As usual, the magic number seems to be 7, 7 years that is. A mattress has an average lifespan of 7 to 10 years depending on the mattress type, quality, and manufacturer. Other factors can also come into play such as your own body weight, whether you sleep alone or with a partner, and even atmospheric conditions.
The bottom line is, mattresses don’t last forever. You need to replace it as soon as wear and tear sets in, and that’s usually about 7 years in.
How I Can Tell When to Change My Mattress?
If you're nearing the 7 years mark, and you’re wondering when to replace your mattress, there are some tell-tale signs you can keep in mind, that let you know that it’s about time.
Is Your Mattress Saggy?
A good mattress should conform to the shape of your body. But if that shape has permanently appeared on your mattress as a depression or a dent, then it’s an obvious sign to replace it.
Sagging often occurs in mattresses that are made of fibre, foam, and pillowtop materials which can lead to an uncomfortable sleeping experience. Mattresses made of springs can also break down and sag to the point that it feels like sleeping on a hammock.
Does Your Mattress Still Align With Your Spine?
Quality mattresses should offer support and alignment for your spine, regardless if you sleep on your back, on your stomach, or on your side. If you no longer feel your spine’s natural S curve when you lie on your mattress, then the box springs may be worn out, and it’s time to buy a new mattress.
For back and stomach sleepers, lying on your mattress should not feel as if it’s flattening or exaggerating the curve of your spine. For side sleepers, the mattress should straighten your spine from neck to bottom. Using a pillow might correct the curvature in the meantime, but if you can slide a hand between the gap of your body and the mattress, then it’s time to buy a new one.
Does Your Mattress Feel Uncomfortable?
The reason why you even have a mattress on your bed is to make it more comfortable, that is just common sense. However, people adjust to different levels of comfort and they tend to ignore what is ergonomically healthy to their bodies simply because they eventually “get used” to how their mattress feels.
A mattress should provide bodily support and pressure relief, especially the upper part of the mattress that is made of comfort layers. These comfort layers either break down over time due to countless nights of sleep or were simply made faulty in the first place. If you’ve been having uncomfortable sleep over the past few nights or starting to feel that your mattress no longer feels soft or cozy, then listen to your body and get a new mattress already.
Are Your Muscles Stiff Or Is Your Body Sore Every Time You Wake Up?
If you’ve been suffering from chronic back pains or have been losing sleep because of constant tossing and turning on your bed, then your mattress could be causing your problems. A study in 2009 indicated that newer mattresses can greatly improve sleep quality and reduce stress compared to bedding systems that are 5 years and older.
Choosing the right mattress can also help in alleviating chronic low-back pain. A study by the Kovacs Foundation in Mallorca recommends medium-firm mattresses as opposed to firm ones.
If you’re having aches and pains; try out a Tempurpedic mattress or a memory foam mattress, they’ve both been proven to reduce aches and pains, provide a better nights sleep.
What Can Happen If You Don’t Replace Your Mattress?
Chronic Diseases Due To Lack Of Sleep
A faulty mattress can cause discomfort and interfere with a good night’s sleep. This can lead to several ailments such as heart disease, kidney disease, and diabetes. Dips and lumps on the mattress can also cause poor posture that can lead to low back pain and unwanted pressure on your spine.
Unwanted “Guests” On Your Mattress
It’s as horrible as it sounds and it’s an obvious reason to replace your mattress when it has been used for years. Old and worn mattresses are not only unhygienic, but they can also be a breeding ground for germs, dust mites, bedbugs, allergens, and dead skin cells. A study by the National University of Singapore in 2015 stated that mattresses have the highest concentration of dust mites in homes.
Cause Of Allergies Or Asthma.
Going back to National University of Singapore’s 2015 study, a survey of 27 homes showed that the average mattress had 3,000 colonies of forming units of mould per gram of dust. This means that mattresses can produce hundreds of proteins that can cause allergic symptoms such as sneezing, nasal congestion, and watery eyes.
If it’s not allergy season and yet, and you are experiencing increased allergy and asthma symptoms, breathing problems, and snoring, then your old mattress might be causing it. Vacuuming, steaming, and flipping your mattress can alleviate the symptom but only temporarily. If symptoms persist, it’s time to change the mattress.
How About Cot Mattresses?
As long as you keep them clean, air them out, and take care of them, they should last around 5 years.
All in all, trust your instincts, if you are no longer comfortable sleeping in your bed, then it is probably the right time to change your mattress. Your body and your own comfort are the best indicators on whether you need a new mattress or not.