Every 7 or 8 years is the standard recommendation. There’s a variety of reasons for this: bug infestations, the accumulation of skin which the body sheds while we sleep, lesser comfort and more.
Does it mean, though, we should arbitrarily throw out our mattress and get a new one as soon as 7 or 8 years have rolled by?
The short answer: No
There will come a point, of course, when you absolutely have to change your mattress. No matter how good it is or how much you love it, no mattress will serve you well forever.
It doesn’t mean, however, you should change your mattress automatically once you’ve had it for 7 or 8 years. Different mattresses have different useful lifespans and the type of mattress you choose will play a part in this. An innerspring mattress, for instance, could last up to 10 years or even a little more if it’s dual sided, whereas a hybrid mattress could serve you just 6 years. Invest in a decent memory foam mattress and you could get as many as a whopping potential 15 years out of it. Superb value.
So, when is the right time to change your mattress?
You’ve got to think about how you feel when you get up in the morning. If you’re waking up aching every day – a sign that your mattress is no longer supporting you – or, despite going to bed at a reasonable time, you’re feeling overtired, that’s the right time to change.
Comfort is one thing. Another is obvious wear and tear. Feeling the coils through the fabric; lumps; dips; sagginess – all unmistakable signs that your mattress has to go.
You might also notice asthma or any allergies you suffer from have intensified, even though you keep your room clean and tidy. The chances are an unacceptable number of dust mites and allergens have found themselves a cosy little home in your mattress and are triggering the sneezes, watering eyes or other allergy-related symptoms.
Incidentally, when it comes to choosing a mattress, think about the size and support levels. Size is an important feature and, according to the Sleep Council, you should choose the largest one you can afford.
How are you looking after your mattress?
Some mattresses you can swivel round. Others you have to turn over. Some expert would suggest you do this every 3 to 6 months. Others would suggest 6 to 12. Either way, make sure you rotate it to distribute the wear more evenly across the mattress.
Taking care of a mattress doesn’t mean just turning it over and over, of course; you’ve got to keep the mattress clean and fresh as well. Airing it each day for a quick 30 minutes will help. You can remove unwanted odours or trapped moisture by sprinkling it with baking soda and then hoovering it up 24 hours later.
Cleaning-wise, you should hoover your mattress regularly to prevent as many dust mites and allergens as possible taking residence. Pop a protector on the mattress, too, to safeguard it against dust, debris and spillages. Spot clean the mattress as and when required.
Try to protect your mattress. Don’t let kids jump up and down on it – they could damage the springs. Don’t let pets onto it, either – they could rip the material with their claws or chew on the mattress, neither of which will do the mattress any favours.
It’s important to note how you’re feeling after sleeping on your mattress. If you’re not feeling good for whatever reason, don’t put off buying a new one. At the very least, you should investigate what’s wrong with the mattress. Don’t just ignore it and settle for sleeping on top of an inadequate mattress. If you do, the resultant sleep deprivation could harm your health in the long run.
If you’re planning to replace your mattress, check out our selection and find one that suits your needs.