Snuggling into a new mattress is the ultimate night-time luxury. Whether you choose a memory foam option or a traditionally sprung version, a super-soft pillow-top or an extra firm orthopaedic mattress. When they’re brand new, your mattress is performing at its very best.
But over the years, your comfy mattress begins to let you down. That memory foam doesn’t spring back as quickly, and your sprung mattress is starting to develop dips and lumps that make it difficult to get comfortable. It’s time to buy a new mattress. But how often should you do that? And what are the signs to look out for that tell you your old mattress has had its day?
How often should you change your mattress?
If you Google “How often should I change my mattress?” the general consensus is that under normal conditions, mattresses should be replaced every 6 to 8 years. Of course, this is a fairly generalised guideline and not a one-size-fits-all solution. If you’re curious to know how long does a mattress last on average, then there are various factors to take into consideration.
If you’ve had your mattress for several years and are not sure when is the right time to replace it, consider various indicators. This includes the type of mattress you have, if your health changes (such as developing a bad back), or simply whether you want to try a different type of mattress.
Changing a mattress has several benefits and ensures that you continue to have a good night’s sleep every night.
Why should you change your mattress?
This is the primary factor for changing your mattress. An old mattress may start to suffer from the dreaded lumps and dips. Springs may start to ‘dig you in the ribs’ when you’re sleeping. And the support you enjoyed when your mattress was new gradually starts to diminish. When you start feeling uncomfortable, it’s time to think about changing your mattress.
2. Serious health conditions
A lack of good quality sleep has been repeatedly linked to a variety of different serious health conditions such as heart disease, kidney disease, and diabetes. The best way to stay healthy is to eat well, exercise regularly, and just as importantly, get plenty of rest.
For anyone who suffers from allergies, an old mattress could be a real problem. All humans shed skin cells constantly. No matter how often you change your bed linen. Eventually, you will have a build-up of dust, dead skin and other allergy triggers.
Create the right environment, and you could also have some unwelcome guests moving in – dust mites. Not only can these make allergic reactions such as rhinitis much worse. But for asthmatics and anyone who suffers from respiratory conditions, it can be quite dangerous.
4. Those annoying squeaks
Once a mattress starts to get old (and especially if it’s a traditional sprung mattress), you’ll find you start to get annoying creaks and squeaks that could disturb your sleep.
When do you know it is time to replace your mattress?
How can you tell when you need a new mattress? That’s the big question. Well, fortunately, your old mattress will usually give you plenty of warnings…
Lumps and bumps
No matter how good the mattress is and how often you flip and turn or rotate it, you will eventually end up with a few lumps and bumps in your mattress. You may be able to disguise them for a little while by popping on a mattress topper. But eventually, those lumps and bumps will become so uncomfortable that they’ll start impacting your sleep. Time for a change!
Top quality mattresses have what is known as ‘edge-to-edge’ support to prevent the sides of the mattress from sagging and giving you a larger sleeping platform. However, if the sides are starting to droop, it’s time for a new mattress.
Muscle stiffness in the morning
If you’re waking up with a stiff back, shoulders or neck, it’s a good indication that your mattress simply isn’t giving you the support you need to keep your spine in a neutral position. If you can eliminate all other reasons for your aches and pains. Or if they keep happening, it’s time to look at changing your mattress.
The same applies if you notice your asthma or rhinitis getting worse. This could indicate that your hypoallergenic mattress is no longer doing its job, and that dust mites and other allergens have moved in.
Can a mattress last 20 years?
In theory, they can, but in practice they rarely do. Memory foam and latex mattresses can last a little longer up to 10-12 years, but there will be a noticeable deterioration in quality and comfort as the mattress gets older. Any mattress that claims to last for this long is pushing the boundaries of credibility a bit!
Respected manufacturers (who often have over a century of experience in making mattresses) as well as the National Bed Federation, recommend that a mattress needs to be changed after 8 years to avoid it from becoming lumpy, bumpy, and uncomfortable.
If you suffer from back problems, you’ll find that your mattress simply won’t give you the support you need to keep your spine properly aligned. By leaving it for too long, you could end up making your condition much worse.
Listen to your body. If you’re getting up in the morning and feeling stiff, uncomfortable or even in pain, it could be time to change that mattress. Have a look at our best mattresses for bad back guide for more advice.
How can you get rid of your old mattress?
Once you’ve decided to invest in a new mattress, the question is, what do you do with the old one? Mattresses are notoriously difficult to get rid of (which is why, sadly, you see so many fly-tipped in lay-bys up and down the countryside). However, if you buy your mattress from MattressNextDay, you can take advantage of free delivery, but you can also access our mattress disposal scheme.
When your new mattress delivered, you can arrange to have the old one taken away for a small fee, and we will ensure that everything that can be recycled is given a new lease of life and that all non-recyclable materials are disposed of properly. Find out more about our UK mattress disposal service.
For more advice on buying a new mattress, check out our mattress buying guide for lots of useful tips and information on how to choose the right mattress. Alternatively, if you are looking for information about cleaning your mattress, read our guide on how to get stains out of a mattress.