How Often Do I Need to Change My Mattress?

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The first time my parents ever took me to a mattress store to pick out a mattress, I was sixteen. I had been sleeping on the same twin bed since I was three years old and had recently started to develop back pain and some acute insomnia. After speaking to a doctor, it was recommended that we try a new mattress before perusing anything else. I got to pick out a new mattress that actually felt good when I laid down on it. It was delivered the next day and within a week, I was sleeping better and my back pain was gone. We threw that old mattress that I had been sleeping on for more than thirteen years away.

Thirteen years is definitely too long to be sleeping on a mattress, especially a mattress that was manufactured in the nineties. Today’s mattresses might have a longer shelf life, but, on average, mattresses usually remain comfortable for in between five and ten years, depending on the quality of the mattress and how well you take care of the mattress. But how do you really know that you need a new mattress? Here are some helpful tips to help you determine how often you should change your mattress.

1. You can’t get comfortable.

You might occasionally find it difficult to find a comfortable sleeping position. This is natural and if you eventually drift off, it is probably just a matter of too much caffeine or a strain or injury that was incurred long before you got into bed for the night. If you are having a difficult time finding a comfortable position ever single night, the problem is likely with your mattress, not with you or your body. Over time, a mattress starts to break down. Mattresses with cotton or down padding might start to see clumping, matting, or uneven distribution of materials, which leaves your mattress with lumps and sagging areas.

2. You wake up and you are still tired.

You might be sleeping, but if you are constantly shifting in your sleep, rolling back and forth, you are probably not getting the deep, restorative sleep that you really need in order to be well rested when you wake up. While there are also some medical conditions which can cause you to not sleep as well as you should (and having an old, sagging mattress can contribute to these issues), waking up tired is actually one of the most common consequences of an old mattress.

3. You wake up with aches.

When you wake up with aches that you did not go to bed with, you know that your mattress is causing you a problem. Remember that you probably are going to spend about a third of your life on a mattress. As you sleep, hopefully getting in between six and eight hours, your body is hopefully lying still in one position or in a few positions. If your mattress is not comfortable, you will be putting undue pressure on your back, your hips, your knees, your neck, and your shoulders. You’ll wake up achy and probably grouchy, too.

4. You sleep better outside of your own bed.

Maybe you go to visit a friend for a weekend and you find that you have slept remarkably well in their guest bedroom or on the hotel’s bed. If you actually get better sleep when you are not sleeping on the mattress that you have actually paid for, you know it is time for a new mattress, even if that mattress is not yet five years old.

You might not think that having a high quality mattress is really that big of a deal. The truth is that because you spend so much time on that mattress and your ability to get a good night’s sleep is dictated by that mattress, and your quality of sleep affects every aspect of your life, buying a new mattress when yours is getting old is actually extremely important.

It’s time to start paying attention to how you feel when you lay down on your mattress. Do you feel comfortable? Or are you experiencing the symptoms of old mattresses listed above? There are a huge variety of benefits that come along with buying a brand new mattress to replace an old one, including:

1. You sleep deeper.

Deeper, more restorative sleep is the biggest benefit of buying a new mattress when your current one is too old. An uncomfortable bed that makes it difficult to find a comfortable position or that actively wakes you up when you are trying to sleep can actually be hazardous to your health. Not sleeping well does not just make you grumpy during the day. It actually makes you more susceptible to a range of illnesses, none of which are any fun.

2. Your bed won’t look sad anymore.

There is nothing less welcoming than a mattress that is sagging in the middle or on one of the sides or that is full of lumps. You can’t hide a sagging bed underneath a comforter. An old mattress just looks sad, and it makes you not want to get into bed.

3. You will have fewer aches and pains.

It is important to remember that as we age, we become more susceptible to pressure. Individuals over the age of forty are more likely to need a new mattress after five years, while younger people might be able to stretch their mattress all the way out to ten years. If you are often waking up with a crick in your neck or pain in your hips, a new mattress could relieve those aches.

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