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.
Find Out How Long Crib Mattresses Are Good For
As adults, we put a lot of emphasis on our own mattresses. We spend a lot of time evaluating comfort, durability, firmness, and cooling. And, of course, we want the best quality at a reasonable price.
The consideration we put into our child’s mattress, especially for a crib, should be even more thorough. After all, it’s not just about comfort for your baby or toddler (though that’s important, too!); safety is also a top priority.
When you’re looking to get a new bed for your bundle of joy (see our top crib picks), you’ll naturally also wonder how long it will last, if you can use it down the road if you have another child, and even if you can accept a hand-me-down from a well-meaning friend or family member.
In this article, we’ll discusshow long crib mattresses lastand address the above inquiries, too!
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 Should You Air Out An Off Gassing Mattress?
Getting a new mattress can be an exciting time, after all, you spend about a quarter of your life in bed, and therefore it’s not only an important investment, but it can drastically improve your quality of life. But things aren’t all rosy; there are some health issues that you need to consider when you receive your new purchase, especially when one of those is an off-gassing mattress.
Although there is a serious debate in the healthcare community about the health impacts of off-gassing, what’s not debated is the effect it can have on the environment and your air quality. Mattresses aren’t produced using only natural ingredients, and therefore the manufacturing process uses machinery, chemicals, and human-made products.
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What Is Mattress Off-Gassing?
Mattress off-gassing is the continualrelease of gases from your mattress, not only at night but also throughout the day. Off-gassing occurs as a result of the breakdown in the volatile organic compounds, known as VOCs, which are emitted as gases or vapors from some of the compounds in the product.
VOCs aren’t rare, in fact, they are found in thousands of the products which we use in homesevery dayincluding cleaning products, paints, and air fresheners. Typically, the VOCs which are released from your mattress will come from the adhesives and foams used in the product.
These VOCs Include:
- Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs)
- Methylene Chloride
These volatile organic compounds break down over time, slowly releasing these gases into our homes. However, studies have shown that a huge percentage of all the gas that will be released is done so in the first two months of the product being used.
This statistic is important because while VOCs could be harmful. In small quantities, it’sunlikely to have any drastic impactwhile at higher concentrations it could be dangerous. In this first two months, the concentration of VOC emissions is likely to be far higher and therefore during this period you must make an effort to reduce the risk to yourself and your family.
Memory Foam Off-Gassing
Memory foam is so called because it adapts to the shape of your body. Once you stand up, you’ll see an imprint of your body before it quickly returns to the standard shape. Memory foam is viscoelastic foam which is what many popular brands use, including some of the Tempur-Pedic mattresses below.
Many believe that memory foam off-gassing is far more prevalent than other materials, because memory foam mattresses have a more pungent smell which tends to last for weeks instead of days.
For this reason, it’s even more important that you allow the product to air out before you start using it. If you can, leaving it upright near a window for two to three days can drastically reduce the smell and allows much of the VOCs to break down and the gases to be released. As usual, removing the sheets and allowing for regular off-gassing can reduce the smell quicker.
Mattress Off-Gassing How Long?
It’s unrealistic for us to allow it to air out for weeks on end. You need the space in your home, and you want to be able to use the new product that you just paid for. As a result, most experts recommend that you air it out for 24 hours, a number which is backed by the Sleep Products Safety Council.
Once this time has passed, you can smell the surface up close and compare it to how visceral the scent was when it first arrived. As long as the smell doesn’t bother you any longer, it’s okay for you to start sleeping on it. If the scent is too strong, you can continue to air it out for longer and rotate it periodically to ensure that the entire bed can air out.
How To Air Out A New Mattress
When you first unbox one, you’ll notice a potent chemical smell which can be overpowering and nauseating. While the jury is still out on whether it’s dangerous for your health in small amounts and for short periods, the smell is unpleasant, and it can make you reluctant to sleep. To prevent this, you need to do whatever you can to air it out. Here are some tips:
Remove Plastic Cover Immediately
All mattresses will come covered with a thin plastic layer which prevents staining and damage during transportation. However, not only does this plastic have a noticeably unpleasant smell, but it also keeps in the VOCs from the foam and adhesives, preventing them from escaping and causing them to seep back into the bed.
Typically to conform to local safety laws, they are doused with chemical flame retardants that help to reduce the spread of fire. However, some believe that these chemicals can cause a variety of severe health problems including developmental brain disorders and cancer. To reduce this risk, you must remove the plastic and let the gas escape, typically for about 24 hours at least.
Choosing Where To Air It Out
Some bloggers have suggested that airing out your mattress outdoors can speed up the process and allow for greater gas release. However, there seems to be little evidence of this, and it will drastically increase the risk of damage from critters and animals.
Outside it’s likely that bugs will end up on the surface, even if you’re airing it out on a balcony or outside of your condo. Instead, it’s wise to keep it inside at all times to prevent it from becoming tarnished.
