Tired of waking up in the middle of the night to the lumps, bumps, squeaks, and creaks of your tired ol’ mattress? You’ve probably been sleeping on this thing for a while, huh? That’s okay, most of us have—we don’t pay much attention to our mattress until it’s too late. Similar to a toad in increasingly hot water, it’s hard to notice the gradual day-after-day degradation of your sleep zone because you’re using it as it’s getting worse. How often should you replace your mattress? It can be hard to know when it’s time to make the upgrade not just because a new mattress feels like a big expense, but because we often don’t realize just how bad things have gotten.
What’s in a Mattress?
Our guess is that the reason you’re wondering how often should you replace your mattress is because… you’re starting to realize it might be shoppin’ time (or your lower back is letting you know). But to understand why we need to make a change, we must first understand what we’re changing.
Innerspring mattresses are your classic mattress, the kind with metal coils inside that determine how much support the mattress can give. Though they can have different coil shapes and structures, spring mattresses tend to be coils embedded in a light wooden frame bound to a top padding made of polyurethane foam. The top padding is what determines the “softness” of a spring mattress.
Memory foam mattresses are made from—you guessed it—a big piece of foam! When sleeping on a memory foam mattress your body heat softens the material, which lets it contour around your body, cradling you. The biggest advantage is that in a larger bed, movements by one partner are less likely to bother the other because of how well foam handles “motion transfer” compared to innerspring mattresses. You’ve seen those memory foam bed commercials where they jump around on a mattress near a wine glass and it doesn’t splash, right? That’s why!
How Often Should You Replace Your Mattress… Really?
A good rule of thumb is to replace your mattress every 7-10 years! Depending on how used to a mattress you are, that might feel like a big commitment! You might have been carrying the same mattress from house to house for years and have grown quite an attachment to the thing! But as they say, if you love ‘em let ‘em go. Are you under that guideline but just not feeling your mattress anymore? Here are some other signs that it’s time to make the change:
Wear ’n’ Tear
Sagging, lumps, coils poking at your back—these are all going to keep you from falling asleep easily AND interrupt your quality of sleep (when you finally get there).
Squeak squeak! Sleeping on a bed that sounds more like an excited mouse than a pile of feathers? That means your coils are worn out and are not providing you the support they should be, which can lead to soreness/stiffness in your joints and muscles. That’s no good!
Again, when your mattress has given up the ghost and is no longer supporting your body, you’ll feel it. If you’re in otherwise good health but feel that tug of a sore lower back and absolute need to stretch just to get started in the morning… you might wanna get a new mattress.
The question of how often should you replace your mattress differs if you share a bed, too. If you can feel your partner moving around in the bed, that means your mattress is losing its ability to reduce “motion transfer,” meaning that when they toss and turn, so do you.
If you notice your allergies or asthma getting worse, remember that your mattress is where allergens and dust mites live. While vacuuming and cleaning your mattress regularly helps, if it doesn’t seem to make a difference it might be time for the switch!
Get More Life out of Your Mattress
Here are some tips and tricks to get a little more life out of your mattress, especially if it’s failing you early in its life. Give it some regular pampering for longevity.
Make sure your mattress is being properly supported by the perfect bed frame! If you pick out the right type of frame for your mattress (and vice versa) your mattress will last much, much longer.
Rotation Rotation Rotation!
Make sure that you rotate your mattress every 3 to 6 months to promote even wear. This helps you to avoid sinking into a mattress and having it conform to your body shape. Most mattresses can easily be rotated head-to-foot but some mattresses can be completely flipped over, too (check with the manufacturer).
Your mattress deals with sweat, the humidity of blankets, and dust gathering around its edges – open the windows regularly to let your mattress breathe! On days that you wash all the sheets, don’t be afraid to let your mattress feel a fresh breeze for as long as you can. Air it out!
Since you’ve already got all the sheets and pillows off, give your mattress a light dusting with baking soda. If you wash your sheets in the morning, you can put them back on at night to give the baking soda a full day to absorb the scent. Vacuum it up and put the fresh sheets on—thank us later.
There’s a lot to consider when trying to figure out how often you should replace your mattress. And while the answer could be complicated, it’s really this simple—between 7-10 years, or when it stops feeling comfortable for you to sleep on. You don’t want to start sacrificing sleep just because a new mattress costs money—it’s not worth it! How often should you replace your mattress? If you’re reading this article, probably pretty soon!