The quality of your sleep depends heavily on your mattress. The level of comfort it provides may just turn out to be the key to your happiness. After all, sleep is among the most important of our bodily functions and plays a big part in our mental and physical health.
Replacing a mattress can be a daunting task but, before that, deciding if that needs doing can also turn out to be a job for Sherlock Holmes. Does it creak too much? Is the body print deep enough to classify it as a sag?
As your mattress guide, well answer all those questions and more in this article (you’ll love it).
Signs to Look For
While there is a gradual loss in the functioning of all mattresses, there are some signs that you should keep an eye out for. They are listed as follows:
- Your mattress is 6-8 years old and just isn’t what it used to be.
- Your quality of sleep has slowly deteriorated.
- There is a loss of the balanced feel of the mattress with noticeable sags.
- The dips are making it difficult to get out of bed.
- It jumps around more when someone sits on it (poor motion isolation).
- The mattress has become noisy to sleep on.
- Your allergies have worsened.
- You find out small bite marks on your skin every morning.
- You wake up stiff every morning.
While it is true that many of these signs could be the result of other conditions like age or weather but they are a good place to start. One way to test your suspicions is to sleep on a different mattress for a couple of nights. If that makes a difference, your mattress may need replacing.
Reasons for Replacement
Having a good night’s sleep is essential to alertness, cognitive performance and physical health. Sleeping on a mattress that is no longer comfortable and gives you trouble sleeping can negatively affect your quality of sleep. It can cause you to toss and turn often, cause multiple interruptions during the night and lead to pain related to poor sleeping posture.
Similarly, an old bug-infested bed isn’t really the way to go for someone with a pre-existing condition such as asthma or allergy. People with those issues need to be a bit more vigilant than everybody else.
Factors That Decide Durability
While all mattresses lose a percentage of their performance with time, there are some that hold on longer than others. Let’s look at some of the factors that affect the longevity of our resilient companions:
Above all, the mattress type (based on material) is the most decisive factor in the durability of a mattress. There are a few of them, namely, innerspring, foam, latex, and hybrid. Let’s look at each of them separately:
Innerspring Mattress: Flippable innerspring mattress can and do last a long time (around 10 years). When looking for a durable innerspring mattress, try to get one with a lower coil gauge. This means that its coils are thicker.
Foam Mattress: Mattresses with low-quality foam have some of the shortest lifespans of all mattresses. They are common prey to uncomfortable dips and unsightly sags.
Foam density is a good measure of foam quality and durability. For polyfoams, get 1.7+ PCF. As for memory foam, a 5+ PCF should do just fine. Memory foams of superiority quality can last 10-15 years if looked after properly.
Hybrid Mattress: These mattresses usually combine the spring coils with foam. The former is usually sandwiched between two layers of the latter. Their durability varies quite a bit and depends on the quality of coils and foam. Higher-end hybrids are much more reliable and should be preferred.
Latex Mattress: These mattresses are among the most resilient products on the market. They can last anywhere between 20 to 25 years. However, that depends on the type of latex. Given that choice, always prefer natural latex to synthetic latex.
Just like your car, your mattress needs a bit of love every now and then, too. Mattresses that are well taken care of last longer than those used roughly. The most important thing you can do is to flip it once every 3 months. However, that holds only if it is two-sided and flippable (according to the manufacturer).
Number and Weight of Sleepers
Mattresses are also affected by the amount of weight being put on them night in and night out. Heavy people may find out that their mattress performance deteriorates more quickly, with sags and all, as compared to mattresses used by lighter individuals. Couples also tend to wear out their mattresses sooner. Don’t take this to mean that we are advising you to remain single for the foreseeable future.
Children and Pets
While they don’t really wear the mattress out, both your children and pets (prizes for those who can differentiate between the too) can damage it in innumerable ways which can lead you to replace your mattress earlier than you thought.
Tips to Make Your Mattress Last Longer
Here are a few ideas to keep your mattress fresh for a long time:
- Use a mattress protector. They protect against dust, pests, and allergens.
- Flip your mattress after every 3 months (according to the manufacturer’s recommendations).
- Use a proper foundation to support it such as a box spring.
- Clean all spills and stains (according to the manufacturer’s recommendations).
- Air out your mattress occasionally.
- Prevent pets from lying on it so that the risk of damage from their teeth and claws is minimized.
- Don’t allow your children to jump on the mattress. That is even more important for innerspring mattresses as the coils can be damaged.
Is a Replacement Worth It?
Buying a new mattress can be a significant expense for many of us. However, we spend more than a third of our lives on them and chipping in to make that third comfortable is never unwise.
Here are a few possible upsides of replacing your mattress:
Improved Sleep Quality
After the initial adjustment period is over, most people report sleeping very well on their new mattresses. A lot of people have reported improved sleep quality after changing their mattress.
The new mattress helps to reduce the pain and stiffness caused by the sags and poor performance of the old mattress. It also helps to reduce the number of interruptions while sleeping. With no constant tossing and turning, you sleep like a baby.
Improved Back Pain
Many people suffering from chronic back pain have reported relief by turning to new mattresses that are geared towards tackling that very problem.
Old mattresses lose their capacity for neutral spinal alignment which leads to discomfort and pain. You may wake up feeling tired rather than fresh.
Reduced Allergy Issues
Mattresses are home to all sorts of filth, dust, and bugs. They harbor bacteria and house many a mold. If you are having considerable allergy attacks that seem related to your ancient mattress, you may find a trip to the retail or online store more rewarding than a trip to the hospital.
Reduction in Partner Disturbance
If you sleep on a mattress that is getting on in years and your partner asks you to not set off an earthquake whenever you sit down, your mattress may be to blame. Older mattresses get poorer at motion absorbance. A new mattress (either all-foam or hybrid) can go a long way towards resolving that issue.
While you may be attached to your good, ol’ mattress, shaking things up isn’t always the worst thing to do. You may be surprised by how much better you feel (and sleep) on a new one. Thank us later and, as always, sleep tight!