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Your mattress is a key player in your overall health and happiness. The average adult spends about eight hours in bed every night, and the wrong mattress can make those hours a nightmare.
Aches, pains and lack of rest all lower your quality of life, and your mattress may be the culprit. Not all
There's no doubt about it — your mattress plays a central role in your life and well-being. The average person spends eight hours a day asleep in bed, meaning you'll spend about a third of your life on your mattress.
If you live to 75, that's about 25 years of your life spent in bed. Depending on the quality and state of your mattress, that time might be spent sleeping soundly or tossing and turning, looking for that elusive entrance to dreamland.
If you're not sure how to tell when you need a new mattress, there are seven signs to look for. Just one of these signs may indicate it's time to go mattress shopping — and if your bed has more than one of these symptoms, you're likely losing out on sleep and may be jeopardizing your health.
Industry experts agree — a mattress has a lifetime of about seven to 10 years under average conditions. The lifespan of a mattress refers to the length of time the mattress can successfully retain some of its structural support and level of comfort.
Mattress lifespans vary depending on the material the mattress is made from as well as its initial manufacturing quality. Innerspring mattresses, also known as coil mattresses, have been in use since the early 1900s and are still the most popular type of mattress by sales. The average lifespan is based on an innerspring, but their popularity results in a broad range of quality levels.
A high-end innerspring can last up to 10 years, but a poorly made coil mattress may not last more than four or five. Memory foam mattresses typically last longer than innerspring mattresses, and hybrids between the two offer exceptional longevity.
Frequency of use shortens your mattress' life. If you're given to afternoon naps, have a large pet that sleeps on the bed or have a co-sleeper with a different sleep schedule than you do, your mattress will wear out faster. If your mattress is more than five years old, chances are you'll need a new one soon.
A sag in the middle is the easiest way to identify mattresses that need replacing. If you feel like you're rolling toward the center of the bed every time you lie down, it means your mattress is losing its ability to properly support your body. Sags don't always develop in the center of the bed. They can occur where one sleeping partner is much heavier than the other or when a large person sleeps mostly on one side of the bed.
In these cases, the mattress can start to look crooked in addition to having an indent on the side. Two main factors can contribute to a sagging, uncomfortable mattress:
The bed frame you choose is just as important as the mattress itself, especially with larger queen- and king-sized mattresses. The bed frame must feature a center support. This support is built into most metal frames, and adding a center support to wood frames is usually simple.
Sometimes a weak frame or vigorous motion can bend a support out of place, leading to an increased probability of sagging. If you're starting to feel a sag, check your bed frame to ensure it's properly aligned to support your mattress. If you're not sure how often you should replace your mattress and box spring, a good rule of thumb is to evaluate them at the same time you check your frame.
These days, it's increasingly common to see beds with only one usable side. Manufacturers claim that modern materials eliminate the need for bed-flipping, and in some cases they are correct. How often should you rotate your mattress? Turning it quarterly will help ensure even wear and prolong its life.
Rotation is especially important with a co-sleeper, as differences in weight lead to uneven compression of mattress materials. Over time, that compression leads to sag, and you'll need a new mattress to get your best night's sleep back.
3. It's Supporting More Weight
If you've gained a significant amount of weight recently, it may be time to reevaluate whether your mattress still suits your sleep needs. A Canadian sleep study found substantial links between weight gain and shortened or lengthened sleep duration. If your mattress is too old or not robust enough to support more weight, you may find it so uncomfortable that you can't sleep as long as you need to.
In more subtle situations, a sub-par mattress can cause smaller and more frequent sleep disturbances, leading to more sleep time but less rest and rejuvenation.
Adding a sleeping partner to the bed puts the same type of added strain on a mattress, and will cause it to wear out more quickly.
4. You're Waking up in Pain
Occasional aches and pains are a normal part of life, but if you're noticing it's harder and harder to get out of bed in the morning, your mattress might be the culprit. The best mattresses will help you wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on your day. New and persistent back pain is one clear way to tell when you need a new mattress.
A good mattress provides the proper support to keep your spine and hips aligned. The human spine has a distinct S-curve that should be preserved when you're sleeping on your stomach or back. A saggy mattress causes a stomach sleeper's spine to curve more dramatically than it should and flattens out the curve too much for back sleepers. This results in lower back pain in the morning.
A lack of mattress support for side sleepers results in a curvature where the spine should be straight. Sometimes placing a pillow between the knees can mitigate the misalignment, but the lack of support can still result in pain throughout the mid to lower back and hips.
Your mattress might also be too hard or too soft. Many people think very firm mattresses are the only option for people with back pain, but one survey of back pain sufferers revealed that people with very hard mattresses actually reported the worst sleep quality. If your aches and pains are worse when you're just waking up and subside after some stretching and movement, you should consider replacing your mattress.
