“Wow, my mattress is covered by a 20-year warranty!”
You might have thought of this after buying a new bed. And it sounded reassuring. However, warranty periods do not answer the question, “how long does a mattress last?” Warranties protect you from manufacturing defects. Say, it turns out your hybrid has a faulty spring system. It then results in premature sagging of the product. You can return it to the manufacturer and benefit from free or subsidized repair.
In other words, normal wear and tear are not covered by warranties. What they tell us is how long are mattresses good for. The short answer is around 7 to 8 years. But for the most part, that depends on the mattress type. You’ll have to know, in general, the expected durability and life span of an innerspring, an all-foam, a hybrid, etc.
In this guide, you’ll learn more about these two factors: durability and lifespan. You’ll also know the different mattress types and their performance in this regard. Get ready.
Table of Contents
What Is Durability?
Durability is essential in the manufacture of mattresses. It defines how a model can endure sagging, body impressions, and other effects of wear and tear. The fewer forms of deterioration, the more durable the bed is. And the main reason it’s less prone to this phenomenon is the quality of its construction and materials. How many times have you read or heard someone describe a foam or spring base as durable?
When a mattress is durable, it can be used up to its expected life span with minimal signs of wearing out. This result is desirable because it means sleeper support and comfort are not compromised. Also, not all sagging and dips are bad. Just because some signs are showing up doesn’t mean the bed is no longer fit for snoozing. There’s allowance given to the natural progression of this product.
What Is Life Span?
Life span refers to the number of years a bed can perform before replacement. This factor often dominates the conversation about a mattress’ longevity. However, it is just one of two, with durability as the other component in this duo. So, for example, all-foam mattress models can last around 7.5 years. During this period, the product is going to perform according to what it was designed to do.
Also, within this timeline, your mattress can incur signs of deterioration. There can be sagging, softening, and the like. However, these can occur and not seriously affect mattress performance. It is when severe changes in the support and comfort level of the bed happen that you probably should consider getting a replacement.
But maximizing your bed’s benefits up to its expiry date is not impossible.
How Long Does A Mattress Last?
Mattress type should give you an idea of how long a model typically lasts. In this dynamic, the quality of materials used plays a big role. Let’s look at the most common categories on the market:
The majority of innerspring average between 6 and 6.5 years. This is the lowest average among mattress types, and that is probably due to the non-pocket coils that make up the base layer. Low-density foams also serve as comfort layers, which are more prone to premature sagging. Give it around 2 to 3 years for this to start happening.
If you love the springy sensation from the traditional innerspring, you can go for a model with modern features. See if you can score one with pocket coils. Resilient, premium foams at the top also sound good. Innersprings are also the cheapest options, so don’t worry about the price. Look for value instead.
Many all-foam mattresses have stepped up their game. You can find premium versions at affordable prices if you know where to look. For this type, high-density foam layers are considered game-changers. Low-density and medium-density ones do not offer the same result. What exactly should you expect? Read on.
Lasting 6.5 to 7 years, memory foam is one of the most popular materials found in mattresses. It is better than its polyfoam counterparts. Best known for its contouring properties, sleepers say they like how it cradles their curves. But be careful. This crowd favorite is susceptible to body indentations and softening. These can eventually lead to an uneven surface and discomfort.
For a start, understand how to care for your memory foam mattress. Lower the temperature in the room to keep the layers firm. This can prevent the softening of the top layers. Of course, always look for those with a high-density base when shopping.
Beds in this category use natural latex or synthetic latex. The natural version is made out of rubber tree sap. It is one of the most durable components known to manufacturers and consumers alike. The synthetic one does not match that performance, but it is considerably better than other foam types. An all-natural latex mattress should reach a lifespan of 7.5 to 8 years. With synthetic, much less.
Latex is loved for its responsiveness. But it does tend to soften and suffer from body impression early. Proper care and maintenance should be observed. Check out edge support for a holistic mattress experience.
Often dubbed the mattress type that offers the best of both worlds, a hybrid combines what’s great about foam and innerspring. Marrying comfort foam layers with a spring support core, it can stay functional for 6.5 to 7 years. Latex hybrids outperform their memory foam counterparts, which is expected from this lot.
Hybrids, like their innerspring cousins, are also susceptible to sagging, softening, and body indentations. Better choose one that contains a high-density or thick foam layer to prevent any of these from ruining your sleep.
Read our full review of the Best Hybrid Mattresses in 2020.
Mostly outlasting the other mattress types, airbeds can continue to serve sleepers for up to 8 to 9 years. This is considering proper care and maintenance is being observed. Their materials are highly durable, able to endure sagging, body impressions, and other symptoms of wear. Instead of core layers, they have air chambers. This makes them prone to mechanical malfunctions.
But to clarify, these malfunctions do not affect longevity. Models with thick comfort layers, though, maybe vulnerable to sagging and body impressions.
Signs of Mattress Wear
Wear and tear happen even to the most durable mattresses. Some of the signs can be fixed while others become permanent. To deal with the issue at hand, you need to know how to determine the cause. As touched on in the previous section, here are 4 of the major forms of mattress deterioration:
The dictionary definition of sagging is the sinking or bending of an object downward or forward. It is different from body indentations, which tend to develop under pressure points. Another definition refers to the loss of vigor or vitality. Indeed, a bed that’s sagging can feel soft in particular areas, lacking support for your spine.
But why does it occur? The likelihood can be due to the use of cheap, low-density materials. But you can’t also discount couples who like to spoon in the middle, poor perimeter support, and damaged coils. All of these can cause a mattress to sag. Which one do you think is the reason for yours?
Take note that these are different from sagging. Body impressions show that your bed is contouring to the shape of your body. You can experience these during the break-in period for your all-foam or hybrid model, mainly when it uses memory foam or latex foam. Depending on the responsiveness of the top layers, the surface should bounce back to its original shape.
The fastest way you can tell if it’s a sag or a series of body impressions is to see if it appears like a valley—forming a long downward bend. The latter looks more like elements of a connect-the-dots puzzle. You can prevent body indentations in 3 ways:
- Add a mattress topper
- Unmake your bed to allow it to breathe
- Rotate it to redistribute weight
A firm bed softening up as you use it is normal. This effect is expected even during the trial period, the layers adjusting to body weight and pressure. It’s like how brand-new shoes are typically stiff during purchase. And then they soften over time. This form of softening does not affect the performance of the product, be they shoes or beds.
However, when it is excessive, it can lead to other problems. Sagging and body impressions often go hand-in-hand with softening. This issue is more noticeable in mattresses that come with medium-firm to extra-firm feels.
Mechanical malfunctions are among the drawbacks of airbeds, adjustable beds, and other mattress types with electrical elements. Complex components may set you back while using one of these models. During prolonged and frequent sessions, the motor that allows your adjustable bed to various positions can experience burnout. The air pumps inside your airbed can fail. Or the remote control for inflating/deflating the mattress can stop working altogether.
These are all a function of wear and tear. However, they can also be a sign of low-quality production or defect. See if your warranty covers the latter. Caring for your bed is crucial, too. Human error and abuse can lead to the breakdown of mattress parts. So make sure to read the manufacturer’s manual to avoid throwing money away (don’t these beds can cost a fortune?).
Read: Top 8 Signs It’s Time to Get A New Mattress
Knowing such nuances can help you decide whether or not it’s time to replace your bed. It also helps that you have a number to compare against depending on your mattress type. If you’re off to shop for a new one, you can consult this guide as well. You should purchase a model that contains durable, high-quality materials.
Further, not all low-cost options come with cheap construction, but sometimes the price is an indication. So shop with care.
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