Conventional wisdom says you should replace your mattress every five to 10 years. However, it’s not quite as simple as that. There are plenty of mattresses out there that are over 10 years old and still sleep perfectly well. By the same token, there are mattresses that aren’t yet five years old and have already degraded to such a level that they no longer provide the support and comfort needed for restful sleep. So how often SHOULD you change your mattress?
Instead of simply using a range of years to reference when deciding, Sleepopolis put together a list of factors to go through to help decide if it’s time to bid your bed adieu.
Quality of Sleep
Are you waking up sore? Stiff? Or with back pain? Are you feeling your partner’s movements on the other side of the bed more than ever? These are all signs that it could be time to change your mattress. Over time, the structural integrity of the support and comfort materials can degrade, resulting in a gradual decline in how the mattress sleeps. If you’re waking up with pain (especially if you don’t go to sleep with it) then it’s time to consider changing your mattress.
That said, even if your mattress is new or in tip-top shape, it’s worth noting: If you’re not sleeping well on it, then it may be time to make a change. You spend too much of your life on a mattress to spend it in pain. There are many affordable mattresses (especially online) that you can order without breaking the bank. Take a tour of our most popular mattress reviews here.
Mattress Wear & Tear
Remove your sheets, mattress pad, protector, and any other layers between you and the mattress. Spend a few minutes really looking at the mattress. Is it showing signs of wear and tear? Is it lumpy? Is it sagging in the middle or where you and your partner sleep? Does it look damaged or degraded? Are coils poking out? All of these are definite signs it’s time to change your mattress. The degrading materials will almost certainly impact how the mattress sleeps.
How often should you be doing this kind of an inspection? It’s recommended to rotate your mattress 180 degrees every six to eight months to prolong its life, so that would also be a great time to do your quality check.
Weight Gain or Loss
Substantial weight gain or loss can make a bed no longer suitable for your needs. A mattress is going to feel firmer to a lighter weight person than it is to a heavier weight person. Heavier people will also want a more supportive bed for optimal comfort. We categorize sleepers in the following weight classes:
- Lightweight (Under 130 lbs)
- Average Weight (130-250 lbs)
- Heavyweight (Over 250 lbs)
If you’ve moved from one weight class to another, it might be time to change your mattress, so you can enhance your sleep for your current body type.
You Sleep Better Away
Do you find that your sleep in a hotel bed or other bed outside of your own home is significantly better? This could indicate that your mattress at home just isn’t getting the job done. If you sleep better away from your bed, this is a sure sign that you may want to change your mattress.
Your Partner’s Sleep
If you sleep with a partner, how are they sleeping? If your partner is sleeping poorly, chances are high that their constant tossing and turning is affecting your sleep (perhaps more than you even realize). If one person in a couple is sleeping poorly, it is almost guaranteed to affect the other partner as well. Do you and your partner a favor and change your mattress.
Your Mattress is More Than Five Years Old
While this isn’t the only criteria to use when deciding how often you should change your mattress, it’s still an important one. If you’ve had your mattress for at least five years, it’s recommended you start monitoring its health more regularly. You should ask yourself all of the above questions at least once every six to 12 months. If your mattress isn’t allowing you to rest, it’s degrading, or it’s affecting your partner’s sleep, it could be time to change your mattress.
How Different Mattress Types Age
There are primarily four types of mattresses: latex, memory foam, innerspring, and hybrid. Depending on the kind you have, it may last longer or shorter than others.
Latex mattresses tend to be extremely durable and can last 10 to 15 years if properly treated. They’re either made from Talalay or Dunlop latex. Latex is a natural material and tends to offer more bounce, coolness, mobility, and durability than foams.
Memory foam mattresses consist of all foam. A lower-quality memory foam mattress will last around three to five years, while a high-quality memory foam mattress should last around eight to 10 years. There are several different types of foam on the market, such as classic memory foam, gel-infused foam, and copper-infused foam. A general rule of thumb for memory foam is the higher the density of foam, the longer lifespan that foam is likely to have.
