You’ve been sleeping on your mattress for a few years now, and you start to notice squeaky springs, sagging foam, or you just plain hurt when you get out of bed. If this describes your sleeping situation, it’s probably time for a new bed. And if your mattress is around 7-10 years old, it’s definitely time to consider a new mattress.
The goal when buying a new mattress is to find one that will hold up under wear and tear, stay supportive no matter your sleeping position, and of course, give you a good night’s sleep. The longest-lasting mattresses are not necessarily the most expensive or “luxury”— you can typically tell how long a mattress will last based on the type of mattress, the material quality, and the warranty.
When Should You Replace Your Mattress?
If you’ve been sleeping on your mattress for a while, you might not notice that it’s causing you to sleep poorly. In fact, most people are so used to the way their mattress feels, they get accustomed to an unhealthy sleep posture without realizing it. That’s why when you buy a new bed, it feels a little awkward and maybe even a little bit uncomfortable in the first few weeks you use it (also known as the “adjustment period”).
Sometimes an easy way to tell if you need to replace your mattress is if you get much better sleep elsewhere— in a hotel or maybe even on the couch. Other telltale signs include:
- Significant sagging or dips in the surface (while you’re laying in bed and when there’s no pressure on it at all)
- Squeaky coils (in innersprings or hybrid mattresses)
- Coils that poke into your back or side (you can feel them through the comfort foam layers)
- Feeling “stuck” or trapped in the mattress
The Lifespan of Different Mattress Types
You can read mattress reviews from customers to get some idea of how long a mattress will last, but the truth is you won’t know for sure until you try one out for a few years! But this is risky— a mattress is a big investment, and you most likely don’t want to spend a few hundred or thousand dollars on one only to find it breaks down after just a few years.
Thankfully, you can typically get a general idea of a mattress’s lifespan by choosing a certain type made of quality materials. Enough data exists that we can now pinpoint when different mattress types will begin to break down (on average).
|Mattress Type||Average Lifespan||Signs of Wear|
|Innerspring||5-6 years||Sagging, coils poking through, worn or flattened comfort foam layers, noisy coils|
|Memory Foam||7-10 years
|Softening, sagging, losing support|
|Latex Foam||8-12 years||Softening, sagging, losing support|
|Hybrid||5-7 years||Sagging, coils poking through, worn or lumpy comfort layers, noisy coils|
Of all the mattress types, innerspring mattresses have the lowest customer satisfaction rating because they sag so quickly. Typically any mattress with coils will sag faster than one without, but some mattress brands use wrapped coils to mitigate this issue. Wrapped coils, also known as Marshall coils, have better motion isolation than the typical Bonnell or continuous coil, meaning they absorb movement on the mattress. This helps prevent the pillow top from sagging, at least for a little while.
One of the signs that an innerspring is beginning to deteriorate is that it causes pain— in fact, the best mattress for back pain is typically a memory foam or latex bed. Despite their softness, they are also quite responsive and offer support without sacrificing comfort or inflaming pressure points.
Memory foam mattresses are becoming one of the more popular types because they pair with bed in a box mattress brands perfectly— thanks to their soft, viscoelastic feel, they compress easily for shipping and then expand to their original shape after unboxing.
Memory foam beds are well-liked because they have great pressure relief, conform closely to the body, and they’re virtually noiseless. They isolate motion better than most other mattress types, too, so they’re a good option for restless sleepers.
The most common complaints surrounding memory foam mattresses have to do with their construction— memory foam is pretty dense, and as a result, it traps heat. It’s also made with petroleum, which can produce an off-gassing odor when the mattress is opened— however, most of the time, this off-gassing smell goes away after a while. If you’re concerned about your memory foam bed trapping heat or having a smell, choose one made with cooling foams or plant-based foams (like the Bio-Pur® in all Amerisleep mattresses).
Latex foam mattresses are not as easy to find compared to the other three types, and they’re also more expensive, but for some people, the extra work and cost of getting one are worth it. Natural latex foam is hypoallergenic, antibacterial, and made using eco-friendly methods. On top of that, it can last up to 15 years— longer than any other mattress type.
Not all latex beds are all-natural, though— blended and synthetic latex beds feel similar to natural latex, but they are made using different chemicals instead of rubber tree sap. A high-quality latex mattress should have a dense, firm support layer to prevent sagging.
