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How Long Should a Mattress Last?

Old lumpy mattress sitting on the floor.
Photo by Skylar Kang from Pexels

One of the things we don’t really think about is mattress replacement. It’s one of those things that is used all the time, but how often do we ever consider buying a new mattress? Sure, we can do a mattress rotation or three to prolong the life but even the best mattress will need to be replaced eventually. And before you ask, no you cannot just slap on a mattress topper to the old mattress. You’ll read about why in just a moment.

Mattress shopping probably sounds about as fun as car shopping but it’s actually easier because you can shop easily online. You can sort through all the fluff and really figure out what you want. Once you have picked out the brand and style, you can sometimes even go to a mattress store and test them. Even if you can’t find a brick and mortar store, most of the mattress brands online now offer free trial periods and if you are not satisfied, they even offer free returns.

Mattresses can be pretty expensive, especially if you are upgrading. Luckily, there are mattress sales happening all the time, and some of the best times to purchase a mattress are during holidays like President’s Day, Labor Day, or even Memorial Day. Now you know when to purchase a mattress, but do you know how to choose a mattress?

How Often Should You Change Your Mattress?

Really, this is the question we need to know the answer to. A typical mattress will last anywhere between 7 and 10 years depending on its quality. That’s not to say you shouldn’t replace it sooner, that is just the average life span before you need to replace a mattress.

  • Memory foam mattresses: One of the most durable mattresses out there, memory foam will last up to 10 years depending on if maintained properly.
  • Gel memory foam mattresses: Gel memory foam is like a cooling agent made of either beads or liquid and has an average life span of 10 to 15 years.
  • Hybrid mattresses: The mix of foam and coils creates a hybrid mattress that will last between 7 and 10 years depending on the core material quality.
  • Latex mattresses: The other highly most durable mattress is the all-natural latex mattress and should last you between 10 and 20 years. This will vary depending on the additional materials added during mattress production.
  • Innerspring mattresses: Spring mattresses have the shortest lifespan of any mattress. Each traditional spring mattress lasts about 5 to 6 years. Sleeping positions and body weight are the major factors in this mattress’ longevity.

These are not hard fast rules, but are more of a guideline. Each mattress’ lifespan will be determined by the quality of the material used, the type of mattress it is, and what type of mattress maintenance is performed. You can extend the life of your mattress by using a mattress protector, mattress topper, or some sort of mattress cover.

What Happens to Your Mattress After 10 Years?

Over time your mattress will begin to gain weight. For example, you purchase a new mattress that weighs 100 pounds, after 10 years, that mattress will double its weight to 200 pounds because over the years it collected all the body oil, dead skin, dirt, dust mites, and, yes, dust mite fecal matter. If those aren’t good enough reasons to buy a new mattress, then we don’t know what would be.

Can a Mattress Last Over 20 Years?

Mattresses can withstand the 10-year mark and even up into the 20-year mark depending on the amount of care given to them over the years. Latex mattresses are really the only mattresses built to last because of their natural material. Other durable and long-lasting foam mattresses are those made from plant-based products.

Can an Old Mattress Make You Sick?

An old mattress can have adverse effects on your health in many ways. If the mattress starts to sag or dip, you could have back pain. Additional health risks could range from allergies due to dust mites which cause sneezing, runny noses, watery eyes, coughing, and sinus pressure. Even individuals that suffer from asthma could be affected.

Over the years, mattresses could even be home to harmful mold or bacteria such as norovirus, enterococcus, or staphylococcus. A bad mattress can also affect your health by lowering your immune system, which in turn can cause depression or you can develop respiratory issues. In addition to all of these physical health issues, you could run the risk of sleep deprivation from tossing and turning because of an old mattress. If you are not able to get enough sleep, you will be exhausted and irritable, your mood will be affected, and you’ll potentially face a loss of sex drive, not to mention that sleep deprivation leads to additional health issues. This could all be traced back to a mattress in poor condition.

Whether or not a mattress can withstand the test of time, the more important thing is if it’s clean and maintained on a regular basis. Gravity has a way of affecting everything and over time, your mattress will begin to sag and you will feel the beginnings of back pain, hip pain, and wake up stiff. This is a telltale sign that it’s time for a new mattress.

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Joe Morales
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Joe Morales is a trained chef with over five years of experience working in fine dining and Michelin recommended restaurants…
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