Mattresses are like every other product in the marketplace - they do not last forever. They will typically perform better in the beginning, then slowly wear down over time. Other than the inevitable wear and tear process, mattresses lose their hygiene and will begin to harbor the growth of various bugs such as bacteria and fungus.
Generally, a high-quality mattress will function better from the start and will maintain a high level of performance for several years before they begin to slowly deteriorate. Budget mattresses, or entry level mattresses on the other hand are often mediocre from day one and will essentially ‘head south’ within months. Unfortunately, mattresses are not purchased with a used by date, so it is difficult to know when to replace them.
How long a mattress lasts depends on a multitude of factors:
- Is it a premium product with a durable spring system and high-density foams? Or a budget product with a flimsy spring system and low-density foams?
- Do you use a quality mattress protector?
- Do you change the sheets regularly?
- Are there one or two people sleeping in the bed each night?
- Does each person weigh 50kg or 110kg?
- Do you sleep in it 365 days of the year or 200 days (due to travel)?
- Do you rotate or flip the mattress regularly?
- Are the slats underneath supportive or bowing?
- Is your body in great shape or have you endured a surgical procedure or have arthritis?
- Do you sweat a lot at night?
- Has anything been spilt on the mattress?
- Is the mattress kept in a damp/humid environment?
As a guide, consider replacing your mattress when:
- Your mattress is 7-10 years old
- You can observe sagging and indentations on the mattress surface when stripped of all sheeting.
- You can feel the mattress sag too much when you lie on it.
- It squeaks and creaks getting into or out of bed.
- Its difficult falling asleep and staying asleep.
- You wake up stiff and sore in the morning.
- You consistently wake up tired.
- There are visible signs of poor hygiene, as listed below.
Signs of Poor Hygiene
Mattress hygiene is frequently overlooked and should be replaced based on the following:
Stains and Smells: When your mattress has stains or smells that cannot be removed. This can occur after longtime use, or if you share your bed with a child or pet where accidents are unavoidable, such as spillage of food, sickness, or a toilet training mishap.
Mattress protectors are helpful, but over time materials will penetrate this barrier. Stains on the surface of your mattress are a good indicator for the likelihood of mildew and mold.
Mildew is a surface fungus that can easily be identified as a patch of gray or even white fungus that is lying on the surface of a moist area. Mold, on the other hand, can be black or green and is often the result of a much larger infestation. Mildew or mold cannot be visually inspected if it’s located deeper within the mattress materials.
Touching or inhaling mold and mildew can cause a wide range of health problems in both allergic and non-allergic people, regardless if the spores are dead or alive. Ailments include throat irritation and nasal issues like congestion, sneezing and bloody noses. Eyes may water and turn red, and skin can break out in hives or rashes.
People at high risk for mildew-related health ailments include infants, children, pregnant women, immune-compromised patients, the elderly, and those with existing respiratory conditions.
They are fact of life, even if you wash, clean and vacuum your mattress, which most people don’t.
Dust mites are tiny microscopic relatives of the spider and live on mattresses, bedding, upholstered furniture, carpets, and curtains. These tiny creatures feed on the flakes of skin that people and pets shed daily. They thrive in warm and humid environments.
While these microscopic creatures resemble small bugs, dust mites do not actually leave bites on your skin. They can, however, cause skin rashes. However, you are more likely to have other allergy symptoms, such as sneezing or a runny nose.
By replacing your mattress every 7-10 years, you can avoid unnecessary adverse health effects associated with poor performance and hygiene.
When replacing your mattress, make it a priority to purchase a premium quality mattress that comprises of higher quality materials, giving much needed comfort, support and hygiene benefits.
As a final note, consider buying from a responsible mattress company that will take away your old mattress for free and send it to a recycling centre, instead of the tip for landfill. It’s a free service for you and a great result for our environment.