Can you remember the last time that you bought a new mattress?
If you answered no, you aren’t alone. Replacing a worn-out mattress is one of the most overlooked and avoided purchases for homeowners.
Considering that we spend at least one-third of our lives sleeping and know that getting enough quality sleep significantly impacts our health and daily life…why don’t we pay more attention to our mattresses?
It’s possible that many people are simply uninformed as to what deems a mattress as needing to be replaced. Or, maybe it’s that buying a mattress can be a somewhat overwhelming and expensive task that most would rather just ignore.
Whether you are wondering if it might be time to shop for a new mattress, or simply want to try and extend the life of your current mattress, we’ve got you covered.
Ensuring that you are getting the best possible night’s sleep is highly dependent on keeping up with your mattress. If you don’t know exactly what that entails, read on to find out!
Why Does My Mattress Matter?
Before we examine when you should replace your mattress or how to make your mattress last longer, you might be wondering…
Why should I even care about my mattress? I survived just fine sleeping on my roommate’s futon throughout college.
Okay, but are you still sleeping on a futon?
I doubt it.
Whether you realize it or not, the quality and age of your current mattress has an impact on your sleep quality and overall health. A mattress that is too old and unsupportive can contribute to disrupted sleep. Chronic lack of sleep contributes to a long list of health issues:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Weight gain
- Cognitive and memory problems
- Certain cancers
- Higher stress levels Shorter life expectancy
And that’s just a few of the serious health concerns that chronic sleep deprivation can lead to. Plus, aside from affecting how well you sleep, an ancient mattress can intensify and exacerbate asthma and allergy problems.
Just as you wouldn’t climb Mount Everest with an old, worn out pair of boots, you shouldn’t go to sleep each night on an old, worn-out mattress. Your health and livelihood depend on it.
How to Know When Your Mattress Has to GO
It’s the ultimate question…
How do you know when to replace your mattress?
While there are many things that contribute to the lifespan of your mattress, in general, after about seven years of steady use it’s time to start shopping for a new one. Don’t fall into the mattress trap and hold on to the same mattress for 10+ years like the majority of the population does just because you think your mattress seems ‘fine’.
If you aren’t sure whether your mattress needs an upgrade, we’ve come up with five surefire signs to help you decide:
1. Waking up with pain or soreness
Do you wake up moaning and groaning from body aches and pains?
You shouldn’t be!
Occasionally waking up with a stiff neck or a sore back is fairly normal, but waking up with body discomfort on a daily basis is unacceptable. If you have chronic aches and pains in the morning, this is a sign that your mattress is no longer providing the support and comfort that you need. Replace it!
2. You Wake Up Exhausted
No one likes it when their alarm goes off at 5am. Especially if you stayed up way too late the night before binge watching Netflix or out with friends.
But if you get a full six to eight hours of sleep, generally you should wake up feeling refreshed and well-rested. If you aren’t, this could be due to an expired mattress.
Lack of sleep due to tossing and turning on a too-old mattress can cause you to wake up feeling tired. Time for a fresh mattress and even fresher mornings.
3. Your Mattress Feels Lumpy or Saggy
Take all the sheets off of your bed and run your hands over your bare mattress. Does it feel lumpy? Do you notice areas that are sagging?
If the answer is yes, then it is time to kick this mattress to the curb. (Not literally, it is important to properly dispose of your mattress and not simply put it on the curb.)
A mattress should keep its overall shape and form for its lifespan. When it starts shapeshifting into a lumpy mess, it is time for an upgrade.
4. Dirty or Ripped
Don’t put those sheets back on just yet!! After examining the lumps and bumps in your mattress, check out any spills, stains, rips, or tears.
If your mattress is sporting even a small hole or rip, it’s on its way out. Holes and tears, even small ones, are prime locations for bug infestations. Whether we like to admit it or not, all mattresses are susceptible to bugs and dust mites.
Keeping a mattress with holes or rips in your mattress just offer those bugs a cozy little place to nest. And any spills or stains could mean that your mattress is a breeding ground for nasty mildew and bacteria. Replace it!
5. George Bush Was President
If you can’t remember the last time that you replaced your mattress, outside of having a medical memory condition, that means it has been TOO LONG. As a rule of thumb, if your mattress is over seven years old it needs replacing.
A new mattress will improve your sleep and overall health. A lot can happen in seven years! Maybe you lost or gained weight, are dealing with different health issues, or maybe even gained or lost a bed partner – all of these life changes impact how well your mattress works for you.
