Do you find yourself waking up to long-lasting back aches and pains? Do you roll over to the other side of the bed to find the comfiest groove in the mattress? If so, it may be time to replace your mattress.
Think about it, when was the last time you actually went mattress shopping? The idea rarely ever comes to mind and the ageing signs of a mattress are typically hidden by comfy-looking sheets and covers. Mattress issues should never be ignored; they can affect our sleep.
“We spend seven hours per night in bed if we’re sticking to the recommendation. If you [multiply] that by 365 days a year that would equal up to 2555 hours a year spent in bed. You really want to be sleeping on something that’s comfortable and conducive to a good night’s sleep,” says Andrew Holmes, a corporate sleep consultant and the founder of Sleep Efficiency.
Replacing your mattress can instantly improve your sleep, daily productivity and overall health. Before you call it a night, put your mattress to the test and check for the following signs, which indicate that it’s time to replace your mattress.
It’s seven years old
How long your mattress lasts usually depends on its level of quality. According to Holmes, you should replace your mattress set every seven to 12 years. While this is a good rule of thumb, it’s important to remember that everybody’s weight and comfort levels change over time, and our bodies naturally indicate when it’s time to retire your mattress.
“You’ve got to listen to your body. If you’re waking up with aches and pains throughout the course of the night and you’re only at the five-year mark, don’t suffer for another seven or eight years,” Holmes states.
Check for visual signs
The truth lies beneath the sheets. If you notice wear and tear, stains, obvious lumps and sagging in the middle of the mattress, it’s probably close to expiry. Lumps and sagging are key signs that your mattress lacks support and comfort. If you sleep alone and still find yourself constantly dodging body grooves in your mattress, try flipping it from top to bottom and upside down at least twice a year until you make the final decision to let it go.
You can feel your partner moving
If you share a bed with a partner, you shouldn’t wake up to the mattress squeaking or them tossing and turn throughout the course of the night. Feeling your partner changing sleeping positions is another indication your mattress lacks resilience and support.
You wake up with allergies
Waking up and going to bed with a runny nose, itchy eyes and/or skin can be aggravating. But if you find that you’re frequently experiencing these symptoms even after allergy season, the dust mites in your mattress can be to blame. While it’s often forgotten, our beds are the best habitat for microscopic organisms and dust mites.
According to Sandy Skotnicki, a dermatologist and assistant professor at University of Toronto, the dead skin cells we shed during our sleep attract and feed dust mites. “We shed our skin constantly. The top layer of skin (stratum corneum) renews about every two weeks. Dead skin cells, oils as well as our skincare products collect in your mattress,” Skotnicki explains. Of course, the same thing goes for pillows. To maintain a clean and healthy mattress, use a mattress cover and vacuum it as often as you can.
You wake up feeling restless
If you practice good sleep hygiene (the practices and habits that are necessary to have a good night’s sleep and full daytime awareness) and get the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep, you shouldn’t have a hard time getting up in the morning. If this is you, and you still struggle to wake up, it might be time to spring for a new mattress that’ll provide exceptional comfort.
Shopping for the best mattress can be a tricky task since there are so many options to choose from. So what exactly should you be buying? For the ultimate quality of sleep, Holmes suggests doing some research on mattresses that are best suited for your body type. “Your body type can dictate the type of support you need. If you have wider hips than maybe a soft mattress will probably be better suited. If [you] want to keep [your] spine and neck in that neutral position [sleeping on you back] or if your hips are in line with your waist then a firmer mattress would be better,” says Holmes.
Of course, this can’t be determined by a quick browse through a store. When researching, Holmes encourages shoppers to take advantage of a mattress company’s trial program to determine if the mattress is the best match. Canadian mattress company Endy, for instance, offers customers a 100-night trial period to test out their mattresses. Or, if you have specific health conditions, you should get recommendations from your doctor or physical therapist. Doing that extra bit of research to find a comfortable mattress with a good return policy will definitely pay off in the long run.