A good mattress is key for healthy sleep
Everyone understands that.
However, few people understand that buying a mattress is not a one-time investment because your bed can’t last you forever.
Below, I have collected some tips that will help you understand it is time to go shopping for a new mattress, as well as some recommendations on how to take care of your new mattress to prolong its lifespan. Read on!
How Long Can a Mattress Actually Last?
So, in order to understand whether your mattress has to be replaced, you need to know more about its actual lifespan.
On average, mattresses live for 8-10 years, but it depends heavily on the mattress type and quality of the materials used.
Here’s how long different materials can last:
- Innerspring beds have a lifespan of up to 8 years. But it may be slightly longer for double-sided, flippable models.
- The lifespan of foam mattresses is strictly tied to the foam density. Usually, these models are able to provide even support for your body for about 8-10 years. Again, flippable ones can win more time.
- Latex mattresses have the longest lifespan. They can remain supportive for 10-15 years.
- The lifespan of a hybrid mattress is determined by the type of a spring block and the type of materials used as comfort layers. It’s actually hard to tell how long hybrids can serve you because they are quite new on the market. But note that many manufacturers offer 10-year, 15-year, 20-year, and even lifelong warranties, which can be viewed as a promise of longevity.
Signs You Should Replace Your Mattress
So, now you know how long you can expect your mattress to ensure supportive rest for your body.
The thing is, your bed may begin to signal that it needs replacement earlier.
Why is that so?
In addition to physical wear and tear during use, there are some external factors that can affect the lifespan of your mattress. For example:
- direct sunlight;
- heat source near your bed;
- high humidity in the room;
- accumulation of organic particles;
All of this leads to the fact that even high-quality models can become unusable long before expected.
So, how do you understand that it’s time to shop for a new bed?
Pay attention to the following signs:
- Saggy spots – If your mattress does not keep its original shape, and a dent has appeared in the place where you usually sleep, then it definitely needs to be replaced. Latex mattresses can maintain a relatively uniform surface for a long time. However, polyfoam and memory foam ones tend to sag quicker, especially when used by heavier sleepers. As for innersprings, they often fail to support your body evenly because the coils are prone to losing their resilience over time.
- A lot of tossing and turning – Remember how quickly you used to fall asleep when your mattress was new? What about now?
Over time, the upper layers of the mattress can flatten, so you may start to feel as if your bed is becoming firmer (and hence less comfortable). No wonder you can’t find a position to fall asleep. If that’s exactly the case with you, it must be time to update your bed.
- You wake up in pain – A key characteristic of a good mattress is the ability to keep your spine in a neutral position. This means that no matter how you sleep, your bed should adapt to the curves of your body and gently hug you. If your current mattress performs well in this regard, you are the lucky one. But note that this may change over time. Wear and tear reduces the contouring properties of the mattress so that it can no longer relieve your pressure points.
Therefore, if you started waking up with a stiff neck or lower back pain, your old mattress can be the one to blame.
- Allergies or asthma manifestation – Dust mites and molds are the most common allergens that can be found in any home.
Unfortunately, they can also be found in mattresses as they age.
This is because mattresses accumulate microparticles of debris, dead skin, and hair inside, which altogether make a favorable environment for bacteria, molds, and other nasty things.
So, if you notice a rash on your body or start waking up with troubled breathing, don’t your mattress as a cause.
“Remember that allergies and asthma are potentially life-threatening conditions, so be sure to consult a doctor and undergo the necessary examinations and tests to find out the causes.”
What else can make you consider replacing a mattress?
Did you know that your perception of firmness is connected with your weight?
If you lose or gain weight, your mattress will feel different and possibly become uncomfortable.
Also, larger weight (consider both yourself and your partner) means a higher load for the mattress to handle. Latex mattresses are commonly considered to be the best at withstanding higher loads.
Now, if any of the aforementioned signs have been detected, don’t postpone purchasing a new mattress. You should understand that it’s your health at stake.
To make your shopping a little easier, I suggest you take a look at these mattresses: https://happysleepyhead.com/best-mattress-reviews/.
How to Take Care of Your Mattress to Extend Its Lifespan
It is true. You can really prolong the lifespan of your mattress if you take proper care of it.
Here are some tips to help you.
Get a Mattress Protector
The most effective way to extend the life of your mattress is to buy a mattress protector, preferably a waterproof one. It will serve as a shield against spills and stains of any origin.
You remember that these things will void your warranty, don’t you?
A mattress protector will also prevent moisture from getting deep into the mattress and becoming a cause of mold.
“If you suffer from allergies, a zippered encasement might be the best option for you. It is convenient to remove and wash completely.”
Rotate Your Mattress
Rotating and flipping your mattress will also serve to prolong its life.
This way, the load from your body will be distributed more evenly, and the mattress will longer be able to effectively compensate for it and support your spine.
Give Your Mattress Some Air
Airing the mattress helps excess moisture, which might have accumulated overnight, evaporate. Plus, it prevents the formation of mold.
To do this, take off the bedding and open the windows in the bedroom. 20 minutes would be enough to let the mattress breathe.
Watch your Children (And Pets)
You’ve probably seen the commercials in which children, parents, and dogs happily jump on the bed.
Don’t believe them.
Yes, it may look like fun. But in fact, jumping can damage the layers of the mattress so that it will stop performing its functions properly rather fast.
As for pets, they can often chew on the corners of your mattress or scratch their claws on it, so it’s good if you don’t let them stay in your bedroom when you aren’t there.
Keep It Clean
Do not underestimate the power of regular cleaning.
Vacuuming your mattress about once a month (or as often as is required by the instructions from the manufacturer) will help keep it in good condition and reduce the number of potential allergens inside.
“If you need to get rid of the unpleasant odor, then ordinary baking soda will do the best. Just sprinkle it on the surface of the mattress with a thin layer, wait for 20-30 minutes and vacuum it. This method effectively removes unwanted smells without damaging the mattress.”
Ways to Expand the Mattress’ Lifespan That Don’t Work
When looking for ways to make your mattress serve you longer, you might have come across suggestions beyond the aforementioned ones.
But here’s the deal:
Not all suggestions are equally effective. Actually, some of them are not effective at all.
Let me mention the most misleading ones.
Put a Mattress Topper onto Your Old Bed and Sleep Tight
The primary function of a mattress topper is to add cushioning to your mattress and enhance your comfort. But if there are body impressions and saggy spots on the surface of the old mattress, a mattress topper when placed above will adapt to their shape. It can mitigate the lack of support a little, but it won’t help much.
Flip Your Mattress Over
Most modern mattresses are not designed to be flipped over. Their construction is made up of different layers put in a set order. If you flip it, the order will be reversed and the mattress will be uncomfortable to sleep on, if possible at all.
“The number of flippable models on the market is rather limited. Most of them have a different firmness level on each side, which means you are most likely to be comfortable using only one of the sides.”
Put a Piece of Plywood Between the Mattress and the Foundation
Yes, every mattress should stand on a supportive surface, be it wood slats or box spring. But since sagging mostly occurs in the upper layers, changing the foundation, putting plywood under the mattress, or placing the mattress on the hard floor won’t prolong your bed’s lifespan. It can only work if the reason for your feeling uncomfortable in the first place was not the mattress itself but the foundation.
Buying a mattress is a long-term investment.
Yet, you need to be prepared that sooner or later you will need to buy a new mattress again. Remember that it’s what your sleep quality depends on. And make well-informed, smart decisions.
John Breese has rich experience in the mattress industry. He used to work as a sales assistant at a mattress store, and now he is an owner of a web resource Happysleepyhead.com which is focused on helping people find their way to a peaceful sleep.