Did you know that you spend almost a third of your life in the bed sleeping?
That is a lot of time!
For this obvious reason, buying the right mattress is crucial. But how to know if you need to replace your old mattress.
What are the clear signs you need a new mattress?
How long should a mattress last?
On average, most mattresses should last between 7 and 10 years. So if you are sleeping on your current mattress for that long, maybe it’s time to get a new one.
But if you’re sleeping on your mattress in that 7 to 10 years range, how do you know it’s time to replace it.
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Signs You Need a New Mattress
First sign is sagging.
This can happen with all mattresses, including innerspring, memory foam and hybrid mattresses.
What happens is that the coils in innerspring or hybrid mattresses start to weaken. Over time they will not be quite as supportive.
The same thing is with memory foam. It can also start to sag, so you’re not getting the support and comfort you previously enjoyed.
You can also notice on your bed indentations. If you are a big, heavier person and you sleep on a cheap memory foam mattress, after several years big indentations will start to form.
Therefore, if you’re rolling into that same indentation every night, it’s a clear sign that you need a new mattress.
This only applies to innerspring and hybrid mattresses that use coils.
When these coils start to squeak very loudly, they are becoming rusty and they are losing their strength, it’s another sign it’s time for a new bed.
Another tip is using your nose. If it’s starting to smell badly, it’s time for a change.
Mattresses of all kind can trap mildew, they can trap mold and other allergens as well. Over time these can build up in really huge quantities. So if your mattress stinks, get a new one.
Another sign is allergies. If you wake up every morning with stuffed up nose and your eyes are watery, your mattress can be the cause of this problem.
Mattresses are known for catching allergens like pollen and dust mites and making your allergies worse.
Pay attention to how you feel in the morning. If you feel good the rest of the day, but you wake up every with the symptoms, it might be that your mattress is the culprit.
Another sign is pain. If you you wake up with pain in your lower back, shoulders, hips or your knees, in your pressure points, it means that you are not getting proper support and enough comfort from your mattress. It’s time to get rid of it.
If you can’t sleep, you’re tossing and turning all night, it’s because you can’t find comfortable position. That’s because your mattress lacks the comfort and support you need.
To test this theory, sleep somewhere else for one or two nights. It can be a hotel or your friend’s house.
If you wake up feeling great, without pain or allergies, you slept well all night, you can be sure that your home mattress is the problem.
A change in your situation can be another reason to replace your old mattress.
It can be pregnancy, gaining or losing weight, having a new bed partner or having a new health issue like arthritis.
In all these cases, a new mattress is required to meet those needs.
Those are the clear signs that your old mattress is done and you have to get a new one.
How to Make Mattress Last Longer
What can you do to prolong the life of your mattress and to make sure it lasts as long as possible?
The first thing you can do is using a mattress protector. You should know that some companies void your warranty if you don’t use a protector.
It will protect from dust, allergens, dirt and will definitely make your mattress last longer.
You need to use the right amount of foundation. If your mattress is heavier, your bed foundation should be able to support that amount of weight.
If you a mattress requires a box-spring, then get that. If you don’t provide enough support for your mattress, it will sag pretty quickly.
I know there are some things that are super fun to do on your mattress that are very bad for it.
First, no jumping on the bed. Tell your kids not to do it. Jumping on the bed will damage your mattress over time, cut into the life of the mattress.
Another fun is to have the dog in your bed. Don’t do it.
This can be bad for your mattress because dog can bring dirt, allergens and other critters. Not a good idea.
Finally stop eating in your bed. I used to eat in my bed. But when I learned it was bad for my mattress, I stopped doing it
This will also invite some critters to move into your mattress. As well as bed bugs. Those two are your worst enemies.
When bed bugs and other critters move into your mattress, it’s done. Your living situation is ruined.
If you do make a mess on your mattress, spot clean it right away with the proper cleaners.
It is also a good idea to vacuum it at least twice a year.
Also rotate or flip your mattress. Just keep in mind that some newer models are not designed to be rotated or flipped. But more traditional models, like inner spring mattresses, can definitely do that.
When you rotate 180 degrees, it’s gonna fight indentations. When you flip it, same thing. These two actions will add more life to your mattress.
If you need to move your matters across town or across the country, you should wrap it in plastic to make sure that allergens and dirt don’t get in.
Those are the main ways to prolong life your mattress.
Buying a New Mattress
All the signs are there, it’s clear that you must get a new mattress, what should you be looking for in a new mattress?
If your want a model with foam in it, look for something with a higher density.
Avoid lower density, 3 or 3.5 pounds. It’s not enough and it might sag very quickly. Find something in a 4 to 5 pound range.
Another thing to look for is something with coils in it. It will prolong the life of your matters and give you some proper support.
Next is your sleeping preferences.
If you’re a back sleeper, you need the balance of comfort and support Your hips should sink in enough, but not too far. You should also feel support underneath that as well.
If you are side sleeper, you need more softness on your shoulders and your hips. This means that you need a softer mattress.
If you are a stomach sleeper, you want more of a firmer mattress that provides more support. Your hips should not sink in quite too far.
But you also need to think about your sleeping temperature.
Do you sleep cool, do you sleep hot?
If you are a hot sleeper, you I need a cooler sleeping mattress. You need something with some coils in it for airflow.
However if you want a foam mattress, there are some with cooling elements.
Finally think about your size.
If you are a larger person, you need more support on your back and on your stomach. On your side, a bigger comfort layer.
If you’re a smaller person, you might need different things, but definitely consider your size.
By now you know if you need a new mattress or not, what to look for, how to make your mattress last as long as possible and if you need a new mattress, you know what to look for.
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Alex P. Davis has a BA in Interior Design from The New York School of Interior Design and 10 years of experience expertly designing sophisticated interiors.