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Expert Advice on Mattress Longevity and Maintenance

The right mattress makes your bed complete and the result is a restful night with quality sleep. While people have different personal needs and preferences, the choice of a good mattress remains constant. However, mattress longevity and maintenance depend on various factors, as this post explains.

The choice of a mattress can make the difference between a restful sleep and a restless night full of turning and tossing. Even the best mattresses indeed wear out with time. This guide will explain what consumers need to do to ensure mattress longevity. It will also show how long different mattresses last and help consumers decide when to replace.

Understanding Mattress Longevity and Maintenance

Having been in the mattress industry for over two decades, I have witnessed many misconceptions about mattress longevity and maintenance. I have prepared this post to shed valuable insights so consumers know what to expect when shopping for a mattress.

Mattress materials soften over time

First, consumers need to know that all mattress materials will compress or soften over time. This is true even for the high-quality products, including latex, high-performance polyurethane, and memory foams. Any high-quality mattress will soften by about 20% in ten years while a standard mattress, such as mass-market polyurethane will compress by up to 60% within the same period.

Mattress compression and softening are often front-loaded. This means it happens faster within the first five years.

Some consumers also believe that mattresses get harder with time. Unfortunately, those who say so are misled by the underlying support layer, which becomes more noticeable as the top layers compress. In the industry, it’s called “bottoming out” and it causes discomfort especially in pressure points such as lower back, hips, and shoulders.

Where does mattress compression occur?

Mattress compression often occurs where you sleep. After using your mattress for some time, it will compress by about one or one-and-a-half inches. This is often treated as normal wear and usually, it doesn’t affect the performance or softness of the mattress. However, you can see where you slept.

Each person is different and so, mattress compression affects users differently. Compression is also front-loaded so it happens more within the first five years. Some manufacturers indicate on the label the standard inch-and-a-half compression.

Mattress softening and compression are caused by a combination of moisture, heat, and pressure that build up when the mattress iusedse. During sleep, the body provides the perfect mix of these conditions.

If you have a higher body mass, the impact on the mattress will be greater when compared to a lighter person. At that point, you can feel something like a ridge or valley in your mattress. It’s the foam compressing or softening in that particular area.

The Importance of Proper Mattress Maintenance

To increase mattress longevity, proper maintenance is necessary. For the best results, we recommend flipping or rotating your mattress after every three or six months. This practice allows the mattress to wear out more evenly.

In most cases, king-size mattresses grow a ridge in the middle because no one sleeps there. Rotating the mattress 90 degrees for a few weeks or months can help lessen the softening over time. Notably, rotating the mattress may also cause a little overhang, as one side is often slightly longer.

Besides, don’t skimp on using a mattress protector. This accessory can greatly reduce the chances of wear and tear. Some mattresses are also made of replaceable layers, which can equally increase their longevity without buying a new mattress.

The Role of Proper Mattress Support

Even the best mattress requires proper support. So, a sturdy base is an important component of mattress longevity and maintenance. If your mattress doesn’t have proper support, it will have a higher chances of wearing out, feeling softer and less supportive.

The bed frame, especially for king and queen-size mattresses can cause this problem if it lacks proper center support. The center’s support is crucial regardless of brand or materialsThe sagging issue will occur wherere it’s lacking in the box spring or bed fraur.

You can check whether your mattress center support is adequate. All you need to do is place the mattress on the floor temporarily to determine if it’s the bed frame or the foundation that causes any sagging. In many cases, the sagging is not about the mattress. It’s about the mattress support, the center support of the bed frame.

How Long Do Mattresses Last?

Different brands of mattresses have different life spans. Averagely, a mattress lasts 8-10 years. The longevity period depends on various factors, including body weight, frequency of use, and overall maintenance. A well-maintained mattress can last up to 20 years. Poorly handled, you may need to replace your mattress in just five years.

A mattress on a bed | BHWS

Like any other valuable product, a mattress needs proper maintenance even if it’s made of high-quality materials. Other factors such as proper center support also play a role. Besides, people are different and while some people may be affected by mattress softening, others may not see it as a big problem.

Here is a summary of the performance and durability ratings of different mattresses:

Mattress TypeInnerspringFoamLatexHybrid
Average Lifespan5.5 – 6.5 years6 – 7 years7.5 – 8.5 years6.5 – 7.5 years
Durability RatingPoor to fairFair to goodGood to very goodFair to good
Resistance to SaggingPoor to fairFairGoodFair
Resistance to Premature SofteningGoodPoor to fairFair to goodFair to good
Resistance to Developing Body ImpressionsGoodPoor to fairFair to goodGood
Overall Longevity RatingFairGoodVery goodGood
Mattress longevity ratings | Sleep Foundation

When to Replace a Mattress?

While you should know what to expect from a mattress, including its lifespan, the decision to replace a mattress is personal. It also involves several factors. Before replacing your mattress, you should ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you have enough sleep at night?
  • Does the mattress feel unsupportive or saggy?
  • How long have you used the mattress?
  • Do you have aches or pains when you wake up?

If you answered “yes” to one or more of these questions, you should consider replacing your mattress. Alternatively, if you still sleep well on your bed and the mattress seems to perform well, you can get a few more years of it. All the same, it helps to replace your mattress regularly for the sake of your health and wellbeing.

Final Word

Before you buy a new mattress, you should check the warranty details for the product. If your mattress is covered by the manufacturer’s warranty, you can have it replaced or repaired at no cost. However, the issue must be covered under the warranty.

For a mattress without a warranty, you can start shopping for a new bed. Today, you can buy a mattress online or you can pick from your favorite mattress store. Both options have their merits and demerits though.


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