Updated November 10, 2020A good mattress, like a good shirt or pair of shoes, wears well. Not only does it feel amazing from the get-go, but it gets even more comfortable with time. Mattresses start to gradually soften and conform to your body with every use. And once the initial adjustment period is over, you and your mattress are a perfect match.This is when your bed is at its best — perfect for sleeping, reading, watching TV, and all-around relaxing.But just how long does a mattress last? Fortunately, mattresses have a reasonably long lifespan. While there is no firm rule for when to replace your bed, the best mattresses usually last between seven and 10 years— that’s about 2,500-3,500 sleeps! Of course, this depends upon the mattress type, materials used, and total time spent in bed.While there is no firm rule for when to replace your mattress, the usual range is between seven and 10 years.This article goes over the basics of why mattresses need to be replaced, how long different types typically last, and how to tell if you’re due for a new bed.Why Mattresses Need to Be ReplacedWith a well-maintained or seldom-used mattress, it may be harder to tell. But in most cases, for a mattress you use regularly, the signs it needs to be changed are quite clear. Here are a few of the main ones.Your Mattress Is DirtyEven if you wash your linens, use a mattress protector, and clean the mattress and pillows regularly, you won’t be able to get everything. And by everything, we mean a buildup of dead skin cells, body oils and fluids, dust mites, mildew, fungal spores, pollen, and a list of other allergens.Mattresses have been shown to carry one of the highest concentrations of dust mites. If you or anyone in your house is experiencing allergic reactions, or you just want to be sure you’re resting on a sanitary surface, consider getting a new mattress.Your Mattress Is SaggyMattresses are usually made from cotton, foam, wool fiber, or other similar materials, which will naturally soften. Through the years, however, softening leads to sagging, and sagging leads to loss of shape. Now, this may not be very noticeable, especially if it’s the only bed you’ve been sleeping on for most of the time.But sleeping on a mattress full of lumps and indentations will definitely take its toll. You’ll likely toss and turn, only to wake up feeling sore, stiff, and still tired.You Wake Up in PainIf you’re rolling out of bed every morning with aches and pains, a new mattress may help. Old mattresses often lose the ability to properly support your body weight, especially at the pressure points you need it most, like the hips, lower back, and neck. You may have also shifted sleeping positions, experienced a change in weight, or started sharing your mattress — all these things will affect whether a mattress is a right fit for you or not. Investing in the best mattress for back pain is an easy way to eliminate discomfort.The Actual Age of Your MattressThe standard mattress will start showing telltale signs of age anywhere between seven to 10 years. So once your mattress starts hitting these numbers, it’s best to start observing any changes to how it looks and feels. Are there spots which aren’t as firm as they used to be? Are you unable to sleep as well as you used to? While your mattress may still have a few solid years left, being able to catch the trouble spots before they get worse can save you a lot of backaches and sleepless nights.Noticeable Wear and TearThe next time you change your sheets, scan over the entire mattress. Check for any significant lumps, saggy spots, worn edges, or rips in the material. These indicate the mattress has seen better days, and it’s usually not going to get any better. The sleep surface area will continue to wear down and any tears will only get bigger, allowing more dirt to enter the mattress.Before going out to buy a brand new bed, check the warranty of your current mattress. Most brands are usually willing to replace a mattress with any manufacturing defects, excessive wear and tear despite normal usage, and sagging greater than 1 inch.You Don’t Sleep ComfortablyMattresses serve one specific purpose — for you to sleep. If you can’t seem to do this comfortably and only end up with neck aches and back pains, then it’s not really fulfilling its purpose. No matter how old your mattress is or how nice it still looks, if you can’t remember the last time you slept well, you should get a new one.You Sleep Better on Other MattressesIt may be hard to gauge if a mattress is still functioning well if you have nothing to compare it to. But if you happen to sleep on a different mattress (like at a hotel or a friend’s place) and find you get a more restful sleep, then your own mattress could definitely use an upgrade.How Long Does a Mattress Last?Although there’s no set time frame after which a mattress goes bad, most will last about eight years. The typical mattress warranty spans ten years, but some brands offer 15, 20 or even a lifetime of warranty coverage.How long a mattress lasts depends greatly on how its made and maintained. In this section, we discuss each mattress type and its expected lifespan:InnerspringInnerspring mattresses are made from a core of metal coil springs and lack the abundance of comfort layers memory foam or latex beds have. Many innersprings feature a pillow top to offer some cushioning comfort. The coil springs provide the support, while the soft cover and pillow top gives a comfortable feel to the mattress. The coils of an innerspring mattress do tend to loosen, especially under significant weight, and usually need to be replaced after seven to eight years.Memory FoamMemory foam mattresses are high-density yet incredibly soft. They effectively mold to the heat and pressure of your body in minutes, and return to their original shape as soon as you get up. The longevity of memory foam greatly depends on the type of foams used, but a quality mattress has a life expectancy of about 10 years.Gel memory foam mattresses incorporate gel beads or swirls into the foam to distribute heat and create a cooler sleeping environment. With proper care, these last about the same time as normal memory foam.LatexLatex mattresses are known for their durability — they can last for 15 years. Keep in mind, though, latex often has a firm mattress feel. Latex mattresses are made from natural latex (derived from rubber trees), synthetic latex, or a