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How long do mattresses last? This is when you should be replacing yours

A good mattress is essential for a proper night’s sleep—but how long do mattresses last, and how often should we be replacing them? 

Knowing when it’s time for a new mattress is essential for our well-being. The best mattresses should be firm yet comfortable, supportive, and should leave you pain-free after waking up from a long, deep sleep. You need to be aware about when is the right time to replace your mattress, because if you hold on to an old mattress for too long, it could begin to have an impact on the quality of your sleep. 

So how long should we be keeping our mattresses? Experts claim that there is actually an expiry date on them (we bet it’s sooner than you think)—and that your mattress will give you hints that it’s in need of an update. Plus, we’ll share how to properly take care of your mattress to help it last for as long as possible.


According to Lauren Fountain, Certified Sleep Science Coach at The Sleep Foundation, “Most mattresses should last between seven and 10 years. However, there are many variables that can influence mattress lifespan.”

The quality of your mattress and the materials it is made out of are two factors which can influence mattress lifespan. Logan Foley, Certified Sleep Science Coach at The Sleep Foundation explains: “The materials used to manufacture your bed greatly influence its durability.”

“Lower-quality innerspring and all-foam mattresses tend to have the shortest lifespans, as they are prone to sagging and body impressions respectively. Hybrid mattresses are also prone to these issues, but since they’re often sold as higher-end options and made with higher-quality materials, they tend to be more durable. Latex mattresses are the most durable, lasting upwards of eight years.”

Most mattress manufacturers put their products (including their best pillows) through a long list of testing procedures to ensure they will last for that length of time, but how you care for your mattress while also have an impact on its lifespan. 

Each brand and company will have its own set of guidelines for mattress care, so always make sure to read the care guide for your specific mattress.


The obvious sign that your mattress has deteriorated is if it is physically losing its shape by sagging in the middle (by more than 2.5 cm) and the outer fabric is beginning to wear away, fray, or even tear. 

Another warning sign that you need a new mattress is if you wake up feeling achy, unrested, and stiff. The Sleep Foundation says: “Older beds tend to sag in places, which reduces support and makes it less likely that your spine will be properly aligned.”

If your mattress is fairly new and you still feel uncomfortable sleeping, you might consider buying one of the best pillows for neck pain or the best pillows for back pain to help support your body in addition to your mattress. Or, you can consider the possibility that the mattress you have chosen is not the best mattress for you in terms of firmness and support. 

If you share your mattress, this problem may be intensified too. “Older mattresses tend to transfer more motion from one side of the bed to the other. This means that a partner changing positions in the night can disrupt your sleep. A newer mattress—and particularly an all-foam or hybrid bed—will transfer less motion (more recent models are better at this), helping couples work out how to sleep better together.”

If you’re really still not sure whether you need a new mattress, according to The Sleep Council, if you answer yes to at least three of the questions below, you probably do:

  1. Is the mattress seven years old or more?
  2. Would it be embarrassing if neighbours saw it without its covers?
  3. Does it make suspicious noises in the night?
  4. Did you have your best recent night’s sleep in a bed other than yours?
  5. Are you waking up more frequently unrefreshed and aching?
  6. Do you and your partner roll towards each other unintentionally in the middle of the night?
  7. Do you have enough space to sleep comfortably?
  8. Is it sagging?
  9. Does it feel lumpy in the night?


One of the most important reasons to get a new mattress – at least every decade – is to ensure you have the most comfortable sleep possible, with minimal aches and pains. 

But aside from that, getting a new mattress can also be important from a sleep hygiene perspective. The Sleep Matter Club at Dreams states that the average person spends about 26 years sleeping in their life, which equates to 9,490 days or 227,760 hours. Over this time, mattresses can accumulate an alarming amount of hidden nasties, including skin cells, dust, dust mites, hair, fur, bacteria, and mold. A study commissioned by Dreams and conducted by Microtech Services Ltd concluded that after eight years of sleeping on the same mattress, you could be sharing your bed with a whole host of unwanted microscopic guests, such as bacteria, yeasts, and molds that thrive in the material.

University professor and environmental hygiene expert, Dr. Lisa Ackerley, said of the study, “Most people would be rather surprised by the things you can find in an old mattress. Mold spores and bacteria build up over the years and although invisible, you could be breathing in these harmful spores at night. Due to the amount of human contact with the average mattress, it’s inevitable that microbes and unwanted guests will develop over time. People tend to focus on cleaning the things they can see—pillows and sheets—but the mattress itself can be a ‘hot bed’ of potential illness.”


  • Turn your mattress—Not all mattresses need turning. But if your manufacturer requires it, it’s recommended that you flip or rotate it to continue an even settlement. See our guide to find out how often to rotate your mattress—but doing so monthly is generally a good idea. You should alternate between turning the mattress over (if it isn’t a foam mattress) and rotating it from top-to-tail. If your mattress has handles, use these to position it on the divan base or frame. Do not allow the mattress to bang or fall against the side of the divan or frame, as this may damage the spring system.
  • Change the bedding regularly—We all love sinking into a clean bed. But the softest sheets made of cotton are a natural, breathable fabric, and all of the bodily fluids, skin cells, and microbes within them will soon seep through the fibers and fester within your mattress if not removed and washed regularly. The advice from Persil, a laundry detergent company, is that you should be washing your sheets “every week, or at least every two weeks.” 
  • Clean the mattress often—Cleaning your mattress often is vital for prolonging its lifespan, especially considering how much bacteria can be found in there. Knowing how to clean a mattress is simple. Simply strip the bed linen off, and hoover the mattress to remove any bigger pieces of dirt or dust. Then, spot clean any specific stains with warm water and stain remover. Baking soda also works a treat—simply shake it onto any stains, leave for a few hours, and hoover off when ready.
  • Invest in mattress protection—A mattress topper is an extra layer that goes on top of your mattress, to provide extra comfort as well as protection from stains. They come in all sorts of thicknesses and materials. Chrissie Rucker OBE and founder of The White Company, explains, “A mattress topper always makes the bed feel even better—it provides a luxurious layer of comfort for that ‘sleeping-on-a-cloud’ feeling.”
  • Ban bouncing on the bed—Jumping up and down on a bed is a popular activity for kids, but the stress will eventually take its toll on mattress springs and could cause sagging sooner rather than later. It’s best to nip it in the bud, if you want your mattress to last as long as possible.

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