A mattress is a big purchase, so we want to help you get your money’s worth. Luckily there are some easy ways to extend its lifespan. On average a mattress lasts six to eight years, but cheaper models tend to loose support faster, while those made with premium natural materials can last ten years or longer.
Here we go through the top eight ways to help your mattress last longer, so you aren't shelling out for a new bed before you really need to. These include keeping your mattress clean and off the floor After all, even the best mattresses need a hand staying in good shape for years to come.
We also explain why using a proper bed frame or platform reduces mattress wear and tear and helps you stay within the terms of the warranty, meaning your coverage won’t be affected should you need to activate it down the line.
1. Clean your mattress regularly
Cleaning helps prevent the growth of bacteria, mold, mildew and dust mites, and keeps it feeling fresher through the years. Experts recommend cleaning your mattress twice a year to stay on top of all those nasties, plus general sweat, body oil and dead skin build-up.
If you spill liquid on your mattress, deal with it straight away otherwise you're sending an open invitation for bacteria and mites to snack on the spillage.
2. Always use a mattress protector
The best way to keep your mattress feeling fresh and to help it last longer is to use a one of the best mattress protectors. These thin, waterproof layers fit neatly around your mattress in order to protect it from spills, stains, sweat, body oils, dead skin and dust mites.
There are different types of mattress protector, but if you really want to make sure your bed stays as clean as possible, choose a breathable and waterproof option that offers full coverage. These create a barrier against anything that could seep or burrow through to your mattress – yes, that includes bed bugs.
3. Rotate it to spread out wear and tear
It’s normal for a mattress to dip and sag over time as the weight of our bodies puts pressure on the mattress, leading to indentations and grooves in the spots where we sleep the longest.
To help keep the surface even, you'll need to rotate your mattress every three months to spread out natural wear and tear. That way, you won't have to learn how to fix a sagging mattress.
Most but not all mattresses can be rotated, and fewer still can be flipped. Unsure whether yours is suitable for rotating or flipping? We run you through it in our feature answering how often should you rotate or flip a mattress, as each manufacturer has its own guidelines.
4. Add a mattress topper
The best mattress toppers are designed to extend the life of your mattress for another year or two. Bed toppers vary in price and height, but most are designed to fit neatly on top of your mattress via straps or non-slip bottoms.
Toppers can be used to add more comfort – such as extra cooling, firmness or plushness – to keep your bed comfortable and supportive for longer, saving you money because it's still good for your body and sleep.
The only exception is if your mattress has deep sagging that can't be offset. But if your mattress is in good condition, a topper will extend its lifespan.
5. Place your mattress on a proper bed frame
Placing your mattress on a compatible bed frame, platform or base supports your body weight better, plus it reduces heavy wear and tear on your mattress.
Not only does a decent base keep your mattress at a suitable height for you to easily get in and out of bed, it will also help prevent your mattress from sagging (especially memory foam mattresses), which can cause back pain over time.
Some people place their mattress directly on the floor to get extra-firm support, but if you suffer from allergies you'll be closer to the dust and allergens that settle on the ground. It can also be stifling on the floor, so using a base with spaced slats ensures better airflow to keep your bed cooler and fresher.
6. Air it outside to keep dust mites under control
Dust mites can live for up to 90 days in mattresses and bedding, so it’s essential to regularly air and clean your bed. Dust mites feed on skin and then shed droppings that can aggravate allergies and, in turn, disrupt sleep.
While it’s not always practical to air your mattress in the same way as pillows or duvets, one effective way to kill dust mites is to expose them to direct sunlight, so get your mattress outdoors or near a window for three to four hours.
7. Don’t use it as a trampoline
We get it. Kids and pets love jumping on beds, but if this happens too often it will accelerate the wear and tear on your mattress, breaking springs on hybrid and innerspring mattresses, and weakening edge support so you slide off the bed.
Jumping also causes the surface of the mattress to become uneven, not to mention it will damage the bedframe, meaning less support for your mattress. Plus, then you'll be in need of not only a new mattress but a new frame too.
8. Check your mattress warranty
Most brands warrant your mattress against manufacturing defects. Some warranties also take sagging into consideration, but if the dip is shallow then it won't be covered. In general, accidental damage, spillages and discolouration from sweat are not included. Neither is standard wear and tear.
If your mattress has a lifetime warranty and you're the original buyer, the mattress will be covered for the time you own it. The terms will vary, but manufacturing defects are covered for extended periods under lifetime warranties, after which the brand will repair, re-cover or replace the mattress for free if needed.
How to make your mattress last longer: Summary
Prevention is better than cure and here that means looking after your mattress from the day you bring it home. You can still look after an older mattress to help it last longer though, so don't write yours off if its a few years old.
Regular cleaning, rotating and keeping it safe from stains, spills and bacteria will extend its lifespan so you can save your money. But if you've decided that you do need a new mattress, we've included some of our top picks below.
To improve your sleep comfort further, also take a look at our best pillows guide as pillows should be replaced every year or two for hygienic, supportive sleep.