Most other goods come with a convenient label telling you by which date you ought to have consumed them, but mattresses are a wily beast. Aside from really obvious problems like big springs sticking out of them, or the entire frame collapsing, it can be difficult to tell if your mattress needs replacing – after all, it’s still technically functioning.
The life of a mattress is determined by several things: the quality of materials used in the construction of the mattress, the composition, the usage and your body type. Generally speaking, softer mattresses have a shorter life span than firmer mattresses, and the heavier you are, the quicker it will disintegrate.
Key Indications That You Need A New Mattress
You might need a new mattress if: – It has a noticeable sag or lumps – You wake up stiff or sore – You involuntarily roll towards your bed partner – The mattress squeaks when you press on it – You have developed a sore back – You begin having sleeping difficulties
These last two points are particularly important – most people don’t understand the extent to which a good mattress can alleviate back problems, and something like 30% of sleeping complaints reported to doctors can be attributed to sleeping on an unsuitable mattress.
By keeping your mattress past its service date you risk your health and of course your happiness – for who can be happy when they’ve had a bad night’s sleep!
How to Choose A New Mattress
The golden rule when choosing a mattress is that there is no one rule for choosing a mattress – it really is a case of what you prefer. You might like to start off by considering your sleeping position in relation to your body shape. Women who sleep on their sides may find firm mattresses uncomfortable because their hips can’t sink in and this places pressure on the hips and shoulders as well as creating a sag in the spine.
By far the most common position is a side position, with knees loosely tucked up towards your chest. In general, side sleepers need to consider a softer mattress with a lower coil count, or a low-density memory foam mattress topper, as this will assist in cushioning the shoulders and hips. By contrast, back sleepers can tolerate a firmer mattress. If you have a large hollow in your back, you need a softer mattress. Back sleepers with lower back pain can place a pillow underneath their knees to maintain the curve of the lower back.
If you are overweight or simply heavy you should consider a firmer mattress with heavy-duty coils as the bed will give more. You don’t want to buy a new mattress only to have it sag and wear out because of the weight of your frame! The firmer mattress will also assist with a good head and neck position, allowing you to opening your airways and avoid snoring.
Once you’ve found the perfect mattress, remember the brand and model – but don’t forget to go through the whole process again the next time you choose a mattress as your needs may have changed.
Kate Lee is a freelance writer and health advocate. She regularly contributes to health and wellbeing websites and currently writes for Parklane, a mattress company with 8 locations.