Last Updated On April 12th, 2019
It is usually pretty easy to tell when it’s time to replace an innerspring mattress because they become squeaky, less responsive, and may even start to poke you in areas where the coils have worn down considerably. However, with all of the different materials and innovative mattress designs available on the market today, it can be hard to remember what we should expect from your mattress as far as its lifespan is considered. So we ask the question, how long does a mattress last?
Many different mattress companies are offering warranties with their products that can last for 10 years, 20 years, or even a lifetime. This has often made me wonder, can a mattress last 10 years? Can a mattress last 20 years? I highly doubt they can last a lifetime. Considering people spend a third of their lives in bed, on average, this just didn’t seem possible to me. So if you are like me and have also asked yourself the same questions, continue reading to find out what I learned!
The Lifespan of Your Mattress
Not all mattresses are alike, but even the most durable mattress will not last forever. The expected lifespan of different types of mattresses relies on a few factors.
First, we will discuss the different types of mattresses individually because the material used in construction largely determines the lifespan overall.
After that, we will examine the traits that should be considered regarding the lifespan of all types of mattresses.
This combined information will enable you to make an accurate assessment and determine if it’s time for you to upgrade your current bed, or not.
1. The Materials Used
The most important thing to consider when evaluating the mattress lifespan is, what materials were used to to make the mattress? Different materials deteriorate faster than others.
Ultimately, this is the key trait to think about when asking “How long does a mattress last?” When comparing memory foam vs spring or any other material used, the type of mattress you have will reveal the most accurate estimate of how long it will last.
a. How long does a memory foam mattress last?
We recommend replacing your memory foam mattress after no more than 10 years.
Memory foam was invented by NASA to sustain extreme force and high levels of pressure. As a result, it is extremely durable and makes an excellent shock absorbent material that is usable in many different products, like mattresses.
When purchasing a memory foam mattress, it is important to keep the thickness and density of the foam in mind. A higher density will provide a more durable level of support. A density level of 3.5 to 4 lbs./ft³ will provide the support necessary for most people. If you are a heavy person or have a large frame, aim for a density level of 5 lbs./ ft³ or more to prevent premature wear and tear.
You will know it’s time to replace a memory foam mattress when it starts to sag and show an indentation of greater than 2 inches. It will also be less responsive and take longer to decompress after years of extended use, alerting you to the end of its healthy use.
b. How long does a latex mattress last?
We recommend replacing your latex mattress after no more than 10 years.
Latex mattresses are very durable and will last you a long time, especially if you get one with a high-density level. Natural latex is more durable and has more elasticity than synthetic latex so it will typically last longer. Synthetic latex mattresses are more affordable so you may want to consider hybrid latex options that blend both types to provide the consumer with a lower price.
Some latex mattresses open up with a convenient zipper and you can replace the top layer which will allow you to lengthen the bed’s lifespan by several years.
You will know it’s time to replace your latex mattress when it sags, loses its resiliency, or becomes uneven on the surface.
c. How long does a pillow top mattress last?
We recommend replacing your innerspring mattress after no more than 8 years.
Generally speaking, a pillow top or an innerspring mattress will need to be replaced more frequently than other types made from foam or latex. The individually wrapped coils inside tend to wear unevenly causing large dents and sagging after continued use, especially if you always sleep in the same location on the mattress.
If you prefer innerspring mattresses, often they are more affordable, get one with a higher coil gauge. The higher the gauge number, the thicker the coils. Thick coils denote longer lasting durability and a firmer feel overall. Another way to maximize the lifespan of an innerspring mattress is by purchasing one with a pillow top or euro top on it. This will provide an extra layer of comfort and prevent premature sagging to some extent.
2. Frequency of Use
Second, consider how often the mattress is used. The majority of people spend every night in their bed. However, if you are considering replacing a mattress in a spare bedroom, or if you travel a lot, you will want to consider how often it gets used. If it frequently is empty then it will last for many years longer than the mattress you sleep in every night.
Couples who do not live together and frequently spend time sleeping at their partner’s house should add some additional years to their bed’s lifespan. Of course, this could pose other issues which we will address in the next section.
3. Body Type and Number of Sleepers
Third, consider your body type and whether or not you sleep with a partner. If you have a large body type, are tall, or overweight, how long you should keep a mattress will noticeably decrease. The more pressure that is applied to the mattress, the faster it will start to show wear and tear. The materials deteriorate as they are used and the more pressure that is applied, either by yourself or with the additional weight of your partner, the faster it breaks down.
