How Long Do Mattresses Last?
Purchasing a brand new mattress is no cheap endeavor. That’s why we’ve put together this guide to help you get the most out of your mattress by extending its longevity. While general advice is to replace your mattress every 7 to 10 years, this timeframe doesn’t apply to every mattress type, let alone condition.
According to The Huffington Post, we spend 26 years of our lives sleeping and an additional seven just trying to sleep. The quality of your mattress can make all the difference in reducing this second statistic, so it’s of vital importance that you as a consumer understand when it’s time to replace your mattress.
Despite there being different factors that will affect the lifespan of your mattress, most mattresses will need to be replaced within ten years. However, there are steps you can take to make a mattress last longer than this, so read on to find out how.
According to the Consumer Reports Inc., most mattresses are expected to last 7 to 10 years. That being said, a mattress could lose support before or after this period, depending on how you maintain it. Factors that affect a mattress’ lifespan include:
Quality of Materials: According to Insider Magazine, mattresses are more likely to stretch the ten-year mark if they’re made of latex, polyfoam, or memory foam materials. These mattresses are more durable than inner-spring mattresses, which tend to lose their elasticity over time.
Mattress Type: The most common types of mattresses are as follows: innerspring, memory foam, latex, waterbed, air mattress, and hybrid. According to Healthline, latex mattresses last the longest, with warranties ranging up to 20 to 25 years.
Memory foam mattresses are the second longest-lasting, at 10 to 15 years. Innerspring mattresses can last up to 10 years if they are properly maintained. Hybrid mattresses tend to last around 6 years and coming in last is innerspring mattresses, which may only last for 4 to 6 years.
Other mattresses worth mentioning are air mattresses and waterbeds, which will not last very long because they are prone to popping or leaking. As far as longevity goes, your best bet is a latex, memory foam, or polyfoam mattress.
Usage: An exception to the 7 to 10-year rule is if your mattress is in a spare bedroom for guests and is therefore rarely ever used. These mattresses will last much longer because they have gone through much less wear and tear over time.
The more you use your mattress, the shorter its lifespan is. Daily use deteriorates the mattress materials, especially if you are lounging in it during the day when you aren’t sleeping. If you have kids who jump up and down on it, this will increase the rate that the materials deteriorate.
Try to reserve your mattress strictly for sleep time and intimacy.
Cleanliness: Maintain the cleanliness of your mattress by vacuuming and using protective covers. Avoid accumulating dirt and crumbs inside your mattress by prohibiting food and drink from the bed. Continually change your sheets every few days, as they will accumulate dirt that can transfer to the mattress.
Taking Proper Precautions: One of the first signs of mattress deterioration is sagging or fabric bunching. This can be mitigated by rotating your mattress every 3 to 6 months and flipping it over if it is a double-sided mattress. If you are transporting the mattress, make sure to cover it in plastic.
Dangers of Sleeping on an Old Mattress
Maybe you’re on a budget or just not convinced, so let’s discuss the issues with sticking with an old mattress past its expiration date.
Allergies & Asthma: According to Slate, after 8 years, old mattresses accumulate extra weight from pounds of dead skin, dust mites, and sweat. Another health issue of concern is worsening asthma, especially if sleeping on an old and dusty mattress. Old mattresses are also prone to mold growth, which is harmful for asthma.
Memory Problems: This study published in PubMed demonstrates evidence that sleep (especially REM sleep) plays a crucial role in offline memory processing. Two groups of people were asked to perform the same task, but only the group that was permitted to sleep before repeating the same task did a better job.
The advantage of sleeping before performing the task enabled the group to retain information better than the group that could not sleep. Imagine the implications an uncomfortable mattress has on your ability to sleep and therefore on your memory. If you’re feeling groggy and out of sorts, it could be your mattress.
More Stress: According to this study from the National Center for Biotechnology Information, subjects who slept in newer beds experienced less stress and increased sleep quality. There is a paradoxical relationship between stress and sleep because stress can cause you to be restless, but restlessness can also increase stress levels.
Subjects in older beds had decreased sleep and higher stress levels. The problem could be an uncomfortable mattress that makes it difficult to fall asleep and captures you in this cycle. If you find yourself constantly stressed out and have had your mattress for a long time, consider replacing it.
Neck & Back Pain: As mattresses reach the end of their lifespan, they lose their support, which can wreak havoc on your joints. Notorious problem areas for people are their neck and back because springs can begin to poke through or lose elasticity.
Sagging and other depressions in the mattress can leave an uneven or bumpy surface that leaves you in uncomfortable sleeping positions. Maintaining proper posture is vital to mitigate pain in the lower back, but these conditions can make that difficult.
Bad Mattress Signs & Symptoms
So how can you know when to replace your mattress? f your mattress begins to feel uncomfortable and you have had it for 7 to 10 years, it may be time to opt for a new one. Other signs that it could be time for a new mattress even if this 7-year mark has not fully elapsed is if:
- Your mattress shows signs of deterioration (sagging, fabric bunching)
- You wake up with aches and pains
- Coils are poking through the mattress
- Your mattress has bed bugs
- You sleep better when sleeping on other mattresses
- Mattress’s springs are squeaky or noisy
- Your mattress is too dirty to be salvaged
- You have allergies or asthma
Run through the lists in this article and see if your current mattress stacks up or if you may need a new one. Though mattresses can be costly, neglecting to replace your mattress when it is time to do so can cost you in other ways. It’s better to invest in a worthwhile mattress and take care of it than it is to sacrifice your health.
Check with your current mattress’s warranty policy to check if your mattress is still under warranty and what that entails. You could get a new mattress for free and they might offer to take the old ones off your hands for you.
He is an Engineer, designer and jogging enthusiast. His team of product testers and reviewers are as passionate as he is about sleep improvement and are on a collective mission to reveal to you only the best sleep solutions and products.