Time to Replace Your Mattress?

— Written By Trudy Pickett and last updated by

Waking up with a backache? It may be time to replace your mattress. How long a mattress will last depends on several factors, such as amount of use and original quality, but in general, a mattress set that has been in use 5-7 years is no longer providing you with the best comfort and support. It’s a good idea to compare the mattress and foundation you are sleeping on now to newer models every few years.

Follow these guidelines when you shop for your next mattress:

COMFORT. Gone are the days when a mattress had to be hard-as-a-board to be good for you. You’ll sleep best when your bed helps you feel cradled in comfort, cozy and secure. Today’s top quality mattress/foundation sets are built for superior comfort. Luxurious new cushioning materials and extra-soft surface treatments create a plusher, more comfortable feel.

SUPPORT. Correct support is the essential ingredient for a healthy body. A good mattress and foundation will gently support your body at all points and keep your spine in the same shape as a person with good standing posture.

Pay special attention to your shoulders, hips, and lower back—the heaviest parts. If there’s too little support, you can develop back pain. But if the mattress is too hard for you, you can experience uncomfortable pressure. Don’t rely on product labels to tell you which mattress will give you the right support. One manufacturer’s “firm” may feel harder than another’s “extra firm.” The only way to find out if the support is right is to lie down and try.

DURABILITY. It’s the quality of the materials used and how they’re put together that determine how long a mattress and foundation will provide the comfort and support you bought them for. The best assurance of good performance over a good many years is to buy the highest quality sleep set you can afford.

WARRANTY. Don’t look to the warranty to tell you how long to keep your mattress and foundation. It’s there to protect you against product defects, not against the gradual loss of comfort and support. A sleep set may still be usable after 15 or 20 years, but it’s not giving you the good night’s sleep you deserve.

Source: The Better Sleep Council