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We’ve all been there before: Dreading the alarm clock each morning, dragging yourself out of bed and hoping that several cups of coffee will give you the push you need to make it through the day. Maybe this is just what life is supposed to be like. Or perhaps it’s time to start thinking about a new mattress so you can get the rest you need to feel energized each day.
Sure, we may change our sheets every week or two, or purchase a new comforter or mattress topper from time to time (they typically last 2-3 years), but we often look at our mattresses like permanent fixtures in our lives. But if you find yourself feeling more and more zombie-like throughout the day, maybe it’s time to think about buying a new mattress so you can enjoy better sleep.
How to Know If You Need a New Mattress
If you’re wondering how to know if you need a new mattress or how often you should get a new mattress, there are several telltale signs that it’s time to move on from your old bed and into something newer and more comfortable.
Aches and Pains
Millions of Americans suffer from chronic aches and pains that hamper them in their daily lives. This pain is sometimes the result of joint misalignment, a nagging injury, a medical condition or something else that’s entirely out of your control. But for some people, sleeping poorly is the root cause of their aches and pains. Freeing yourself from pain may be as simple as buying a new mattress.
If you wake up each morning in pain, this may be a sign that it’s time to consider a new mattress.
Difficulty Sleeping Through the Night
If you find yourself waking up often throughout the course of the night, it isn’t necessarily because you’re a light sleeper. If your mattress is past its prime, you may be waking frequently because it’s difficult to get or stay comfortable on your mattress.
When it’s time to get a new mattress, sometimes your bed will actually tell you when it’s time to start shopping. If you have an innerspring or hybrid mattress, you’ll start to notice some new noises emanating from your bed when you lie down. If you hear the springs or if your box spring is creaking, it might be time for a new mattress.
Your Allergies Are Acting Up
An unpleasant fact about mattresses is that, over the years, they accumulate tons of dust, dead skin and other detritus. It’s a bit gross to think about, but it's said that, after 10 years, your mattress is about 10 pounds heavier than it was when you bought it. This added weight is mostly from your dead skin.
If you notice that your allergies are worsening, especially when you wake up in the morning, this can be a good indicator that it’s time for a new mattress.
General Changes to Your Body
As we get older, our bodies change, and the things we need change as well. This can be especially true if you’ve recently gained or lost a significant amount of weight as well as grown several inches, as children and teenagers do. Or perhaps you've become pregnant. A mattress that might have been comfortable and supportive in the past won’t necessarily always be this way.
If your body has changed, it may be time for a new bed.
You Can’t Remember the Last Time You Bought a New Mattress
Can’t remember your last mattress purpose? It might be time to start looking for a new mattress. Although some mattresses come with extensive warranties that last as many as 30 years, this doesn’t necessarily mean a mattress is meant to last anywhere near that long for healthful sleep.
High-quality mattresses start to break down after 10 to 15 years, and cheaper mattresses tend to degrade even quicker. Mattresses get quite a bit of use, with us spending about one-third of our lives on them.
You Sink Deeply into the Mattress
This issue is especially prevalent with memory foam mattresses. This is a vital sign to look for if you have an aging memory foam bed, as they’re often immune to some of the other signs of wear typically seen with innerspring mattresses.
If your memory foam mattress isn’t as firm as you remember it being, especially if you’re sinking more than 2 inches into the foam when you sleep, this is a good sign that it’s time for a new mattress.
You Sleep Better Elsewhere
Everyone has had an experience when they’ve got an incredibly restful night of sleep outside the familiar confines of their own bedrooms. But if you find you always sleep better when you’re on vacation or staying with friends, this may be a sign your mattress is no longer as comfortable as you thought it was.
You Aren’t the Only One Using Your Mattress
Brace yourself for this next one because it’s really disgusting to think about. The average used mattress has anywhere from 100,000 to 1 million dust mites in it. Although dust mites are harmless to humans, this doesn’t make them any less disgusting. The last thing you want to be sharing your bed with is bugs.
Bed bugs, dust mites and other creatures that like to make their homes in mattresses tend to congregate around the mattress edges or in the folds of any tucking or embroidery on the mattress top. If you see bugs of any kind on your mattress, this should be all you need to see to be sure that it’s time for a new bed.
You “Fall” Into the Middle of the Mattress
Sometimes, there’s visual proof that you need a new bed. If your mattress is sagging in the middle or has noticeable troughs on either side, this is a solid indicator that your bed is no longer doing its job.
Even if your mattress looks good to the naked eye, if you find yourself struggling to pull yourself out of the middle of your bed in the morning, this is a clear sign that your mattress is sagging. When this happens, it’s time to start shopping for a new mattress.
Sometimes You Just Know
Of course, sometimes it’s just obvious that you need a new mattress. If your mattress top is showing signs of wear such as threadbare sections, loose stitching or visual deformities, it’s clearly time to start the search for your next mattress.
How Often Should You Replace Your Mattress?
When it comes to the question of how often should you get a new mattress, your body will usually let you know it’s time to buy a new mattress, but there are some general guidelines that will give you an idea of how long a mattress can last.
Innerspring or hybrid mattresses typically last between six and 10 years—sometimes longer, depending on the brand. Latex mattresses are often most durable, and the highest-quality beds can last as long as 20 to 25 years.
Memory foam mattresses tend to be more durable than innerspring or hybrid mattresses but not quite as long-lasting as latex mattresses. Memory foam mattress owners can expect to get about 10 to 15 years of use.
It’s worth noting that your needs and what makes you comfortable may not be the same today as in 20 years from now or even 10 or five years from now. Although it’s essential that you select a well-made mattress, you don’t necessarily need a bed that’s going to last you a quarter of your lifetime. Instead, select the mattress you find most comfortable.
Getting the Most from Your Mattress
Even the best mattresses will need to be replaced eventually, but there are some things you can do to prolong the life of your mattress:
- Always select the proper box spring or foundation and bed frame
- Use a waterproof mattress protector to avoid spills, debris and dust
- Rotate your mattress two to three times a year so it wears evenly
- Flip your mattress twice a year if it’s two-sided
- Don’t “throw” yourself onto your mattress
- Don't jump on your bed
- Remove the sheets and cover to let your mattress air out from time to time
- Clean your mattress according to the manufacturer’s specifications
Selecting Your Next Mattress
Although it used to be that you had no choice but to head to one of the big-box mattress stores whenever it was time for a new bed, these days, it’s easier than ever to buy a new mattress. Best of all, you can do so without ever stepping foot in a store.
With so many amazing companies to choose from that offer direct-to-consumer shopping, there are plenty of reasons why you should shop online for your next mattress. Although the concept may seem foreign at first, learning how to choose an online mattress is easier than you’d think.
In your lifetime, you’ll spend about a third of your time in bed, so it makes sense to invest in quality sleep. If it’s time for you to buy your next mattress, check out some of our helpful guides and reviews—and get on your way to better sleep today!