Most mattress manufacturers estimate the normal life of a mattress at around seven to eight years. However, health experts advise that the decision to replace your mattress should be based on additional factors.
For example, if you find yourself tired feeling throughout the day, even after sleeping for eight hours, or you wake up repeatedly during the night, it may be that your mattress is insufficient in some way.
Of course, a new mattress is a significant investment, and not knowing if it’s really time to make the decision to replace yours can cause considerable frustration and anxiety. But, unless a broken spring is piercing through the fabric, or other obvious signs of wear and tear are present, many people will wait. Such uncertainty can lead people to go on living with symptoms of poor sleep.
So, it is important to be aware of other common indicators that it’s time to replace a mattress. The information below is to help you determine if it is time to strongly consider replacing your mattress.
If you’ve been sleeping restlessly…
Many people find themselves tossing and turning through many nights, because their bodies are struggling to work out a comfortable way to sleep on their mattresses. Uneven areas or lumps can frustrate these continual efforts to get comfortable.
After hours of trying to settle into the ideal spot on the mattress, you may find that merely a slight change in position forces you to start over again with the restless process.
If you are in pain…
Eventually, your mattress is likely to become uneven on the sleep surface, with sagging in the middle. This problem can cause aching muscles, back pain, and other symptoms of poor sleep due to an unhealthful mattress.
Insufficient spinal support is an important problem for people sleeping on sagging or lumpy mattresses. Similarly to back problems caused by poor posture during waking hours, sleeping on a bad mattress exposes you to many more hours of abuse to the spine.
This is a very common problem, affecting millions of US Americans. And, the situation often becomes self-perpetuating. Your mattress is causing you pain, and your pain is causing you more discomfort while trying to sleep on the mattress.
If you are frequently tired throughout the day…
Even when you are doing all the right things for your health, exercising routinely, eating properly, allowing yourself to get plenty of sleep, you may feel tired after waking up. If you are frequently experiencing this, your mattress may be the cause of the problem.
A mattress that is uneven, or too firm, or too soft for your needs can causing you to adjust your sleep position frequently through the night. This can be very disruptive to sleep, resulting in an insufficient number of the most restful REM sleep phases, and leaving you feeling tired during the day.
If you cannot go back to sleep after waking during the night…
You may find yourself waking up in the middle of the night, and then lying awake, unable to go back to sleep, with time ticking by as you worry about not getting enough sleep to get through the next day. Your mattress can be the cause of this problem.
A sagging sleep surface provides insufficient support. This can cause excessive pressure on hips and shoulders, or other discomfort, making it impossible to fall back to sleep, regardless of how tired you may feel.
If you have been having allergy symptoms…
Over the years, even in your clean home, your mattress has naturally collected significant quantities of dead skin, body oils, and dust. As many as ten million dust mites may live in a single mattress. These microscopic insects eat the dead skin and body oils in mattresses.
Millions of Americans experience symptoms of dust mite allergy. These may include runny nose, sneezing, coughing, itching eyes, eyes watering. People with asthma are at increased risk.
If your mattress is a possible hazard to your health…
Mattresses manufactured using outdated technology may contain toxic chemicals which can be emitted as gasses. These include Formaldehyde, various Petroleum-based chemicals, Polyurethane, Boric Acid, Phthalates, and Polyvinyl Chloride, and Polybrominated Diphenyl ethers.
These chemicals are harmful to human health, linked to conditions such as asthma and cancer, and associated with various undiagnosed sleep disorders. Yet these were routinely used in mattress foam, water-resistant materials, adhesives, and chemical fire barriers.
The chemical smell of a new traditional mattress has probably dissipated with time. However, the harmful toxins continue to be emitted. (Inhaling the chemicals during sleep has indicated a link to respiratory effects in laboratory mice.)
Infants and children are at increased risk. And, compounding the problem, additional chemicals to protect against damage from bed-wetting are often used in children’s mattresses.
So, in addition to prioritizing comfort, concern about potential health impacts from continuing to sleep on an outdated mattress is important when weighing the decision to replace your old mattress.
Are you living with the above sleep problems?
If you are frequently experiencing one or more of the above sleep difficulties, or if you have a mattress that was manufactured using outdated technologies, it is likely to be time to seriously consider replacing your mattress.