We spend roughly eight hours per night snoozing (if we’re lucky). Multiply that by a few years and you’ve got some serious wear on your bed. After some time, the springs won’t be as springy and supportive as they once were. The foam won’t be quite as soft and cloud-like as it was in its prime. But how often should you replace your mattress, exactly? Doing so costs quite a bit more than changing your sheets.
There’s no hard and fast rule, but experts such as John Breese, certified sleep science coach and founder of Happysleepyhead, recommend splurging on a new mattress every seven to 10 years, which is the typical life expectancy of a mattress.
That said, comfort and sleep quality are the most important elements when it comes to deciding whether it’s time to invest in a new mattress. So even if your mattress hasn’t hit the decade milestone, if it’s putting a damper on your zzzs, it’s got to go.
Not quite sold? Below Breese explains why it’s important to replace your mattress once it’s hit its expiration date, signs to look out for, and what types of mattresses give you the most bang for your buck.
Like mentioned before, the most important reason you should replace your mattress is for optimal sleep quality. Breese suggests paying close attention to how you feel when you wake up in the morning. Discomfort, neck or back pain, and tingly hands or legs could all be signs that your mattress has reached its end.
“Sagging happens gradually over time,” Breese says. “Since our bodies are great at adapting, you may not feel that your mattress isn’t as supportive as it used to be.” But once your mattress is very worn in, it no longer provides you with a uniform sleeping surface, he adds, which can push your spine out of alignment and cause those unpleasant feelings.
So, if you’re experiencing any kind of aches or stiffness, your mattress may be the culprit and no amount of melatonin or CBD oil will help you get the quality sleep you need. And given how vital sleep is to our overall health and well-being, a comfy new mattress is definitely worth the investment.
Aside from sleep quality, potential allergies are another big reason why you should give your old mattress the boot. “A mattress tends to accumulate organic particles, such as your dead skin cells, hair, sweat, and saliva,” Breese says. “This may lead to mold and dust mites, which are the most common allergens in humans.”
Even if you don’t feel like your mattress is impacting your sleep, any wear and tear is a big sign that it’s time for a replacement. “Aside from obvious sagging, lumps, and poking springs, you should also check how your mattress smells and sounds,” Breese says. “The former will help you understand if there is mold developing inside, while the latter will tell whether the springs are in good condition.”
Like with most things, you get what you pay for. So if you pinched pennies and went with a low-quality option, the lifespan of your mattress is not going to be nearly as great as a higher-quality mattress and will likely wear out long before it sees its tenth birthday.
“Natural or heavy-duty materials usually last longer than synthetic ones,” Breese says. “For example, latex will offer you support for a minimum of 10-12 years. The same goes for hybrid beds with a higher coil count in the spring base and latex comfort layers. Traditional innersprings have a shorter lifespan and can only last for seven to eight years. It’s similar for foam mattresses.”
And one more thing: Don’t buy into the alluring 20-year warranty some mattress brands offer. “These warranties typically have a lot of restrictions,” Breese says. “So, if you ever need to file a claim, you might not end with a free replacement or repair. Also, extended warranties result in higher prices.” No matter what the warranty says, you should still replace your mattress every decade, so you don’t really need the super longer warranty. Save your dollars.
Although you really should replace your mattress after 10 years, there are a few things you can do to help keep it in tip-top shape and stretch its lifespan a bit.
For one, you can rotate or flip your mattress if the design permits it. “Rotating will help redistribute the load and prevent sagging,” Breese says.
You can also let your mattress breathe every once in a while. “Just remove the bedding for 20-30 minutes,” Breese says. “This will help excess moisture, which may have got inside the layers, evaporate. Also, if possible, take your mattress outside, as exposure to sunlight can help you combat the dust mites.”
And lastly, you can also invest in a mattress protector. “They protect your mattress from mold, bed bugs, and debris build-up, not allowing any liquids to get inside,” Breese says. “You may not know it, but stains will void your warranty.” Duly noted.
Now that you’ve got a snuggly new mattress, you’ll need new sheets. Here are the fabrics dermatologists recommend for your bedding, and here are the best sheets to keep you cool.