By Jo Joiner

A mattress lasts until it’s no longer giving you a good night’s sleep. That could be after just five years, if you bought a cheap mattress. Or it could be after 10 years, if you’re a small person with a high-quality mattress. In this article, we look closely at mattress lifespan and the symptoms of a worn-out mattress.

How often should a mattress be replaced?

The lifespan of a mattress can be anything from 5 to 10 years. However, the true lifespan of your mattress depends on its quality and the sort of life it’s had. If the mattress is in a holiday home that’s only used for a few weeks every year, it might have a longer lifespan. But keep in mind that mattress technology is always progressing, so an old mattress that’s in good condition won’t be as comfortable as a new pocket spring mattress with a memory foam comfort layer. 

It can be difficult to remember exactly when you bought your mattress, so a smart idea is to write the year of purchase on the mattress label with a vivid marker.

Is it necessary to replace the base as well as the mattress?

Most modern bed bases are unsprung. They usually have timber slats to support the mattress.  Unless these slats are cracked or broken, there’s no compelling reason to replace your base. Just be careful to buy a mattress that fits.

How do you know when you need a new mattress?

Whether you replace your mattress at 5, 7 or 10 years depends on a number of factors, including the type of mattress you have, your weight and your health. And if you have small children who regularly use your mattress as a trampoline, then you might be visiting the bed shop sooner than expected! 

Here are the symptoms of a worn-out mattress:

  • Noticeable sagging in the area that supports your hips. When the springs supporting the heaviest part of your body start to expire, you’re likely to wake up with aches and pains.
  • Allergies are getting worse. An old mattress will be home to thousands of dust mites, which are an allergen for about 10% of the population.
  • Partner movement wakes you up. When your partner rolls over, do you wake up? Partner disturbance is a symptom of a cheap mattress, as well as an old mattress.
  • You’re finding it harder to get a good night’s sleep. If you’re finding it difficult to fall asleep, because your bed is uncomfortable, it’s definitely time for a new mattress. Waking up often in the night could also indicate it’s time to go mattress shopping.
  • Your bed looks lumpy and bumpy. Body impressions are a fact of life, unless you choose an ultra-firm mattress with hardly any foam topping. In a two-person bed, the body impressions can lead to a ridge down the centre of the mattress. This is perfectly normal, but it becomes more pronounced as your mattress ages.
  • The mattress has had some ‘accidents’. Stains and smells that won’t go away are a very good reason to upgrade a mattress. This is especially true for children’s mattresses.
  • You have bed bugs. Getting rid of a bed bug infestation is hard work. These little insects are very hard to detect. You’ll know you’ve got a problem if you have a bunch of itchy bites that are close together. Bed bugs hide in mattresses, headboards and bed frames. You need specialised products to get rid of them and treatment doesn’t always work.

Can a foam topper improve an old mattress?

If you’re trying to get another year out of your ageing mattress, you might be tempted to buy a special topper pad to fix it up. While a memory foam or puffy topper will make your bed feel immediately softer, it won’t solve the problem of sagging suspension. When you wake in the morning with a sore lower back and aching hips, a supportive new mattress (probably medium or firm) is the best way forward.

Is it time to go mattress shopping? Dreamland is a leading New Zealand designer, manufacturer and importer of quality mattresses. You can’t buy directly from us, but you can try our mattresses at Dreamland stockists throughout New Zealand.

Similar Posts