The smartest way to air out your mattress is to lean it up against a wall near a range of windows so that only the smallest amount of the surface is touching the floor and wall. This position allows for greater ventilation and ensures that more of the gas is released. If you leave it lying down the gases from the bottom will be unable to escape.
Reducing The Chemical Smell
To reduce the smell which is going to spread through the home, you ideally want to locate the mattress on a wall near to a few windows. By opening these windows, you can create air circulation which will drag out the VOCs and the associated smell, while bringing in fresh air which will allow you to continue to enjoy your home.
It’s also possible to use air freshener to mask the smell but because these release VOCs too it’s not the wisest decision. Instead, lighting a few candles around the home can get rid of much of the scent without putting more dangerous gases into your house.
With an open window and a few candles around the home, not near the mattress, you should notice that the smell dissipates significantly in the first few hours. After 24 hours, almost all of the scent should disappear, allowing you to start using your new bed.
In the first 24 hours, a lot of the VOCs are released, but they will continue to be emitted for the lifetime of the bed. Noticeably, in the first two months much of the lifetime VOCs will be released, and therefore you would expect the continuation of off-gassing for the first two months.
At least once a week it’s wise to peel back the sheets from the mattress and stand it up straight or lean it against a wall while you’re out at work. This period will allow further off-gassing which is nearly impossible with your sheets on the bed. Doing this once a week for the first eight weeks, with the windows open, will get rid of practically all of the smell and can drastically reduce the VOCs emissions in your home.
Mattress Off-Gassing Symptoms
Although the science is debatable, and experts are still figuring out the truth, many believe that the chemicals and products used in mattresses can cause health problems. Some suggest that they could lead to:
- Sleep disturbance
- Neurodevelopment disorders
- Behavioral issues
- Fertility problems
- Skin, eye and lung irritation
- Cancer from chronic toxic exposure
In particular, the pesticides which are found in textiles can influence the nervous system, contribute to cancer and cause skin and eye irritation.
Similarly, the flame-retardant chemicals, phthalates, and benzene have been linked to other issues including cancer, chromosome damage, fertility problems, and behavioral issues.
Using A Mattress Cover To Prevent Off-Gassing
One method that some homeowners and parents swear by is the use of a mattress cover to prevent off-gassing. A mattress wrap made using a polyethylene sheeting, or similar material can prevent gases from permeating through it, forcing off-gassing through the bottom of the mattress which is less likely to be inhaled.
The main problem is that we sleep directly on our mattresses with only thin cotton sheets, allowing the VOCs to be inhaled easily. A non-permeable cover can prevent this while still allowing the surface to breathe through the bottom. These wraps or covers also act as spill protectors, dust mite barriers and will trap bedbugs too.
Tuft and Needle Off-Gassing
Tuft and Needle mattresses are made using polyurethane foam which is incredibly comfortable to sleep on but more importantly, can be manipulated to fit into a box to ship directly to your home. Polyurethane foam is a common emitter of VOCs and is therefore tightly regulated by CertiPUR-US which measures the amount of gas emitted over a 72 hour period.
The mattresses from Tuft and Needle easily passed their safety test which means it gives off no more than 0.16ppm of benzene over 72 hours and 0.13ppm for toluene. The Tuft and Needle is shipped directly from the factory to your home in a box, and therefore it needs to be allowed to air out.
As with other brands, you’re required to remove it from the box and take off any plastic packaging before you let it expand. Once it is fully extended, you can lean it up against a wall with open windows to ensure circulation and leave it there for 24 hours to reduce the unpleasant smell and to allow the VOCs to be emitted. (Read the full Tuft and Needle Review).
According to some experts, Leesa is one of the most superior online mattress companies which also delivers in a box. With layers of supportive foam, it can help to give you a better night sleep and prevent aches and pains.
As with the Tuft and Needle mattresses, polyurethane foam is used because it’s incredibly effective, cheap and durable. However, it produces lots of VOCs and therefore airing out the bed to allow for off-gassing in the first few weeks is essential. While many would argue that the health impacts are negligible, the smell can be unpleasant and the effort required is minimal. (Read the full Leesa Mattress Review).
Tempur-Pedic is the manufacturer of possibly the most famous mattress of all time, which uses viscoelastic foam that allows for pressure reduction and adaptive temperature contouring. Traditional polyurethane foam which is used by Leesa and Tuft and Needle is excellent, but it compresses under your weight rather than contouring and adjusting.
These Tempur-Pedic mattresses can give you greater support where you need it with little to no counter pressure. However, many would argue that this type of viscoelastic foam, otherwise known as memory foam, has high levels of off-gassing.
To prevent against any increased risk, it’s wise to let your Tempur-Pedic air out for at least 24 hours. Also, ensure that you remove the sheets and stand it up to air out at least once per week for the first two months. After four weeks you will notice that practically all of the scent has disappeared.
