An average human spends around 33% of his life sleeping. Truly, that is a precious amount of your life that goes into simple relaxation. And indeed such dear time of the life devoted to tranquilizing the mind and body does require adequate care and pampering.
During our lifetime we make various investments-both big and small. Some investments made in so called luxuries actually enhance the quality of our life and reap benefits by increasing our wellness quotient. Ever considered buying a mattress as an investment? Indeed, it is an investment which we make around twice or thrice in our lifetime to improve the one third years of our life that we spend in slumber land.
It has been generally observed that there is no definite answer to this most sought after query. The answer lies in various factors that determine the life of a mattress like- the type, its usage, its maintenance, other external factors influencing its wear and tear, etc. In general it has been observed that a good quality mattress usually lasts for about 8 to 10 years and with little extra care in handling and upkeep, its life can stretch up to 12 years. Having said that, one should remember that the mattress in your bedroom is your complete private asset and it is unfair to apply this generic rule on something that shares such a personal bond with you. Therefore, it is you who is the best judge to decide, the right time for the BIG change.
However, to assist you in that big decision we shall discuss here some of the factors which determine the life of a mattress.
The composition of your mattress is the most important factor that determines its life expectancy. Just like our diet constitutes our health and body composition, similarly it is the material of the mattress that primarily determines how long does a mattress last. Let us see the longevity of each of the types:
#1 - Memory Foam Mattresses: Memory foam mattress has a good average life span if properly handled, cleaned from time to time and adequately ventilated. With regular rotations it can lasts up to 10 years. However, sometimes it is subject to over sagging which may indicate that it is time for a change.
#2 - Innerspring Mattresses: These mattresses have a core support of thin metal springs that give it a good bounce and support. With regular use, these wires tend to settle down and lose their bounce, indicating sagginess or broken lumps of layers. When handled with extreme care, they may lasts up to 7-8 years at the maximum.
#3 - Air Mattresses: Air mattresses are basically inflatable mattresses that lose their effectiveness over time either because of leakages or poor retention of air pressure. They do not last more than 5-6 years.
#4 - Latex Mattresses: These high quality mattresses play the longest innings with a life span of about 12-20 years. Moreover they are modular in nature, meaning that the upper comfort layers of the mattress can be changed over the years, thereby increasing its longevity. The layers can even be rotated or flipped, further adding flexibility to this eco-friendly product.
The life of a mattress depends upon both its use and non use. A mattress that is used by a couple or more people for more than 10 hours every day is subject to over use. It shall last for about 8-10 years only if it is well maintained, cleaned and rotated at regular intervals. The amount of usage will affect how long your mattress will last.
On the other hand, a mattress that has not been put to use for long, does not necessarily guarantee a long life span. Rather such a mattress loses its longevity because unused mattresses tend to become hard and over firm, because their different elements have not been put to proper use.
Like any other household item, mattresses also need proper cleaning and care. The life of a mattress greatly depends upon the cleaning method to which it is subject to along with the modern day chemical products used for cleaning. For example using a strong and abrasive solution of hydrogen peroxide to fight stains can leave the mattress with corrosive injuries, thereby deteriorating its overall health.
Moderate use of chemicals and household remedies can add more years to the life of your mattress. Dust, termites and bugs are other serious threats to a mattress and all efforts should be made to keep them away from your bedroom. If you are cleaning your mattress regularly, then your mattress will last longer.
You surely value the delicate glass vase adorning your centre table or the high end upholstered sofa adding a touch of ecstasy to your living room. Then why not the same care for the mattress that comforts you from head to toe at night? Surely, you will agree that your mattress that cares for your comfort and relaxation needs care too. Teach kids not to use the mattress as a trampoline, adversely affecting its bounce and causing it to mature prematurely.
Moreover, when sitting on the edges, practice care and avoid using the same edges for all your daytime sittings, even if a particular spot tempts you again and again. Avoid meals, especially bed tea on your mattress. Any spill or mess on the mattress can lead to long time stains thereby subjecting the piece of comfort to hard chemicals, in an attempt to remove them. Using a bed cover is a good idea to protect the layers from stains and dust, thereby increasing its life span.
