How often should you change your mattress? There's no simple answer to that, as a mattress' lifespan is determined by a number of factors – the material it's made from, the quality of its construction, how often it's used and how well you care for it being the most important.
One thing is certain though – no mattress lasts forever, and if you feel that your mattress is no longer as comfortable or supportive as it once was, continuing to sleep on it could lead to back pains, poor quality sleep and other problems.
Why do mattresses need to be replaced?
Mattresses are designed to offer comfort and support for your body, but through repeated use they can slowly wear down and go out of shape. The average person spends 8 hours or one third of the day asleep, so most of us spend more time on a mattress than any other item of furniture.
Mattresses can also accumulate dirt and moisture from sweat over time, which can attract bacteria and lead to mould and mildew growth inside the mattress. This can be a health hazard, especially if anyone in your home has asthma or allergies.
How to spot the signs of a worn out mattress
You shouldn't rely on your mattress' warranty as a guarantee of its lifespan. Only you can know when it's the right time for a replacement, if you spot any of these warning signs:
- You can see sagging or lumps in the mattress
- You can hear the springs creak when you lie down
- The mattress has a bad odour that can't be shifted using home remedies
- You find it hard to get comfortable when lying down to sleep
- You wake up feeling tired
- You wake up with a stiff or aching back, neck or joints
- You've noticed an increase in allergy or asthma symptoms
- You don't have these problems when you sleep on another bed
How often should you change your mattress?
If you're still not sure whether it's time to replace your mattress, knowing how long different types of mattresses usually last for could help you decide. The quality of the mattress will have an influence too, with a luxury mattress made from high quality materials being likely to last longer than a cheap mattress.
The main types of mattresses are:
Average lifespan: 7 to 10 years
Innerspring mattresses use coils of steel or other metals designed to provide support the body. Over years of use, these springs can weaken and start to bend out of shape, especially if you're heavy.
An innerspring mattress tends to wear out faster than a foam or latex mattress, but this depends on the quality of the coil springs. A cheap mattress with thin springs can wear out in less than 10 years, but a luxury innerspring mattress with independent pocket springs and denser padding to reduce vibrations is likely to last much longer with proper care.
Memory foam mattress
Average lifespan: 10 to 15 years
Memory foam mattresses are made from soft but durable foam that conforms to the sleeper's body shape over time to provide customised comfort. A gel memory foam mattress includes cooling gel particles to be even more comfortable. The mattress should return to its original appearance after the sleeper gets out of bed, but over many years it may lose its elasticity.
The lifespan of a memory foam mattress depends on the quality of the foam it's made from. A high density foam mattress will last longer than a lower quality mattress, and rotating the mattress on a regular basis will help to extend its life while still retaining your body impression.
Average lifespan: 15 years
Latex mattresses are a little more expensive than other types of mattresses, but they also last longer. When you take good care of a synthetic or natural latex mattress, it can last for 15 years or more – twice as long as an innerspring mattress.
One of the advantages of latex mattresses is that the different layers can be individually flipped, helping to spread out the use. Another is that latex is naturally antibacterial and hypoallergenic, so you won't have to worry about bacteria or dust mites.
Average lifespan: 10 years
A hybrid mattress adds innersprings to a memory foam or latex mattress to offer the ultimate balance of comfort and support. While the presence of springs can mean a shorter life expectancy than memory foam or latex alone, a premium hybrid mattress made from quality materials will stand the test of time.
Other types of mattresses
If you sleep on an air bed, water bed, futon or other alternative type of mattress, these usually have a shorter lifespan than a standard mattress – between 5 and 10 years, depending on the quality of construction. They also don't offer the same level of support or comfort as a conventional mattress, so you may be more likely to suffer from aches and pains or a disturbed sleep.
What else affects a mattress' lifespan?
Whatever type of mattress you have, the way you treat it can also have a big impact on its life expectancy. You should ask yourself:
- How often it's used – a mattress that's only used occasionally should last longer than one that's used every day.
- How much you weigh – heavier sleepers put more pressure on a mattress, which causes it to compress more and wear out faster.
- How you treat the mattress – standing and jumping on a mattress can cause it to wear out more quickly, while spilling food or drink in bed can attract bacteria, mould and mildew.
- How often it's cleaned – cleaning your mattress helps to get rid of bacteria, dust mites and other pests.
Ways to make your mattress last longer
How you use and treat your mattress plays a big role in how long it will last for. If you want to make sure your new mattress will last as long as possible, you should:
- Clean the mattress every month
- Flip the mattress every 6 months
- Use a mattress protector from the start
- Don't eat or drink in bed
- Don't let pets on the bed
- Don't let kids jump on the bed
How to clean a mattress
Regular cleaning helps to keep a mattress free from stains and odours as well as preventing bacteria and mould build-up. It's recommended to clean a mattress once a month, although this may be done less often if you use a mattress protector. Read more about how to clean a mattress here.
The most important thing to know when cleaning a mattress is don't use water! This will soak into the mattress and can be very hard to dry out, increasing the risk of mould and mildew growth. Instead, you should use a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment.
Mattress stains should be spot treated as soon as possible to avoid soaking through and becoming permanent. You can banish most odours by sprinkling baking soda over the mattress and vacuuming it clean after, or using other home remedies.
When to flip a mattress
Rotating and flipping your mattress help to ease the strain and can significantly extend its lifespan. This should be done every 6 months, but when your mattress is new it can benefit from more frequent flipping on a monthly basis.
Flipping is especially important for innerspring mattresses, as it helps to balance the load on the springs. It's less vital for memory foam and latex mattresses, but rotating the mattress end to end can help to maintain its bounce and avoid depressions.
How does a mattress protector help?
You should fit a mattress protector as soon as you buy a mattress. This should be cleaned regularly, at the same time as your other bed linen.
As well as being a first line of protection against spills, a waterproof mattress protector also reduces moisture transfer from sweating. It can also prevent dust and debris such as dead skin cells from getting trapped in the mattress and reduce wear and tear on its surface.
How to choose a mattress that will last
If it's time to buy a new mattress, you'll want to make sure you're buying quality bedroom furniture that will stand the test of time. If you've been let down by low quality mattresses in the past, choosing a luxury mattress is an investment in a restful sleep every night, free from back and neck pains.
DeRUCCI mattresses are designed for optimal comfort and support, combining individual pocket springs with memory foam, natural latex and other quality materials. See our mattress range online and at our stores across Australia to find your perfect match.