When Should I Replace My Mattress?

by Véronique Raymond
mattress review

Finding that first perfect mattress can feel life-changing, and it might be.

Eventually, however, that miracle mattress is going to have to be replaced.

It can be difficult to know when the right time is to say goodbye, and how to preserve the quality for as long as possible.

Since your sleep is so important for daily functioning, it is important to recognise the signs of an aging mattress and know when the time is right for a replacement.


Signs It’s Time For A New Mattress

There are a number of obvious signs of wear that indicate your mattress is starting to reach the end of its lifespan. While a mattress can still be beneficial with a few of these signs appearing, if you notice more than a few, it is certainly time for an upgrade. Even the best mattresses can’t last forever.


If you mattress is starting to sag in areas where someone lays most often, this indicates that the springs or memory foam (or whatever other material comprises the mattress) is starting to lose strength and integrity. Heavier individuals will notice this effect to a much greater degree because they will leave a more significant indentation in the mattress. If you find yourself rolling into a certain part of the bed every night (body impressions that are permanent) or there is no bounce back when you get up in the morning, you should start looking for a new bed.

Noisy Mattress

New noises coming from your mattress when you shift during the night is a great indicator that it has reached the end of its lifespan. The coils in a spring mattress experience wear and tear every day, and eventually, they start to become ineffective. Noisy springs in your mattress can sometimes be fixed by tightening certain components, but usually, it’s time to throw in the towel and replace the mattress. Just make sure the noise isn’t actually coming from the box spring or the bed frame before you pull the trigger.

Bad Odours and/or Aggravated Allergies

Over time, mattresses can start to accumulate contaminants like dust mites, dead skin cells, mildew and mold, and various allergens. Older mattresses will contain high quantities of these things since there is no way to truly protect the mattress or clean it; with enough time, the presence of these pollutants will build up to a noticeable level. As a result, you may start to experience your allergies acting up or an unpleasant odour coming from the mattress. If a bed in your house starts to smell or aggravate allergies, it’s time to replace it, even if there aren’t any other noticeable signs of aging. It’s just better for your overall health.

Waking Up In Pain

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One of the main functions of any good mattress is pressure relief. A mattress is designed to support your joints and cushion your body weight. If you notice significant pain in your lower back, shoulders, hips, or knees after a night of rest, odds are your mattress is to blame. Both soft and firm mattresses are designed to perform this relief on pressure points, so if you’re waking up with back pain or sore joints on a regular basis with no other explanations for the pain, your mattress needs to be replaced.

Struggle Getting Comfortable

If you used to sleep soundly and now find yourself tossing and turning, waking up frequently during the night, or you have even noticed that you get a better nights sleep on a different mattress entirely, it’s likely that your old mattress is just not cutting it anymore. As the support wears out and the firmness changes, you won’t be sleeping on the same bed anymore. Your body will start missing the support it has gotten used to and it will let you know, no matter what sleeping position you prefer. If a good night’s sleep is getting hard to come by, it’s time to invest in a new quality mattress.

A Change In Personal Circumstances

While this doesn’t directly fall under reasons your mattress is in dire need of replacement, it may be a reason to buy a new mattress anyway. If your weight has changed significantly, you have become pregnant, you have added or lost a sleeping partner (motion transfer matters), or you’ve developed a new health condition such as sciatica or arthritis, a new bed may be in order to provide you with a better sleep even if there’s nothing structurally wrong with your current one. Needs change and it is important to be adaptable in order to get your best sleep as regularly as possible.


Average Lifespan of Different Mattress Types

Different types of mattresses will have varying life spans. Some materials are naturally longer lasting, and even though a lot of factors can affect the length of a mattress’ lifespan, it is possible to broadly generalise the lifespan of a mattress based on the type and materials used.

Latex mattresses are the longest lasting on the market with a lifespan between 15 and 25 years. Natural latex mattresses will be the most durable, as synthetic latex is more vulnerable to moisture and also has the potential to release chemicals over time; these may only last for 5-10 years. Most latex mattress reviews you read will praise natural over synthetic for these reasons.

Memory foam mattresses are next up for longest lasting with an average lifespan between 8 and 10 years. Memory foam mattresses aren’t overly complex from a composition standpoint, and this is beneficial for longevity since there is less to break down over time. There are ways to extend the life beyond the mattress warranty as well, and they are usually guaranteed for the full 10 years.

Hybrid mattresses (memory foam mixed with coils) are almost as long lasting as true memory foam beds. They last somewhere between 7 and 10 years on average, and this will vary by company and the materials they use. The complexity of the layers makes this type of mattress prone to premature sagging. There is a lot of variation in the mattress industry when it comes to hybrid models, so make sure you do your research and know how long your specific mattress is designed to last.

The final broad category of mattress is innerspring mattresses. They are the least durable and will need to be replaced somewhere between 5 and 7 years old. Models that include an extra layer of coils and a pillow top comfort layer will last the longest, but coils are still the least durable method of supporting a mattress.


How To Make A Mattress Last Longer

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Although no mattress can last forever, there are a number of things you can do to help maintain the quality of the mattress and lengthen the number of years it can stay in your home. Let’s take a look.

Vacuum The Sleeping Surface Regularly

While this may come as a bit of a surprise, vacuuming the mattress surface can actually help extend its life. Vacuuming your mattress three or four times a year will help pull out any dirt, hair, and other debris that has start to sink into the mattress. This will prevent it from accumulating and affecting the integrity of the structure.

Wash Your Sheets Regularly

Washing your sheets a minimum of twice a month will help prevent sweat, dead skin, and bacteria from sinking into your mattress. It will also give you the opportunity to examine your mattress and look for signs of aging such as yellowing, small indents, or tearing/worn out spots.

Rotate and Flip The Mattress

Rotating the mattress is an important step for extending longevity because it ensures that both sides of the mattress wear evenly. Especially if you are sleeping with a partner, rotating your mattress will prevent body indentations from becoming permanent and affecting the overall comfort and performance of the mattress.

Use A Mattress Topper

Mattress toppers are excellent additions to any mattress; even if you have a model designed for superior comfort, a high-quality mattress topper can improve your sleep quality no matter what type of sleeper you are. The extra layer between your body and the mattress will offer you additional support and comfort and will also lighten the load on the actual mattress.

Use A Sturdy Frame and/or Box Spring

Putting your mattress on a proper support system is one of the best things you can do ensure it reaches its maximum age. A bed frame (or bed frame-box spring combo if your mattress calls for it) will ensure that your mattress will not sag prematurely or accumulate bacteria and dust at the edges or from the underside.

Use A Mattress Protector

A mattress cover is an excellent way to extend the life of your mattress. It encases the entire mattress in order to prevent dust mites, dead skin cells, sweat, and other contaminants from accumulating in the mattress. It is a lot easier to clean a mattress protector than an actual mattress, and you’ll appreciate the additional months or even years it adds to the lifespan of your mattress.


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