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The average person spends about one-third of their lives in bed, so it should come as no surprise that mattresses don’t last forever. How long they last, exactly, depends on many factors, like the style of mattress, the quality of the materials used to make it, and even your personal sleeping habits. Here’s how to determine whether or not it’s time to replace your mattress.
How Long Do Mattresses Last?
Most mattresses last anywhere between 7-10 years, but it’s possible for a mattress to bite the dust much earlier. If your current mattress is uncomfortable to sleep on, you should consider replacing it no matter its age.
Which Mattresses Last the Longest?
There are several types of mattresses market today, with the most commonly found ones being innerspring, foam, and latex. The innerspring has been the most common style of mattress since it was invented in 1857, but even though it has seen considerable upgrades in its 165-year history, it has the shortest lifespan on this list. Latex, on the other hand, has the longest. However, the lifespan of the mattress shouldn’t be the only consideration you make if you’re shopping for a new mattress.
How Long Do Inner Spring Mattresses Last?
The inside of an innerspring (or innercoil) mattress is made of, well, springs. A network of steel coils provides the majority of the mattress’ support; some models rely 100% on a coil system, while others have upgraded the classic coil design with layers of memory foam, or ultra-plush pillowtops. On average, innerspring mattresses last between 5.5 to 6.5 years, but much of their lifespan depends on what type of coils they use.
The springs in an innerspring mattress can be connected or unconnected. Connected coils respond as a single unit to any sort of pressure, making it less than ideal for couples, but a good, affordable choice for single sleepers. If a connected coil mattress is shared between two or more people, it will start exhibiting wear and tear faster than if used by a single sleeper, lasting five years or less. Unconnected coils move independently, and are normally covered in foam or padding to provide additional support, as well as making the bed more comfortable. These are the most durable types of innerspring mattresses, and can last even longer than 7 years for many single sleepers.
How Long Do Foam Mattresses Last?
There are multiple types of foam mattresses, which come in wildly varied price points depending on the material they’re made of, and have life expectancies to match.
The cheapest type of foam mattresses are made from polyurethane, and the least durable. These mattresses can be good, budget-friendly options for short-term usages, or in rarely-used guest rooms. When used daily, though, polyfoam mattresses quickly develop body impression, lose their ability to provide decent support, and can need replacing in less than one year.
Memory foam was invented by NASA in the 1970s, and was originally created to be used in protective gear and airplanes. Memory foam mattresses provide spectacular, even support, as they conform to the curves of your body, distribute pressure evenly, and will not slowly deflate as you sleep on them. Memory foam mattresses used to be on the pricey side, but have become more affordable in recent years as manufacturing processes have improved, and as “mattress in a box” companies have made the mattress business more competitive. On average, memory foam mattresses can last anywhere from eight to ten years.
How Long Do Latex Mattresses Last?
Because of the high cost of materials and production, latex mattresses—which provide full contour support like memory foam does— have historically been the most expensive type of mattress since they became mass-marketed in the 1960s. As with memory foam, technological advances has helped bring the price of latex mattresses down in recent years; though more affordable than ever before, latex mattress are still a luxury item, and have a luxury-product lifespan to match. Made from sturdy plant- or petroleum-based materials, latex mattresses normally last at least a decade; with proper care, they can even last 15 years or more.
When to Replace Your Mattress
If you wake up less-than-fully rested, or find yourself experiencing chronic back pain, your mattress may very well be to blame. Examine your mattress to see if it sags in spots, or if there’s a noticeable body imprint in the area where you sleep. If so, it’s time to start looking for a replacement. To extend the life of your mattress, rotate it 180 degrees every three months, which will help it wear down evenly.
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