Most people believe that changing your mattress every 5-10 years is a rule of thumb. However this belief may not be the best way to judge when to replace your mattress, as many factors can affect the speed of its degradation. Mattresses can actually last longer than 10 years or less than five. So when deciding how often should you replace a mattress, you should look for the following signs:
If you’re waking up with back pain, or sore and stiff, especially if you did not go to sleep with this pain, it may definitely be time to replace. Your mattress is made of materials that can degrade and over time can contribute to a poor structure. To check if this is the case remove all layers covering your mattress and look at it properly to find any damage or sagging, these are signs that it is time to change. The structure of your mattress is vital for great sleep, back support and can even cause snoring. To delay the degradation of your mattress you may be able to flip it if it’s designed in this way. The Kovacs Foundation has done research and found that those experiencing chronic pain in their lower back are better suited to medium firm mattresses which will provide better support.
The Natural Sleep Company reported that “without proper spinal and head support, muscles in the jaw and throat can collapse causing increased snoring.” So again, check that your mattress is supporting you properly. Check your mattress is firm enough to sleep on the back comfortably, you might want to go for memory foam or latex.
An old mattress could also be full of dust and dust mites that could set off allergies that cause snoring.
Those with allergies or asthma may get irritated by dust mites and dust that build up in old mattresses. If you’re suffering from irritation and it’s not allergy season this may be why.
The Slate reported “your mattress is a dust mite’s ideal habitat; when you go to sleep, you provide all the food, water, and warmth a mite could ever want.” Dust mite feces (ewwww!!!!) and the actual dust that collects within your mattress are known for sparking asthma and allergic reactions.
If you are not up to buying a brand new mattress, there are some techniques to try and get rid of these irritants, including getting dust and dust mite proof cases (you can buy them here).
You may also want to vacuum or steam your mattress and change bedding or at least wash it in hot water weekly.
If you’ve recently had a great weight loss or gain and are now finding your sleeping patterns to be erratic, your changing shape may be the cause.
A study in Canada found that weight gain can actually cause either less or more sleep than usual. Another reason is that mattresses settle according to a certain body weight and will either not be suited for your new lighter mass or a gain may cause damage to its ageing structure, resulting in a shorter lifespan.
This is the same for if your mattress only used to have to cope with you, but now you have a partner sleeping in your bed.
So what type of mattresses last the longest?
Better Homes and Gardens recommends these types of mattresses to ensure longevity:
The Tempur material is perfect for ensuring that your mattress will be long lasting. By moulding itself to suit your body shape it’s known to last for 10 years, if not more, and the company promise that every night is a comfortable sleep.
Even Serena Williams loves this material! The tennis ace brand ambassador says, “this is the only mattress that adapts to my body, relieving pressure points so I sleep deeply and wake up ready to perform on the court and conquer whatever the day might hold."
You can buy one here
Memory Foam Mattress
NASA-designed memory foam was originally used for shock absorption in seats on airplanes. Similar to Tempur, this material reacts to the specific outlines of your body and therefore if a partner moves around a lot throughout the night, you’re sleep will most likely not be disrupted.
To ensure it’s longevity, Ecosa states that every 6 months you should clean your mattress with ether a vacuum cleaner or by putting the removable cover in the wash. The brand Ecosa even guarantees that you will get 15 years out of your Memory Foam and even has a warranty on it.
You can buy one here
You can also buy a cot mattress in memory foam for your little one here
Box Springs Mattresses
Till recently, this was a popular type of setup for beds. The mattress of your choice was placed on a base to help it last longer. The springs inside this base could provide a further level of comfort. But now many so-called box springs don't even have springs in them!
If you are unhappy with your sleep, instead of replacing your mattress you may just need to replace the box springs base.
Or if you want a change up, other options for a base can be a wooden frame or futons. Some are even happy to put their mattress straight on the floor.