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.
How Long Do Mattresses Last? The Results May Shock You!
Mattresses are pretty expensive — one quick glance at our buyer’s guide will confirm this fact. This is why many people do not replace them – not even after many years of use.
They do not want to spend a lot of money on a new one. Besides, now you can delay the process of buying a new one if you do an excellent job at maintaining your existing one.So, how often should you replace your mattress?
It doesn’t matter which type of bed you have. Most of them are ready for replacement within ten years to ensure a good night’s rest (old mattresses can hurt your sleep quality). Besides, it can last beyond ten years on average, if the owners maintain it properly.
Also, many different factors affect a bed’s lifespan. You can extend its life expectancy by following a few easy steps in the text below. We prepared and wrote down some tips to boost its longevity.
How Long Do Mattresses Last?
Mattresses aren’t exactly cheap, most people replace them very infrequently and consider buying a new one either a chore or a burden. It’s easy to delay or prolong this process simply by taking proper care of whichever type you own. As a general rule, most should be replaced within ten years for best results in sleep and health, however, the average life of a mattress can last beyond ten years or more if taken care of properly. While it is true that how long one lasts depends on different factors, you can easily increase its life expectancy by undertaking a small number of simple steps. Here is a look at a few of the factors that can decide how long should a mattress last, and possible ways to increase its lifespan:
Table of Contents
1. The Type
What type do you have? For instance, is it air, innerspring, memory foam or latex? Each one has its own life expectancy; air and innerspring being the shortest, memory foam being mid length, while latex types are known to last the longest.
- Air mattresses will over time either develop leaks or generally become less effective at retaining air pressure. If they have a built-in pump that becomes faulty, this too can lead to premature replacement. Overall, the average air mattress life expectancy is placed at five years.
- Spring mattresses are good for sharing couples who like a springy and bouncy surface, but unfortunately, due to the inner core being thin metal wire, this type does tend to sag and lose its support even if flipped and rotated regularly. Even ones which have been well cared for will most likely need replacing within 7-8 years.
- Memory foam mattresses are less prone to sagging but not invincible. They too require rotating, and foam does eventually lose its support but after a long while. This type should be good for at least ten years if kept ventilated, clean, and rotated.
- Latex mattresses are the creme de la creme and tick all the boxes for quality and longevity. The naturally hypoallergenic and anti-microbial properties add to the durable nature of latex rubber foam to combine a core which can last up to 15 years.
2. Regular Cleaning
Another important factor which determines mattress life expectancy is to do with cleaning.Howdo you clean it? Do you clean itregularly? Do you give it to aprofessionalcleaner? It’s essential that you clean your mattress regularly to prolong the life. If you do not, it won’t last long at all. This is due to the invisible bacteria, mildew, and mattress mold that can slowly eat away at the materials involved. Moreover, it may be better if you could have it cleaned professionally from time to time, as mattresses are home to bacteria and germs in plenty, which might not get adequately cleansed with household cleaning products and methods.
3. Amount of Use
As you can imagine, anything that is used more will last less. However, there are two things that need to be kept in mind. Whichever type you own, it wouldn’t last as long in cases of extreme use, for example sharing couples who use for 10+ hours per day, and secondly on the other hand, if it has been left unused and uncleaned for prolong periods of time. Mattresses that are moderately used, where people sleep on it for around 7-8 hours a day, and then cleaned regularly are the ones that have the longest life.
4. The Cleaning Products
The question of how long do mattresses last really is to do with many supporting factors, but quite often depends on the cleaning methods used to clean them. For instance, in case of blood stains, you might have to use hydrogen peroxide to get rid. Too much of this chemical (and other heavy duty stain removers) would lead to a reduction of mattress life as these are not made to withstand such chemical uses.
5. Proper Precautions
It is always nice to have kids around the house. However, if your kids want to use your bed as a trampoline, it seriously isn’t a good idea. You would rather have them play elsewhere since this can seriously damage your bed. Imagine you have an innerspring, the springs will become too soft and compressed in no time at all and will leave you with a creaky and sagging surface. Additionally, whether it’s latex or memory foam, soon there will be indentations which are beyond repair. To prolong its life, you can also rotate and flip it from time to time, but that’s only if it’s double-sided and permits you to do so. You could perform this every few months for the duration of its life, which will significantly improve how long a mattress can last.
When Do You Know You Cannot Use Your Mattress?
Usually, mattresses that are over seven years old do not provide the comfort and support you need on the bed. Once you see there are signs of the surface and support wearing out, or you’re feeling uncomfortable in the bed when you are sleeping on it, you would be better off changing it. Some of the common visible signs of wearing are sagging, holes and tearing. If you cannot get a full night’s sleep and feel that you’re having a better slumber elsewhere than your bed, you need to start looking for a replacement.
You might buy the most expensive mattress, but if you do not care for it properly, it might not even last ten years. On the other side, ones which are taken care of correctly are known to last more than 15 years.
New Mattress: How Long Should It Last?
When you sleep on a mattress, its upper layers will compress more than the deeper layers because:
- the upper layers are often made to be softer than the deeper support layers of a mattress (and firmness / softness is also a factor in the durability of a material) and
- the upper layers are closer to the sleeping surface and subject to
direct compression. It’s this constant deflection of the materials and components in the upper layers of a mattress that leads to changes in firmness or thickness – which in turn will affect comfort, pressure relief, and the ability of the several components and materials to support the weight of your body with the spine in its natural alignment.
Most components and materials of your new mattress will become softer as they break down over time, while fiber materials will compress and pack down and become firmer and lessfluffyover time.
This is why the durability of theupper comfort and transition layers(the top 3″ to 6″ of your new mattress) are particularly important when you are evaluating the durability and useful life of the new mattress as a whole, because they’ll often be the weakest link in the mattress in terms of durability, while the components and materials that are closer to the bottom of a mattress (its support core) will not normally be the weakest link in the new mattress.
The durability of the new mattress will also be affected by the body type of the person that sleeps on it because higher body weights will compress its layers more deeply than lighter body types, so they’ll need more durable and firmer components and materials in the upper layers than those that are in lower weight ranges for the new mattress to maintain its support and comfort, for a similar length of time.
Furthermore, mattress warranties have nothing to do with durability. A warranty will only cover defects in a new mattress which are generally defined as visible impressions that are more than a specified amount when there is no weight on the mattress and do not cover changes in the firmness of its components and the loss of support and comfort – often the key reason for the need to replace a new mattress.
Outside of actual defects in a new mattress (which are relatively uncommon and will generally be visible during the first year of its usage), durability issues will often take several years to become visible.
Assuming that you sleep well on a new mattress for the first 12 months, durability can be defined as the length of time you’ll continue to sleep well on it before changes in its components and materials caused by changes in firmness and/or the normal wear and tear and/or breakdown of the materials over time lead to a loss of support and comfort to such an extent that you no longer sleep comfortably enough on your mattress and eventually decide to replace it.
This is how to estimate the durability and useful life of a new mattress based on its components / materials inside it – with the following 3 phases:
Calculate your Body Mass Index. BMI is based on your height and weight and you can use one of many online BMI calculators to find out your own BMI.
Collect relevant information that you need to know about the components and materials in a new mattress you’re considering to buy. Most manufacturers / retailers with know-how about mattress components and materials also understand the importance of using more durable components and materials in a new mattress, and so will provide you with such information because it’ll differentiate their mattresses from all others in the industry that might use less durable components / materials. If for any reason a manufacturer / retailer is unwilling to provide you with the specific information that you need to identify any lower quality components/materials in the mattress, then it would become a risky purchase.
The following components / materials can have a significant effect on the durability or useful life of a new mattress depending on their quality / density and/or thickness:
- Memory foam (or gel memory foam)
- Semi-synthetic fiber (rayon made from bamboo)
- Natural fiber (wool, cotton, horse hair, silk)
- Synthetic / polyester fibers
Components / materials that are all of high quality and are very likely to sustain the durability or useful life of a new mattress:
- Latex foam (either Dunlop or Talalay made with natural rubber or synthetic rubber – and combinations)
- Micro-coils or mini coils (thinner versions of pocket coils that are used in comfort layers instead of the support core in a mattress)
- Innerspring (coils used as the support core of a mattress)
- Buckling column gel
After knowing the thickness and type of all the materials and layers in a new mattress, then you can ascertain whether it has any lower quality components or weak links that might compromise its durability / useful life by comparing them to the following guidelines.
If your Body Mass Index is below 30:
- Polyfoam: if the new mattress is one-sided, then its density should be above 1.8 pounds per cubic foot, but if it is two-sided then its density should be above 1.5 pounds per cubic foot.
