How Often Should You Replace Your Mattress?

When is the perfect time to replace your mattress? There isn’t a specific lifespan for all beds, but there are some warning signs it might be time to replace your mattress. Are you waking up more often? Is your bed less comfortable? Do you feel like you’re sinking or stuck when you sleep in a particular position or spot on your bed? These are all signs it’s time to get a new mattress.

In this article, we’ll take a look at when you should consider replacing your mattress. Some signs are obvious to observe, such as sagging. Some problems, such as the buildup of allergens, are harder to see.

Either way, replacing your mattress can lead to a better night’s sleep. But knowing what to look for is the key to choosing the right replacement.

Signs You Should Replace Your Mattress

The construction and materials in different mattresses can vary greatly. This means the quality can vary as well. However, there are a few common signs indicating it’s time to replace a mattress.


Sagging in mattresses is visible to the naked eye and can be felt as soon as you lay down on your bed. Sagging can occur in all types of mattresses. Innerspring mattresses lose strength over time. Depending on the strength of the steel coils, sagging can start when individual coil pockets or areas of interwoven coils begin to weaken.

Sagging also occurs in memory foam mattresses regardless of the firmness level. All comfort layers will give out over time. Memory foam is designed to contour and shape around the body. After consistent use over many years, some comfort layers lose responsiveness. You’ll begin to notice imprints that don’t bounce back to the original form right away, if at all. If the comfort layer doesn’t return to its original shape at all, it’s time to make a replacement purchase.

Damage to the Mattress

Any mattress with visible damage such as cracking or exposed foam layers should be replaced immediately. A damaged cover leaves a mattress exposed to the environment. This can cause an accumulation of dirt, moisture, and even insects like bed bugs. 

If a mattress cover is ripped or broken, consult your warranty immediately. You might be covered if the damage is considered a defect in construction or materials. In either case, you should replace your mattress right away for health reasons.


Not every reason to replace a mattress is visible. Sometimes the best reason to change out your old mattress isn’t anything you can see or feel on your bed. Over time, allergens like dust mites accumulate inside mattresses. Dead skin cells also build up over time, creating a heavier, dirtier mattress. You might be sleeping well physically, but older mattresses with allergens can bother your breathing and sinuses.

Physical Pain

Even if your mattress passes the eye test, if it’s causing pain at night it’s time to buy a replacement. Sagging or deterioration of a mattress creates a loss of support for key areas. Most notably, you might experience back pain in an older mattress. Side sleepers can also feel extra discomfort in pressure point areas on an older bed. If you find yourself changing position in your sleep more than usual, your mattress may be at fault.

Lack of Sleep

Even if you’re not in acute pain in one particular area, improving your sleep is worth changing out your mattress. Sometimes the lack of support in a mattress is so gradual, it can be hard to notice you’re tossing and turning more often. If possible, try sleeping on a different bed for one night. If you discover you slept better, longer, or woke up less frequently, it’s likely time to make a change.

What to Do With an Old Mattress

If you’re ready to buy a new mattress, great. Now you just need to clear out the old bed to make way for the new one. While it’s tempting to keep an old mattress as a spare in a lesser-used room, the same problems that caused you to purchase a new mattress will still persist.

Rather than live with a mattress you don’t want, get rid of it. When you buy your new mattress, check the delivery options. Some companies will offer to take your old mattress upon delivering your new one. Most of these companies will either recycle or donate your mattress.

If pick-up isn’t an option with delivery service, check your local listings for donation sites. You can usually donate an old mattress to a variety of charities. It’s also possible to recycle your old mattress. This process is best for the environment. Check with your local waste management services for a recycling center that accepts mattresses and box springs.

Common Questions

There are many concerns for people trying to figure out if it’s time to replace their current mattress. Here are some answers to commonly asked questions.

Why Should You Replace Your Mattress?

There are many reasons to replace an old mattress. The most important one is if it causes a bad night’s sleep. If you see signs of wear and tear or feel sagging, it’s probably time. Older mattresses also contain a buildup of allergens, dead skin cells, and dust mites. These can cause allergic reactions and respiratory problems.

Can a Mattress Last 20 Years?

While it’s true certain mattress types can last longer than others, most mattresses do not last 20 years. It depends on how they’re constructed and the materials used. Oftentimes the first element of a mattress to break down is the comfort layer. If you have a memory foam mattress, you’ll begin to feel sagging if this happens. Many “flippable” dual-sided mattresses are made to last longer.

How Do You Know When Your Mattress Needs Replacing?

Once you see or feel sagging you should look for a new mattress. If you’re suddenly experiencing back pain, it might be your bed, not your body. It’s possible your memory foam or innerspring mattress can no longer support your body. If you see exposed layers, rips, and tears then it’s a sure sign the bed needs to be replaced. This is especially critical if you have health concerns since ripped mattresses can be susceptible to bed bugs.

How Long Should a Mattress Last?

The average mattress should last you between 7 and 10 years. But some mattresses can last more than 10 years, depending on how well it was made and how well you’ve maintained it. Higher quality materials often mean you’ll get more life from a mattress. In the case of innerspring mattresses, this means a higher number of coils. In the case of memory foam, lower quality layers will start to lose their shape. Higher quality materials will support your body for a longer amount of time.

What Are the Signs of a Bad Mattress?

Any mattress is a bad mattress if you can’t get a good night’s sleep on it. The first thing to check for is visible signs of wear and tear, such as sagging, rips, or torn fabric. Also, any loss of shape very early in the life of a mattress is a sign of poor materials and construction. Consult your warranty immediately if this is the case.

What Type of Mattress Lasts the Longest?

Certain types of latex mattresses have shown to have a longer life because of their materials. Innerspring mattresses can often wear down quickly if there’s a low coil count. Because each type of mattress can be made with different quality materials, each type can break down quickly or last for a long time. An innerspring with a high number of coils or a memory foam bed with higher quality materials will last the longest.

When Should I Replace Box Springs?

Chances are if you’re getting rid of an old mattress you might have a box spring with it. Traditional innerspring beds are often sold with box springs and frames. You don’t have to use a box spring for a good night’s sleep. But if you’re going to replace a mattress, it’s best to swap the box spring as well. This is especially true if you’re concerned about allergens and dirt buildup.

So, How Often Should You Replace Your Mattress?

There are a few things you can do to extend the life of your mattress. Start by purchasing a good mattress. A good mattress is a combination of quality materials, a solid warranty, and a firmness level whichever gives you a good night’s sleep. 

You should also use a mattress protector. Adding a mattress protector helps preserve the sleep surface of a new mattress. Certain covers can also slow down or even prevent the buildup of allergens over time, increasing the “health” of the mattress.

It’s generally a good idea to replace your mattress every 7 to 10 years. Mattresses can carry allergens, dust mites, and other particles harmful to your health. The older the mattress, the greater the risk of these materials accumulating. It’s also smart to replace your mattress if you’re experiencing chronic back pain or pressure point issues. Innerspring mattresses can lose their strength over time. This can cause a lack of support and create pain in sensitive areas.

If your mattress doesn’t feel the way it did when you first purchased it, think about replacing it. If it’s under warranty, check with the mattress company first. If not, it’s time to shop so you can have better sleep.

Medical Disclaimer: The information contained on the site should not be used as a substitute for the advice of an appropriately qualified and licensed physician or other health care provider. The information provided here is for informational purposes only.

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