One of the fun facts that gets thrown around a lot when you’re talking about mattresses is that you spend a third of your day, hence a third of your life, in bed. This is why you should give a lot of consideration to what you sleep on. What’s often overlooked when it comes to mattresses is that they need replacing.
Sure, you may think of looking for a new mattress when the end of the warranty nears, but the truth is you may have to change your mattress long before that. The warranty a mattress comes with isn’t really an indicator of how long it should be used before it needs to be replaced – it’s just for consumer protection against manufacturing defects. It doesn’t cover the loss of support and comfort, which is sure to happen if you use your mattress regularly or subject it to more pressure or weight than it can handle.
What this means is that the actual life span of a mattress is typically shorter than its warranty. The average life span of a mattress is 7 to 10 years. Mattresses – even top-quality ones – that are often used and abused (through lack of maintenance and excessive weight) may need to be replaced in three to five years.
So when exactly do you start looking for a new mattress? Here are the telltale signs that you need to start shopping.
You wake up stiff and sore. If you have a hard time greeting anyone “Good morning” because you wake up with neck or back pain, numbness in your limbs and stiffness, it’s time to look at mattress catalogs. This shows that the mattress isn’t supporting your body properly anymore. Body pain may also signify that the firmness level of the mattress you’re using isn’t right for you.
You see and feel indentations in the mattress. Sagging or uneven areas, lumps, and even poking coils on the mattress make for a less than comfortable sleep. Over time, your body makes a noticeable impression on the mattress, even if you rotate and flip it. Accept that your mattress isn’t as great as it once was and look for a new one immediately.
You toss and turn during the night. If you frequently move about when you try to sleep because you just can’t find a comfortable position, your mattress may be the culprit.
You get a better night’s sleep on another mattress. If you spend the night at a hotel or a friend’s house and realize you haven’t slept that well in months, find out what mattress they’re using. It could be the perfect replacement for your old one.
You experience heightened asthma or allergy symptoms. Some types of mattresses attract household allergens, which accumulate over time. The longer they’re in your mattress, the higher your risk of triggering those allergies or suffering from asthma.
Your physical needs have changed. If you are recuperating from an accident or have an injury, lost or gained weight, have a health condition that requires a softer or firmer sleeping surface, then it’s definitely time to choose a mattress that meets your physical needs.
Can you remember the last time you changed your mattress? If the answer is “a long time ago, I don’t really remember,” it’s probably time to buy a new one. And if any of these situations applies to you – you know what to do.