A big investment like a mattress needs due care and maintenance. The better it is handled since its purchase, the longer it is likely to lasts. So, what can you do to make your mattress lasts longer? Here are some simple tips you should keep in mind while handling your piece of comfort.
Clean your mattress regularly: Just like a regular dusting routine that you follow for your living room and other areas of the house, you should follow one for your mattress as well. Dust and debris often settles in the pores of the mattress which is not easily visible. Use a good quality vacuum cleaner to pull this dust out, especially from the seams and edges.
Use a good mattress protector: While this rule applies especially if you are sleeping with kids’ not wearing diapers, it also holds equally good even if you sleep without kids. A good water proof mattress protector is a must to save your mattress from accidental spills which lead to liquids being instantly absorbed by layers of foam, and later becoming breeding grounds for fungus.
Clean your bed linen regularly: Keep your bed sheets and pillow covers absolutely clean. Perhaps you do not realize, but every night you rub dust, dead skin cells and leave tons of dandruff on your bed sheet and pillow covers. All this along with your sweat and body moisture tend to seep into your mattress. Therefore, make it a practice to change your bed linen every fortnight or at intervals of 10 days or so.
Rotate your mattress regularly: Rotating mattress after every few months is a good idea to avoid overuse of certain areas of it and chances of developing impressions on them. It also reduces the possibilities of over sagging or sinkage at certain specific ends.
Avoid eating in bed: Sunday breakfast in bed is so tempting, or that late night sundae while enjoying a movie is no doubt an ultimate delight. But remember, these little moments of happiness can cause you a huge expenditure in terms of changing your mattress prematurely. Eating in bed is definitely a bad idea. It is like an unofficial invitation to bed bugs, mites and other nocturnal insects.
Protect your mattress from bed bugs: Speaking of bed bugs and mites, the best idea to keep them away is to use a bed bug proof encasement that keeps all these nasties away.
Give good support to your mattress: Your mattress surely gives you a good support during sleep, but you need to support it too with a good bed frame and foundation/box springs, that accentuates the best qualities of your mattress while increasing its durability.
Do not share your bed with your pet: Your pet can be the apple of your eye, but remember it cannot share the bed with you. They are truly adorable and worth a cuddle, but they carry with them a thousand germs dropping them, as well as their hair all around. All this filth can settle down in your mattress, costing you heavily in terms of a replacement.
Answer these simple questions, with a yes or a no to judge whether it is time for you to make that big investment.
1. Has your mattress formed a crater in the middle with visible sagging?
2. Has your mattress become too hard or too soft with use overtime?
3. Has the padding in your mattress shifted, causing lumps?
4. Does your mattress keep you awake all night because of discomfort?
5. Does your back, especially the spine pain even after 8 hours of sleep?
6. Do you experience sharing your mattress with bugs or other allergens that irritate you at night?
7. Is your mattress causing pressure points, rather than relieving them?
8. Is there a deep impression on the side you or your partner sleeps?
9. Is your mattress creaking and making a nasty sound when you turn in bed?
10. Is your mattress already 10 years old?
If most of your answers (5 or more) end up in a yes, then they are decent signs to tell you that you need a replacement pretty soon. Do not be tempted to put your current mattress in use for a little more, because by doing so you are simply compromising with quality sleep and invariably inviting health hazards which can cost you more than a simple replacement.
Nothing last for eternity and so neither does your mattress. But yes, with some extra care and maintenance you can surely add a couple of years to the warranted lifespan of your bedroom luxury. Buying a new mattress indeed requires good judgment and considerable market research, but knowing when to replace your current mattress with a new one needs even more prudence. Detect early signs of wear and tear in your mattress and either take corrective measures to restore its quality or begin a profound market research to search for its replacement.
Keep in mind that your efforts to prolong how long your mattress will last, should not interfere with the quality of your sleep. Therefore, you can stretch its life to make the most of your purchase but when it starts affecting the value of your night’s peace, take it as a sign to welcome a new mattress into your bedroom. So, the next time you change the bed sheets, make a thorough examination of the layers of comfort on your bed frame. You never know, they may just be signaling a complete overhaul, while you are busy just changing their covers.