When should I replace my bed?

men lying on bed in stores with palm facing up

An Auckland woman recently got in touch with Sleepyhead over what to do with her elderly parents’ bed.

The couple were on the move to a retirement village and as their daughter dismantled the bedroom, she noticed the Sleepyhead Royale and wondered how long her parents had slept on it.

Turns out, the couple had bought the bed the year they married and moved into the family home – the year was 1951.

They were still sleeping on a bed that predated Sir Edmund Hillary conquering Everest, the Beatles & the Auckland Harbour Bridge.

infographics on cars and bed

They did 69 years on that Royale mattress and base. The ensemble has since come back to Sleepyhead out of curiosity over it’s immaculate condition, despite its age. But it begs the question: How often should you replace your mattress? A lifetime, 20 years, 10 years? 

We recommend replacing your bed every 8-10 years and it’s not just because we’ve got a vested interest to sell you another. There are real reasons and they center around your health & wellbeing. So what really happens to your mattress over time? You could also choose to recycle them when you think of buying a new mattress.

Spills & Stains

Your bed serves as more than just a place to sleep. It can sometimes serve as the hub of the home.. There’s the kids, sleeping animals, watching television, reading emails, sick days, eating breakfast, quenching your thirst in the middle of the night and of course, sex. 

a family of 4 lying on a big white bed

So at the very least, to protect your bed investment from the start – get a waterproof mattress protector. A small outlay for significant returns.

Bed Bugs & Beyond

Dust mites are going to make your bed their home over time. They love warm humid environments & they feed off dead skin so your mattress is their utopia. An Ohio State University study found that a used mattress might have as many as 100,000 to 10 million mites inside.

A typical person sheds as much as 5.7 grams of dead skin a week – so there’s plenty to feast on. These mites can trigger allergies, not to mention live inside your mattress and it’s pretty hard to get rid of them. The bad news is they aren’t just in the mattress but will live on top of your bedding. 

beg bugs zoomed in

You can help keep them at bay – wash your sheets regularly in a hot wash 40℃ or more and vacuum the surface of your mattress to hoover up dead skin cells and dust. 

Weighing In

There’s a common misnomer out there in bed land that after 10 years, your bed weighs twice as much as it was when you purchased it. We’re disputing that one – yes, a mattress possibly weighs a little more with moisture, dust, skin cells and the aforementioned creatures above but it it’s unlikely to double in weight. The 69-year-old double that came back to us this month weighed 40kg. 

dirty mattress on a wooden frame

However, it contains heavy coconut fibre that is no longer used to make beds anymore and as a truly upcycled mattress – the comfort layers were made of fibre wadding formed from leftover pieces of clothing scraps gathered up and delivered to Sleepyhead. An equivalent new double mattress today goes out of our factory at approximately 27kg.

Wear & Tear

So if we haven’t convinced you with what’s living in your mattress to replace your aging bed then consider the materials used to make it and how they degenerate over time.

Back to our 69 year old mattress – it doesn’t have foam inside it, foam wasn’t available back then, just the cotton wadding for comfort – as we’ve seen it can last a very long time.

Foam, as comfortable and soft as it is – is the ingredient inside your mattress that won’t perform as well after 8-10 years in your mattress. Most of our warranties typically cover 10 years and we encourage you to register your bed with us for peace of mind. 

mattress foam with different layers

Over a decade you’ll clock up nearly 30,000 sleep hours on your bed. Over time, foam doesn’t bounce back to its original shape – the denser the foam the longer it will last over time.

Beds are a bit like a pair of running shoes – you can still run in them but eventually they lose their rigidity, shape and tread. However, with a mattress – rotating your mattress when it’s new and then periodically over time will help extend your bed’s life. 


Get a Better Nights Sleep with Sleepyhead:

So if you’ve come to the conclusion that maybe it’s time to replace your mattress, first try our sleep selector to find out your ideal bed and get some extra help from the Sleepyhead bed buying guide. Then, check out the special offers from our retail partners for any sales. 

The sleep experts at Sleepyhead are here to ensure you get the rest you deserve.

Get more sleep tips and helpful information on our Sleep Guide.


Explore articles below before you buy your bed:

Is a spring mattress or foam mattress better for me?

Is a soft or firm mattress better for me?

What to do when you get a new mattress?

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