Most people spend around one-third of their life in bed sleeping. For this reason, your mattress is an important factor when it comes to your sleep hygiene. Mattresses are only good for a limited time and can lead to health complications when extended beyond their life. This article will discuss when you should replace your mattress and how to expand its life.
Mattresses should be replaced every 6–8 years.
Older mattresses can develop dust mites, bacteria, and mold, leading to allergies and asthma.
You can preserve the life of your mattress by rotating it and using a cover.
Using an old mattress can cause health issues and general aches and pains.
Signs you need a new mattress
Around 7% of people who have trouble sleeping have attributed the problem to having a bad mattress. Most normal mattresses should be replaced every 6 to 8 years unless otherwise stated by the manufacturer. Here are a few signs you may need to replace your mattress:
- If it makes a lot of squeaky noises compared to when you first got it.
- You feel that mattresses at hotels are more comfortable than yours.
- You are no longer getting a restful sleep at night.
- You wake up sore and stiff in the morning.
- If it feels lumpy, uneven, or has divots.
- Your allergies have gotten worse.
- If your mattress is 6–8 years old.
If you are waking up feeling stiff with aches and pains, it may be time to replace your mattress. A poor mattress can create uneven pressure on your joints, causing nerve pain or numbness and tingling in the arms and legs when you sleep. You may also feel unrested when you wake up and have daytime sleepiness. If you are losing sleep because of your mattress, over time, a lack of sleep can lead to complications such as diabetes, kidney disease, and heart disease.
Mattresses and sleep
A good quality new mattress can improve your quality of sleep. A new mattress can help reduce aches and pains in your major joints and back. Poor mattress quality can cause back, neck, hip, and shoulder pain. A good quality new mattress can help keep your body in alignment, reducing aches and pains.
A new mattress can create less movement that transfers through the bed as you move at night. Some mattresses tout the movement transfers so minimal that you can jump on the bed with a glass of wine without having it spill. Older mattresses are prone to creating more motion when you move around at night, disrupting sleep.
Over time, your mattress soaks up dust, oils, and skin cells, then starts to accumulate mold, bacteria, and dust mites. The mattress is one of the household items with the most dust mites. The accumulation of these factors can cause a worsening of allergy and asthma symptoms.
Getting the most out of your mattress
There are many different influences that factor into increasing the lifespan of your mattress. Good mattresses can often be pricey and can add up over time if replaced often. A lower priced mattress, around $300, may not be as good of quality and last as long as a mattress that costs $4000. That is not to say that the more expensive the mattress, the higher the quality — ensure that you look at the reviews and quality of the build before purchasing your mattress.
The material of the mattress matters. Low-quality and 100% foam mattresses may not last as long. They may sag and lose form quicker than a higher-quality mattress made of hybrid materials. The coils you look for should be thicker rather than thin and malleable. You should also look into mattresses that have high foam densities mixed with polyfoam and memory foam.
Caring for your mattress is also very important. Using a mattress protector can help prevent fluids, oils, and cells from getting trapped in the mattress. It can also prevent dust mites, helping avoid allergies.
Rotate the mattress:
Rotating the mattress every few months also helps to prevent the mattress from becoming saggy or developing indentations. You can do this by rotating the mattress by 180 degrees so your head and feet areas are switched. You can also completely switch the mattress over on its other side and do the same thing.
Standard-sized mattresses are tested on average-sized people. People who are over or underweight may need to adjust the type of mattress they buy compared to other people. Heavier people may need a mattress that will not sag as quickly. Alternatively, a lighter person may need a mattress that gives them the amount of support needed without being overly firm.
Pets and kids:
Letting pets on the bed can add additional weight to the bed, creating uneven sagging areas. It can also lead to an increase in pet dander and other dirt on the mattress, leading it to need to be replaced earlier. Pet nails may also reduce the life of the mattress by creating holes or tears in the fabric. If you are a pet owner who lets your pet sleep in bed with you, you may want to choose a stronger mattress accordingly and use a mattress cover.
Children may need to have their mattresses replaced more frequently due to stains and damage. Consider using mattress covers on a child's mattress to extend its life.
Picking the right mattress
There are a lot of different types of mattresses out there, and most mattresses have a life span of around 8 years. There are a few things to consider when picking out a new mattress. The firmness of the mattress may be a personal preference, but you should still ensure you choose a high-quality mattress.
- The innerspring should evenly distribute your weight.
- The foam density should be able to hold your weight evenly.
- Latex mattresses are more durable if it is organic rather than synthetic.
- Pillow tops may provide more comfort upfront but may not extend the lifespan and lead to sagging.
Having a proper mattress is essential for good sleep. An old mattress can lead to allergies, aches and pains, and overall health complications. Picking a quality mattress is important to your sleep hygiene.
How often should you replace your mattress?
Unless otherwise stated by the manufacturer, you should replace your mattress every 6 to 8 years. Some mattresses are built to last longer, and there are certain steps you can take to extend the life of your mattress.
Do I need to change my mattress even though it's still good?
It is possible that even though your mattress doesn’t seem to have any faults, it may still need to be replaced. Mattresses are typically made of fabric that absorbs oils, skin, and dust. Over time, these attract dust mites, bacteria, and fungus, leading to health issues.
How do you prevent your mattress from sagging?
Rotate your mattress by 180 degrees every 3 months to prevent it from sagging early. You should also turn it entirely to the other side, if possible, to expand the life of your mattress.
- Journal of Chiropractic Medicine. Changes in back pain, sleep quality, and perceived stress after introduction of new bedding systems.
- Biology and Rhythm Research. Effects of different mattresses on sleep quality in healthy subjects: an actigraphic study.
- National University of Singapore. House dust mites go to mattresses in droves: Study.
- European Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. Fungal contamination of bedding.
- Journal of Chiropractic Medicine. Effects of Mattress Material on Body Pressure Profiles in Different Sleeping Postures.