How Long Should You Keep Mattresses?

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There are a variety of considerations when it comes to replacing a mattress.
There are a variety of considerations when it comes to replacing a mattress. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Mattresses are a part of almost every home in America but may be something that most people don’t think much about. Once purchased, many of us forget about the mattress until something obvious forces us to consider it, such as back pain or a change to a bigger or smaller bed frame. However, many people do not know how often a mattress should be changed to ensure proper support and to reduce possible sanitation problems with the mattress itself.

Use

One of the major considerations with a mattress is how often it is used. Mattresses in guest rooms will last much longer due to less use than mattresses that are used daily. In addition, if more than one person sleeps on the mattress or the person(s) sleeping on the mattress is a particularly active sleeper, the mattress will get more use and will need to be replaced sooner.

Variable Factors

There are a variety of factors that will influence how long a mattress will last, including the materials used and the overall quality of the mattress. Generally speaking, as with most things, when it comes to purchasing a mattress, you get what you pay for. Cheaper mattresses that have little padding and are of low quality will wear out faster and require replacement sooner than mattresses made from high quality materials.

Specialty Mattresses

Note that there are several types of specialty mattresses on the market now, including memory foam and “sleep number” beds that have internal components to increase or decrease mattress firmness. These mattresses may have a different overall lifespan than a traditional mattress. Consult the manufacturer for additional information or advice.

Overall

According to the Better Sleep Council, most mattresses should be replaced every five to seven years. Note that rotating a mattress regularly will help it last longer, as will keeping liquids and other substances away from the mattress that can lead to stains, mold or even degeneration of the mattress fibers. Health is another factor when considering when to change the mattress; if your health changes or you are experiencing back or body pain after sleeping, it may be time to change your mattress.

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