How often should you change your mattress? Most people cannot answer that question correctly. Some believe their mattress should be changed once it gets lumpy or the springs have gone. Others believe it to be when it is too dirty to clean. Whatever your belief, here are some tips on how you should decide when to replace a mattress.
Like the average person, you will probably spend about one-third of your life in bed. That time is spent lying on your mattress. It is essential, therefore, that your mattress supports you properly and is healthy for you to live on for a third of your life. Say you are 36 years old – you will have spent 12 years of that lying on a mattress! When looked at in that fashion, it gets through to most people how important their mattress is to them.
When to Replace a Mattress
So how often should you change a mattress? You can’t spend all that time on the same mattress. The average 60 year-old will have spent around 20 years on a mattress! Even an 18 year-old will have spent six years of their life on a mattress! Here are some tips on how to decide that your mattress should be renewed. Even if it still feels comfortable, there are reasons why it may be best to change it.
Most experts recommend you change your mattress after 8 years of use. After that term of continuous use, your mattress generally loses its support. That is your mattress’s most important function: to support your body while you sleep. When it begins to lose its ability to do that then it is time for you to change it.
Lack of support by your mattress can lead to back problems and issues with the upper cervical area of your neck. You may start to feel stiff when you wake up, and perhaps feel the occasional twinge in your neck or the small of your back. Each of these is a warning of potentially serious spinal issues. Another sign that your bed is getting too old is when you sleep more comfortably in hotels or when staying overnight with friends or relatives.
So, how often should you change your mattress? What is the life of a mattress? It’s not only the way you feel in the morning or whether or not you get a better sleep elsewhere that will issue a warning to you. An old mattress past its time can give you other warnings; warnings of a biological nature. Unless it has been regularly cleaned, preferably professionally, an old mattress will contain a hefty part of its weight as dust mites.
Dust Mites and Other Biological Issues
Dust mites are allergenic and are the main reason why many people wheeze and cough at night while trying to get to sleep. You are likely unaware of the hazards that lurk beneath your sheets. It’s not just dust mites, but also bacteria that can be a big issue with old mattresses. Colonies of bacteria, yeasts and mold have been discovered in mattresses that have been used continually for just 8 years.
When you sleep in warm weather you will sweat. You will likely wash your bed sheets regularly – but what about the mattress itself? Few people realize that washing their sheets is not enough. What gets onto and into the sheets will also contaminate the mattress. Your sweat is a breeding ground for bacteria, yeasts and even molds in many cases. Spores can harm your respiration system, particularly with asthmatics. Contamination can also lead to skin problems, particularly with those who have suffered from eczema or other skin allergies.
Remove the sheets from your mattress and give it a good look over. You are looking for signs of wear: lumps, tears in the fabric, sagging and noises from the springs. If your mattress squeaks and makes other noises when you move on it then it is time to renew it. Apart from the biochemical issues that too old a mattress can lead to, you can also suffer aches and pains due your joints not being sufficiently supported. Even memory foam mattresses can lose their ability to conform to your skeletal shape if they are too old.
How Often Should You Replace Your Mattress
That’s what it boils down to – when to replace your mattress. How often should you replace a mattress, even though you believe it to be clean and think there is nothing wrong with it? What can you do to avoid issue such as dampness, mites, molds and bacteria? How often should you change your sheets and your mattress to avoid them? There is no hard and fast rule but you can follow a regular routine to minimize the possibility of the issues above affecting you and your loved ones.
You can keep your mattress as healthy as possible by maintaining its ability to hold your weight properly without harming you with allergens or bacteria. Many of the issues connected with older mattresses relate to dampness, loss of integrity of the mattress support system (springs or foam) and contamination with bacteria, mites and molds. Here are a few of the actions you can take to avoid these:
- Keep your bedroom ventilated, particularly each morning to allow the room to be aired.
- Protect your mattress from sweat seepage with a cover – many mattress issues are due to human perspiration and the bacterial growth it may promote. A mattress cover is easy to wash – your mattress is not!
- Leave the mattress exposed every morning to allow the sweat and any other moisture to dry out quickly. Don’t cover your bed with a sheet or blanket after you rise each morning. Keeping a sheet over your warm bed after you rise increases the chances of bacterial growth in a warm, moist mattress.
- Wash bedding, such as sheets and mattress covers, at a temperature of at least 60 C. This temperature will kill most bacteria and other biological contaminants.
- Change your sheets for new when you change your mattress. A completely fresh bed will help you sleep much easier.
The average life of a mattress is around 8 years. Once your mattress reaches that age you should consider renewing it. Sure, some mattresses last a lot longer, but sometimes it is better to change for health reasons rather than try to squeeze a few extra years out of an old mattress.
When to Change a Mattress: Summary
If you follow these tips you should find that your mattress will last longer. However, you should also be aware of when to replace a mattress once it has served its purpose. To answer the question “How often should you change your mattress” you should change it when you feel it less comfortable than it once was, once you feel tired each morning and once you feel sneezy, get a runny nose or in any way feel that the mattress is affecting your health.
Continue Reading: When is the Best Time to Buy a Mattress? »
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