Wondering what the average mattress life span is and how to make the most of yours? According to the National Bed Federation, on average, you should consider replacing your mattress after 7 years. However since mattresses vary so much, that's less of a rule and more of a guideline. What mattress style you have, how you sleep on it and the quality all make a difference to the mattress life span. Which is exactly why we've put together this handy guide to help you get a better idea of how long your mattress will last. And how to spot the signs you might need a new one.
How do you know when you need a new mattress?
The most common sign that you need a bed upgrade is when you wake up feeling older than your age. If you consistently feel like you're getting poor quality sleep or you sleep better in a hotel, it could be due to your ageing mattress.
Mild sagging is a sign that you need to consider replacing your mattress. However, if it feels misshapen, lumpy or has obvious body indentations, its definitely time for an upgrade. Sleeping on a bed that isn't offering the essential spinal support you need can lead to stiff joints and uncomfortable back pain.
It's also important to regularly check your children's mattresses for signs of wear and tear. Having proper spinal support is key to the healthy formation of their bones.
How to take care of your mattress and make it last longer:
While mattresses typically need replacing every seven years, certain things can make it deteriorate faster. If you want to extend how long yours will last, try and follow these key care tips:
1. Protection is better than prevention
Using a mattress protector from the beginning with help to preserve the inner materials. Water damage might not be at the front of our minds. But doesn't just occur from bed-wetting and spilt morning coffees. We all sweat during the night, while it's not a noticeable amount. Over time, that small amount of liquid per night racks up and can cause the materials to age and even rust.
2. Use a secure base
A bed frame that has seen better days can affect the mattress life span. Beds deteriorate too and can bring a new mattress down with them. If a divan base has started to bow or bed slats have begun breaking and falling through, it can start to affect the mattress structure. A good quality bed frame typically lasts longer than a mattress. So there's no need to replace the frame every time you need a new mattress. Nevertheless, it's important to check what kind of shape your current bed frame is in before putting a new mattress on top.
3. No jumping on the bed!
This one might be quite obvious but our mums were right when they told us not to jump on the bed. Mattresses are designed to evenly distribute weight and putting lots of weight on one spot is an easy way to break it. If you want to take extra steps to improve your mattress life span, avoid sitting on the edge of the bed. The springs at the edge are often the weakest since they're not completely surrounded by more supporting springs. Over time, sitting on the edge will wear down the springs on that side and cause it to sag.
4. Rotate or flip?
Completely flipping mattresses over is becoming a thing of the past. Many modern mattresses are one-sided and do not require flipping to maintain the structure. Many brands recommend rotating the mattress 180 degrees every so often to ensure even wear all over. Before flipping or rotating a mattress, be sure to check the instructions provided with your particular style to avoid damage.
5. Take care when cleaning
Regular cleaning can help extend your mattress life span. It will help to reduce a build-up of skin cells which entice unwanted bed bugs to move in. Before giving your mattress a freshen up, make sure to tailor your cleaning methods to that particular style. Pocket sprung mattresses benefit from being vacuumed every three to six months. Whereas if you have a foam mattress, avoid vacuuming where possible and use a brush to clean instead. Vacuuming foam can cause it to become misshapen and even tear.
How long should a memory foam mattress last?
Typically, memory foam mattress lasts as long as any other style - roughly seven years. However, premium memory foam styles have been known to last between eight to ten years which is slightly above average. Although, it's important to use this time-frame as a guideline and you should replace the mattress when it starts seeing signs of wear and tear. Investing in your mattress from the start by choosing a high-quality style, using protector and regularly cleaning it can extend the mattress life span by a few years.
How long does a latex mattress last?
Because latex is a naturally found material, it will break down over time. But don't worry, it's not going to start crumbling before your eyes after a few years. Natural latex mattresses typically have a longer life span than other styles. They can last anywhere between ten and twelve years depending on the quality of the materials and the care taken to preserve them. Latex styles are the most environmentally friendly out of all the mattresses. So when they do eventually need replacing, they won't leave behind a nasty carbon footprint.
How long does a spring mattress last?
Pocket sprung mattresses tend to last longer than traditional spring styles. Traditional springs, also known as open coil, fall at the lower end of the average mattress life span at around seven years. Whereas pocket sprung styles can last between eight and ten on average. When deciding between a pocket sprung or standard sprung, take your budget into account. While standard coil might be cheaper initially, it will need replacing sooner than a pocket spring style.
What type of mattress lasts the longest?
Latex foam mattresses have the longest average life span of around ten to twelve years. With some premium styles being known to last a whopping twenty. Although, it is extremely rare for a mattress to last for that long and should certainly be taken with a pinch of salt.
If longevity is what you're looking for, you need to invest in your mattress initially. Cheaper styles are made with less durable materials. It doesn't necessarily mean they will feel uncomfortable however they're not designed to withstand the test of time. If you opt for an averagely priced mattress, you can expect it to last the average amount of time which is around seven years. More expensive styles tend to be made from premium materials and hold up better in the long run.
If replacing an inexpensive style more regularly works out better for your budget, that's perfectly fine and there are plenty of affordable options available. But if you would prefer to splash out more initially then the mattress will be more likely to last longer than average.
How long does a cot mattress last?
Babies & toddlers tend to use a cot mattress for a maximum of five years. Because of this, cot mattresses are only designed to last that long. However, to meet desirable price points, cot mattresses nowadays tend not to the last the full five years. The short mattress life span only becomes a real problem when cot mattresses are re-used for multiple babies. Once it has begun to dip and sag, it's no longer providing the correct support which is especially important for babies and young children. If you are planning to re-use a used cot mattress, thoroughly check it for signs of wear and tear.
How long do mattress protectors lasts?
By simply using a mattress protector you can extend your mattress life span by a few years. Protectors prevent a build-up of skin cells, fluid and oil from entering the mattress. Over time, these things can seriously impact the structure and cause it to deteriorate much faster. When using a protector, it's important to wash it once every two months to avoid nasty bacteria growing.
Running the mattress protector through the wash will gradually start to break down the fibres. Normally this is pretty easy to spot and you'll likely notice signs of bobbling and thinning of the material. Generally, mattress protectors last between one to two years but you should replace them sooner if you notice any wear and tear. Over-washing, using a tumble dryer to dry and sleeping directly on the protector without a sheet will cause them to wear down faster.
How long do pillows last?
A good quality pillow should last up to two years. However, some lower quality pillows can need replacing every few months depending on the fillings used. You'll know it's time to replace your pillows when they stop feeling comfortable and supporting your head and neck properly. Feathered pillows tend to last longer than hollowfibre styles but can feel less supportive since they tend to dip in the centre. You should choose your pillow based on your comfort preferences. For more information on finding your perfect pillow, check out our helpful pillow buying guide.
Has your mattress seen better days?
Once you start noticing signs of wear and tear, it's probably time for an upgrade. We have a huge range of mattresses in stock that are available for next day delivery. With styles to suit all kinds of sleep preferences and budgets, you'll be sure to find the perfect one for you. If you need any help when choosing your new sleep set up you can contact one of our friendly sleep advisers or read more helpful buying guides on our advice hub.