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How Long Does a Mattress Last?

How Long Does a Mattress Last?

How long should you keep your mattress? This is a question many sleepers find themselves asking once they notice any wear and tear on their beds. And for good reason. Sleeping on a damaged or worn-out mattress can lead to improper sleep cycles and various aches and pains.

But when is it time to replace your mattress?

And what are the warning signs?  In this article, we’re going to highlight the leading causes of mattress damage. We’re also going to give you some tips on how to take care of your mattress. Let’s get tucked in.

Why does my mattress break down?

There are a few factors that determine the average lifespan of a mattress. Some of them involve the environment that the mattress is used in, and some involve the actual users themselves. Below we’ve listed the primary causes of mattress deterioration. These are factors that can damage a mattress regardless of the mattress type.

Heat/moisture damage

This is probably one of the leading contributors to mattress damage. If used in stuffy or overly warm conditions, mattresses can land up retaining excess moisture in their layers. This surplus of heat and water can cause these layers to break down prematurely. A lack of airflow will also stop your mattress from decompressing when you get out of bed. This can lead to sagging or dips in the mattress surface.

Lack of cleanliness

It’s pretty hard to keep the odd glass of coffee or soda away from your bedroom. Sometimes you’ll spill something on a mattress that may require deep cleaning. This is not always convenient, and most users just clean these stains themselves as best they can. If this is a common occurrence in your household, it can definitely break your mattress down faster than average. 

Long term damage

Even in ideal conditions, a mattress will naturally age over time from use. This aging process can be sped up if the mattress is not rotated or flipped every once in a while. If a mattress sits in one position for too long, it can experience dipping or sag in the more used spots on the surface of the bed. This will be especially evident if you’re used to sleeping on one side of the bed.

Short term damage

It’s all fine and well to look after your mattress over the long term, but accidents happen. Perhaps you’re moving house and your mattress takes a knock in the moving truck. Or maybe you leave the heater on for too long and accidentally burn the side of your bed. It’s great to know how much your mattress can withstand for unplanned events such as this. 

Mattress types and how they break down

If you are on the lookout for a new mattress you may be wondering,” How long should a mattress last?”. The answer will usually vary depending on the mattress that you want to buy. Below we’re going to discuss the popular mattress types and how they hold up over time. 

Memory foam

These are the most commonly sold mattresses as their textiles are generally inexpensive. They are also quite easy to transport. However, memory foam doesn’t necessarily have the greatest airflow and this can cause it to retain excess heat or moisture. If untreated this can cause the foam to harden in certain spots over time. Some manufacturers fuse their memory foams with hybrid gels to help enhance their cooling properties. Most memory foam manufacturers offer their consumers anywhere between a 1 and 10-year warranty.


Innerspring mattresses usually consist of a comfort layer that is housed on top of a larger support base. This base has a series of coiled springs that provide support and pressure relief to sleepers. These mattresses are usually bouncier than memory foam, and their bases allow for a lot more ventilation. However, improper care of the coils in the base can lead to very uncomfortable dips in the mattress surface. Excessive moisture retention can also cause the springs to wear down faster than average. 

Latex foam

Latex foam is a fairly modern textile that has been introduced as a substitute for traditional memory foam. The latex used in most of these mattresses is sourced organically from rubber sap found in trees. This foam has both more bounce and breathability than traditional memory foam, and as such usually lasts much longer. It’s important to note that some users experience allergic reactions to latex. 

Air mattresses

Air mattresses can be one of the most comfortable sleeping experiences for most users if the conditions are absolutely ideal. Bearing that in mind, these mattresses are notorious for not maintaining a consistent shape, which causes major discomfort to sleepers. There’s also the constant stress of not damaging your mattress, causing a puncture or tear in the surface. This unpredictability makes it hard to estimate the average lifespan of these mattresses. 

Maintaining your mattress

Just like many other pieces of furniture or home appliances, customer care plays a large role in a mattress’s longevity. It’s important to know what not to neglect when it comes to mattress care. Here are a few handy tips that we’ve gathered that should help prolong your mattress’s lifespan. 

  • Rotate – Moving your mattress every now and then will help slow down any indentations caused by sleeping in the same spot or position. If your mattress can be flipped over, do so every 3 to 6 months. Otherwise, make sure to at least rotate the mattress according to the manufacturer’s instructions, to help spread the workload over the entire mattress surface.
  • Ventilate – Using a mattress in high levels of heat or humidity increases its daily wear and tear. Try to make sure that your mattress rests on a base that allows it to have even airflow. Also if you can, make sure that your sleeping environment has some form of ventilation, even when you aren’t using the bed.
  • Clean and Protect – There are a variety of methods you can use to keep your mattress as fresh as possible. Some companies offer their customers mattress toppers or protectors to use on the surface of the mattress. This is handy for preventing stains and spills from reaching the mattress core. Some mattresses come with removable covers that can be machine washed just like regular laundry. The cleaner your mattress stays, the longer it will last over time.

Mattress care and warranty

Mattress companies will offer their consumers various warranties based on the materials used in their mattress, cost of manufacturing as well as overall mattress quality. There is no single best offer for a mattress warranty, and the warranty you get will be relative to the mattress you buy. Most companies provide consumers with a mattress care guide. It’s highly important to read through these guides, so you can get a clear understanding of how best to care for your mattress. Your warranty can also be voided if you disregard certain steps in a mattress company’s care guide. 

Conclusion: How long do mattresses last?

  • There are a handful of simple things you can do to ensure your mattress lasts as long as possible. Make sure to keep it clean, rotate or flip it every once in a while, and make sure to give it sufficient airflow. 
  • Make sure to check through your mattress manufacturer’s warranty for any customer care tips or guides. The manufacturer usually has the best understanding of how to get maximum longevity out of your mattress.
  • By now you should have a healthy idea of what goes into measuring the lifespan of a mattress. Can a mattress last 20 years? It’s highly unlikely, but with the right mattress, conditions, and care it can get close.