How often should you replace your mattress?

When to replace your mattress: mattress on a base in the middle of a room
(Image credit: DreamCloud)

No mattress lasts forever, despite the growing prevalence of 'forever' warranties. Experts differ on exactly how often you should replace your mattress - and everyone's situation is different. If you're wondering whether it's time to change yours, there are some clear signs to look for.

Generally, if you experience symptoms of sleep deprivation in spite of your best efforts to follow good habits – like cutting caffeine after dinner or leaving your tech gadgets out of the bedroom – your mattress could be to blame. The National Sleep Foundation recommends adults get between seven and nine hours of quality sleep a night, but around 35% of US adults report sleeping for fewer than seven hours.

Even the best mattresses will one day need to be replaced. Here, we'll walk you through the signs to look for to help you know when it’s time to bid your mattress goodnight for the last time. And if that time is now, take a look at the best mattress sales so you can bring home a brand new bed at a discount.

So how often should you replace your mattress?

The Better Sleep Council recommends changing your mattress every seven years. You'll find slightly different advice from expert to expert, but most agree on a window between six-ten years, depending on how often the mattress is used and what level of quality it is. 

However, as the specialists at the Better Sleep Council point out, your body changes over time, and your need for comfort and support increases as you age. "Your body may be ready for a new mattress before the seven-year mark," they say, "so listen to what it’s telling you."

The good news is that if you do need to invest in a new mattress, most of the leading brands run sales throughout the year. Plus, you may not have to completely replace your mattress outright – the best mattress toppers can make your current bed feel more comfortable at a fraction of a cost of a full-fledged mattress. But only consider this option if your mattress is in otherwise good shape.

So is it time to change your mattress? If any of the issues below sound familiar, then yes, it probably is...

1. "My mattress is six to eight years old"


(Image credit: Shutterstock)

There are a variety of factors involved in determining how often you should change your mattress. How long a mattress lasts depends a lot on the quality of the materials and overall build.

Cheap mattresses are usually made with less robust materials that simply won’t stand the test of time for as long as their more expensive counterparts. Lower-quality innerspring and all-foam mattresses tend to submit to body impressions and can begin to sag more quickly than other types. Latex is the most durable - these mattresses can last between 15 and 25 years.

Your weight can play a part, too. If you are a larger build - or you co-sleep with someone who is - this can also impact the lifespan of the mattress. 

Similarly, the care and attention you pay to your sleep station can determine its lifespan. Using a mattress protector and rotating your mattress (if recommended by the manufacturer) both contribute towards a longer life.

2. "My mattress is lumpy or saggy"

If there’s a dent in your mattress that’s not going away, it's a sure sign that it’s time for a refresh. All mattress types can break down over time: springs can wear, and foam can break down and sag. This can happen both in the area where you sleep, as well as around the edges of the mattress. But an uneven mattress will cause aches and pains, and is a clear signal that it's time to replace your mattress.

3. "I wake up stiff and uncomfortable"

mattress aches and pains

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Similarly, if you're waking up feeling like you’ve just had a workout rather than a restorative slumber, this could be the result of using a tired mattress. That's particularly the case if you wake up stiff or sore, and then the discomfort alleviates after some stretching and into the morning.

When seeking out a new mattress, be aware that firm models aren't always the solution to uncomfortable limbs or back pain. For most people, a medium-firm will be just what they need. However, firmness is subjective so make sure to find a bed with a mattress trial that'll allow you to try it at home for at least 30 days. (The average trial length is 100 nights, with some brands offering a full year.)

4. "My back feels misaligned in bed"

It’s important to consider how you sleep – are you out for the count on your back, splayed out on your stomach or curled on your side? Whichever angle best lulls you off to sleep, it’s vital that your mattress is supportive to your body.

When sleeping on your back or front, the natural ‘s’ curve of your back should be evident. If it’s flattened out this will put pressure on your back, showing that your mattress isn’t receptive enough to your body. Consider one of the best mattresses for back pain if you're seeking restful nights and ache-free mornings.

If you lay on your side, your spine should maintain a straight line all the way from your neck to your bottom. If you can fit your hand between your body and the mattress, again this shows that the mattress is not sufficiently supportive and that it’s time for a more reliable mattress. 

Take a look at the best mattresses for side sleepers. We're particularly fans of the Helix Midnight mattress, which provides deep pressure relief along the hips and shoulders.

5. "I lost or gained weight (or added a sleeping partner)"

When to change your mattress: couple sleeping in a bed facing different directions

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

A mattress needs be attuned to your body for optimal sleep. Heavier bodies cause deeper wear and tear on a mattress, so if you've gained weight, or a new co-sleeper, then it's essential to consider a mattress that can accommodate you both. 

Similarly, if you have lost weight, your mattress may no longer be able to support your body as it used to. Upgrading at this point will help to promote good sleep. 

6. "My allergies or asthma are getting worse"

Mattresses can be a haven for dust mites. On average, we shed around a pound of dead skin cells each year and your mattress takes the brunt of a significant proportion of this. This creates an optimal environment for bacteria to grow and for dust mites to thrive. If you notice an increase in your asthma or allergies, this could be a result of accumulated dust in the mattress, or worse still - the proteins in dust mite feces.