The breakdown of materials happens the fastest in the top comfort layers. They are the softest and most responsive layers but are unfortunately the most susceptible to compression and deterioration from excessive weight as well. When this happens the inner layers of the mattress may remain firm and supportive but without the top comfort layer or layers functioning properly, you will start to notice some of these negative side effects over time: improper back and spine alignment, less comfort, decreased pressure point relief, and increased firmness overall.
If you have a large body type or are overweight, you may want to consider purchasing the best mattress for heavy people as these cater specifically to your requirements. Buying a more specific mattress will enable you to keep it for much longer without sacrificing comfort or longevity.
Fourth, look back and consider how you care for your mattress. The amount of effort you spend caring for your mattress will also affect the lifespan. I know it seems pretty obvious but most people could increase their mattress cleaning regimen in multiple ways to help boost the longevity of their mattress. The more you clean your mattress and preserve the original integrity of the materials, the longer it will serve you before it starts to show natural wear and tear.
Make Your Mattress Last Longer
Here are a few easy things you can do so your mattress lasts longer. Take a look at these easy tricks that you may, or may not already be doing which will ensure you are giving your mattress the best opportunity to perform on a high level, and for an extended period.
- Use a mattress protector, especially if you have kids. Preventing liquid from penetrating the inner layers of the mattress will keep it clean and prevent rapid degradation of the materials.
- Wash your sheets frequently. They serve as a barrier which protects the mattress from dead skin cells and spills.
- Don’t eat in bed. I know you think you can be careful but don’t test it. It can be very difficult to get food completely out of the material on your mattress.
- Don’t let your pets sleep in your bed. Instead get them their own. There are many reasons why pets shouldn’t be allowed in your bed. An example is that pets can drool and shed which only adds to the breakdown of materials while simultaneously creating an odor that is near impossible to get rid of.
- Clean and deodorize it. Sprinkle baking soda on the surface of your mattress occasionally, let it sit for about 30 minutes to an hour, and then air out or vacuum it up. The baking soda will naturally extract and absorb and moisture from within and leave it smelling fresh.
How Long Does A Box Spring Last?
Do box springs wear out? They sure can! For the most part, you will know if your box spring wears out because the frame will give and no longer provide your mattress the even support it needs to maintain comfort. Often it will drastically sag on one side or in a particular corner leaving you with a slanted surface that is no fun to sleep on. If a box spring gets wet it could develop mold or bacteria which is another sure sign that it is time to replace it. You can try to air it out but if it is not dried fast enough, then it might need replacing. You can simply get a different kind of frame like a platform bed that is functional without the need for a box spring.
Signs That You Need A New Mattress
Now that you know the estimated life expectancy of the most common types of mattresses, it’s important to remember that these are just guidelines. Regardless of what the estimates say, there are a few signs you should look for that will indicate it’s time to replace your old mattress.
Let’s have a look at some signs that mean you need a new mattress:
- Sagging, lumps, and/or indentations: If your old mattress has visible sagging, indentations greater than 2”, or it becomes lumpy you should consider upgrading to a new one.
- Sore and achy muscles: If your muscles and joints are sore or ache in the morning that is a good sign it’s time for a new mattress.
- You sleep better in another bed: If you find you sleep better in another bed, like in a hotel or at a friend or lovers, it could be a sign you need a new mattress.
- Poor quality of sleep: If you wake up feeling tired and less refreshed than normal because your quality of sleep is poor it could be time to get a new mattress.
- Water damage: If your mattress gets wet you will most likely need to replace it. With some mattresses, you can air it out or it can be dried out in a rapid fashion so you can avoid replacement but often this is not the case. Small spills can usually be cleaned up but wet mattresses are said to be the best breeding ground for bacteria and mold which can be harmful to your health so it should be taken very seriously.
How often you should buy a new mattress depends on what type you have, and how you choose to use it. Aside from the most determining factor, the material used, you must also consider how often you use the mattress, whether or not you sleep with a partner, your personal body size, and the amount of effort you spent on preventative care like light cleanings and frequently washing your sheets.
So, how long does a mattress last? Generally speaking, our best guess is about ten years, minus some years for the variables previously outlined in this article. Most often, it will be easy for you to notice changes in your mattresses integrity and overall structure that signal it will not last for much longer.
The most important thing is that you get a good night’s sleep and wake feeling rested and rejuvenated in the morning. If this ceases to be the case and you have had your bed for a long time, it’s most likely time to purchase a new mattress.