Purple Mattress Off-Gassing
Purple is one of the fastest-growing companies of all time, originally started through a crowdfunding campaign. They use a variety of different materials in their mattresses, but for those worried about VOCs and off-gassing, it’s important to note that it uses polyurethane foam just like the Leesa.
Polyurethane foam off gasses quite heavily and because the Purple is transported in a box and plastic wrap, it might need slightly longer to off-gas than a mattress shipped whole in a container without any compressed wrapping. For this reason, make sure to remove the plastic wrapping quickly, let it expand and then lean it up against a wall to off-gas for 24 hours before use. (Read the full Purple Mattress Review).
How Long Does It Take To Get Used To A New Mattress?
BY: Chris Young, getbestmattress.com
A mattress is never meant to last, no matter how much we love and feel comfortable with it. Over time, it starts to depreciate as the weight of your body becomes too much for it to carry. Usually, indentations become permanent, causing the mattress to break down even faster.
Purchasing a new mattress can be an exciting time, and many people fall in love with their mattresses right away, but it can also be a time of some trepidation. Difficulties can present themselves when you’re trying to get comfortable with something that is new. You may think that the mattress doesn’t exactly conform to your body. It may take a while before you become comfortable and acquainted with your new mattress.
In this case, there are several things that you might want to review when trying to break in your new mattress.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM A NEW MATTRESS.
(1) It may take some time for your body to become familiar with the new materials that comprise the mattress. Your old mattress has conformed to your body type, so it might be a while for your body to consider the new mattress to be as comfortable as the old mattress. It can take up to eight weeks for your body to adjust to the new surroundings. Some people are allergic to some types of materials, so it may be wise to check what are the materials that were used to manufacture the mattress.
(2) On occasion, you might be privy to a smell that comes with the new mattress . This is normal after taking off the protective coating that covers it after being sent from the factory. Smells that were at the location where it was being manufactured will become trapped when it is sealed. These smells will stay in side of the packaging until they are released when opened. This doesn’t mean that the mattress is ruined. The smell is not harmful to people. The odors should dissipate over time, allowing the person to use the mattress without the annoying smells.
(3) When you receive the new mattress, you may notice that there are several scuffs, blemishes, or loose threads that are seen. This is normal from the manufacturing of process and doesn’t mean that it is damaged. These small complications are very common and don’t change the durability, the comfort, or the validity of the warranty that comes with the mattress.
(4) You may experience the mattress as being too thick or tough because of it being new. Modern mattresses that are created today are manufactured to be thicker than those built in the past. You may notice that your bed is further from the floor than it was before. Your older sheets may not fit, and you may have to purchase others to accommodate the new size. Many times, the headboards and the footboard can be adjusted in order to change the size of the bed to match the new mattress. You can purchase deep-pocket sheets to fit your new mattress to make it more comfortable and to match your tastes better.
(5) One thing to remember after purchasing your new mattress is to give it a firm and sturdy support. If you don’t have a strong foundation that supports the mattress, then it will start to sag and degrade causing your warranty to become invalid. King and queen sized mattresses require that you have a bed frame with a middle support.
These are but a few things that might happen while trying to incorporate a new mattress into your sleeping regimen. You must keep in mind that several obstacles my present themselves while you become accustomed to the change. Remember that all mattresses that are manufactured in the United States are hand-made and may have several errors that creep into their manufacturing process. You may see possible skipped threads, or errors with the seams, as well as fabric scuffs and other issues. This doesn’t destroy or hinder the performance of the mattress, or devalue the warranty that comes with it.
HOW WILL YOU FEEL DURING THE FIRST COUPLE OF DAYS?
After inspecting and setting up your new mattress, you are now ready to sleep on it and to see how it will feel for your body. There will be many kinds of differences that you will associate with the new mattress. Here are some of the complications that you might experience while resting on it for the first few nights.
(1) You may find that you are waking up sore from a night’s rest on the new mattress. This is the most common complaint that is made by people. Your body has become to the way that the old mattress has been comforting your body, but in the wrong ways because it is old and needed to be replaced. Now, your body is finally being supported in the correct manner and now it must become familiar with the correct way of resting on a mattress. After some time with resting on the mattress, your body will feel less sore, leaving you with an adequate night of sleep and comfort.
(2) You might expect to find falling to sleep difficult and distracting but eventually, this will stop as your body becomes more familiar with the nuances of having a new mattress.
(3) You may toss and turn at night as you try to rest.
(4) Waking up in the middle of the night might be an issue as well, but it will subside in several days as you become more accustomed to your bed with a new mattress.
The amount of time that it will take for you to become used to the fact of having a new bed will not take long as your body begins to rest better. It is different for many people and the length of time can vary. It can take a few days for some, and for others, they discover that it takes longer.
In the end, you should eventually be able to rest on your new mattress as you finally head off into a good night sleep. It is suggested to try the mattress for at least 30 days in order to truly assess whether it is the best mattress for you.