Nothing in life lasts forever. Mattresses and pets are two things you can count on to last around the same time — and not nearly long enough.
It seems like just yesterday that you shelled out for your current mattress. What’s the harm in sleeping on it for a few more years?
Sleeping on a mattress — any mattress — after it’s passed its prime can be harmful to your health, however. Learn the top 7 warning signs your mattress is getting old and what to do about it.
1. It’s over five years old
Let’s be realistic here. Advancements in materials have improved the lifespan of the average mattress to a degree, but there’s a lot more work to be done until a “lifetime mattress” has been developed.
The hard truth is that if your mattress is over five years old it:
- Has already developed signs of wear and tear
- Isn’t giving you the sleep quality it used to
- Has already become obsolete
Mattresses are evolving quickly, which is great for consumers. This rapid rate of development, however, will leave you in the dust unless you upgrade to the new breed of mattresses relatively soon.
The Sleep Foundation says mattresses last between 7 and 10 years. We’d concur, and we’d even say that the newest mattress materials might even last slightly longer.
An older mattress, however, is already too old even if you’ve only slept on it for five years. That’s because old materials aren’t as good as their modern replacements, and you won’t know what you’re missing until you try the cream of the new crop.
2. It’s sagging
Two types of mattresses are prone to sagging — innerspring and memory foam. Latex, on the other hand, tends to disintegrate.
It’s simply the weight of your body over time that causes a mattress to deform. The more weight, the faster sagging develops, but sagging will inevitably become a problem with every mattress made from foam or springs.
Memory foam technology has improved a lot recently, making new mattresses considerably less prone to sagging. A sagging mattress might not seem like a big deal, but indentations in your mattress will negatively affect your health.
Ignoring a sagging mattress could:
- Cause insomnia
- Worsen back pain
- Lead to tossing and turning
- Hurt your joints
- Cause other health issues
3. You have trouble sleeping
Poor sleep can be caused by a variety of different factors. You shouldn’t leap to the conclusion that an old mattress is to blame for your insomnia.
It’s a fact, however, that upgrading your mattress will improve your sleeping hours. Even if you still can’t sleep, your body will rest better on a new mattress, and your chances of sleeping soundly will — even if only slightly — certainly increase.
While poor sleep might be caused by:
- Or pain,
Nobody can sleep well on an old mattress. So, if you’ve eliminated all the other options and your sleep is still subpar, it’s all the more likely your old mattress is the culprit.
4. You’re in pain when you wake up
It’s natural to feel some aches and pains before going to sleep. That’s why the body sleeps, after all — to rest, recharge, and regenerate.
If you still feel bad when you wake up, however, there’s something wrong. Sleeping is supposed to make you feel ready for the day, not ready to go back to sleep — and hopefully be in less pain when you wake up again.
It could be laying in your mattress, however, that’s to blame for your steadily worsening pain. It’s one of those things that’s almost impossible to assess before you give a new mattress a try — that’s part of the reason reputable mattress manufacturers offer extended trial periods.
5. Your allergies or asthma have gotten worse
We don’t like to admit it, but mattresses are hotbeds of dust mites and other allergens. By covering your mattress in a full enclosure and adopting the latest mattress material technology, you can prevent the accumulation of substances that harm your respiratory health.
In the end, only one adage will change things for the better — out with the old, and in with the new. Once infested with dust mites, pollen, or other allergens, it’s impossible to truly make a mattress new again.
This time, do things the right way. Get that full-zip mattress cover we mentioned, and follow these other tips for optimal bedroom air quality:
- Change pillows every 6 months. To extend their life, you can encase your pillows in full-zip enclosures too.
- Invest in a good air filter. Low-tier air filters produce ozone, which could harm your respiratory health.
- Consider cracking a window, setting up a fan, or observing other basics of proper ventilation.
6. Your mattress is damaged
This one should be a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many people content themselves with sleeping on obviously defective or damaged mattresses. Just like waking up in the morning, it can be hard to muster the effort to buy a new mattress — even as you watch it fall apart around you.
This might end up becoming cause for an intervention. Before things get to that point, do the right thing, and provide yourself with the basic infrastructure necessary for good sleep.
7. It’s in your budget
A new mattress isn’t an inexpensive proposition. The most important sign it’s time to replace your mattress is the status of your checkbook.
Are you ready to buy a new mattress? That question has a tendency to make people put their palms on their foreheads and chuckle morosely.
You might not be looking at it the right way, however. There are three factors that might put things in a new light:
1. Good mattresses aren’t expensive anymore
It used to be a serious financial proposition to invest in a mattress that would dramatically improve your sleep. Even the most basic memory foam technologies, however, are now better than the top-of-the-line mattresses from 2005, and what would have been an entry-level mattress price a decade ago now buys you a mid-tier model capable of carrying you through another ten years of sweet dreams.
Don’t forget to factor in the mattress-in-a-box revolution. The added value of a compressed mattress arriving at your door is absorbed into the reduced pricing of every new material.
2. You’re worth the investment
You’ve accomplished everything in life. If you can say that about yourself with a straight face, we’re all envious.
No, the truth is that there are hundreds of factors that hold us back from our true potential. Sleep, however, doesn’t need to be one.
3. No commitment
Like everyone else, mattress manufacturers have to stay competitive. If one company offers an extended no-strings-attached guarantee, everyone else has to follow suit.
Every mattress brand capable of mustering a significant web presence is pretty much guaranteed to offer an extended trial period. You can:
- Unpack your mattress,
- Sleep on it for at least a month,
- And return it for free (and hassle-free) if you change your mind
Like everything in the world of eCommerce, ordering a new mattress is becoming simple and stress-free.