blend of natural and synthetic materials. To get the longest-lasting mattress, choose one with all-natural latex, as synthetic foams don’t typically hold up for very long.WaterbedAlthough not as popular as when they first hit the market in the ‘70s and ‘80s, waterbed mattresses are still available. Waterbeds are basically vinyl mattresses filled with water instead of other forms of comfort material, like innersprings or foam. They come in two main types — hardside and softside. Hardside waterbeds retain their shape thanks to a wooden frame, while softside waterbeds use a foam or padded casing.The average waterbed lasts from seven to nine years, but are highly vulnerable to accidental punctures, tears, and water leaks. Hardside waterbeds may be more prone to these sort of mishaps, as they don’t provide the same padding as their softside counterparts. However, in cases a softside waterbed does start leaking, it can be harder to detect the source of the problem beneath all the padding.AirAir mattresses, also known as inflatable mattresses, are usually considered a temporary place to sleep. Although some new variants are more comfortable and durable enough for long-term use, air mattresses still have one of the shortest mattress lifespans at about five years (not counting for nightly use) and warranties of just one or two years.Air mattresses naturally deflate after a few days of use and do need to be air-pumped regularly. Fortunately, some models come with a built-in pump to make this easier.As for materials, the options are pretty slim. Air mattresses are typically made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC), rubber, or another type of reinforced plastic.HybridA hybrid mattress combines innerspring coils and foam layers to offer you the best of both worlds. These beds are great for those who like the bounciness of a traditional innerspring mattress, but want (or need) the comforting foam layers to reduce discomfort. On average, a hybrid mattress lasts at least six years, depending on the quality of coils and foam used.How to Prolong the Life of Your MattressOnce you find a mattress you love, you’ll want it to last as long as possible. Here are some of the best ways to do so, no matter what type of mattress you have.Keep Your Mattress ProtectedAnyone who’s tried to clean a dirty or stained mattress knows how hard the task can be. Save yourself the hours of blotting and dabbing by keeping your mattress from stains in the first place. A popular way to do this is by using either a mattress protector or mattress pad. While a mattress protector is a thin, almost sheer, layer of material which wraps around like a fitted sheet, a mattress pad is a thicker cover placed on top of the mattress. Both covers go in between your mattress and bedsheet, acting as a protective layer of defense against dust and dirt.Keep a Clean BedWhile nothing says cozy comfort more than breakfast (or a midnight snack) in bed, there’s always the possibility of food falling onto the sheets. Even the tiniest crumb can invite pests into bed with you.Should your mattress happen to get dirty, try to clean it as soon as you can. A thorough vacuuming every few months is also advised for general mattress maintenance.Use the Proper Support for Your MattressPlacing your mattress on a solid foundation helps to retain its shape, prevent any premature sagging, and support you as you sleep. Different mattress types may require different foundations, and it’s important you have the right one for your mattress. For instance, innerspring mattresses usually are best with box springs, while foam mattresses work well on solid platforms. As always, it’s recommended to check your mattress warranty agreement to know which base is best.Prevent Significant Wear and TearTo keep your mattress as good as new, it’s important to prevent permanent indentations. Many mattresses no longer need to be flipped or rotated. But unless specifically advised not to, it wouldn’t hurt to flip your mattress every few months. Continuous sleeping on one specific area will eventually create a dent in the mattress, so regular rotations will help prolong its even surface. In addition, refrain from applying any other unnecessary pressure on your mattress, including jumping on the bed or placing heavy objects on top.Other Things to ConsiderCan a mattress last 20 years?Some mattresses can last up to 20 years with proper care, but it’s rare. Choose high-quality mattresses made with plant-based memory or latex foam. If your mattress has springs, make sure the coils are pocketed so they respond to movement and pressure better, preventing sags from developing.How can I make my mattress last longer?As soon as you get a new mattress, put a protector on it (preferably an encasement that covers all sides). Do not put your mattress on the wrong foundation, or you risk damaging it. Check with the mattress company for their recommended foundations.When is a mattress too old?Most mattresses begin to develop sags within 7-10 years. If you wake up tired after a full night’s sleep or with back pain, it could be time for a new mattress.Can I use an old box spring with a new mattress?You should only use an old box spring with an innerspring or hybrid mattress. Memory or latex foam mattresses should be placed on platform, slatted, or adjustable bases. If used with a box spring, they could be damaged.What causes a mattress to sink in the middle?Loss of support is the number one reason mattresses sag. A mattress could also develop sags if the materials are low-quality or not meant for heavier sleepers. If you weigh more than 230 pounds, choose mattresses made with high-quality materials and firm base layers.ConclusionAt the end of the day, knowing how long a mattress lasts isn’t just a matter of years. How it wears, looks, and feels are just as important.As soon as you start seeing signs of wear and tear, or experience any discomfort after lying down, it’s probably the right time to start shopping for a new mattress. Fortunately, there are many high-quality mattresses out there which will give you a good night’s sleep over the next several years.This article is for informational purposes and should not replace advice from your doctor or other medical professional. Comments Cancel replyLeave a CommentYour email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * Comment Name Email I agree to the Terms and Conditions of this website.