versa. Mattress selection is highly personal and should be your preference at the cross-section of proper alignment, support, and comfort.
Replacing a Mattress
When to Say “So Long” to Your Mattress
A mattress is like an old armchair or pair of shoes. They feel comfortable and fit your body even though the chair’s foam and springs may be worn or the shoes have lost all arch support. It isn’t always obvious that a mattress has outlived its lifespan just by looking at it.
The seven-year itch
How long your mattress lasts depends on how often it’s used and what level of quality it is, but in general a mattress set that is seven years old has reached the end of the line and needs to be replaced. While this is a good rule of thumb, everyone’s body changes over time and your need for comfort and support increases as you age. Your body may be ready for a new mattress before the seven-year mark, so listen to what it’s telling you. It’s a good idea to compare your mattress and foundation to newer models every few years to see if there is a set that feels better to you and offers features you may not have needed or looked for in the past.
Put your mattress to the test
Good sleep is so important for your health, productivity and ability to feel your best. Check in with your mattress regularly to find out if you need a replacement. You may not even be aware your mattress has gotten old and worn until you think about it. These are the signs that you may need a new mattress and foundation:
- You wake up with stiffness, numbness, aches and pains
- You realize you got a better night’s sleep somewhere other than your own bed (such as at a hotel)
- Your mattress shows visible signs of overuse (it sags, has visible tearing, ripping, holes, staining or damage)
- You are usually tired despite getting a full night’s sleep
- Your mattress is seven years old or older
When to Replace a Mattress
Old mattresses are a leading cause of poor-quality sleep, which has been linked to everything from high stress levels to obesity and a weak immune system.
But the side effects of sleeping on an old mattress aren’t limited to poor-quality sleep. By failing to provide the support your body needs, it can lead to back and neck pain. Meanwhile, the build-up of dust mites can worsen your allergy symptoms.
Replacing your old mattress could make a serious difference to your health and wellbeing. Read our guide to find out how long the average mattress lasts, and learn about the warning signs that indicate yours is past its best.
How often should you change your mattress?
The Sleep Council recommends that you change your mattress every seven years as, after this length of time, it will have been subjected to more than 20,000 hours of wear and tear. That’s bound to have taken a toll! So, if you’re wondering whether it’s time to replace your mattress, the first thing you should consider is how long you’ve had it.
How long does a memory foam mattress last?
Memory foam mattresses can last 10–20 years — much longer than traditional sprung mattresses. This is because, while they mould to your body while you sleep, they’re able to return to their original shape once you’ve gotten out of bed.
However, it’s worth noting that a mattress might need replacing sooner or later than its recommended lifespan, depending on its quality, how it’s looked after, and how often it’s used. You should use your judgement and look out for signs that your mattress is negatively affecting your quality of sleep.
For further advice on how to care for your memory foam mattress read our Mattress Care Guide.
What are the signs that your mattress needs to be replaced?
Once you’ve had your mattress for five years, you should start to pay more attention to its condition. We would recommend giving it a quick inspection whenever you change your sheets, so you can spot any problems before they begin to cause you too much trouble. Here, we’ll outline some of the most common issues that signal your mattress could be past its best.
Is your mattress showing signs of wear and tear?
You should check your mattress for visible signs of wear and tear whenever you change your bed sheets. If it looks worn, is lumpy, or has a visible dip where you tend to lie, it’s time to replace it. You should also pay attention to whether your mattress has become noisy. If it creaks, groans, or pings when you’re trying to get to sleep at night, this is also a sign that you should be looking to invest in a new mattress.
Do you wake up tired or sore?
We all know how important it is to get a good night’s sleep. If you regularly wake up tired and sore, it’s likely your mattress has stopped supporting your body properly while you sleep. This can cause you to toss and turn through the night, which will prevent you from getting the rest you need. If this is something you struggle with, it’s probably time to look for a replacement.
