How Long Should a Mattress Last?

Last Updated on 30 Jun. 2020

Since we spend so much of our time in our beds, it’s important to have a good mattress. Hard, worn out, or old mattresses can cause pressure ulcers, back pain, allergies, and overall sleep discomfort. It’s recommended that you replace your mattress before it causes health or sleep issues, as these can cost you in the long run.

A good mattress should last at least six years. Typically, most mattresses last an average of six to 10 years if they aren’t neglected or damaged. The exact length of time a mattress lasts depends on many factors, including usage, body weight, maintenance, mattress type, and materials used.

Read on to find out more about the factors affecting a mattress’ lifespan and how each mattress type lasts.

A Used mattress

Usage

If you use something often, it will deteriorate faster than if you were to put it aside.

This truth applies to many things in life, including mattresses.

The amount of time you spend in your bed affects the amount of wear and tear your mattress undergoes. That’s why it’s recommended that you only sleep in your bed for as many hours as you need and not any longer. If you do sleep or stay in your bed longer than you really need to, the life expectancy of your mattress will undoubtedly decrease.

If you sleep with a partner or your body mass index is high, more pressure will be applied to your mattress. This can cause sags, or unevenness, in areas where the heaviest part of your body rests.

If you sleep in one position in the same spot on your foam or latex mattress, this may also cause an imprint of your body to form. When purchasing a mattress, consider your weight and choose a thicker mattress if you have a heavier body type.

Maintenance

Cleaning or caring for your mattress on the regular can also have an impact on its lifespan. If a mattress with electronic components isn’t properly maintained or if liquids penetrate your mattress, their lifespan will be shortened.

Mechanical Malfunctions

Mattresses with electronic components, such as airbeds and waterbeds, are subject to mechanical malfunctions. Issues with air pumps, remote controls, and outlet connectivity are just some of the malfunctions which could occur and shorten your mattress’ lifespan if they are not addressed.

Liquids

There are good reasons not to eat or drink beverages in bed. Liquids from spilled beverages or body fluids can seep into mattresses and degrade the fill or rust your mattress spring.

It’s best to dry or clean your mattress within 24 hours, otherwise irreversible damage may occur, or mold can also develop and pose a risk to your health.

Mattress covers and toppers can protect against liquids and therefore lengthen the lifespan of your mattress. The best covers are made of waterproof materials such as polyurethane. One good option is the SureGuard Mattress Encasement.

Mattress Types and Materials Used

There are several different types of mattresses available. They each vary in materials used, price and durability. Read on to find out more about the different types of mattresses and materials.

Innerspring

Innerspring mattresses are very common on the market due to their often lower price and high levels of support. They are made with foam-based layers and steel coils in the core.

These mattresses are most susceptible to sagging, sometimes after only two to three years. The durability depends on the thickness of the coil, determined by the coil gauge. Coil gauges typically range from 12 to 15. The higher the coil gauge, the thinner the coil. So, if you’re looking for durability, you’ll want thicker coils or a mattress with a coil gauge of 13 or lower.

It’s time to replace an inner coil mattress when the sagging is greater than one inch or when you can feel the coil poking through. The average innerspring mattress has a lifespan of six to six and a half years.

Futon

A futon is a mattress made of cotton, which can be placed directly on the floor or on a frame. Futons are firm and become firmer over time. When it’s too firm, it can cause aches. This occurs at around the 10-year mark.

Foam

Foam mattresses have a soft feel and conform closer to the body than other mattresses. There are two types of foam: memory foam and polyfoam. Memory foam has higher longevity and density than polyfoam. Many consumers prefer memory foam because it provides pressure point relief and is resistant to movement.

You’ll know it’s time to replace a foam mattress when the indentations don’t go away or are more than an inch deep. The average foam mattress has a lifespan of six and a half to seven years.

Latex

Latex mattresses may be made from natural or synthetic latex. Natural latex is derived from the sap of rubber trees and is more durable than synthetic latex. Latex mattresses have a firm feel and last relatively long. The average all-latex mattress has a lifespan of seven and a half to eight years.

Waterbeds

Waterbeds are vinyl mattresses filled with water. There are two types of waterbed—softside waterbeds and hardside waterbeds. A softside waterbed holds its shape with foam bolsters and looks like a conventional mattress. A hardside waterbed, on the other hand, comes with a wooden frame and allows users to sleep closer to the water.

It’s time to replace a waterbed mattress when its leaks are irreparable. A typical waterbed mattress will last 10 to 15 years or more if properly cared for.

Airbeds

Airbeds are typically made of materials—such as polyvinyl chloride (PVC), textile-reinforced urethane plastic, or rubber—which withstand sagging. The only instance in which an airbed mattress may sag is if it has a comfort layer, typically made of foam. As previously mentioned, they are vulnerable to mechanical malfunctions. However, if these are addressed, they won’t cause the mattress to age. The average airbed has a lifespan of eight to nine years.

Hybrid

A hybrid mattress combines two or more types of materials. Typically, they are made with a foam, gel, or latex layer on top of an innerspring system. They are usually more expensive than other mattresses. Hybrid mattresses have a lifespan of 10 years but can last longer when properly cared for.

The table below summarizes the mattress types and their lifespan.

Mattress Type Materials Used Average Lifespan
Innerspring Foam and steel coils 6 to 6.5 years
Futon Cotton 10 years
Foam Memory foam or polyfoam 6.5 to 7 years
Latex Natural or synthetic latex 7.5 to 8 years
Waterbed Vinyl 10 to 15 years
Airbed PVC, plastic or rubber 8 to 9 years
Hybrid Foam, gel, or latex and an innerspring system 10 years

Conclusion

Having a good mattress is vital to your health and quality of sleep.

A mattress may deteriorate due to usage, mechanical malfunctions, liquids, or naturally over time based on their materials. You’ll know it’s time to replace a mattress when they begin to squeak, sag, or rip at the edges. Otherwise, you’ll know you need a new mattress when you begin to wake up with aches and pain in your body.

The average mattress has a lifespan of six to 10 years. Innerspring mattresses usually have the shortest lifespan, lasting about six to six and a half years. Vinyl mattresses, such as those found in waterbeds, tend to last the longest—about 10 to 15 years or more. Hopefully, this article will allow you to make an informed decision when shopping for a mattress or wondering when to replace your existing one.

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