Your bed should be a sanctuary of rest and relaxation— the place where you lay your head after a long day and get the sleep you deserve. However, mattresses — the collective essence of tranquility — vary in quality, firmness, size, and overall comfort. If you’re not getting the rest you need, it may be time for a change-up. Here are the top signs it’s time to replace your mattress:
Certain things — wine, for example — get better as they age. Others, like your mattress, do not. Unfortunately, they degrade after years of daily use. The average lifetime of a mattress? 7-10 years. While this range is a rule of thumb, it doesn’t take into account all the different aspects of varying types of mattresses. Innerspring mattresses are constructed to last 6-8 years, while memory-foam mattresses can last 8-10. Hybrid mattresses? Only 6.
Understanding the general “comfort life” of your specific mattress is crucial in determining whether you have a bit more time with it or if you should start shopping around. If you can’t recall when you purchased the one you currently use, that could be enough reason to upgrade your older mattress.
While undesirable mattress defects may come standard with age, they deserve their own category, as a mattress that’s only a few years old may already exhibit signs that it needs to be replaced. Think about the way you sleep; some nights, you may sleep on your sides — others, on your back. Every so often, you’ll toss and turn until the wee hours of the morning because you just simply get comfortable. Sound familiar? Your mattress may be trying to tell you something.
We’ve all had nights where we can’t seem to drift away into dreamland; lifestyle, caffeine, and overall health all contribute to sleep quality. However, your mattress shouldn’t be ruled out as being a culprit of not just falling asleep — but getting quality sleep. Take note of the following attributes that signal your mattress has already seen its best days:
Oils, sweat, and other natural body oils are easily absorbed by a mattress’s soft surface, and a mattress protector only puts up so much of a fight as time goes on. Only a small amount of liquid is all it takes for a mattress to harbor a colony of bacteria or act as a hotspot where mold and mildew can flourish, resulting in a distinct must emanating from it. If you practice good personal hygiene, regularly wash your bedding, and a stink is stillhanging around? That’s a strong sign it’s time you need a new mattress.
Your mattress can be as cozy as ever, but if it’s infested with dust mites, fleas, and other undesirable guests who thrive off all of the dead skin cells, sweat, saliva, and other fluids you transfer to it, it’s time to kick it to the curb. Aside from it being unsanitary — and generally off-putting — these pests can trigger allergy and asthma symptoms. Factor in other irritants like dust, mold, and pet dander in your room, and your mattress starts to be a source of disrupted sleep and day-long symptoms, not one of luxury.
Mattresses don’t have to have something visibly wrong with them to need replacing. It could even be only months old. However, another sign that your mattress needs to be replaced is if you consistently wake up with aches, pains, or general discomfort. The biggest problem areas typically consist of lower back pain, as well as spine, hip, and neck discomfort. Headaches, even, can signify your current mattress isn’t as comfortable and supportive as you need it to be.
Everybody is different, and every bodyis different. Perhaps you’re sleeping on a mattress that is too firm, and you’re waking up with hip pain. Or alternatively, your mattress is too plush, and it’s not giving you the support you need for your back and shoulders.
A mattress’s suitability for you as an individual isn’t always as simple as a visual inspection, determining if it’s right for your preferred sleeping position, or passing a sniff test. Sometimes, changes in your life prompt the need for a new mattress altogether. This can include everything from a new partner with whom you are sharing the bed, a considerable loss or gain in weight, or health changes that, for medical reasons, tee up the need for a new mattress.