Your mattress has to deal with a lot of wear and tear, after all, you’ll spend close to a third of your life on it. From dirty feet and pets to tossing and spilling your late-night snacks on the cover, your mattress will unfortunately not last forever. A bed is a big purchase and some might be tempted to squeeze every last drop of life from it, but there will always come a time when you’d be best served by a brand new mattress or not.
On average, a mattress should be replaced every 5 to 7 years. Keep in mind that a 5-7 year lifespan is meant to be a general guideline.
This article breaks down all the factors that affect whether or not it’s time to replace your mattress. Deciding to buying a new mattress is a tough decision. Our goal is that you leave here feeling confident whether it’s the right time for you to invest in a new mattress.
Signs You Should Replace Your Mattress
In most cases, you should replace your mattress if one or more of the following applies to you:
1. Your Mattress is More Than 5 to 7 Years Old
As previously mentioned, this is the average and does not consider every factor. A mattress older than 7 seven means there is a strong chance you’re also dealing with the other factors listed below.
2. You Constantly Wake Up Tired
It’s normal to have the occasional bad night of sleep. If you notice that you’re consistently waking up feeling unrested then it might be a strong indicator you need a new mattress.
3. Your Mattress Sags
When a mattress begins to sag, body impressions can begin to form as the materials take longer to reclaim their original shape. Over time, this may cause mobility issues, as sleepers will have to fight to dig themselves out of the holes left behind, or they may experience issues with even weight distribution, support & pressure relief.
4. The Mattress Is Causing You Pain
The point of a good mattress is to keep you asleep all night and leave you refreshed in the morning. Of course, there may always be a health or physical issue that causes some people to wake up in pain, but if you’re otherwise healthy and still experience discomfort, your bed may not be doing its job.
This could happen if your mattress compresses too much and makes it difficult for you to move throughout the night, or if your bed is too firm and doesn’t properly relieve your pressure points anymore.
Keep in mind that many brands offer trial periods for a reason. Sometimes adjusting can be unpleasant as the spine begins to align, but after a few weeks you should adjust and settle into your new bed. Be sure to give a new mattress some time before deciding if it’s right for you.
5. Your Allergies or Asthma Worsen
If you find yourself constantly waking up with the sniffles or skin irritation, you may be sleeping on a mattress that is triggering your allergies. Some people are sensitive to the chemicals that might be used in the manufacturing of some bed-in-a-box brands. Others are allergic to latex and might need to avoid those models.
Thankfully, there are lots of organic and hypoallergenic bed options out there that employ gentle and clean materials for better health, and an effort to relieve some of these symptoms. Many brands put an emphasis on asthma, allergy, and eczema sufferers to ensure even the most sensitive of sleepers are able to rest comfortably.
Even if you don’t have any known allergies to chemicals or mattress materials, sometimes an old mattress will hold onto dust and dirt that could be causing your congestion. If changing your sheets doesn’t help and you don’t have a way of cleaning deep into your mattress, it’s probably time for a change.
Full Article: Signs of a Bad Mattress
Factors That Affect Mattress Lifespan
Here are the factors that can change how long you should expect your mattress to last:
1. Mattress Maintenance & Care
A mattress will last longer if you take good care of it. You can extend the lifespan of your mattress by following some of these best mattress care practices:
- Rotate the mattress 4 times a year.
- Invest in a mattress cover/protector.
- Clean your bedding at least once per week.
- Clean your mattress once per month.
- Use a mattress topper/pad.
- Make sure your mattress is properly supported.
- Keep your pets off the bed.
- Avoid jumping on the bed.
- Air out your mattress at least twice per year
2. Mattress Type & Material
- Memory Foam
Lower density foam beds may need to be replaced after 4-6 years. Over time the foams will break down under your weight and movement throughout the night. Higher density models could last up to 8-10 years.
Organic and natural latex materials may need to be replaced after 8-10 years. Synthetic latex beds may only last 6-8 years to perform at their best capacity. After this amount of time they may begin to sag or lose some of the bounce that makes them so popular.
These may need to be replaced by a new mattress every 3-5 years. It’s always a good idea to save any warranty information just in case they wear out before their time. Independently wrapped coils may also be some of the quickest to show wear, as they tend to compress much more than interconnected coils, making for great motion isolation, but faster wear.
A high-quality hybrid could last longer than 10 years, some brands even claim to last up to 15. However, because over time your bed will absorb oils and bacteria from your body, begin sagging, and may lose some of its bounce, it is still recommended to replace your mattress every 7 – 10 years.
3. Mattress Quality
Higher quality, well-built mattresses tend to need to last longer than lower quality mattresses. Investing in a higher quality means you will need to replace your mattress less often.
Read More: Best Mattresses for 2024
4. How Often You Use The Mattress
Your day to day mattress will wear out much faster as compared to a guest room mattress. The circumstances listed below could extend the life of your mattress beyond the typical 5 to 7 years:
- You work out of town for extended period of the year.
- You own two or more houses and split your time among them.
- You own multiple mattresses in your home and rotate which one you sleep on.
5. Single vs. Couple
The more people that sleep on the mattress the faster it will be need to be replaced. A mattress slept on by a single adult will typically last longer than one slept on by a couple.
Couples that are interested in a new mattress should check out Couples’ Mattress guide.
6. Sleeper Weight
The weight of the sleeper(s) affects the mattress lifespan. Heavier people tend to cause a mattress to sag and wear down faster.
Heavier folks interested in a new bed should check out our Heavy People Mattress guide.
7. Children & Pets
Pets also affects the lifespan of a mattress because it’s adding more weight. In addition, both pets and children are more likely to cause stains to the mattress.
Read The Full Article: How Long Do Mattresses Last?
Is a New Mattress Worth the Investment?
Generally speaking, yes, a new mattress is worth the cost because quality sleep can directly contribute to your overall well being. You should consider buying a mattress a long-term investment and avoid low-quality beds.
There are many high-quality online mattresses (queen-size) priced near $1,000 USD. If the mattress lasts 5 years it will cost a single person approximately $0.55 (less than $1) per day. In comparison, a lower-quality mattress may cost you less right now. However, it could ending costing you more in the long-term if you have to replace it immediately and/or your health suffers.
Buying a high-quality mattress may make a improve your life in these areas:
- More focus / energy
- Improved mood / reduce stress
- Less pain (back pain)
- Better spine alignment
- Less tossing and turning
- Improve snoring
- Reduced allergies & asthma
If you’re new to the mattress shopping game, we recommend starting here:
Frequently Asked Questions
Do longer warranties mean the bed will last longer?
No. Typically, a longer warranty does not mean the mattress will last longer. In most cases, the mattress warranty will last longer than the lifespan of the mattress.
Is 20 years too old for a mattress?
Yes. In most cases, 20 years is too old for a mattress. That’s because most mattresses materially breakdown, as mentioned above, after the mattress is 5 to 7 years or older.
Jill Zwarensteyn is the Editor for Sleep Advisor and a Certified Sleep Science Coach. She is enthusiastic about providing helpful and engaging information on all things sleep and wellness.