Now that you know what to look for when it comes to replacing an old or worn-out mattress, here are some ways that will speed up how quickly that mattress reaches extinction. If you want to help your current mattress live a bit longer, avoid doing any of these things:
1. Jumping on Your Mattress
If you or your children regularly use your mattress as a trampoline, you’re efficiently taking years off of its’ natural life. Spring mattresses become lumpy and unsupportive due to padding getting shoved into the springs and mattresses made of memory foam are more likely to rip or tear due to incessant jumping. Treat your mattress like a trampoline and you will be shopping for a new one in no time.
2. Spills and Sweat
Moisture is one of your mattresses greatest enemies. If you do not have a mattress pad or a waterproof cover on your mattress, go buy one NOW. Spills, sweat, nighttime accidents-all of these things will significantly age your mattress. If your mattress is coverless-you will be replacing it before you know it.
3. Leaving Your Mattress to Naturally Marinate
Have you ever vacuumed your mattress? If not, you are not only wasting that very handy upholstery attachment on your vacuum but you are killing your mattress! Without regular cleanings you’re allowing your mattress to collect dust, bugs, mildew, bacteria, and a host of other allergy inducing junk. If you do not start cleaning your mattress, you should plan on replacing it well before seven years.
Mattress Life Extenders
Buying a new mattress is a big investment, and maybe not one that you are prepared to make just yet.
Or maybe you just purchased a new mattress and want to make sure that you take all of the necessary precautions to make it last as long as possible.
Whatever the reason might be, we can all benefit from doing a few small things to extend the life of our mattress.
1. Mattress Cover
Having a proper, waterproof mattress cover is probably the single-most important thing that you can do to make your mattress last. Bodily fluids and liquids can quickly destroy a mattress by promoting mildew and mold.
Once liquid gets into the layers of a mattress, it’s too late, the mattress is tainted. Not to mention the mass amount of night sweat and skin cells that our body produces and sheds every single night. And don’t forget about the dust mites that live off of our bodily shedding. Those nasty little creatures can easily infest an uncovered mattress and are very difficult to get rid of.
A mattress cover protects your mattress from all that and more. Instead of cleaning the mattress, you simply remove the mattress cover and toss it through the wash. Mattress covers are both affordable and effective. If you want to keep your mattress looking as good as new then a mattress cover should be the first bedding accessory you purchase.
2. Regularly Clean Your Mattress And Bedding
I wash my sheets weekly. I have friends who wash their sheets every few months. EW. Didn’t you read tip #1 about the mass amounts of sweat and skin cells that we produce and shed on a nightly basis?
Sheets and bedding offer a thin layer of protection between you and the mattress, but in order to offer any kind of protection, they must be regularly washed in hot water. Most experts suggest doing this at least every two weeks unless you have skin allergies or asthma, then do so more frequently.
Once a month you should be sure to strip everything off of your bed and vacuum that bare mattress. Sprinkle some baking soda over the mattress before vacuuming to aid in odor control and moisture absorption. Check out this guide on how to clean your mattress in six simple steps.
3. Rotate Your Bed
Every 2-3 months you should be rotating that mattress to avoid permanent body indents from forming. I have a pillow-top mattress, so flipping my mattress completely is not an option. But that doesn’t mean I can’t turn in it 180 degrees every few months. It takes to minutes and can add years to your mattresses life!
Obviously this step is only applicable to inner spring mattresses. Modern mattress tend to have multiple foam layers and only have one right side up.
4. No Dogs Allowed
Or cats for that matter. As a rule of thumb, keep all your furry friends off of your bed. Buy them their own pet bed or set up some blankets for them on the floor.
It’s hard enough dealing with the amount of skin cells, sweat and drool that you litter the bed with – do you really want to deal with all of the added slobber, shedding, and possible potty accidents that your favorite doggy friend brings to bed?
5. Proper Support
It’s obvious that you want your mattress to provide you with support and comfort while you sleep-but did you know that you need to keep your mattress supported too?
In order to help your mattress live a long life, it needs to have the proper foundation in the form of a sturdy bed frame and/or box springs are essential for your mattress to do its job and not get worn out too quickly.
Inspect the support system that your mattress exists on-is the box spring saggy? Are the slats broken or too far apart? If the bed frame weak and loose? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may want to rethink the foundation that you have for your mattress.
It can be easy to forget about the health and condition of the mattress that you sleep on each night. But when you consider that you will probably spend about 26 years of your total life on your mattress, you should probably spend a little bit more time keeping it in the best shape possible.
How long have you had your current mattress? Any tricks to extend the life of your mattress or for buying a new one? Share them here and let’s help each other sleep better!Resources: