It is never an easy assumption, stating how long a product will last from the moment you buy it. This applies for mattresses as well. Of course, there is always the warranty which gives you a hint on what to expect, yet still it is uncertain really and dependent on several different factors, whether or not your new mattress will be your loyal companion for years, or if it’s going to be there for a while and turn out to be a disappointment.
In this post, we shall focus on the factors influencing the resiliency and durability of your mattress, as well as how long a mattress will last depending on its main material, eg. Innerspring, foam, memory foam, latex and hybrid. We also have a few tips in mind on what are some good practices to increase the longevity of your mattress.
Hopefully, by the time you reach to the end of this reading, you will be more informed on what to expect when getting a specific type of mattress.
How often should a mattress be replaced?
As already stated in the introduction of this post, it is not as easy to declare the length of a certain mattress, meaning that there are a number of things to consider before you can determine how far really your mattress will go.
You should think about materials, individual weight, any stress that your mattress is subject to, and how you maintain it.
- Irritation and achiness when waking up
- You feel more relaxed and comforted on a different mattress
- Your mattress gets saggy and has tears
- You own this mattress for 6-8 years and you are over 40 years old
Factors that influence the durability of your mattress
- Body weight
If you think it reasonably, it is quite obvious that the more pressure you apply on a surface, the more stress it undergoes and therefore it is more likely to wear off more easily. This simply implies that if you are overweight, more pressure is put on your mattress, so it is more likely to have more tears and last less than it would if you weight normally.
One way to figure out if you are overweight or not is by finding your BMI, which derives from how tall you are and how much you weight.
The top layers absorb the most pressure and so if you do have to put substantial weight on your mattress, you might want to look for some specific things which are important: indentation load deflection (ILD) and density. What you need is these two elements to show up in higher figures than industry standards, so that your mattress lasts longer.
It is often the case that over time, your mattress shows signs of wear and ultimately changes in terms of the following areas:
- Becomes saggy as it loses from its firmness
- Doesn’t provide optimum pressure relief
- The materials loose on thickness
- The mattress is not as comfortable as it used to be
- Loses on the ability to keep your spine in a neutral position
Remember that the comfort layer, is not always found on top of the mattress. It does lay however within the first 3-6 inches of the product. This is the point exactly where degradation starts most of the times, and hollow, recess points of indentation appear in the areas which endure the most pressure, such as the hips.
Whether you have excess weight or not, the comfort layers are something to pay attention to if you want your mattress to last longer.
- Type of mattress
Apart from you, there is another thing that really matters when it comes to the duration which a mattress will last. That is the material from which it is made of. This is a definitive factor as the type of mattress you buy, will determine among others the extent to which your mattress will last more or less than the average life-span for a mattress.
As technology advances, more and more materials are used to create mattresses, each with their unique properties. What follows is an overview of the most common types of mattresses and their expected life-span for you to be prepared on which is best for you.back to menu ↑
Durability of an innerspring mattress
Innerspring mattresses should not be on top of your list if you are interested in durability of your mattress. They are not for sure the best choice if longevity is of the most important concerns you have when it comes to your next mattress buy as they appear to get saggy and form indentations following prolong use.
Of course, with the different options available for the kind of innerspring you will get nowadays, the actual life-span of your innerspring mattress will vary. Let’s take a closer look.
- Coil gauge
Pay attention to the coil gauge of your innerspring mattress, which refers to how thick the coils are in a mattress. Most coil gauges vary between 12-15; the higher the gauge the thinner the coil wire.
A mattress with thicker wires, or lower coil gauge (13 or lower), should normally be firmer, whereas the contrary, meaning higher coil gauge (14 or more), are softer. Coil gauge will determine the durability of a mattress. A mattress with lower coil gauge, will likely last longer since the coil wire is thicker and so it won’t wear out as easily.
In any case, people tend to replace their innerspring mattress long before the coils wear off, so coil gauge should not be the first thing to consider when it comes to determining your mattress’ durability.
If you are going to get an innerspring mattress due to budget restrictions, then we suggest you choose among the different options for maximizing comfort without extensive cost: try a pillow top or Eurotop, or get a mattress topper which are available in all sorts of materials and price range. This will ensure you avoid direct contact with your mattress and increase its lifespan.
In any case, we recommend you replace your innerspring mattress after 8 years of use.
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Durability of a foam mattress
There are different kinds of regular foam mattresses which you can get on the market, like polyurethane, reflex, or convoluted foams. Let’s see how each of the three performs in terms of durability.
- Polyurethane mattress
If you get a polyurethane mattress, this is probably one of the cheapest options available and so you should expect to lose something in terms of durability as well. While the composition is similar to memory foam, the feel is different thanks to the added chemicals used to create memory foam.
Don’t take for granted that a firm polyurethane mattress will last longer. The crucial factor to think of here is density. If the product has no specs on density, you shouldn’t expect it to last long.
Although poly foam mattresses are not considered the most durable, here is what you should prefer to see in specifications to say you are on the safe side. Remember that the more the density, the more likely it is for the mattress to last longer.
You should consider changing your polyfoam mattress if it seems saggy or like you sink too deep into the mattress.
- Reflex foam mattress
This high density polyurethane foam, is a great option for a mattress that has the feel of memory foam but without having to pay the cost. Reflex foam also has better responsiveness time than memory foam. As it comes with higher density, it is expected to last longer.
Reflex foam is appropriate for overweight people as they offer a more firm and supportive surface. Signs of sagging and indentation will signal it is better to change your mattress.
- Convoluted foam mattress
This type of foam resembles regular egg carton, and is not the best choice in terms of durability. It is supportive enough, yet won’t last long and makes a better option for a mattress topper. It is a great solution if you tend to sleep hot though.
If you do want a convoluted foam mattress, choose one with at least 1.8 lbs/ft³ if you have average size. If you are a heavier sleeper, this should be 2.0 lb/ft³ in particular if the convoluted foam sits on the top comfort layers.
Don’t choose a mattress with two or more layers with convoluted foam.
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Durability of a memory foam mattress
A more recent trend when it comes to mattresses is memory foam. This specialty foam is considered better than conventional foams previously described here, and this reflects on their durability, and obviously the cost to get one.
A solid option when it comes to getting a durable mattress that is made of premium materials, capable to produce pressure relief for your sensitive areas. Memory foam typically features a higher percentage of density compared to traditional polyurethane foam. While body weight is one important factor which affects the lifespan of your memory foam mattress, you should generally opt for a density of about 3.5 to 4 lbs./ft³, or at least 5 lbs./ft³ if you are on the heavy end of the scale.
Thickness is also crucial and relates to the density of memory foam. Prefer a mattress that has a memory foam layer of 1 inch and less than 3.5 lb/ft³ density, then try another mattress.
Most commonly, memory foam mattresses last something between 8 to 10 years. However, you should replace your mattress even if its sooner if you spot things like visible sagging, lumps and bumps, persistent impressions, recurrent allergy episodes, difficulty sleeping.
Gel infused memory foam is a type of memory foam which comes with its own perks. It does a great job dealing with sleeping hot, which is a common problem when it comes to memory foam.
However, gel memory foam is equally good and durable, and it is advised that you follow similar rules to normal memory foam mattresses.
Durability of a latex mattress
Latex mattresses are thought to be of the safest choices for a durable mattress. The nature of this material is such that it is quite resilient, and so you shouldn’t worry much about getting by for a long period of time with your latex mattress.
Still, since there are both synthetic and natural blends of latex, you should be careful to get the one that best meets your needs and also be aware of what each kind has to offer.
Natural vs synthetic latex
- Natural latex is generally more durable than synthetic latex, however it is also more expensive compared to it, so perhaps it is not ideal if you are on a budget.
- Generally speaking, natural products will typically last longer and so are worth their money in the long run.
- If you are indecisive about which kind (natural or synthetic) is best for you, you could also opt for a hybrid product, which combines both kinds of latex.
Talalay vs Dunlop
Now that you have figured out the materials used, you should decide if you prefer a latex mattress that is made with Talalay method or Dunlop.
There are distinct manufacturing differences in the two processes, so you should review the details of each before you make up your mind.
Just to get you off the worry, both methods offer a durable mattress.
Due to its structure, latex is used frequently in a comfort layer, which as we have already discussed is the one part that is mostly affected by pressure and will show signs of wear.
Latex is durable, has a quick response time and offers substantial motion isolation while it deals well with heat retention, so it is no wonder it is preferred.
Degradation though happens in all of the materials as time goes by and the mattress feels soft and not supportive enough which starts in the bottom layers of the mattress.
In order to not throw away a generally good latex mattress because some parts of it degraded, you can choose a mattress that comes with a zip and replace the old material with a new latex layer, which will cost a minimum amount and help lengthen the lifespan of your mattress.
Durability of a hybrid mattress
Hybrid is a term used to describe a mattress that combines use of different materials and therefore different qualities in one product. As far as mattresses, the most typical type of hybrid mattress consists of a combination of innerspring with different types of specialty foams. So, how do hybrid mattresses perform in terms of lasting longer?
Density is crucial as already evident from the discussion above, so you want to be careful when getting a hybrid mattress to find the kind of density that matches with the type of foam used in the construction. In case you weight more than a few extra pounds, you should be looking for a higher density to ensure more longevity.
There is one other thing you may want to pay attention to when it comes to durability in hybrid mattresses. That is manufacturer’s warranty.
A company which is reputable and has over 10 years of experience in the industry, will likely be far more aware of how long their mattresses last and their warranty policy will show that element exactly on point. So, do make sure to read the small letters regarding warranty terms when you embark on your next buy.
Tips to make your mattress last longer
What makes your mattress last longer, as already seen in this article, is primarily the type of material used and its density, your body weight and the overall care and maintenance which your mattress undergoes.
This section will try to give you the best advice on some tips and tricks to help you keep your mattress in as good condition as possible in the long-run. Our suggestions are found in the figure below and explained further in detail in the paragraphs that follow.
- Prefer a quality mattress protector
It is always a great idea to use a mattress protector for your mattress, regardless of the type of mattress you buy. These products are often waterproof which comes in handy if you tend to use your bed for eating and drinking.
Occasional spills can harm your mattress in more ways than one, as it could lead to materials degrading faster, whereas the mattress can develop mold and odors which won’t go away. Moreover, mattress protectors resist sweat, skin cells and dust mite to sustain a healthier sleeping surface for a longer period in time.
- Try to change your sheets frequently
Your sheets are an alley when it comes to keeping your mattress in a good condition. However, since they are usually rather thin, it is best advised that you change them at least once every 15 days to make sure your sleep on a healthy bedding. If you can, we suggest to even wash your cover if it is removable as frequently as possible to keep away dust mite and sweat.
- Keep the top mattress surface clean
It may sound logical and simplistic as a thought, yet not everybody practices this. You should try to keep the top of the mattress as clean as possible, even if you already have a mattress protector.
Dust mites tend to sit on the top surface and won’t go away unless you vacuum the surface. You can also try using baking soda and let it sit for half an hour prior vacuum, and repeat this every month.
- Avoid breakfast at bed
As much as you want to indulge having breakfast in bed, especially during the weekends, or snacking while watching TV or a movie on your laptop, this is likely to harm your mattress.
Resist the temptation to leave crumbs away of your mattress and maintain a cleaner mattress surface.
- Don’t allow pets to sleep with you
It probably goes without saying that having pets sleep on your bed, increases the possibility for accidents, tears and shedding of your mattress.
So, despite knowing there are good that come with letting your favourite pet sleep alongside your pillow, it is still better to have a separate bed for the pet. Ultimately, this is your decision and you should do what you think is right.
- Keep your mattress free of bed bugs
Bed bugs can become a real nightmare for your mattress and may lead to its replacements sooner than you would have liked to.
If you want to avoid the hustle of getting rid of bed bugs, it is best to leave little room for them to sneak into your mattress. Perhaps it seems unimaginable, however there are a few things to notice:
- Don’t sleep on others’ mattresses as the bugs can be transferred to your mattress
- Get a bug-proof mattress encasement if necessary
- Be suspicious of bed bugs if you notice things like stains and live bugs in your sheets, or if you get skin irritations.
- Check your bedframe on a regular basis
You may think having a great mattress on a poor frame is not important, since you sleep on the mattress, not the frame, however you should think twice. It’s like having your house built on a weak foundation. That doesn’t sound much of a smart move, right?
Be prudent enough to frequently check your bed frame for signs of wear on the frame like weak wooden slats, big gaps or broken slats, or saggy boxsprings. These all should be replaced by a new frame which will ensure your mattress rests on a solid foundation.
- Be informed about your mattress’ warranty policy
Although most of us don’t usually pay attention to the warranty policy of the different products we buy, this is actually one of the best indicators to see how long your mattress will last and even comes with recommendations on how to better care for your mattress.
Warranty will also recommend ways in which to deal with any problems arising over time and help you maximize the durability of your mattress.
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This post was dedicated to making you realize all the important parameters that determine the durability of your mattress. Drawing on this guide including tips on how to make your mattress last longer, you can better plan your next mattress buy and be prepared to get a mattress that will last longer.
Remember that it is not only a matter of spending a fortune on your mattress to make it last longer. The care and maintenance you put in will affect the extent to which a mattress will last more or less.
Above all, you want to make an investment that lasts, and this will only be successful if you take into consideration the tips provided in this post.
In brief, you should resonate with the decision to change your mattress when the following signs are visible:
- The mattress gets saggy
- Evidence of indentations
- Major difference in the level of comfort experienced
- The mattress is older than 7 years old
It is great if you could share what you learnt here today with your friends and family, if you find it of interest. Feel free to share and comment below.