- Memory foam: if the new mattress is one-sided, then its density should be above 4 pounds per cubic foot, but if it is two-sided then its density should be above 3 pounds per cubic foot.
- Firm polyester fiber: you’ll often find it in low budget mattresses, and should be avoided if it uses more than an an inch of this material in its upper layers.
All other components / materials on these guidelines are durable and wouldn’t become a weak link that would compromise the durability / useful life of the new mattress.
If your Body Mass Index is lower than 20, then using slightly lower quality / density and less durable components can be less risky because you won’t sink into the mattress as much and lower density foam materials won’t be subject to the same degree of compression that cause them to break down as quickly as they would for higher weight ranges.
If your Body Mass Index is higher than 30:
Higher BMI ranges will need more durable components / materials in a new mattress.
- Polyfoam: if your new mattress is one-sided, then look for 2 pounds per cubic foot density or higher, and if it is two-sided then look for a minimum density of 1.8 pounds per cubic foot or higher.
- Memory foam: If your new mattress is one-sided, then look for at least 5 pounds per cubic foot, and if it is two-sided then look for at least 4 pounds per cubic foot.
Other factors that can affect the durability and useful life of a new mattress
- Firmness: firmer materials will tend to compress less and last longer than softer versions of the same material.
- Quilting layers: foam or fiber that is quilted to the cover will be compressed by the quilting process and would be more durable than the same material that isn’t quilted to the cover.
- Layer position: deeper layers or components are less subject to compression forces than layers that are closer to the surface. Thus, lower quality and less durable materials that are deeper in the new mattress would have less effect on its durability and useful life than the same layers that are closer to the sleeping surface.
- Replaceable layers: some (latex) mattresses contain individual loose layers and a zip cover where each layer can be removed and replaced. Because a new mattress will normally soften and break down from the top down, this can be a major benefit in terms of its durability because a single layer that has softened before the other layers and components (often the upper layer of the mattress or its topper) can easily be replaced without having to buy an entirely brand new mattress.
In short, if a new mattress only uses the highest quality and most durable materials and for people whose preferences and requirements or physical condition or body type hasn’t changed much over 10 years, then bonus years of usage with come from more durable materials such as latex, higher density memory foam or polyfoam, natural fibers, or other high quality materials that soften, compress, or break down much more slowly.
New Mattress Specifications
The information you need to collect about any new mattress you’re considering before making the purchase (online or at your neighborhood) is as follows:
- The type and thickness of each component / layer for the new mattress.
- The density of any memory foam and/or polyfoam layers in pounds per cubic feet.
- The type of innerspring, the gauge and number of the coils, and the density of any polyfoam edge support.
- The type (Talalay or Dunlop) and approximate mix (i.e. percentage of natural vs. synthetic rubber) of all latex layers, if appropriate.
- The type or blend of the fabric and any quilting materials used in the cover. If the quilting material is memory foam or polyfoam and is less than an inch, then it’s okay not knowing the density. However, if it is above an inch, then you do need to collect info. about the density of any such foam materials in the quilting layers used in the cover of the new mattress.
Finally, you should also collect information about thereturn policies of the mattress retailers / manufacturersin your short list,beforecommitting to anyone in particular.
Mattress Buying Guide For The U.S. Market – CHECK IT HERE!
How long do pocket spring mattresses last? . and can I buy a nice pocket spring without foam over it so I can buy my own foam and replace it when it wears out?
How long do pocket spring mattresses last? . and can I buy a nice pocket spring without foam over it so I can buy my own foam and replace it when it wears out?
I bought a memory foam mattress about 5 years ago and it’s to the point that it’s broken down and is messing up my back (I’m a side/stomach sleeper and it’s arching/twisting my back all night due to the dip).
I’d prefer something that lasts a bit longer. currently I’ve been sleeping on ground on a few stacked up sleeping bags, but the pressure points prevent me from sleeping on my side. Do pocket springs last a long time? . does ANY mattress last longer than 5-8 years?
Manufacturers put the foam within their mattresses, forcing the buyer to replace the whole thing once the foam inevitably breaks down when the underlying support structure might be fine. I was wondering if people ever buy just the pocket spring mattress then purchase their own topper so they can replace it later.
Thoughts/advice? This is a big purchase and I want to be informed. The buying guide has some nice comparisons, but it’s overwhelming.