Bed Basics

How Long Does a Mattress Last?

A bed with a duvet, two pillows and a blue headboard in a white bedroom.

Think about how many years you have slept on your current mattress. How long has it been since you upgraded? If you’re struggling to find an answer, that may mean it has been too long. Even if your mattress looks like it’s holding up well, it may be time to start searching for your next bed.

 “If you start experiencing aches, pains or fatigue, that can be a pretty good indicator that [your] mattress isn’t working for you anymore,” Sleep Expert® Kevin Moore said. “If your mattress isn’t giving you any issues, at seven or eight years, it’s recommended that you go out and start looking for a new mattress.”

So, is it time for you to upgrade? Read on to find out if you need a new bed and how you can help extend the lifespan of your mattress.

Why You Need to Update Your Mattress

Did you know that we spend nearly one-third of our time in bed? So if you’ve had your mattress for eight years, it means you’ve probably logged more than 23,000 hours on its pillow-topped surface. Your body can go through numerous changes during that time. Injuries, weight gain or loss, and simply aging can impact how you sleep and what you need from a mattress to experience quality rest. If you notice you’re no longer waking up refreshed, it may be time to replace your mattress.

“I would say once it becomes uncomfortable or you begin getting those hills and valleys, which we call a lack of support, that’s probably when it’s time to look into a new mattress,” Sleep Expert® Odell Killebrew says. “You don’t have an expiration date on your mattress. It’s not a bottle of milk. Your body will tell you.”

Graphic of a man in bed with text that reads: "Factors affecting mattress lifespan: care, weight, pets, time in bed."

Don’t sleep on these factors

While the amount of time you have slept on your mattress can be a significant factor in what affects its condition, how you interact with your bed daily will also have an impact. This can include:

  • Care: By giving your bed a little TLC, you can help it last for years. If you forget to rotate it, you don’t regularly clean it and you don’t use a mattress protector, it can harm the quality of your sleep. 
  • Weight: Increased pressure may also affect its lifespan. A mattress supporting a pair of bodies will typically wear out faster than a mattress supporting a single sleeper. Also, those with heavier body weights may want to replace their mattresses more frequently to maintain the support they need. 
  • Pets: Sharing your sleep space with a cat or dog could influence how long your mattress lasts. There are claws to contend with—not to mention chewing, drool, sweat, dander and even the occasional accident. 
  • Time in bed: If you’re using your mattress for more than sleep and sex, it can impact how long your mattress will last, and if you eat or drink while on your mattress, it can increase likelihood of spills and bacteria accumulation. 

Signs You Should Replace Your Mattress

Wondering how to know when an upgrade is needed? The simple answer is: when you notice you’re no longer getting quality rest.

“What we see most is something pain-related. Their lower back, hips or shoulder [might be] bothering them, and they don’t have the support they need,” Moore says. There is also a possibility that your lack of sleep support is causing unexplained disruptions to your sleep. “I notice a lot of people say they wake up throughout the night or they can’t fall into a deep sleep. The slightest noise wakes them up, and they’re sleeping sporadically throughout the night.”

A good sign your mattress is no longer providing the support you need is that you’ve recently had a better night’s sleep away from home. Whether you’re spending the night in a hotel or at a family member’s home, getting great sleep on a different mattress should motivate you to upgrade your bed.

While comfort is king when deciding if it’s time to get a new one, there are a few other tell-tale signs that your bed has seen better days, including:

  • You start to notice lumps, sagging and indentations. If you’re seeing or feeling those peaks and valleys, it may be time to look for a new bed. 
  • Your partner’s movement is keeping you up. If you share your bed with someone, waking up due to their tossing and turning may signify that your mattress’s support isn’t what it used to be, due to squeaks, shifts or other reasons. It may also be a sign you should prioritize motion isolation in your search for a new bed. 
  • There’s an odor or stains. A smell can signify bacteria accumulation, and spills on unprotected mattresses can lead to mold growth over time. 
  • Your bed is noisy. If you’re noticing a lot more creaks, it may be a sign that springs are weakening. More squeaks mean less sleep. 
  • There’s wear and tear. It happens and is another sign you need an upgrade. 

Ways to Make Your Mattress Last

Chart of ways to make your mattress last, including rotating it, cleaning it, keeping pets off, and only using it for sleep and sex.

To give yourself the most time with your perfect new mattress, seek out a product made with high-quality materials, including higher-density foams and reinforced springs. High quality does not mean high prices—ask your local Sleep Expert® for tips on the right top-quality bed for your sleep needs.

One of the most important things you can do once you have your new mattress is invest in a mattress protector. This helpful add-on serves several purposes; first, it helps prevent stains on your mattress from any spills or messes. Moisture may cause materials to break down prematurely. Mattress protectors can help reduce the number of allergens that can accumulate over time, too.

“The most important thing with a mattress protector is to make sure it is waterproof,” Killebrew said. “I often tell my guests to get two. When it comes time for the one that is on the bed to go in the wash, you can take that next one out of the linen closet and put it on the mattress.”

Does your bed need protection? Luckily for you, Mattress Firm has a variety of mattress and pillow protectors.

You should also ensure you have proper support for your mattress. Not only does the right foundation provide added support, but it will also promote even wear while preserving the integrity of the materials.

“If you’re lacking support for your mattress, your mattress isn’t going to hold up,” Killebrew said. “Not only that, but it can also start to give you aches and pains. You’re not going to know why, but it’s because you have improper support underneath your mattress.”

What are some other ways to extend the life of your mattress?

  • Rotate it regularly. You can promote even wear by rotating your mattress every six to eight months. If you have a king-sized bed, you can rotate it with quarter turns to help offset the chance of sags. If you notice your mattress doesn’t feel comfortable or supportive after rotating, it may be time for a new one. 
  • Don’t forget to clean it. If you’re not using a mattress protector, try to vacuum your bed once a month to suck out the dust and dander. Also, make sure to clean up any spills immediately. 
  • Keep pets off. It’s not easy saying no to our four-legged friends, but pets can damage and soil your mattress. Make their nights more relaxing by shopping the collection of pet beds at Mattress Firm. 
  • Resist the urge to jump on it. We all love a good night’s sleep, but try to contain your excitement. Even children jumping on a bed can damage a mattress and its support system. 

Change can be hard. But with all the quality zzz’s you’ll get, upgrading your bed will be a change you’re happy to make. Is it time for an upgrade? Check out Mattress Firm’s collection from twins to California kings for all your sleeping needs.

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