If we asked you where you spend most of your time, what would you say?
In the office?
On your smartphone?
At the gym?
Have you ever thought about the fact that on average, you spend a third of your life in bed, asleep or otherwise. So if you live to be 75 years old, that’s a whopping 25 years spent in bed.
For that amount of time, you’ll want to make sure that you’re as comfy as possible, and having the right mattress is key to that. It’s not just about choosing the best one for you though, changing your mattress is a big part of your sleep journey too.
Why should I change my mattress?
OK, here’s the disgusting part. Your mattress will absorb some of the 285ml of sweat that comes off your body every night, which also goes into your duvet and pillow. Add to that nearly 500g of dead skin cells a year (as much as a standard bag of sugar) as well as Staphylococcus, norovirus, enterococcus and MRSA bugs.
If that doesn’t convince you, think about the impact on your body when you sleep on an old, uncomfortable mattress, especially your back. It’s a recipe for aching muscles and restless sleep. You may not realise it, but your quality of sleep can be massively impacted if you do not have the correct level of support and space. This means that you’ll wake more during the night, and probably irritate anyone sharing the bed with you!
How often should you change your mattress?
Well, there’s actually no one-size-fits-all answer, as with most things in life. There are quite a few factors at play, but the good news is that we’re to help!
Opinion is a little divided on the number of years a mattress will last you. The Sleep Council recommend to replace your mattress after seven years, but the bed retailer Dreams suggest eight years and some manufacturers give ten-year guarantees for their products. The John Ryan website suggests that by following their specific care guidelines, their mattresses should last you a lifetime.
The Home Trends report commissioned by Furniture123.co.uk found that 50% of us wouldn’t change our mattress after seven years, and most would leave it longer than a decade before buying a replacement.
There are some instances when you should consider replacing your mattress before the recommended number of years.
If you have lost or gained a significant amount of weight, your current mattress may not be comfortable for you anymore. This also applies to children’s mattresses, which tend to be thinner and are not really designed to last for many years.
Also, if your mattress is not really in its best shape, it could be time for a new one. Look for significant dips or lumps in the surface, as well as testing for any broken springs (often as a result of pets or children on your bed!). The edges of your mattress may be sagging too, especially if you frequently sit on the edge of the bed.
You may have bagged yourself a good deal on your last purchase, but cheaper mattresses tend to wear out more quickly. When choosing a new mattress, work out what the actual cost per night would be and it helps you to put it into context. For example, a mattress costing £800 that lasts for eight years costs you only 27p per night.
What can I do in between replacements?
There’s plenty you can do to keep your mattress hygienic and clean in between purchases.
Follow the instructions
Don’t throw away the labels that come with your new mattress. Make sure you read them through so that you understand the manufacturer’s recommendations for how to care for your mattress. This should include advice on washing and also whether the mattress can be flipped or turned. Be aware that some types of mattress cannot be flipped over, for example, if they have a layer of memory foam or an integrated mattress topper.
Get the hoover out
That’s right, you can vacuum your mattress, and it’s a very satisfying exercise! Use the upholstery attachment on the hose (the one with the line of fabric on it) and choose the lowest suction level. Ensure that you cover the whole mattress and get right into any piping, edges and corners. Aim for a good clean every six months, and whilst you’re at it, wash your duvet too!
A mattress topper is a great way to prolong the life of your mattress, plus it’s also much cheaper to replace. It’s an excellent option for parents or children’s beds, as it will stop your mattress being affected by spills and ‘accidents’. Look for a mattress topper which has similar properties to your mattress, such as the firmness level. Depending on the size and thickness of your mattress topper, you should be able to wash it frequently although you may need to take it to a professional cleaner. Or of course get a mattress protector.
Replacing your mattress is one of those important events that can be tempting to delay, especially if you’re hankering after an expensive new one. However, getting a good night’s sleep is so important, and having a comfy, clean mattress is your secret weapon!