Does it feel uncomfortable?
When you run your hand over the top of your mattress, can you feel any springs or lumps that might prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep? Mattresses can grow less and less comfortable over time, which means you might not notice these problems straight away. As a result, you should inspect yours on a regular basis, and look to replace your mattress if it’s old and much less comfortable than it used to be.
Is your mattress keeping your partner awake?
If your partner is tossing and turning all night, it’s going to ruin your quality of sleep — especially if your mattress isn’t in the best condition and you can feel every move they make. So, if you think your mattress might be keeping your partner up all night, it’s probably time to invest in a new one.
Our Duo Feel mattresses are ideal for couples, as they allow you to choose different levels of firmness for each side of your bed. This means they can cater to both of you, even if you have different sleeping styles.
Are your allergy or asthma symptoms getting worse?
Over the years you’ve had it, your mattress will have collected a surprisingly large amount of dead skin cells, dust, and dust mites. These are known to aggravate the symptoms of allergies and asthma, which is why you might find that you suffer particularly badly when you’re in bed at night. If you’ve had your mattress for five years or more and this is something you’re experiencing, investing in a new one is likely to help.
Our memory foam mattresses are great for allergy and asthma sufferers, as they have a solid core, which leaves much less space for dust mites to gather. There are also no plastic or metal surfaces within memory foam mattresses, which makes it much more difficult for irritants to attach themselves to your bed.
Have your body’s needs changed?
As we age, our bodies change, and this will usually mean that our needs change too. While you might choose softer designs when buying your first few mattresses, it’s typically best to opt for firmer variations as you grow older. This is because these will provide much more support for your joints and spine.
If you think you need a firmer mattress, our pocket sprung mattresses are ideal. Their individually wrapped springs contour to your body, which relieves pressure and should provide all of the support you need for a great night’s sleep.
Once you’ve had your mattress for five years, you should pay much closer attention to its condition. If it is coming to the end of its lifespan, looks particularly worn, or is no longer providing you with the support you need, it’s time for an upgrade.
If you think you need a replacement, take a look at our entire range of mattresses, where you’ll find designs that cater to any needs you might have. We offer single, small double, and double mattresses in a variety of state-of-the-art materials, including memory foam, latex and hybrid styles. Looking for something a bit bigger? Our king-size , European king, and super-king size mattresses offer plenty of space to stretch out!
Dormeo Memory mattresses all come with a 15-year limited warranty, while our Octaspring mattresses are covered by a 20-year warranty.
How Often Should You Replace Your Mattress?
If you’re wondering whether or not it’s time to replace your mattress, then chances are — it is. There may not be a set rule as to when you need to make a change, but it’s safe to bet that a mattress that is uncomfortable or shows obvious signs of wear probably needs to go.
Along with wear and tear, a change in your sleeping arrangements or your health may also justify the need for a new mattress.
Dust mites and other allergens can also accumulate on your mattress and bedding, giving mattresses a shelf life, especially for people with allergies or respiratory conditions.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, a mattress has a lifespan of approximately 8 years. Depending on the quality and type of your mattress, you may get more or less time from it. Any mattress made with higher quality materials is likely going to last longer.
The type of mattress you buy makes a difference.
An innerspring mattress contains coil support systems that help to distribute your weight evenly across the mattress.
They can last up to 10 years — sometimes longer if they’re two-sided and can be flipped over for more evenly distributed wear and tear.
Foam mattresses come in different materials and densities, which will determine how well they hold up.
A quality memory foam mattress can last from 10 to 15 years with the right care, which includes regular rotating.
The durability of a latex mattress can vary depending on whether you buy a synthetic or organic latex mattress.
According to the Sleep Help Institute, some latex mattresses come with warranties for as many as 20 to 25 years.
Hybrid mattresses are a fusion of foam and innerspring mattresses. They usually contain a base layer of foam, a coil support system, and a top layer of foam.
