How Often Should You Replace Your Mattress?
Here’s our handy guide to how much life you can expect to get out of your mattress, depending on its materials and other factors.
Apr 10th, 2023 •
The industry standard for how long to wait before replacing your mattress is around 7 to 10 years. While this number serves as a helpful general guideline, there are plenty of other factors that can affect your mattress’s lifespan, such as what type of mattress it is, the quality of the materials used to make it, and how much wear and tear you’ve subjected it to.
Further complicating the decision is the reality that buying a new mattress isn’t cheap—and you also might have some sentimental attachment to yours, long after the mattress has sailed past its expiration date.
But we’re here to take some of the guesswork out of the mattress replacement process. Read on for a little more about when you’ll know it’s time to buy a new mattress—and how to find one that will last a bit longer next time.
Materials Affect Durability
Not all memory foam mattresses (or hybrid or innerspring mattresses) are created equal, but a few general truths should hold true about the longevity of your mattress depending on its construction. Let’s take a look at the different types and how they stack up in terms of durability. For more advice on purchasing a quality mattress, read our reviews and ratings for the best mattresses of 2023.
Memory Foam Mattresses
These mattresses are made from polyurethane foam that responds to your weight; if you lie on them and then stand up, you’ll see a temporary impression (or “memory”) of your body shape. The lifespan of a memory foam mattress depends on its foam density. There’s quite a range here: High-density foam mattresses generally last about 10 to 15 years, and low-density last between 5 to 7 years.
An innerspring mattress uses coil springs for its cushion. In days past these mattresses were built with interconnected coils that were known for their budget-friendliness and squeak. This connected-coil construction is prone to sagging, which gives the mattress an average lifespan of 6 to 8 years.
Modern innerspring mattresses are made with coils that are individually wrapped or “pocketed,” which gives them better durability, comfort, motion isolation, and a quieter overall sleep experience. You can expect these mattresses to last you up to 10 years—though they also come with a higher price tag.
Hybrid mattresses take the best features of those two mattress types to create a bed with the responsiveness and cooling of innersprings, and the contoured support of memory foam. At the top of the mattress, you tend to find memory foam for stellar pressure relief. Beneath those layers, the mattress has (usually individually wrapped) coils for superior airflow—an improvement over all-foam beds, which tend to trap heat.
The durability of a hybrid mattress will depend on the quality of the materials used, but you can expect it to last for 6 to 10 years.
Latex is made from the sap of rubber trees, which is why latex mattresses tend to score an A+ for eco-friendliness. But that’s not all the material excels at—not only is latex naturally hypoallergenic, but it also has natural cooling properties and gives your mattress a lovely, springy feel.
It’s extremely durable, and ultra-resistant to forming permanent body impressions. This gives latex mattresses a healthy lifespan of about 8 to 15 years. The only downside is that latex is one of the most expensive mattress materials you can buy.
We’re not just talking about the half-deflated air mattress you’ll find on the floor at your great aunt’s house. These days there’s a wide range of quality in the air mattress world, from those best for camping, which offer a 2- to 3-year lifespan, to SleepNumber’s high-quality adjustable mattresses, which the brand backs with a 15-year limited warranty.
Waterbeds are an appealing choice because of the unique sleep experience they offer, plus the health benefits, like relief from backaches, arthritis, and even insomnia. They’re also fairly affordable, though setup can be an involved process. Waterbeds have an expected lifespan of more than 10 years if you take good care of them—generally longer than a traditional mattress.
How To Make Your Mattress Last Longer
The average queen-size mattress costs over $1,000—so of course you want to get the most life possible out of the investment. You can achieve that by using the correct foundation with your mattress, plus keeping it clean and properly maintained. Here’s where to start:
Mattress Foundation 101
A sad and sure way to ruin a new mattress is to use the wrong foundation, which means your bedding won’t get the support it needs while it supports you. Your mattress brand’s website will spell this out clearly since using the wrong foundation can void the warranty.
Here’s a quick reference:
- Anything with springs (innerspring or hybrid mattresses) tends to work best with a box spring.
- Memory foam and latex are heavier and need flat, firm support to prevent sagging. Use a platform or slat foundation. Just make sure the slats aren’t so far apart that the mattress is sagging in between.
