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Do You Need a New Mattress?

Published: April 17, 2009

With most products, it’s fairly obvious when a replacement is needed. If it no longer works or has signs of wear and tear that impair its ability, you know it’s time for a new one. However, realizing that it is time for a new mattress and foundation isn’t always so obvious. Similar to your favorite old chair or worn pair of shoes, your mattress can still feel comfortable long after it has lost its ability to provide your body with the proper support and comfort it needs. Because sleep is so critical to our ability to function and feel our best, it is important to evaluate your sleep set on a regular basis.

Signs that you may need a new mattress:

  1. You wake up with stiffness, numbness, or aches and pains
  2. You had a better night’s sleep somewhere other than your own bed (such as a hotel)
  3. Your mattress shows visible signs of overuse (it sags, has lumps, the interior is exposed, etc.)
  4. Your mattress is 5-7 years old*

The warranty on the new mattress and foundation you purchase is not an indicator of how long the product should be used before replacement. The warranty is there to protect the customer from product defects, not against the gradual loss of comfort and support. Moreover, different manufacturers offer different warranties, and you should check with the manufacturer of your mattress for product-specific information.
Old beds turn up in the oddest places—in the bottom of lakes, by the side of the road, in the classified ads of the newspaper. Clearly, people don’t know what to do with old mattresses!
It’s estimated that nearly 70 percent of old beds stay in circulation, handed down like heirlooms to children and other family members. This is especially harmful for children, whose active, developing bodies require the support of a good quality mattress. If the bed is no longer good enough for you, it’s not good enough for anybody else; throw it out—properly.

Here are two ways to get rid of an old sleep set:

1) Ask the store where you bought your new mattress to pick it up when they deliver the new set. Many retailers today offer this service as part of your purchase price or for a nominal fee.
2) Call your local municipality, sanitation department, or garbage collector. They usually have provisions for picking up larger items, but you may need to make arrangements in advance.
Courtesy Better Sleep Council

*How long a mattress will last depends on several factors, such as amount of use and original quality, but in general, a mattress set that has been in use 5-7 years is no longer providing you with the best comfort and support. Keep in mind that people’s bodies change over time, and the need for good comfort and support only increases with age. That’s why it’s a good idea to compare the mattress and foundation you are sleeping on now to newer models every few years.

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  • rosemary ames

    There are so many mattress out there, which would you recommend?

  • Marallyn Kenagy

    Great issue. I have been trying to find the article on Pillow Talk so I could print it and send it to my daughters. All of the other articles are listed but not that one.

  • Mattress Maven

    It’s actually been shown that around 30% of all sleep complaints that doctors have to deal with are actually down to people using either the incorrect mattress or an old mattress.

    I completely agree with the article – definitely try to renew your mattress every 5-7 years.