They don’t last as long as other types of mattresses, but the durability depends on the grade of the base foam and the type of coils.
On average, a hybrid mattress needs to be replaced after 6 years.
A pillow-top may provide an extra layer between you and your mattress, but it won’t necessarily increase the mattress’ lifespan. The extra cushiony layer can break down over time and leave you with an uneven sleeping surface.
Waterbed mattresses come in two types: hard-side and soft-side. Hard-side mattresses are the traditional type of vinyl waterbed mattresses, while soft-side are encased in a foam “box” and look much like other mattresses.
Although less popular now than in the past, waterbed mattresses may be making a comeback. They can last anywhere from 5 to 10 years.
There are a few reasons to replace your mattress, with the main one being comfort. Over time, a mattress can lose its shape and begin to sag, creating dips and lumps. An uncomfortable mattress can interfere with your ability to get a good night’s sleep.
Not getting enough sleep has been linked to a number of diseases, including:
- heart disease
- kidney disease
Dust mites and other allergens also accumulate in mattresses, which can cause or worsen symptoms in people with allergies, asthma, and other respiratory conditions. A 2015 study found that mattresses contain the highest concentration of dust mites in a household.
If you notice any of the following, then it may be time to replace your mattress:
- Signs of wear and tear.Signs of wear include sagging, lumps, and coils that can be felt through the fabric.
- Noisy springs.Springs that squeak when you move is a sign that the coils are worn and no longer providing the support they should.
- Muscle stiffness.When your mattress isn’t comfortable and no longer supporting your body the way it did, you could wake up feeling sore and stiff. A 2009 study found that new mattresses reduced back pain and improved sleep. Check out these tips for choosing a mattress that’ll keep you pain-free.
- Your allergies or asthma has worsened.Mattresses are where the majority of the dust mites and allergens in your home live. This can wreak havoc on allergies and asthma. Vacuuming and cleaning your mattress regularly can help, but if you find your symptoms aren’t improving, then it’s time for a change.
- You can feel your partner moving.An older mattress will lose its ability to reduce motion transfer, causing partners to feel more movement in the mattress when one person turns over or gets in and out of the bed.
- You’re putting more weight on your mattress. Gaining weight or adding a sleeping partner can affect an older mattress and change how well you sleep. When your mattress needs to support more weight than it did before, you may notice changes that make it less comfortable. (Wondering if you should let your dog sleep with you at night?)
You may be able to prolong the life of your mattress with some extra care. The following are things that you can do:
- Use a mattress protector to protect against spills, dust, and debris.
- Make sure your mattress is properly supported with the right box spring or foundation.
- Rotate the mattress every 3 to 6 months to promote even wear.
- Clean your mattress as directed by the manufacturer.
- Open your windows regularly for better ventilation, which can reduce dust and moisture buildup.
- Keep your mattress upright when moving it to prevent creasing or damage to the springs.
- Keep pets off the bed to reduce the risk of damage from claws and chewing.
- Don’t let your children jump on the bed as this can damage coils and other mattress components.
- Remove sheets and mattress covers occasionally to air out your mattress.
Regular vacuuming can help keep allergens and dust mites to a minimum. You can also sprinkle your mattress with baking soda and vacuum it 24 hours later to help remove trapped moisture and odors.
Mattresses should be cleaned once a year and spot cleaned in between as needed.
What about flipping?
If you have a two-sided mattress, flipping it every 6 or 12 months can help distribute the wear so it stays comfortable longer. Most mattresses being manufactured now are one-sided and don’t need to be flipped, such as pillow-top and memory foam mattresses.
You spend about a third of your life in bed, and getting a good night’s sleep is crucial to better health. It can be tempting to “just live with” an old or inadequate mattress, but replacing it can lead to huge benefits for your sleep and health.
If you have persistent aches and pains despite maintaining your mattress, talk to a health professional or specialist about what may be causing your symptoms.