Finding the right mattress is so important. Because we spend so much of our lives sleeping, having a comfortable and supportive mattress is key. When you find that perfect mattress, it is a huge relief.
However, all good things must come to an end. Even if your mattress has served you well, there comes a moment when it’s time to move on and say farewell. So, how do you know when the time is right to say goodbye?
With Casper‘s help, let’s talk about how you can know that your mattress has run its course. If you keep an eye out for these clear signs, it should be easy to tell.
How Can You Tell If You Need A New Mattress?
Before you look for evidence that your mattress is finished, think about how long you’ve owned it. The average mattress lasts between seven and 10 years. If it has been over 10 years since you purchased your current mattress, it’s probably time for an upgrade.
Even if that number is closer to the seven year mark, it may still be time to purchase a new one. To know if it’s time to replace your mattress, look for the following signs:
- Sagging. If your mattress is starting to sag, it’s an obvious sign that you might need a new mattress. Sagging can occur when the coils in a mattress start to weaken or the memory foam starts to lose its shape. You can partly tell that a mattress is sagging if there is a clear body impression in the mattress. This is especially common for larger sleepers, whose bodies may leave a deep indentation in the mattress. If you get up and the mattress does not return to its normal, flat appearance, it might be time to consider a new mattress.
- Noise. Squeaking sounds and screeching metal sounds might be a sign that your mattress should be replaced. This mostly applies to mattresses that feature coils. It is possible to fix this issue by tightening any bolts in your mattress or box spring. However, it could also mean that the coils are starting to age and may not be as supportive as before. This could mean the mattress is sagging and you aren’t getting the support you need.
- Smell. This may not be the most appetizing thing to consider, but your mattress may just start to smell. This can happen over time as mildew, mold, and fungi build up in your mattress. This can happen even more quickly if you live in a humid climate. If you take a whiff of your mattress and smell some serious must, it might be time to get rid of it.
- Allergies. When mold, mildew, and dust invade your mattress, they might lead to issues with allergies. If you wake up every morning with watery eyes, a runny nose, and a headache, the allergens in your mattress might be the cause. There are some materials (such as natural latex and wool) that can help prevent the buildup of allergens, so you may want to look for these materials when purchasing a new mattress.
- Pain. If you wake up in the morning with pain, this could be a sign your mattress is not as comfortable or supportive as it used to be. You could feel pain on your shoulders and hips because the mattress is not relieving pressure on those areas. You could also feel lower back pain because you’re not being supported properly. Morning pain is not something to just get used to and can lead to further issues. It’s important to pay attention if you’re dealing with this issue.
- You can’t get comfortable. Discomfort can be another sign that your mattress is finished. Tossing and turning may mean the mattress has lost its comfort and support. If you find yourself waking up often throughout the night, it is possible your old mattress is to blame.
- You sleep better on a different mattress. You might want to replace your mattress if you notice that you sleep much better on a different mattress. Say you often wake up with a stuffed-up nose or joint pain. Then, you sleep in a hotel and wake up with none of those problems. Well, this could mean your mattress is the cause of your problems. If you think your mattress might be reaching the end, try sleeping on a newer mattress and compare how you feel.
- Your situation has changed. Even if your mattress is still in tip-top shape, it still might be time to get a new mattress. Your life can change in an instant, and your mattress just might not fit your new needs. Pregnancy, weight loss, weight gain, and/or gaining a new sleeping partner could all warrant the purchase of a new mattress. In addition, conditions such as arthritis could require you to find a mattress with better pressure relief.
How Can You Make Your Mattress Last Longer?
We’ve talked about the signs that you should get rid of your mattress. However, there are also some steps you can take to ensure your mattress lasts as long as possible. Keep these in mind if you want to get the most life out of your mattress investment.
- Use a mattress protector. Placing a mattress protector over your mattress can be a quick way to guard against dust, mold, and mildew. In addition, many mattress companies will void your warranty if you do not use a protector. Either way, using a mattress protector is an easy way to add life to your mattress.
