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.
Here’s how often you should replace everything in your bedroom
As we head into spring cleaning season we suddenly remember all those things that should probably be washed. How long since those curtains have seen the inside of a washing machine, anyway? It’s also a good time of year to take stock and think about replacing things, like say that mattress you’ve had since the Clinton administration.
In honor of Valentine’s Day, why not take a spin around your bedroom and see what might need freshening up?
When to Toss It: 10 years
Let’s start with the bed. Do you even remember how long you’ve had your mattress? If it’s more than 10 years, according to Consumer Reports, it probably time to go shopping. Depending on the type of bed, says all-things-sleep review site Sleep Like the Dead, it could be even less time; their research shows latex mattresses last around eight years, memory foam around seven, and inner spring even less.
Consumer Reports has more bad news. If you’re over 40 you can expect even less time out of a bed, since “your body tolerates less pressure as it ages,” they say.
How do you know when it’s time for out with the old and in with the new? Just listen to your body. If it’s “generally uncomfortable, or you’ve been waking up with back pain, it may be time for a new one,” says the National Sleep Foundation. (Or maybe you could just try these wake-up stretches!)
When to Toss Them: 1 to 2 years
And how about where you lay your weary head? The National Sleep Foundation tells us to plan on replacing pillows every year or two. Why so often? Apparently they “absorb body oil, dead skin cells, and hair,” which can “create the perfect environment for dust mites (common allergens).” They also recommend washing your pillows every six months and using a protective case between the pillow and pillowcase. How do you know when it’s time for a new pillow? “Fold it in half and see if it stays that way,” they say. “If it does, it’s time for a new one.” If you spring for a quality down pillow and take good care of it, lifestyle guru Martha Stewart says you can get 10 or 15 years out of them.
If you’re over 40 you can expect even less time out of a bed, since your body tolerates less pressure as it ages.
Does Your Mattress Really Gain Weight Over Time?
Everyone has seen those commercials the ones that feature a chirpy spokesperson from your local mattress superstore, telling you that your mattress can double in weight in ten years so you clearly need a new one. But does this really happen?
The idea behind the claim is true. Mattresses gain weight over time as they absorb dead skin , colonies of dust mites (which feed on dead skin ), oil and moisture. But surely if a mattress is gaining weight at a rapid 10 percent per year, someone would have studied the heft? Or mattresses would start breaking bed frames with their bulk? Apparently not.
"To the best of my knowledge, there is no scientific answer to the mattress weight and dust mite query," says Glen Needham, an entomologist at Ohio State University.
"I’ve heard that mattresses double in weight every 8 years or so, but I’m not aware of any scientific study that backs this up," says Karin Mahoney, a spokesperson with the International Sleep Products Association. She adds that it’s well known that beds, in general, are a prime habitat for dust mites where one third of their nasty and brutish life occurs.
According to materials published by Ohio State University, a typical used mattress may have 100,000 to 10 million mites inside. Ten percent of the weight of a two-year-old pillow can be composed of dead mites and their droppings. Mites prefer warm, moist surroundings such as the inside of a mattress when someone is on it. One of their favorite foods is dead skin, and people shed about one fifth of an ounce of the stuff every week, some of which surely ends up flaking into your mattress. (Also gross: About 80 percent of the material seen floating in a sunbeam is, in fact, flakes of dead skin.)
So with all those mites and dead skin, the mattress is bound to be heavier than a new one but doubling in weight is probably ridiculous.
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.
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.