How Long Should a Mattress Last: Know When It's Time for a Replacement
Having a quality mattress is essential for a good night's sleep. A mattress that doesn't provide adequate support will cause you to wake up with aches and pains or simply leave you feeling exhausted. And that's not to mention the long list of health problems that can be caused by long-term sleep deprivation.
The thing is, even the best mattress will deteriorate over time, with the average lifespan of a mattress being around seven to 10 years. Of course, the exact number of years may vary quite widely depending on various factors including the type of mattress you have and the way it's used.
So, how long should you keep a mattress? We put together this guide to mattress lifespan and when to replace a mattress to help you figure out just that.
How long does a mattress last?
The biggest factors that will determine your mattress's lifespan are what type of mattress you have and the quality of the mattress materials.
The five main mattress types you typically see on the market include:
- Innerspring mattresses
- Memory foam mattresses
- Latex mattresses
- Hybrid mattresses
- Adjustable mattresses
Your ideal mattress type will depend on what sleeping position you tend to sleep in and what mattress feel you prefer. For example, innerspring beds tend to be medium-firm to firm mattresses, making them best for back sleepers and stomach sleepers. Memory foam, on the other hand, is usually on the softer side, making it ideal for back sleepers and side sleepers.
The typical life expectancy of these mattress types is as follows:
Ideal Sleeping Position
Memory Foam Mattresses
All sleeping positions
All sleeping positions
Contributing factors to a mattress's lifespan
Various factors contribute to how long your mattress will last, including what material it's made from and how it's been used.
- Mattress type: The type of mattress makes a huge difference for its lifespan. Latex mattresses usually last the longest, followed by high-density memory foam mattresses, then innerspring mattresses and low-density memory foam.
- Mattress quality: Mattresses made of higher-quality materials such as high-density foam, natural latex, and organic cotton will last you longer than mattresses of the same type made of cheaper materials, e.g., low-density memory foam or synthetic latex.
- Frequency of use: How often you sleep on your mattress plays a big role. A mattress that sits in your guest room and is used only occasionally will last longer than a mattress you sleep on every night.
- Body weight and sleep position: Heavier bodies may find their mattress begins to sag more quickly. (People with these body types should look for mattresses made with stronger, more durable materials to prevent premature sagging.) Your sleep position may also affect how quickly your mattress wears out: Side sleepers put a lot of weight in the areas of hips and shoulders, for example.
- How you care for the mattress: The better you take care of your mattress, the more life you can get out of it. That means using a protective cover, rotating the mattress every few months, and following the manufacturer's care guidelines. (Here's how putting your mattress on the floor can affect its lifespan.)
5 signs it's time to get a new mattress
So how can you really tell when it's time to get rid of your old mattress? Our top tell-tale signs it's time to start looking for a new mattress include:
- You are waking up with back pain
- Your mattress is stained or torn
- You can feel your partner moving around
- Your allergies are worse
- You can't get comfortable at night
1. You are waking up with back pain
If you wake up with aches and pains at least two or three times a week, it’s a sign your mattress isn't supporting your body and pressure points properly anymore. Whether it’s because of wear and tear or because your body has changed, it's a definite sign your mattress needs to be replaced.
2. Your mattress is stained or torn
Inspect your mattress: Does it have stains or smells? Are there big dips or impressions in the top layer or any rips and tears? All these mean that it’s time to replace it.
3. You can feel your partner moving around
Keep a close eye on other signs of change in your mattress performance: Can you feel your partner moving around in bed more than you used to? If your mattress’s ability to prevent motion transfer has decreased, it might be nearing the end of its lifespan.
However, it's also important to note your mattress may have higher levels of motion transfer depending on the type of mattress you have. A softer mattress, like a memory foam mattress, tends to have less motion transfer, while innerspring mattresses and those made of latex foam tend to have higher motion transfer. (Here's how to make your mattress softer if you feel like yours is too firm.)
4. Your allergies are acting up
Have you noticed an increase in allergy or asthma symptoms every time you wake up? It might mean your mattress has become home to allergens that can wreck your sleep quality. Older mattresses are typically full of allergens like dust mites that can irritate you during your sleep.
5. You can't get comfortable
Finally, if you simply can’t get comfortable on your mattress anymore for no identifiable reason, and you’ve had it for longer than seven years, consider getting a new one. You'll be able to sleep better if you aren't constantly adjusting your position on a lumpy mattress. (Is your old mattress sliding around? Here's how to keep your mattress from sliding.)
Top tips for maximizing your mattresses lifespan
The best way to extend the life of your mattress is to focus on proper maintenance and care. Once you start experiencing signs of wear on a mattress, it can be hard to get it back in the right condition. It's important to take proper care of your mattress from the start.
Our top tips for keeping your mattress properly maintained include:
- Getting the right foundation: Generally, most foundations and bed frames will work for most mattresses—but do check whether your mattress requires a specific type of foundation. Some mattresses will work well with just a box spring, while others need a sturdier foundation. This will help you avoid mattress sagging in the future.
- Regularly cleaning your mattress: At least twice a year, go over your mattress with the upholstery attachment of your vacuum cleaner to get rid of dust, crumbs, and dust mites. Then deodorize your mattress by generously sprinkling baking soda all over it. Leave the baking soda on for a full day, then vacuum it up and go over your mattress one more time with the upholstery attachment.
- Invest in a mattress protector: To prevent stains, buildup, mildew, and allergens from accumulating on your mattress, always use a mattress protector or mattress cover.
- Rotate your mattress: Over time, mattresses develop body impressions and indentations. Some of these are normal. To prevent deeper wear and sagging, though, you should rotate your mattress 180 degrees every few months. However, you shouldn't flip your mattress as this can cause additional damage and require you to replace it even sooner. (There are some mattresses that are designed to be flipped. Learn about flippable mattresses here.)
- Handle your mattress carefully: Handle your mattress carefully if you’re moving to a new home. Before the move, wrap it securely in a high-density polyethylene mattress storage bag, taping the edges completely shut, then put the mattress in a protective cardboard box to prevent structural damage.
Watch this video to see how to rotate your mattress to help prevent deeper wear:
Check out Saatva's wide selection of high-quality mattresses
After deciding if it's time to replace your old mattress, you need to start searching for your new bed. There are a lot of factors that go into the mattress and brand you choose, but the top thing you should be concerned about is quality. You want to get better quality sleep, feel more comfortable, and know your mattress is made to last.
Saatva carries a full collection of comfortable mattresses suitable for every sleeper. You can take Saatva's mattress quiz to determine which mattress is best for you, and explore our other products like pillows, mattress toppers, and more. You'll also be able to take advantage of our 180-night sleep trial and generous warranty on every single mattress purchase.