When will I know when it's time to replace my mattress?
Here are some things to look for and consider:
1. Your mattress is providing less support than it used to
Mattresses start to very slowly and gradually deteriorate from the moment we start using them. It's very important for any mattress that it's used with a base which is providing adequate support as, a failure to do so will inevitably result in poor performance and the mattress losing its support more quickly. Every new mattress is covered by a manufacturers guarantee but that can be invalidated if the base is not supporting it properly.
2. The mattress shows visible signs of sagging
Sagging and settlement are two quite different things and should not be confused. Natural settlement occurs in most mattresses when they are new and as the fillings in the mattress mould and shape to the user. Sagging occurs either because the user is incompatible with the mattress, i.e., they are too heavy for the quality and type of mattress they've bought or the mattress is simply old and needs replaced.
3. The springs have become quite noisy and crunch every time you move
There are certain types of mattresses which, over their lifetime, may have a tendency to crunch or creak with age. Open coil mattresses, where each spring is connected to its neighbouring spring, are probably the best examples of this. A mattress however which is compatible with the users weight and is supported by a suitable base should stay noise-free for several years.
4. You are unusually stiff when you wake
Whilst soreness and stiffness in the morning can certainly be attributed to an under-performing mattress, there are usually a great many other factors at work. That said, it is true that pressure points such as your hips and shoulders will inevitably suffer as a result of a mattress which is losing or has lost its ability to support your weight.
5. Your mattress is older than the recommended 8 years
It is recommended that you should look to replace an existing mattress after around eight years, though this should be seen merely as guidance. Typically a cheaper mattress will start to lose its shape and support relatively quickly so would therefore need replaced much sooner. A better quality, more expensive mattress would be expected to keep its shape much longer and would also give better, continuous support throughout the life of the mattress. With any of these examples it is very important to note that any new mattress is only as good as the base that's beneath it.
6. There's excessive movement when my partner tosses and turns
Tossing and turning from a restless partner contributes hugely to poor or broken sleep. An older mattress, and particularly one with linked springs, will move much more than perhaps one with individual pocket springs. With any mattress that is beginning to lose its firmness and support, it will impact on the users ability to find comfortable areas and therefore excessive tossing and turning occurs.
7. Different beds feel more comfortable
Hotel beds or spare beds in a friends house may well appear more comfortable but it is more likely that it simply highlights how uncomfortable your own bed is. When it gets to this stage I'm afraid any 'other' bed will probably feel better than your own!
There are two things you should consider prioritising above all else, good quality shoes and a good quality mattress. Your body should be properly supported whether you're walking, running, standing or lying down. The average person spends around a third of their life in bed, on average for seven hours a day. In real terms if you're 45 years old you'll have spent around 15 of those years in bed.