Given that we spend about a third of our lives in bed, mattresses are among the most valuable items in our households.
But how long does a mattress last? And when is it time to get a new one?
Stay tuned as we go over some of the essential aspects regarding your mattress’ lifespan and all of the red flags that notify you when it’s finally time to get rid of it.
Every so often, we tend to get so used to our old mattress that we don’t even notice the obvious issues related to it. But the fact is that mattresses get less comfortable in time, and even though they are a costly investment, they should be replaced at some point.
Mattresses do not have an official expiry date, of course, and it’s up to the individual to decide when to replace them. However, certain pointers can help you determine whether it’s time to change your mattress.
Let’s take a look at some of them.
This is one of the most evident red flags pointing to the mattress store.
Mattress sagging is a natural phenomenon caused by the weight that the mattress holds on top. After a certain period of usage, the mattress will start to droop downwards, significantly altering its shape and thus worsening the quality of your sleep.
Luckily, this is an external issue and can be easily detected. The moment you notice your mattress sagging, you can start considering a new one.
As with other frequently used products, a certain period of usage will cause the quality of the mattress to downgrade.
Whenever you hear squeaking, it means that you’ve had your fair share of quality sleep on your mattress and it’s time to part ways. Squeaky springs can be oiled, fixed, or even replaced, but if you start noticing other aspects of your mattress downgrading, repairs are definitely not worth it and it’s new mattress time.
The moment you start feeling the coils when you sleep, that’s your mattress telling you that it cannot hold you any longer.
Rough coils usually go together with a saggy mattress: the cushion wears down and is not as strong as it once was, so it cannot protect you from the functional layers underneath.
Unfortunately, this cannot be fixed, so you should definitely opt for a new bed.
Painful sleep is yet another indicator of an old mattress, and probably the one that is hardest to ignore.
If you start to feel like your mattress isn’t providing you with a good night’s sleep, and you wake up feeling tired and or even in need of pain medication, it’s time for your mattress to go.
Today, most mattresses are hypoallergenic, protecting you from developing severe allergies or at least minimizing the symptoms should you already suffer from one.
However, an older mattress can be a fertile ground for dust mites, which can cause sneezing, itchiness, runny noses, coughing, watery eyes, or even sinus pressure.
If this is the case with your old mattress, consider it a clear sign that you need a new one.
In general, mattresses last for 7 to 10 years.
However, this information should not be taken too seriously, as there are multiple factors that can influence the mattress lifespan, such as the build quality, the materials, and even the sleeping style.
Let’s take a quick look at each of them.
The substances used in producing the mattress greatly impact its longevity. To illustrate, low-density polyfoam wears down pretty quickly compared to high-density polyfoam or latex, which is built to serve you for a longer time.
When we say mattress quality, we mean the state of the mattress at the time of purchase. If the mattress didn’t really live up to your standard when first bought, don’t be surprised if it wears down more quickly than a high-end mattress.
Note that whilst higher prices do not always guarantee better products, this doesn’t apply to mattresses. More expensive mattresses usually contain better constructions and will certainly provide a longer mattress life expectancy.
Consider spending a bit more to avoid constant replacements.
Another key factor is the position you tend to sleep in. For instance, side-sleepers will notice certain premature sagging around the hips and shoulders area. Body weight also plays a significant role—heavier people should thus expect excessive sagging.
If you take proper care of your mattress, it will serve you for a longer time. Some mattresses require frequent cleaning or protective cover usage, so make sure to check the recommendations provided by the manufacturer and follow their guidelines regarding mattress maintenance.
Mattress longevity greatly depends on the materials used within, as well as the actual construction.
Given how different mattress types contain diverse components, they’re bound to offer various lifespans.
Let’s go over some of the most popular mattress types listed in the table below.
|Average Lifespan||7-10 years||7-10 years||10-12 years||6.5 – 7.5 years|
|Durability Rating||Poor to fair||Fair to good||Good to very good||Fair to good|
|Resistance to Sagging||Poor to fair||Fair||Good||Fair|
|Resistance to Premature Softening||Good||Poor to fair||Fair to good||Fair to good|
|Overall Longevity Rating||Fair||Good||Very good||Good|
As you can see, the average mattress lifespan of all listed types is in the same ballpark, but factors that affect it may vary.
Assuming that you decided to go for a mattress replacement, let’s talk about how to preserve the new one and extend its lifespan for as long as physically possible.
Mattress protectors are specially designed to preserve the well-being of your mattress. They usually go over the mattress and under the bedding and are quite thin so you won’t feel like you are sleeping on dozens of layers. In addition to protecting the bed from spills and stains, they also ward off bacteria, dust mites and other allergens.
Pairing your mattress with an adequate base can do wonders for the well-being of your sleeping surface. A good bed base ensures that you experience all the benefits of comfort and longevity.
Some mattress manufacturers offer a longer warranty than others, so this is definitely something you need to look into. Compare not just the length of the guarantee, but also what it covers to find the best deal possible. The warranty can help you get repairs or maybe even a new replacement mattress, should any type of damage occur.
No more monkeys jumping on the bed!
All jokes aside, apart from sleeping, any other type of activity that you might practice on your bed can seriously harm your mattress. For instance, jumping causes sagging, so make sure to warn your children not to jump on the bed.
Despite the official mattress lifespan guaranteed by the manufacturer, the quality of the mattress can seriously deteriorate if not properly taken care of. We hope we gave you some useful information regarding mattress care to ensure you have a good night’s sleep.
A good memory foam mattress has an average lifespan of somewhere between 6 and 7 years if taken care of properly.
The answer to the everlasting “how long does a mattress last” dilemma is an average of 7 years. If you find yourself in the 8th year of using your mattress and not feeling quite comfortable, you’re due for a new one.
I'm an interior architect by education with a tendency for content writing and research. Whenever I’m waiting for the engine to finish rendering my model, I love reading and researching on a wide variety of topics. I especially love writing content that is backed up by thorough research and relevant data. Given my engineering background, I'm more for the empirical data, not the "I couldn’t help but wonder..." vibe. When I'm not busy writing or drawing, you can find me hiking with my beagle or binge-watching in my bed. There is no in-between.