How Often Should You Change Your Mattress?

How Often Should You Change Your Mattress?

It's an unpleasant reality that mattresses don't last forever. But how long should one reasonably last before replacement is necessary?

Mattresses can generally last anywhere between 5-10 years, but it mainly depends on the materials used in their construction. Quality memory foam and latex mattresses commonly provide the longest usable life of 8-10 years because these resilient materials retain their shape well and resist permanent compression.

In comparison, lower-density foams like polyfoam compress more efficiently and have a shorter 5-year lifespan.

The quality of coils also impacts innerspring mattress longevity. Open coil construction consists of single, continuously connected wires that move together, leading to pressure points and uneven wear. Pocket springs, made of individual coils in fabric casing, provide more durable support and motion isolation.

Higher gauge coils resist sagging better, lasting longer with quality foams, compared to 5 years or less for thinner gauge coils.

Durability also relies on connectors between the top and bottom layers. Over time, adhesives and stitching can degrade, causing layers to split. Quality glues, reinforced seams and advanced connecting layers like dual-lock tape prevent premature separation or breakdown for increased lifespan.

Multi-layer zoned mattresses with firmer foam supporting heavier body areas also distribute weight evenly and avoid premature sinking or loss of shape. We generally see firm mattresses outlast softer ones.

Heavier sleepers, couples, and those who jump on the bed put increased force on mattress materials, accelerating wear and shortening lifespan to the 5–8-year range.

Signs You Need a New Mattress

Sagging and impressions that don't bounce back are the key signs.

Indentations deeper than 1.5 inches indicate materials have compressed past the point of providing adequate support. Sagging is especially noticeable near the head of the bed or in the middle, where weight concentration is highest.

Impressions mean upholstery and comfort layers no longer spring back fully. These visible signs often accompany morning stiffness and aches.

1. Feeling springs or coils through the layers

If you feel coils or springs through the padding material, the upholstery layers have worn excessively thin, or the springs are broken.

The lack of cushioning causes contact pressure, numbness, tingling, and discomfort overnight. You may also hear the springs squeaking or shifting when bearing weight – if you do, replace your mattress ASAP.

2. New lumps and bumps

Lumps and bumps indicate upholstery layers separating internally. Sections of unsupported coils form high and low spots.

Some impressions may spring back slowly, while others no longer rebound fully. These uneven surfaces lead to improper spinal alignment and tension on muscles attempting to conform to the changing dips and mounds.

3. Sudden loss of core or edge support

A sudden lack of core support usually means the centre rods, bands, or border wires are breaking down after years of holding weight. The middle surface collapses abruptly, and it feels like you are falling through the mattress. Border breakdown causes severe leaning or tipping towards edges (encapsulated mattresses are a good solution).

4. Struggling with allergies

An older mattress accumulates more dust mites, mould, and skin cell debris deep in the materials. Waking with sinus congestion, runny nose, watery eyes, or sneezing hints at a high allergen load. Sensitive individuals may also wheeze or have worsening asthma and eczema symptoms. Allergy covers can temporarily reduce symptoms, but mattresses must be discarded to eliminate the underlying triggers.

5. Waking up with aches and pains

One of the clearest signs your mattress needs replacing is waking up in physical discomfort. Stiffness and soreness in the neck, shoulders, back, and hips that continue throughout the day indicate a lack of support during sleep.

You may favour one side unconsciously, trying to avoid sore spots and uneven surfaces, which can worsen pain on that side longer. Waking with new or worsening muscle tightness and discomfort despite adequate sleep time means purchasing a newer mattress with better support and pressure relief.

Replacement Timelines for Infrequently Used Mattresses

For guest beds used only periodically, most quality mattresses can last up to 15 years. The less frequent use leads to slower breakdown of materials. However, inexpensive mattresses with thinner foams have shorter 5–7-year lifespans.

Look for signs of visible sagging or permanent impressions over 1.5 inches, even when rotated. Musty odours and visible mould also necessitate replacing an infrequently used mattress. While these spare beds may last longer, it is still essential to discard excessively worn mattresses to provide comfortable sleep for occasional use.

Kid's Mattresses Require Earlier Replacement

Parents should plan on a 5-year expected lifespan for kids' mattresses because of the thinner materials of most budget-friendly options.

Jumping on the bed, liquid spills or accidents can accelerate wear and tear. Kids outgrowing toddler beds sized for younger children also necessitates upgrading to more supportive youth or single-sized mattresses.

Look for visible sagging causing poor sleep alignment for growing children. Most concerning, a lack of resilience or impressions that do not spring back can indicate materials that will no longer adequately support proper spinal positioning for growing kids.

How Replacing a Worn Mattress Improves Sleep

An old mattress lacking support and comfort interrupts sleep, decreasing time spent in restorative REM cycles.

Sleep deprivation or poor-quality sleep contributes to daytime fatigue, difficulty concentrating, irritability, anxiety, and depressed mood. Beyond mental health, poor sleep negatively impacts heart health, metabolism, and immune function.

Upgrading to a supportive new mattress realigns the spine, reducing pain that interrupts sleep. New materials provide pressure relief and conform closely to the body for comfort.

Fewer impressions and dips allow easier repositioning throughout the night. With fewer allergens than a worn, older mattress, sensitive individuals breathe easier. The combined effects of spinal support, comfort, and allergen reduction lead to deeper, more restful sleep.

A Mattress Topper Can Buy You Time

Adding a mattress topper can temporarily mask some mattress support issues and extend the lifespan of your bed. A 2-4-inch-thick memory foam or latex mattress topper will provide extra support on top of a moderately worn mattress.

The conforming material helps fill in minor impressions to create an even sleep surface. Just anchor the topper well so it doesn't slide around on the bed.

Summing Up

Mattresses wear out over time. Signs yours needs replacing include visible sagging, feeling coils or springs through the padding, new lumps or bumps, sudden loss of core support, and accumulated dust mites or allergens.

Quality foam and pocket-sprung mattresses last 8-10 years. Cheaper open-coil ones degrade faster within eight years. Kids' mattresses last five years. Adding a topper can temporarily mask issues, but replacing an excessively worn mattress realigns your spine, reduces pain, and allows deeper, more restorative sleep. Prioritise your comfort and health by investing in a quality, supportive new mattress every 8-10 years.

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