Innerspring mattresses are made with springs and typically last five to 10 years. There are four main types of coils: Bonnell coils, pocket coils, offset coils, and continuous coils. An innerspring mattress’ lifespan will depend on the type of coil, coil count, and other mattress materials. Beds with thinner coils and a low coil count (less than 300) tend to give out sooner than ones with thicker coils and a higher count.
True to their name, hybrid mattresses are a mix of both foam and springs. High-quality hybrid mattresses typically last seven to 10 years. Similarly to the other types of mattresses, the quality of the materials will determine how well the bed ages. Poly foam, for example, is a low-density foam often found in hybrid mattresses. It’s the least expensive foam option and tends to be lower quality than other foams.
Sleepopolis tip: A quick way to tell if a mattress has high-quality materials is by looking at the warranty. A longer warranty usually means more durable goods!
How to Make Your Mattress Last Longer
Along with having the knowledge of how to check for a fading mattress, it’s also key to know how to maximize a bed’s lifespan. Below are some of our favorite tips to do so.
Use a Mattress Protector
A mattress protector attaches to your mattress and sits directly on the surface of your bed (beneath your sheets). They’re designed to help keep any liquids, dirts, and allergens from going into your mattress. And my, oh my, are they a life saver. They’re an inexpensive product that’ll help keep your mattress clean for years. Check out our list of the best mattress protectors to get started in finding one for you.
Make Sure You Have The Correct Foundation/Base
Some mattresses may require a certain base/foundation to promote its longevity, such as a boxspring or a platform bed. You can find out whether your bed needs one in its warranty. Have more questions? We have more boxspring information and answers here.
Limit Kids And Pets Jumping And Running on The Mattress
This may be one of those “easier said than done” tips, but it’s beneficial to set expectations at home that your bed is not a playground. Keep kids and pets from jumping and/or running on the mattress to help keep it in good condition.
Take Care of Any Spills Right Away
A fresh spill/stain is a lot easier to clean up than a long-term spill/stain, and it has a much smaller chance of doing serious harm to your bed. Clean up any spills ASAP. Check out our mattress cleaning guide for when those accidents happen.
Keep up With Regular Cleaning
Along with cleaning during times of spills, it’s also good practice to clean your mattress every six to 12 months. This can be done by running the vacuum over it and cleaning the bed. You can use our DIY cleaning method, but I also recommend seeing what your mattress warranty suggests.
Materials in your mattress will degrade over time. However, there are many factors that go into this, such as weight, how often it is slept in, and more. Analyze a few things before making the leap — such as the quality of sleep coming from it, what condition the mattress is in when inspected, and how other people who sleep in the bed feel. This could definitely be an indication the mattress in the home needs to be replaced. If you sleep better elsewhere, like hotels or family member’s homes, then this could be a strong indication that your sleep on your current mattress is lacking. Many older, traditional mattresses were made to be flipped, but a lot of modern designs are built with certain materials needing to be on top and cannot be flipped (you don’t want your pillow top on the bottom of the bed). It’s best to check your warranty to see if you’re able to flip it. You can also rotate your mattress 180 degrees every six to eight months to lengthen its lifespan.
What is the best way to tell if my mattress is ready to be replaced?
What does it mean when I sleep better everywhere else but at home?
Should I flip my mattress?
Materials in your mattress will degrade over time. However, there are many factors that go into this, such as weight, how often it is slept in, and more. Analyze a few things before making the leap — such as the quality of sleep coming from it, what condition the mattress is in when inspected, and how other people who sleep in the bed feel.
This could definitely be an indication the mattress in the home needs to be replaced. If you sleep better elsewhere, like hotels or family member’s homes, then this could be a strong indication that your sleep on your current mattress is lacking.
Many older, traditional mattresses were made to be flipped, but a lot of modern designs are built with certain materials needing to be on top and cannot be flipped (you don’t want your pillow top on the bottom of the bed). It’s best to check your warranty to see if you’re able to flip it. You can also rotate your mattress 180 degrees every six to eight months to lengthen its lifespan.