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According to most industry experts, the average mattress will perform for roughly seven years before it should be replaced. However, the durability and lifespan of a given mattress model will depend on the mattress type, as well as the materials used to construct it. Generally speaking, the lifespan of a mattress may range from less than four years to eight or more.
This page will look at lifespan and durability expectations for different types of mattresses sold today. First, let’s define some key terms.
The terms lifespan (or longevity) and durability are often used interchangeably when describing mattress performance. However, it’s important to differentiate between these two criteria.
The lifespan of a mattress refers to how long a mattress offers sufficient comfort and support for the sleeper(s) using it. Most mattresses begin to lose these qualities after a few years of consistent nightly use due to general wear and tear, but they will remain comfortable and supportive to some degree.
The ‘durability’ of a mattress, on the other hand, refers to how long a mattress performs before its components begin to deteriorate. Common types of mattress deterioration include sagging, body impressions, softening, and mechanical malfunctions. See the next section for more information.
As a result, the lifespan and durability of a mattress are not necessarily linked. A mattress with a seven-year lifespan, for instance, may begin to deteriorate within two to three years due to the components in its comfort layer and/or support core. However, it will provide sufficient comfort and support for up to seven years, regardless of deterioration.
Common types of mattress deterioration include the following:
Next, let’s look at lifespan and durability expectations for mattresses based on how they’re constructed.
|Category||Innerspring||Memory Foam||Latex||Hybrid||Mixed Foam||Airbed|
|Average Lifespan||6 to 6.5 Years||6.5 to 7 Years||7.5 to 8 Years||6.5 to 7 Years||5.5 to 6 Years||7.5 to 8 Years|
|Durability||Poor to Fair||Fair to Good||Good to Very Good||Fair to Good||Poor to Fair||Poor to Fair|
Most mattress warranties span at least 10 years. Manufacturers will often allow mattress owners to replace their existing model if it is deemed defective. In most cases, the following defects will warrant a mattress replacement:
Likewise, the following issues are not covered under the majority of mattress warranties:
Another important consideration associated with mattress warranties is the cost of replacing a defective model. Warranties are divided into two coverage periods: nonprorated and prorated. Nonprorated coverage means that, aside from shipping and handling costs, the mattress owner will not be required to pay any additional fees for replacing their defective mattress. Prorated coverage means that, in addition to shipping and handling costs, the mattress owner will be required to pay a certain amount of the original mattress price for their replacement model, based on how long the warranty has been active.
Let’s say a mattress costs $1,000 and has a 20-year warranty. The first 10 years of the warranty are nonprorated, while the last 10 years are prorated. According to the warranty, the prorated charge increases by 5% of the original mattress price for each year the mattress is owned. If the mattress needs to be replaced in the ninth year of ownership (during the nonprorated period), the owner will only have to pay shipping and handling costs. If the mattress needs to be replaced during the eleventh year of ownership (during the prorated period), then — on top of shipping and handling costs — the owner will be required to pay a prorated charge equal to 5% of the original mattress price multiplied by 11, or $550.
It’s also important to note that most replacement mattresses are covered under the same warranty as the original model. So, for instance, if a mattress under a 10-year warranty is replaced after seven years, then the replacement model will only be covered under the same warranty for three years before the warranty expires. In most cases, replacing a mattress will neither extend the warranty nor result in the implementation of a new warranty.
The bottom line: replacing a mattress under an existing warranty can save you a great deal of money — but doing so can cost you money just as easily. Be sure to read the fine print of your mattress warranty, particularly in regard to nonprorated and prorated coverage periods.
While industry experts agree that you should replace your mattress after seven years of consistent nightly use, you may want to consider a replacement sooner than that if you experience certain issues with your mattress. Here are a few questions to ask yourself before deciding whether or not it’s time for a new mattress:
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