How to Clean and Maintain Your Mattress
Wash Your Sheets: While some recommend changing your sheets weekly, surveys show that 24 days is the average length of time people go between washings. Experts say that somewhere in the middle is best, and that you should launder your sheets and pillowcases around every 14 days. Be sure to use hot water to kill bacteria and dust mites.
Vacuum the Mattress: Another way to evict dust mites in between washings is to use your vacuum’s handheld attachment. Focus on crevices, where dust and other allergens like to hide.
Flip or Rotate: Since we tend to sleep in the same spot on our mattress night after night, repositioning your mattress can slow the formation of permanent body impressions.
New mattresses should be flipped every month for the first year. After that, flipping your mattress every 3 to 6 months is good. But first check for information about your specific mattress online because some mattresses benefit from a quarterly rotation. This includes one-sided mattresses, mattresses with layers, airbeds, and most memory foam beds.
Mattress Accessories Can Extend the Life of Your Mattress
Mattress pads, protectors, and toppers (or even all three combined) can increase the longevity, comfort, and cleanliness of your mattress. Here’s a quick guide to what you need to know.
Mattress Pad: This is typically a thin layer of padding you can purchase in the form of a fitted sheet that covers your mattress. It’s meant to provide extra protection from spills and add a little cushion. But it’s not a game changer when it comes to durability over time.
Mattress Topper: A much thicker add-on, a mattress topper provides more protection and cushion, and can also increase the lifespan of your mattress significantly. Check out our list of best mattress toppers for more.
Mattress Protector: A mattress protector is the clear winner in this category for extending the life of your mattress. It effectively blocks moisture from pets, night sweats, or midnight snacks. Over time, this can add years to your mattress’s usability.
How to Know When It’s Time to Replace Your Mattress
There are a number of factors that play a role in the longevity of your mattress, like body weight, pets, and frequency and type of use. An infrequently used guest bed, for example, will wear less quickly than a mattress used nightly by a couple who share the bed with their dog. Here are several signs to signal it’s time to buy a new mattress.
A small amount of sagging is a normal part of mattress wear, but there are a few indicators that it’s too much. If you’re experiencing new back pain first thing in the morning, your mattress is likely to blame. If rotating or flipping your mattress doesn’t help, it’s time to move on. Just be sure to check our recommended list of best mattresses that don’t sag before your next purchase.
The construction material also matters. Most memory foam mattresses have a warranty covering permanent body impressions over 1” or 1.5”, and brands will offer a free or prorated replacement. Read the fine print before deciding to pitch your sagging mattress (and when purchasing, of course). It may be covered under warranty.
If you all of a sudden seem allergic to your mattress—meaning you experience coughing, sneezing, runny nose, and/or itchy eyes only at bedtime—it’s time to give it some attention. You can give the mattress a good cleaning, and then add a mattress protector. But if that doesn’t solve your problem, it’s time to buy a new one. Dust mites and bacteria collect over time, especially inside rips and tears. Those are partners that you don’t want to share a bed with.
Here’s a quick list of other signs it might be time to replace your mattress:
- Visible Damage: Is it ripped, torn, or excessively sagging (including permanent body indentations)?
- Noise: A squeaky mattress means the springs in your innerspring or hybrid mattress are worn out, so it’s no longer providing adequate support for your spine.
- Quality of Sleep: If you find your sleep isn’t what it used to be, or you sleep better at hotels, your mattress is likely past its prime.
- Movement: If you’ve started waking when your partner moves or gets out of bed, your aging mattress might be losing its ability to isolate motion.
- Pain: If you’re waking with aches in pains—namely new back, neck, or shoulder pain—your mattress is no longer providing the balance of support and cushion needed for a good night’s rest.
- Double-Digit Age: With the foam and coils used in mattresses, a decade is a great run. No mattress material lasts forever, so it’s best to replace no less than every 10 years.
How to Clean and Remove Stains from Your Mattress
Getting on a regular cleaning schedule for your mattress can make a big difference in your sleep quality. Read these tips for making your mattress a cleaner, healthier and more comfortable place to sleep.
Mattress Accessories & Bedding
Do You Need a Mattress Topper?
Do You Need to Flip your Mattress?
Does your new mattress need to be flipped? The short answer is probably not. If your mattress is less than 10 years old (and hopefully it is), it is probably designed for one-sided use. But it might have to be rotated. Read on to learn more.