You can of course take steps to mitigate this issue, including hoovering your mattress regularly as well as flipping or rotating it (we've covered how to clean a mattress extensively before - including how to deal with dust mites). But if this doesn’t help, a new mattress will be just what the doctor ordered.

Consider upgrading to an organic mattress if allergies keep you up at night. These eco-friendly beds are made with natural, hypoallergenic materials that'll minimize triggers for allergic and asthmatic reactions.

Time to change your mattress?

If you recognize any of these signs, it's probably time for a new mattress. Before investing, take some time to find exactly the right one: think about size, firmness, comfort and breathability. 

Memory foam mattresses are a good option for anyone who needs tailored pressure relief and support, but the hugging sensation can cause hot sleepers to sweat at night. If you tend to overheat at night, you may be better off with an innerspring, hybrid or latex option – or check out an all-foam cooling mattress featuring specialized materials to draw away body heat.

Here's a brief rundown of our favorite models on sale right now: 

Saatva Classic mattress: $400 off $1,000 or more at Saatva

Saatva Classic mattress: $400 off $1,000 or more at Saatva
The Saatva Classic is the best luxury hybrid mattress you can buy. This high-end innerspring mattress combines eco-friendly foams and a cushioning Euro pillow top with a super-durable dual steel coil support system. In our Saatva Classic mattress review, we found it's fantastic to sleep on. The Saatva Classic comes in three different comfort levels (soft, medium firm, or firm) and two heights (11.5 or 14.5 inches). Plus, it includes free white glove delivery as standard. After our exclusive discount, the twin XL costs $955 (was $1,355), whereas the queen costs $1,595 (was $1,995). 

Nectar Memory Foam mattress: $599, now from $359 at Nectar

Nectar Memory Foam mattress: was $599, now from $359 at Nectar
Our favorite value mattress is now on sale. Nectar is taking 33% off sitewide, which is its best discount of the year. In our Nectar mattress review, we called the Editor's Choice mattress a tremendous value for the money. We found it's very comfortable (thanks to its five layers of memory foam) and it offers excellent pressure relief around your shoulders, hips, and back. Bonus points for offering an impressive 365-night trial and a forever guarantee. As part of its current sale — you can get the twin mattress for $359 (was $599) or the queen for $669 (was $999).

DreamCloud Luxury Hybrid mattress: $799, now from $599 + up to $599 in freebies at DreamCloud

DreamCloud Luxury Hybrid mattress: was $799, now from $599 + up to $599 in freebies at DreamCloud
The 14-inch DreamCloud mattress is one of the tallest we've reviewed. It features five layers that offer firm, responsive support as well as soft cushioning. In our DreamCloud mattress review, we said it's a great bed for just about anyone, but it especially shines for those suffering from hip or lower back pain. As part of its flash sale — you can get the DreamCloud Hybrid mattress twin for $599 (was $799) or the queen for $899 (was $1,199). The mattress comes with free shipping, free returns, and a 365-night home trial. Plus, you get a free mattress protector, sheet set, and pillows.

Helix Midnight mattress:  $849 now from $722 at HelixFLASH15

Helix Midnight mattress: was $849, now from $722 at Helix
Use coupon code FLASH15 for 15% off across the board, which is a departure from the tiered money-off discounts we typically see from this brand. Even better, all deals come with two free pillows. After discount, you can get a twin for $722 (was $849) or the queen for $1,062 (was $1,249). This hybrid mattress is made of memory foam that relieves pressure by cradling pressure points along your body. Meanwhile, the mattress' coils offer a little bounce, limit motion transfer, and boost airflow to keep you cool as you sleep.

Siena Memory Foam mattress: $499 now from $299 at Siena

Siena Memory Foam mattress: was $499 now from $299 at Siena
The Siena is a very affordable memory foam mattress from Resident, the same company behind Nectar and DreamCloud. Its medium-firmness feel should suit most sleepers and we like that it has five layers of memory foam and polyfoam, with a breathable cover to help you sleep cooler at night. In our Siena Memory Foam mattress review, we said it offers excellent temperature regulation, superb edge support, and low motion transfer for a very low price. As part of its mattress sale — Siena is offering the twin for $299 (was $499), whereas the queen is $499 (was $699). You also get a 180-night trial with free shipping and returns. 

As we previously mentioned, you may not need to replace your current mattress if it's still in sleep-worthy shape. Browse the best mattress topper deals instead to make your bed as soft, firm or cool as you need it. Once you've purchased your mattress topper, learn how to clean a mattress topper in six easy steps to keep it in shape for years to come.

Don't overlook what you're resting your head on at night, either. The best pillows can improve your sleep in a significant way. 


Adam was the Content Director of Subscriptions and Services at Future, meaning that he oversaw many of the articles the publisher produces about antivirus software, VPN, TV streaming, broadband and mobile phone contracts - from buying guides and deals news, to industry interest pieces and reviews. Adam can still be seen dusting his keyboard off to write articles for the likes of TechRadar, T3 and Tom's Guide, having started his career at consumer champions Which?.

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