- Support your mattress properly. If your mattress does not have the proper foundation beneath it, it could start to sag. If you have a heavier mattress, it could require an extra supportive foundation. Also, some mattresses are meant to go with a box spring. Consult the website for your specific mattress brand to find the right foundation or bed.
- Don’t hop on the bed. While it can be fun to let the kids jump on the bed, this can damage your mattress and cut into its lifespan. Foam can start to break down more quickly and coils can also weaken. In the end, this is a mattress and not a trampoline.
- Keep animals out. It’s nice to spend the morning in bed with your favorite pup. However, Fido can bring some not-so-cuddly friends along with him. Bugs, dirt, pollen; They can all hitch a ride on your pet and eventually reduce the lifespan of your mattress. It’s not easy, but you might have to choose between sleeping with your pet and a longer-lasting mattress.
- Don’t eat in bed. If you like to snack in bed, it might be time to change your ways. Food can stain your mattress, and the crumbs can invite bugs to move into your mattress. Bed bugs are the worst. They can ruin your mattress and can also be a logistical nightmare. Keeping your living space clean and free of food items can go a long way in keeping these nasty critters out of your bed.
- Clean and vacuum your mattress. If you do make a mess, clean it immediately. Spot-clean any stains using a white cloth and a simple mix of baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and dish soap. Also aim to vacuum your mattress a few times a year. This can help prevent a buildup of dirt.
- Rotate and flip your mattress. This doesn’t necessarily apply to mattresses with a zoned construction or layered hybrid construction. However, some standard spring mattresses should be flipped or rotated a few times a year. This can prevent your body from creating a deep impression in one spot.
- Wrap the mattress in plastic to move. If it’s time to move across town or across the country, make sure to wrap your mattress in plastic. If unprotected, your mattress can pick up dirt, pollen, and those nasty bed bugs on these jaunts. But a thin sheet of plastic should protect your mattress from picking up any unwanted guests.
What Should You Look For In A New Mattress?
So let’s say it’s time. You did everything right, but it is clear that your mattress needs to go. If this is the case, what should you consider when purchasing a new mattress? How can you make sure you get a mattress to last you for a good, long time?
First, if you are looking for a mattress that contains foam, find something with a higher-density foam. A 4- to 5-lb density is what you should be looking for. Three- to 3.5-lb foams may break down more quickly. Higher-density foams are more durable and should make for a longer-lasting mattress.
Second, consider a mattress with coils. These are durable and can add some more life to the mattress. They can help fight sagging and ensure that you are making a wise investment.
Besides finding durable materials, you also want to make sure the mattress is a good fit for your sleeping preferences. Here are some general guidelines:
- Back sleepers are going to want a mattress with a balance of comfort and support. You want support in this position, but you also want your hips to sink in somewhat.
- Side sleepers should find a softer mattress. You want a soft comfort layer to relieve pressure on your shoulders and hips.
- Stomach sleepers should opt for a firmer mattress. Your hips need enough support to ensure they don’t sink in when you’re stomach sleeping.
Also, think about your sleeping temperature. Do you sleep hot or cold? If you sleep hot, a hybrid mattress could be a good choice, as the coils allow for airflow. If you want an all-foam mattress, make sure the mattress has some features to keep you sleeping cool.
Finally, take your size into account. If you are a lighter person, you might not need the support that a heavier person does. If you are a heavier person, you could need a thicker comfort layer so you don’t bottom out.
It should be easy to tell if your mattress is ready to be replaced. Keep an eye out for sagging, noise, discomfort, and so on, and if you aren’t sure, try sleeping on a different mattress for a few nights to compare how you feel.
Prior to replacing a mattress and after you’ve purchased a new one, make sure to take steps to get as many years out of your mattress as possible.
Featured image: MAD_production/Shutterstock
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