When should I replace my mattress?

Written by
Isabella Williams

If you’re asking this question, odds are the answer is probably, 'Right now'! We spend one-third of our lives asleep, this means that in seven years, we’ve spent twenty-thousand hours in our beds. This is a lot of time for wear and tear to materialise.

Not getting the right amount of sleep or getting poor-quality sleep will affect your mental and physical health dramatically. There are a number of illnesses linked to poor sleep, such as heart disease, kidney disease and diabetes. Lack of sleep also can cause low energy levels, which can affect your work. It also causes your immune system to work less effectively, so you might find that you get ill more often.

As well as physical illnesses, sleep deprivation also triggers mental stress and affects your general wellbeing. It’s clear that sleep is very important, so why do people continue to sleep on mattresses that prevent them from getting the sleep that they need and keeping them from living to their full potential?

So, when should you replace your mattress? Well, we’ve put together this guide to help you identify the signs of wear and tear and draw your attention to some of the things that you might not have noticed but are actually affecting your precious sleep time. Of course, these suggestions are debatable; replacing a mattress should be based on a case-by-case basis and the exact lifespan of a mattress is subject to a number of variable factors. This is a rough guideline to help you work out whether you need to replace your mattress or not.

Things to look out for...

  • Do you wake up in the morning with stiffness or aches and pains? This could indicate that your old mattress might not be providing the ultimate support and comfort that you need to sleep soundly.

  • Do you feel tired throughout the day? If your mattress is old and uncomfortable it could be interrupting your Circadian Rhythm. This is the natural 24-hour internal clock your body goes through every day. It's moderated by temperature and sunlight. When you’re asleep, you’re not completely unconscious for the entire night. You might notice that you go through dips of deep sleep and mild wakefulness. If this cycle is disturbed and you don’t get the right combination deep and light sleep you become sleep deprived. This could be caused by an uncomfortable mattress.

  • Do you sleep better in a hotel bed? You might not notice that your mattress is worn out because you’re so used to the feeling. A good indicator to determine if your mattress is at the end of its life is seeing if you sleep better in a hotel or any other bed.

  • Has your weight dramatically changed recently? If you’ve lost or gained weight quickly your existing mattress might not be providing you with the support you need than it did previously.

  • Is your mattress showing signs of wear and tear? Can you see a visible dip in the middle of the mattress? This sagging is where the springs have collapsed and are no longer providing their supportive function. Can you feel the springs coming through? If this is the case, the springs have been displaced due to overuse or excessive pressure damage to the mattress. For example, if someone has jumped on the mattress.

  • Is your mattress noisy? If you’re hearing creaking, groaning and pinging springs, the springs are most likely damaged. The noise is created by the springs being displaced and rolling together. This could be keeping you awake and preventing you from getting a restful night’s sleep. If this is the case, it might be time to get a new mattress.

  • Can you feel your partner moving around in the bed when previously you couldn't? When a mattress gets older its ability to reduce motion transfer diminishes. This might be disturbing both yours and your partner’s sleep.

  • Are you suffering from more allergic reactions? Older mattresses collect more allergens, dead skin cells, dust mites and bedbugs, especially if it’s not cleaned and cared for regularly. This will affect your sleep.

  • Is your spine aligned when you sleep or is it dipping? When you buy a mattress you buy one that supports your spine so that it’s perfectly aligned. If your mattress is old and worn your mattress might not be supporting your spine very well any more.

  • Are you tossing and turning at night? This could be a sign that your mattress is no longer comfortable and it might be time to get a new one.

  • Would you be ashamed if someone else saw or had to sleep on your bed? This is a sure way to know that it’s time to get a new mattress.

  • Is your mattress around 7-10 years old? The Sleep Council recommend that you should replace your mattress every 8 years. This is a ballpark figure because, of course, a higher quality mattress will last longer. Furthermore, there are many different types of mattresses that have different life spans and there are other factors that contribute to your mattress living longer than this average age.

  • Although you should keep in mind that your mattress could be getting on the old side when it reaches 7-10 years old, do note that the type of mattress that you have could change this average age.

  • Mattresses with inner springs can be used for up to 10 years, depending on if they’re looked after properly. For example, they live longer if you flip them.

  • Memory foam, depending on the different densities, can live between 10-15 years, again depending on whether you rotate them or not.

  • The life of a latex mattress depends on whether it’s made of synthetic or organic material. It can live between 20-25 years.

  • Hybrid mattresses, depending on quality, have a life span of about 6 years because springs have a lower lifespan than just memory foam.

  • The lure of a Pillow-top mattress may seem comforting and luxurious but because of the small springs in the pillow top taking the majority of the weight and wear, the pillow breaks down more easily and thus doesn't last as long.

How to make mattresses last longer

If you would like to make your mattress lasts as long as possible, we’ve put together a list of tips to help you look after and care for your mattress properly.

  • Adding a mattress protector will make a barrier against spills, dust mites and debris that build up in mattresses. Keeping your mattress clean and hygienic will extend its life.
  • Your mattress needs to be properly supported. This means buying the right base for the mattress, whether it’s slats or a divan, the size and age of the base need to be similar to the mattress to allow it to be supported properly and last longer.
  • Don’t forget to rotate your mattress every 3-6 months. This is especially important if the mattress can’t be flipped. It relieves the pressure on the places that are being used all the time. This will prevent sagging.
  • A good tip for stopping your mattress from moulding is putting baking soda on your mattress and leaving it to soak up the moisture. Then hoovering the baking soda up.
  • Make sure to regularly open your windows to help air your mattress.
  • Keep your mattress upright when you move it to prevent spring damage and be careful not to bend it.
  • Keep your pets off your mattress. To prevent unwanted fraying and scratch marks as well as a build-up of pet hair, keep your pets away to elongate your mattresses life.
  • Don’t let the children jump on your mattress. This will damage and displace the springs.
  • Remove your sheets and leave them off occasionally to air out your mattress.
  • If you have a flipping mattress make sure that you flip and rotate it every 6-12 months.

All these measures will help to extend the life of your mattress. Remember that the life of a mattress will depend on a number of factors and you will have to determine when it’s time to change it on a case-by-case basis.

Ever thought about an adjustable mattress?

If you are at the point where you need a new mattress, you might like to look at an adjustable mattress as an alternative option.

Are you struggling to get out of bed? Well, at the touch of a button, an adjustable bed can prop you up and allow you to get in and out of bed with ease. Get your independence back and find ultimate comfort in our adjustable beds.

Browse our beds here...

For more information call us on 0800 999 2831.

Middletons Adjustable Mattress


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