Despite what some mattress warranties say, the general consensus among sleep experts is that you should replace your mattress every seven years. However, if you are experiencing certain pain symptoms or sleep issues, then you may want to trade your mattress in even earlier than that. Scroll down to learn more about some telltale signs that you need to ditch your current mattress — as well as some strategies for keeping it in good shape for as long as possible.
How Do You Know It's Time?
If you are experiencing any of the following issues, then you should probably think about getting rid of your mattress and investing in a new one:
- You wake up in the morning feeling stiff, achy, or numb anywhere in your body.
- You feel tired and sleep-deprived after getting at least eight hours of sleep.
- Your partner is experiencing these pain and/or sleep issues.
- You notice sagging, lumps, rips and tears, worn edges, stains, and other signs of wear and tear.
- The mattress looks exceptionally dusty, or you’re experiencing symptoms of dust mite allergies like coughing, wheezing, and tightness in the chest.
- You roll to the center of the mattress in your sleep.
- You’ve slept somewhere else — such as your couch or another bed — and found that it was more comfortable and more suitable for sleep than your current mattress.
- You can’t remember how old the mattress is or it’s been more than seven years since you’ve purchased a new one.
What About the Warranty?
Mattress warranties will often offer coverage that exceeds seven years — 20 to 25 years, in some cases. However, warranty length is not the same as the lifespan of a mattress. Lifespan will depend on the type of mattress and the quality of its components, as well as the way you use and maintain the mattress (see next section).
Using our research data, the graph below features lifespan expectations for the five most common mattress types. As you can see, some mattresses last longer on average than others. But please note: regardless of the estimated lifespan, you should always think about replacing your mattress if you are experiencing any of the problems or issues listed above.
How Can You Keep Your Mattress in Good Shape?
New mattresses are expensive, especially if you have to replace them prematurely. The following strategies can help you get as much use as possible out of your current mattress.
- Manage dust mite accumulation by frequently vacuuming areas around your bed and washing all sheets and pillowcases in hot water. Mite-proof bedding materials are widely available, as well.
- Rotate the mattress 180 degrees every few months. Simply flip the mattress so that the side where your head rests is now at the foot of the bed. You can also rotate double-sided mattresses by turning them over, as well as swapping the head and foot.
- Avoid excessive jumping or rough-housing on the bed — and instruct your children to do the same. Also understand that pets jumping on beds can wear out the mattress.
- Make sure your bed frame has a center support beam. Otherwise, your mattress will be much more susceptible to premature sagging.
- A mattress protector (as the name implies) can absorb lots of long-term compression and reduce early sagging or indentations. Some mattresses come with built-in pillow-top or euro-top layers that offer the same benefit.