How Long Is A Mattress Good For?

Are there times when you’re watching a television ad for a new mattress and wonder if it’s time to replace your mattress? Back when I was growing up, the rule of thumb was to replace the mattress every 20 years. Now I feel mattresses don’t last as long. How long is a mattress good for? Let’s find out.

How long is a mattress good for? 66% of American adults say that a mattress should last 10 years (Source: The Better Sleep Council).

Up until 18 months ago, the mattress we were sleeping on was 22 years old. It was a 100% coil spring mattress with a pillow top. When my husband started complaining about back pain and an uncomfortable night’s sleep, I started to ask myself “When Should I Replace My Old Mattress?” I thought our mattress had done its time and nothing was going to save it. How old is your mattress?

How Long Is A Mattress Good For?

It’s not easy to get an objective answer to how long is a mattress good for. The people who make them have the best knowledge on their longevity since they test them.  

You might think they want you to buy them more frequently than you may want to improve their profits. The cynic in me would tend to agree. But, at the same time, it’s not so easy to have hard and fast rules for when is the right time to replace a mattress because there are so many variables that impact how long does a mattress last for.

Mattress manufacturers test their mattresses under the worst conditions. Then they use that for their recommendations for the lifespan of the mattress. Chances are, you won’t treat your mattress as extremely as the manufacturer tests it for. So yours will last longer.  We’ll look into this more deeply in a bit.

What The Professionals Say

There are independent researchers who can provide us with guidelines on how long does a mattress last.

The Better Sleep Council generally recommend you evaluate if it’s time for a new mattress after 7 years.  

Consumer Reports, on the other hand, suggests replacing your mattress after 8 years

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Based on the recommendations from these 2 research companies, the answer to how long is a mattress good for is….8 years.

So let’s look at what wears down a mattress, and what you should look for to determine if you do need a new mattress.

What to Look for In A Well Loved Mattress

There are some signs in your mattress that can signal how much life is left inside. Most of these signals relate to a deterioration in the comfort level of your mattress over time.

Let’s go take a good look at your current mattress and answer some questions.

  • Does your mattress have deep sags in it that your body fits into perfectly? If you have a worn, saggy and lumpy mattress, it’s worn out and your question changes from “How long is a mattress good for?” to “How long will it take me to find a good replacement mattress?”
  • When you sit on the bed, do you still have some support, or do you sink down to the box spring? Right there is a very answer to the question how long is a mattress good for. Most mattresses should offer some form of edge support. 
  • Is your pillow topper as flat as a pancake?  Again, it’s time to replace. When the support and proper cushioning of your mattress starts to give you discomfort and an interrupted sleep, that’s a good indication time is up and you now know how long does a mattress last, given your individual situation.
  • Do you see any holes or tears in the mattress fabric? If so, then it’s really worn out and time for you to replace it.

7 Other Factors That Impact How Long Does a Mattress Last

There are 7 factors that impact how long is a mattress good for in terms of the way you treat your mattress. These factors will wear your mattress out, over time. 

1. Your weight on the mattress

Larger people compress the mattresses more than smaller people.  There. I said it. There’s no good way to put it. But it’s physics at work. So you need to honestly evaluate this situation yourself.

2. Double trouble

And is it just you sleeping or do you have other people sleeping with you? The more weight, the more compression and the sooner the mattress will wear out.  If you and your sleeping partner are of different shapes and sizes, regularly rotating your mattress will help prevent the sags.

3. Comfortable quality sleep

Also, ask your partner how they’re sleeping at night.  Like my husband, if they are not comfortable and enjoying good quality sleep, then it’s definitely time to replace your mattress.

4. Mattress care

How well do you take care of your mattress?

Do you regularly rotate it and vacuum it off?

If you have a one-sided mattress, rotate it from left to right or right to left by moving the bottom of the mattress to the top and vice versa. The recommendation is to rotate the mattress every two weeks for the first three months you own the mattress. Then rotate every two months thereafter. Rotating your mattress is also known as “spinning” your mattress.

If you have a double-sided mattress, you will want to add in flipping the mattress from bottom to top at the same time you rotate or spin. It sounds more complicated than it is, I promise. However, this step is often ignored by just about everyone. Here’s a video explaining how to spin and flip a mattress.

If you are doing this solo, fast forward the video to 1:52 to see how to do a solo flip. No acrobatic skills are required!!

5. Having too much fun?

Are there other recreational activities going on which can wear out the insides of the mattress as well?And you know I meant kids jumping on the bed, right?  Ok, I meant all kinds of bouncing on the bed.

It is not recommended to let kids jump on the bed if you want to prolong the life of your mattress. However, if you have kids, you know that they jump on the bed without intending to jump on the bed.

And if you have fur kids, they’re always jumping on the bed whether they’re allowed or not.

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6. Your age

Your age impacts how often you should replace your mattress as well. People over 40 are advised to replace their mattress every five years to ensure the best support for your back.

Younger folks can get away with sleeping on a couch or the floor more easily.

7. Time spent in bed

Finally, how much time do you spend in bed?

If you also use your bed for eating and watching television, it will wear down faster than if you’re just sleeping on your mattress 7-8 hours a night. If you are considering bringing the TV into your bedroom, think again after you read my post about Is A TV In Your Bedroom Good Or Bad For Sex.

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How The Type of Mattresses Impacts How Long Does A Mattress Last

Do you have an air mattress?

Air mattresses will develop leaks over time. That means they’re less able to maintain your preferred air pressure.  The built-in pump can wear down and break over time.  Generally speaking, the life of an air mattress is five years.

The spring mattress

Spring mattresses are also referred to as innerspring mattresses. They now wear out after 7-8 years even if you flip and rotate it regularly. The thin metal wire does lose its elasticity and ability to spring back into shape.

The memory foam mattress

Memory foam mattresses are less prone to sagging. They require rotating but you don’t want to flip them. These mattresses do break down and the foam loses its elasticity. They are generally good for 5-7 years depending on the quality.

The latex mattress

Latex mattresses tend to last the longest and are the most resistant to compression. They can last up to fifteen years.

If you are in the market for a new latex mattress, check out these blog posts:

The Futon

Futon mattresses should be replaced every four to five years. The cotton wadding just compresses down too much and the mattress becomes like a rock.  Too hard of a mattress is just as bad as too soft for back pain.

Water Bed

And a water bed will spring leaks that need to be patched. They are supposed to be replaced every eight to nine years.

Innerspring, futon, latex and memory foam mattresses also accumulate dead skin. 

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So at some point, that also affects the mattress and how clean it is. Your mattress will last longer if it’s kept clean and hygienic. I explain this more in this article How Often Should I Wash My Sheets.

Some Tips When Buying A New Mattress

If you have asked the question “How long is a mattress good for” and you have decided that you should replace your current mattress with a new one, here are some useful reference articles on this site:

Conclusion

The answer to how long is a mattress good for is 8 years based on the research from research organizations Consumer Reports and The Better Sleep Council. But this just a general guideline.

It really comes down to your individual situation with your own mattress. Prior to that magical 8-year mark, there could be signs that your mattress’ life is coming to and end. A couple of these signs include the state of your mattress and the type of mattress that you are sleeping on. I also shared 7 factors that impact how long does a mattress last.

So the next time you change your sheets, take a good look at your mattress and honestly evaluate the wear.  If it’s getting close, then it’s probably time to start looking into a new mattress. You are in control of your mattress destiny and ensuring the nights you spend on your mattress are as comfortable as possible. You decide how long does a mattress last.

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