Many hybrid mattresses are made with wrapped coils, but you’ll notice their lifespan is not much longer than innersprings. People choose hybrids over innersprings because they contain thicker comfort foam layers and they often have wrapped coils. They’re essentially a combination of memory foam and innerspring mattresses in one mattress.
How Can I Extend the Life of My Mattress?
The best way to ensure your mattress lasts as long as possible is to practice a little prevention. Always place a mattress protector or encasement on your bed as soon as you get it; this will keep out bed bugs, dust mites, and liquid stains or spills. Any or all of these things can void your mattress warranty, which you might need if the mattress shows signs of sagging during the warranty period.
To maintain a quality mattress, it’s more about what you don’t do to it than what you do:
- Don’t use it on the wrong foundation: innersprings are the only types of mattresses that need box springs. If you use a hybrid, memory foam, or latex bed with one, you risk damaging it. Of course, check the brand’s website for specific foundation recommendations, but don’t just put your mattress anywhere. A low-quality bed-frame can make your mattress deteriorate faster as well, so invest in one with sturdy slats or a platform base.
- Don’t sleep on your mattress without a mattress protector or encasement. An encasement covers all six sides of your mattress while a protector only covers the surface. We recommend a waterproof, bed-bug proof encasement if you can get one. Encasements also keep allergens, mildew, and dust mites out of your bed, which can negatively affect your sleep or lead to an infestation.
- Don’t sleep on a mattress with low weight capacity. Most mattresses are built to support most body weights and types but always double-check. Obviously, the amount of weight compressing the mattress will affect its lifespan, and if you’re sleeping on a bed that’s not built to support your weight, it’s sure to sag and become unsupportive before long.
- Don’t skimp on cleaning your mattress. Proper mattress care is relatively low-maintenance, but it’s worth it to keep your sleeping space hygienic and clean. Regularly wash your sheets, mattress cover (if it’s removable and washable), and encasement. You can also spot-clean and deodorize your mattress using vinegar or baking soda.
- Don’t buy a mattress without a warranty. A warranty safeguards you against sagging and indentations below a certain depth (usually 1 inch or more). It also comes with protections against manufacturing defects, such as bunched foam, broken coils, or ripped mattress covers. The standard mattress warranty lasts 10 years— if your warranty lasts less than that, it’s a sign to look elsewhere. Since most mattresses last around 10 years, you’ll want protection for at least as long as you own the bed. Additionally, the warranty can give you an idea of how long a company stands behind their product.
How Much Should A Durable Mattress Cost?
As you begin to shop, set a budget of around $1,000 for a queen-size mattress— be careful not to fall for cheap, promo beds made with low-quality materials. Conversely, don’t feel like you need to spend thousands of dollars on a “luxury” mattress made with gold threads or hand-tufted buttons since these features don’t add any comfort or support to the mattress.
Replacing an Old Mattress
Perhaps after reading this, you’ve realized it’s time for a new bed. The best mattress will come with a standard 10-year warranty and be made of supportive, high-quality bases, and durable, resilient foams. Additionally, you should try one that comes with a sleep trial because this will allow you to try out the bed for 30-90 nights and return it for a refund if you don’t like it. Bottom line: your sleep quality should not suffer because your mattress quality is subpar.
Does a firm mattress last longer?
Because softer mattresses contain more layers of foam, they’re known to sag a bit more than firmer, thinner beds. However, don’t think just because you’ve chosen a soft mattress it won’t last. Always choose a mattress with a highly durable support core— this will deter sagging no matter how soft or firm the top layers are.
How long should a mattress last?
It depends on the mattress type, but most beds last between 5-10 years.
Will a mattress topper help?
We use mattress toppers for various reasons, but most of the time it’s to add some extra comfort to the top layers of our bed. Sometimes people buy a topper to extend the lifespan of a mattress, thinking it will “cover up” sags and thus make the bed more supportive and comfortable. While this is true for a little while, a topper can only do so much for an old, supportive mattress.
If your mattress is causing you pain, a topper won’t help for long. We recommend investing in a new mattress as soon as you can.
This article is for informational purposes and should not replace advice from your doctor or other medical professional.