We don’t often think about buying a new mattress, but the truth is, a mattress does not last forever. Over time, your mattress is going to start to sag, springs are going to lose their springiness, the bed is going to groan and squeak when you get in and out, and the comfort is going to slowly disappear.
Most mattresses only last between 7-12 years, and if you have noticed any of the signs of a worn-out mattress, especially if you are not sleeping comfortably, then it is time to invest in a new one to ensure that you get the rest you deserve.
So, what can you look out for when it comes time to buy a new mattress so that this one lasts for as long as possible?
Mattress Durability by Type
The type of mattress will often give clues about the durability, but there are good and bad mattresses within their respective categories. Latex and Memory Foam mattresses will generally last longer than Spring or Hybrid ones, but you should be prepared to invest in quality. There is no point investing in a cheap Latex mattress that is going to wear out after only a few years.
Let’s take a look at your options.
Lifespan: 12-15 years
Latex mattresses are among the most durable out there and can last for up to 15 years, almost double the average. Latex mattresses are either crafted from natural latex, synthetic latex, or a blend of the two. They are known for being firm mattresses (you should know whether you sleep better with a firm or soft mattress), and you should invest in all-natural latex if you want them to last up to 15 years and beyond.
Memory Foam Mattresses
Lifespan: 10-15 years
Memory foam mattresses use a polyurethane foam that shapes itself to your body when you lie on top of it and then returns to its original state when you get out of bed. Not only does this comfort and support your body as you are sleeping, but it conforms to multiple people. So, if you want to switch sides of the bed with your partner or need to flip the mattress, the mattress is going to feel the same.
When you are buying a memory foam mattress, pay specific attention to the type and combination of foam that you get. There are different types of combinations and classifications and, again, investing in quality is going to mean longevity. Invest in a high-quality mattress and it can last well beyond 15 years.
Turn the mattress around once a year, so that the foot is at the head, to add extra life to the foam.
Gel Memory Foam
Lifespan: 10-15 years
Gel foam mattresses work in a similar way to memory foam mattresses but they have additional gel beads or swirls woven into the memory foam material. This is a perfect type of mattress if you have trouble regulating heat when sleeping, as the gel will do that for you.
Gel foam mattresses last as long as memory foam mattresses, and you can treat them in the same way, rotating them every year to prolong their life. And, as always, investing in quality means a longer-lasting mattress.
Lifespan: 7-10 years
These are the classic mattresses that we are all accustomed to. As the name would suggest, they have springs on the inside and that is what cushions you when you are sleeping. The top, or topper, is usually crafted from layers of foam and fiber, and there are several varieties, depending on the topper, such as pillow-top, memory foam, ventilated foam, temperature-regulating gel, and more.
These mattresses can last up to 10 years, though they may need to be replaced sooner. The quality of the springs and the topper are the biggest factors in dictating how long the mattress is going to last, so invest in high-quality materials to save yourself money in the long run.
The great thing about spring mattresses is that you can flip them to lengthen the life, but know that they will wear out quicker, the more weight that is put on top.
Lifespan: 6-10 years
Hybrid mattresses usually combine springs with layers of memory foam on top. This makes for an extremely comfortable and supportive mattress, and you can even find gel memory foam in the topper which can add temperature regulation to that comfort.
While they are among the most comfortable mattresses, they do not last as long as some others, so invest in quality to have one that lasts the full 10 years.
Lifespan: 7-9 years
You may associate this style of bed with the 70s and 80s, and may even have images in your mind of punctured and leaky beds, but they are making a comeback and have never been more durable and robust.
Waterbeds are essentially vinyl mattresses filled with water. That water, much like memory foam, will cradle and support you before returning to its original shape when you get out of bed. There are two main varieties: hardside, which has a wooden frame around it to maintain the shame, and softside, which has a padded casing.
While waterbeds can last as long as a regular mattress, they are the most susceptible to damage, and any accidents can render the waterbed useless. You can patch any holes, but damage can be done by the water before that. Yet, accidents rarely happen and, if you take care of the bed, and check for any small leaks occasionally, the mattress will be fine.
