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How Often Should You Change Your Mattress?

How Often Should You Change Your Mattress?

Most people will strip their bed and change their sheets every 10 to 14 days (although every week is recommended), and you should replace a plain-old pillow every 6 months or so. But have you ever thought about how often you should change your mattress?

As it’s under a sheet, it can be easy to assume a mattress stays clean and damage-free, but that isn’t the case. A mattress needs to be cared for, too. So, let’s look at the facts and find out when to change your mattress.

How often should you replace your mattress?

According to The Sleep Foundation, you should replace your mattress every six to eight years in normal conditions; however, this mattress lifespan should only be used as a guide. Mattresses can last longer or could need replacing sooner, depending on the material they are made of and how they have been used. A high-quality mattress can last up to 10 years if well cared for.

How often should you replace a child’s mattress?

It’s a little different regarding a child’s mattress, so the 6-8 year mattress lifespan doesn’t apply here. The support your child needs from their mattress depends on what stage of life they’re at and changes as they get older. For this reason, we recommend:

  • Replacing your child’s mattress every three years between 3-10 years old.
  • Changing your child’s mattress every five years between 10-16 years old.

When should I replace a mattress if it’s not used often?

If you’ve got a little used mattress in a spare bedroom, you may wonder whether you need to replace it every 6-8 years. Our advice is to check your mattress thoroughly to establish its condition and decide from there. Remember that mattresses can still harbour dust and bacteria over the years even if it isn't slept on every night. If left unchanged, this could trigger your guest’s allergies, even if its support is unchanged.

From a hygiene and allergy perspective, changing your mattress regularly is wise regardless of how frequently it’s used.

Does how much I spend on a mattress impact its lifespan?

Generally speaking, the more expensive your mattress is, the longer the lifespan you can expect. This is because a more expensive mattress will be well constructed from better quality materials than a cheaper mattress.

However, you should still expect even an expensive mattress to wear over time and take the necessary precautions to extend its lifespan as much as possible.

8 signs your mattress needs to be replaced

The good news is there are some clear signs that your mattress needs to be replaced, so you can quickly know when to buy a new one. Look out for the following:

Damaged mattress

1. The mattress is damaged, or it smells

Visible signs of damage are one of the most unmistakable signs that your mattress should be replaced. You may notice springs poking through the sleep surface, visible tears, or wearing within the fabric.

If your mattress starts to smell unpleasant, it’s also a good idea to replace it. Mattresses can smell for several reasons, whether a build-up of sweat or dust over time or the result of an accident.

Trouble sleeping

2. You are having trouble sleeping

The primary purpose of your mattress is to help you get a restful night’s sleep, so if it’s not doing that, it could be time to say goodbye. Remember that there could be other reasons you’re having trouble sleeping. Still, if you’re tossing and turning more or having difficulty getting comfortable, it’s usually a sign your mattress is no longer suitable.

It’s worth considering if your partner’s sleep quality has changed too. An older mattress may mean you and your partner roll together at night, an unwelcome disruption when trying to get some shuteye!

Neck or back pain

3. You have back or neck pain

You may develop back or neck pain for many reasons, such as having poor posture or sitting for long periods throughout the day. However, if your back or neck pain worsens after a night’s sleep, it could be that your mattress is causing or even worsening your existing aches and pains.

Usually, this is because the mattress no longer offers the support you need to align your neck, spine, and hips. It goes without saying that you should check any persistent back pain with a medical professional.

Sunken mattress

4. Your mattress has significantly sunken in areas or has lumps

A lumpy or sunken mattress is not equipped to offer the support you need through the night, and you could find that sleeping on your mattress impacts the quality of your sleep and leads to aches developing.

Sneezing more

5. You sneeze a lot while in bed (likely caused by dust or allergens)

If you have an older mattress and you sneeze or have allergy flare-ups more often, it could be because dust and other mites have built up within your mattress. This can even happen if you have a hypoallergenic mattress, especially if it's a few years old.

Loud noise

6. It makes a loud noise when you move on it

A mattress that has started to creak and squeak is not conducive to getting a good night’s sleep - it can be annoying! This mainly only affects sprung mattresses and is usually caused by the springs wearing out over time and rubbing together.

Needs changed

7. Your needs have changed

8 years is a long time; a lot can change between getting the mattress and considering replacing it. For example, if you’re heavier than when you bought the mattress, your mattress may not offer the support you need now. Likewise, as we age, the support we need from our mattress changes. For this reason, it’s wise to change your mattress at regular intervals.

Different bed

8. You need a different-sized bed

Possibly the simplest sign you need to change your mattress is if you’re buying a new bed, and it will no longer fit! This could be because you’re moving into a new house and can fit a larger bed into your bedroom, or it could be as simple as transitioning a child to a single or small double bed.

How to extend the lifespan of your mattress

While the lifespan of a mattress may be 6-8 years, you could extend this further by taking care of your mattress. Here are our top four tips for making your mattress last longer.

1. Use a mattress protector

Mattresses are difficult to clean, but a mattress protector isn’t! A mattress protector will protect against spills and accidents, helping keep your mattress stain-free and smelling fresh. Remember to wash your mattress protector and bedding regularly to keep it fresh and clean.

2. Rotate or flip your mattress regularly

This next tip will depend on your mattress type. Rotating or flipping your mattress will prevent an area from becoming particularly worn as you sleep in the same spot each night.

Some two-sided mattresses are designed to be flipped as you can sleep on both sides, while others are no-flip and should be rotated instead. More advice on how to do this can be found in the graphic below:

Flipping a mattress

3. Allow your mattress to breathe

When you wake up in the morning, pull back the duvet to air out your mattress before making the bed. This will help to freshen up the mattress, removing any odours or bacteria.

4. Clean your mattress regularly

From regular freshen-ups to deeper cleans, cleaning your mattress often ensures a pleasant place to sleep. Dealing with any spillages or accidents as soon as they happen can prevent staining.

You can find out more in our guide on how to clean a mattress.

What happens if you don’t change your mattress?

A mattress can be a major expense, and therefore it can be tempting to put off purchasing a replacement, but can you put a price on a good night’s sleep? A study at Oklahoma State University found that people slept much better on new mattresses than on their own (all of which were at least 5 years old). And a better night’s sleep has a direct influence on both your physical and mental health.

For example, did you know that allergens and dust particles can build up in the fibres of your mattress? If it’s not regularly cleaned, you could have sneezing fits or itchy eyes at night, which will surely fragment your sleep and cause you to be tired the following day. Plus, as you age, your body becomes more sensitive to pressure. Therefore, if you’re an older adult, you may suffer from mattress-related issues (pain or poor sleep) sooner than a younger person. So, don’t put off buying a new bed!

Is it time for you to buy a new mattress?

If you think the time has finally come for upgrading your old-faithful mattress, we can help. With open coil and pocket springs to memory foam and various sizes, you can find a value-for-money replacement mattress online with us.

You can find advice on choosing your next mattress in our guide. Wondering what to do with your old mattress? Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered there, too, with our mattress recycling service.

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