This is a question that is frequently raised and the answer is simple, when you are no longer getting a good nights sleep and wake up still feeling tired, stiff or if your muscles ache. When your bed becomes uncomfortable this is generally a good indicator that it is time to invest in a new mattress. It is important to ensure that your mattress is in good condition as it deemed that the average person spends a 1/3 of their life in bed, this equates to an average of 8 hours sleep a night which tallies up to 3,650 hours over a 10 year period. Other criteria for replacing a mattress are support and cleanliness. When any of these considerations alters from it's original quality it is time to consider changing your mattress.
For most of us we work on the assumption that a mattress will last a good 10, 15 or 20 years at least and many manufacturers support this claim but, the guarantee is only relevant to the materials and not the structure or support. As a general rule of thumb the more expensive the mattress the longer it should maintain its support, opposed to a less expensive option. However, this is dependent on the amount of use the mattress receives. A mattress that mainly resides in a guest room will last considerably longer than one that is used every night. Additionally, if you watch television or read in bed this will result in the mattress wearing out a lot quicker.
Weight also has a consideration on how long a mattress will last. The heavier the person sleeping on the mattress the quicker it will wear out as more strain will be placed on the structure. As we get older our bodies do not tolerate as much pressure as they did when we were younger so the rule of replacing the mattress every seven years is more relevant at this time.
Children using your bed as a trampoline also minimises the lifespan of a mattress. Pregnancy also puts additional stress on a mattress thereby reducing its longevity.
To determine whether or not a mattress needs replacing it is necessary to thoroughly examine it. Manufacturers suggest that you carry out an examination on your mattress twice a year. During the examination you will need to check for wear and tear i.e. any rips or tears in the fabric, soft spots, protruding springs or other defects in the mattress . Another indicator that your mattress may need to be replaced is if it starts to lump in the middle or if it commences to sag; this is a sure indicator that it is losing its support and therefore, no longer providing the correct support whilst you are asleep. This is will result in a less than satisfactory nights sleep.
Another point to consider especially if you suffer with allergies, asthma or rhinitis is the fact that many mattresses due to their construction and the materials used in manufacture act as a breeding ground for dust mites. A mattress provides an ideal environment for dust mites to live, they hold a food source for them and an ideal level of humidity for them to populate. After ten years the weight of a mattress doubles from its initial weight; just consider the amount of dust and dust mites, sweat, grime, hair, and other potential allergens that have made this bed their home over time. It is possible to kill dust mites in bedding in ten minutes by dryer heat, however, it is almost unachievable to remove dust mites and their waste out of mattresses and pillows. If you suffer from any form of allergies it is necessary to look at a mattress with a hypo-allergenic and anti-microbial properties.
To reiterate as we spend a considerable amount of our day in bed it is vitally important to ensure your mattress is in the utmost condition and providing your body with the correct support to ensure the best nights sleep achievable. A little interesting fact to consider; it has been uncovered by research that seventy percent of the UK population have never slept in a high quality comfortable bed. Perhaps it is now time to alter these statistics and ensure you get the best mattress available for your needs.