Lifespan: 5 years
Air mattresses are a more temporary sleeping option, though they can be comfortable over long periods too. Many modern air mattresses are incredibly durable, but you can still only expect them to last 5 years with continuous use. Even if they are stored correctly, they can still wear down and the material can become brittle.
Air mattresses need maintenance, so be prepared to top up the air every couple of days if you are using them continuously. If that is the case, consider investing in an air mattress with an in-built pump.
How To Extend The Lifespan of Your Mattress
So, you know what mattress you want and you have invested as much money as your budget allows, but what is next? While higher-quality mattresses will last longer, there are some things that you can do to extend the lifespan of your mattress.
Protect Your Mattress
You can try your best, but mattresses are going to succumb to stains and dirt, and it is no fun trying to get a stain out of a mattress. The way to stop this from happening is to protect the mattress.
Your main allies in this fight are mattress protectors or mattress toppers. Mattress protectors are thin layers of material that wrap around your mattress, kind of like a fitted sheet, while a mattress topper is a thicker cover that sits on top of the mattress. Both sit below your bedsheet and act as a protective layer against dirt and any spills.
Keep Your Bed Clean
Snacking in bed is a welcome pleasure, and breakfast in bed is a luxury that can improve our day before it has even begun, but both can take a toll on the mattress if you do not clean up afterward. Of course, the best way to ensure no crumbs or spills in the bed is to not eat or drink in bed, but as long as you are careful and take the time to clean, you need not worry about your mattress.
Vacuum out the bed if there is a lot of dirt, and vacuum every month regardless. That way, your bed is going to be clean and you are not going to invite any small pests who like to nibble on crumbs.
Support Your Mattress
If you have a solid foundation under your mattress, it is not going to sag or become damaged, and it is going to better support you when you are sleeping.
Different mattress types require different foundations, so be sure to check when you are buying your mattress.
Maintain Your Mattress
Your mattress can be flipped and rotated every six months-one year (unless the care instructions specifically say not to) and this will help to prevent indentations and stop one side from wearing down prematurely.
Also, take care that you do not put too much weight on the mattress. Mattresses are designed to be slept on, so don’t stand or bounce on them, and don’t overload them with extra people or other heavy objects or you are going to shorten the lifespan.
Signs That You Need to Replace Your Mattress
You can do all that you can to lengthen the life of your mattress, but there is going to come a time when you need to replace it, and we recommend replacing it when that happens instead of suffering from poor sleep. Here are some signs that it is time to invest in a new mattress.
If there is any sagging in the mattress, no matter what type you use, then it is time to invest in a new mattress. Not only will the problem only get worse, but it can cause you pain if you continue to sleep on it.
Sagging can come in the form of a permanent imprint of your body in the mattress, and this means that the foam, springs, or whatever else is not supporting you properly. Even if you do not notice any sagging but constantly wake up with back, hip, shoulder, or neck pain, then sagging is a likely cause.
You probably don’t want to hear this but, as you sleep, skin cells and sweat are being left in your bed. Over time, mattresses absorb these particles and that can turn them into breeding grounds for bacteria. Now, don’t worry, it takes many years for this to happen and you can limit the effects with regular cleaning.
Unfortunately, this breeding ground, along with tiny pests and dust motes can trigger allergies and asthma.
If you use a mattress protector or pad, that is going to cut down on the allergens, and washing your sheet regularly will too. If that does not work, then it might be time to replace your mattress.
If you see any black spots on your mattress, then you likely have mold, and that can trigger allergies and asthma too. You may be able to get rid of the mold with a steam cleaner but, if your mattress is old, we recommend just replacing it.
Bed bugs can be almost invisible, but they can cause lots of problems. Once they are in your mattress, they can be almost impossible to get rid of, so you have a decision to make. You could hire a pest control expert to get rid of them and hope that they leave, or you could throw out the mattress and get a new one.
Stains & Smells
Maybe you are to blame, perhaps you have pets, or you could have some small children running around; no matter what the reason, deep, ingrained stains and bad smells can be impossible to remove. That is reason enough to get a new mattress.
Again, you can limit stains and smells by using a mattress pad or protector and always be sure to clean up any messes as quickly as possible.