5. It's Noisy
A creaky mattress is a one-way ticket to reduced sleep quality. In most cases, the unpleasant squeaky sound crops up in innerspring mattresses. Traditionally, innerspring mattresses were all made with an "offset coil system." This system interconnects every coil in the bed, creating thousands of contact points for metal on metal. These beds became squeaky in no time, and the design is quite outdated at this point.
Pocketed coil designs are much more common these days, and they limit the potential for squeaking in your mattress. However, as time goes on and material compresses with routine use, you still may experience squeaking as your mattress comes closer to the end of its life. Noisiness is one of the most obvious signs it's time to get a new mattress because it goes hand in hand with sagginess and lack of support.
For light sleepers — especially those with sleeping partners — a creaky bed can easily become a nightmare. Unwanted noise makes it harder to fall asleep, and bad mattresses tend to creak with even the slightest movement. You're most likely to be woken up by noise during stage 2 sleep, the period between initially falling asleep and entering the deep sleep you need to feel refreshed in the morning. A noisy mattress can prevent you from progressing through the sleep cycle and getting the rest you need.
Consider eliminating the possibility of creaks and squeaks with a memory foam or hybrid mattress. A design without metal coils can save you from significant headaches over time.
6. You're Getting Sick
A noisy and unsupportive mattress can mess with your health by disrupting your sleep, but there are other hidden health hazards with an old mattress. Over time, a mattress can absorb pounds of unwanted materials that pose a danger to your health. Some claim that a mattress doubles in weight after eight years due to all the accumulated material, but no study has ever proven this to be true. What we do know is that these three contaminants are routinely found in aging mattresses.
The human body is always busy getting out with the old and in with the new, especially when it comes to skin cells. Skin cells only live about two to three weeks, and once they die, we shed them. Over a year, you'll cast off about 8.8 pounds of dead skin, and a lot of it ends up in your bed. Frequent washing of bedding in hot water can go a long way in preventing buildup in your mattress, but the sheer volume of cells shed means some of them will end up in your pillow and mattress. These cells may carry bacteria that can make you sick.
Sweat is another culprit in the deterioration of mattresses. Most people don't sweat during sleep until temperatures reach higher than 85°F, but one warm night or a few days of being ill in bed can release several ounces of sweat into your mattress along with a significant amount of oils from your skin. If you have a contagious infection, the sweat and oil you secrete deposits those viruses and bacteria into your bedding, and they can saturate your mattress.
If you find yourself getting common colds or stomach bugs more often, it may be a sign that it's time to get a new mattress. This is especially evident when you have a sleeping partner because it's easier to infect another person than to it is to get the same illness again.
Beds provide a warm and sometimes humid environment for multiple types of fungus and mold to take root. One study from Purdue University examined regularly-used pillows 1.5 to 20 years old to evaluate the accumulation of fungus. The study found 47 different species of fungi in the pillows, a disturbing statistic to say the least. Although pillows receive more of the castoff fungus we deposit, your mattress can build up fungus and mold over time.
The most obvious symptoms of breathing in fungus from a mattress involve difficulty breathing. You might develop a slight wheeze, or see worse allergies and asthma symptoms. Some types of fungus cause a rash upon skin exposure, though this is uncommon because bedding shields the skin from direct contact.
Dust mites might be the most disturbing health threat in a mattress. The average used mattress contains anywhere from 100,000 to 10 million dust mites. A third of people who suffer from allergies are also allergic to dust mites, so an old mattress with dust mite buildup can cause symptoms to worsen as time marches on.
Since mites are happy to eat skin flakes and thrive in a dark environment like the one a mattress provides, the best way to prevent the buildup of any of these human byproducts is to use pillow and mattress protectors. A zip-on protector helps repel dirt, dust, skin and mites, but only if you put it on when the mattress is new.
7. You Sleep Better Elsewhere
Your bed should be a place of rest that you look forward to relaxing on at night. If you stay at a hotel or sleep on a friend's sofa and find you've slept better than you do in bed, it's time to get a new mattress.
The best mattress will support your body and keep it in alignment for the best rest possible. If your bed is too hard, too soft, sagging or otherwise wrong for you, you'll wake up feeling the consequences.
If your sleep is just plain uncomfortable, there's a good chance your mattress is to blame. You should look forward to bedtime, and the right mattress can make all the difference.
Finding the best mattress can be daunting if you've never researched them before. If you're wondering where to get a new mattress in Mechanicsburg or Harrisburg, Pa., Davids Furniture is the place to go. We don't just offer the best selection of mattresses in Pennsylvania — we equip you with the knowledge to make your mattress last.
We're the premier place to get a new mattress in Harrisburg or Mechanicsburg, with the expertise to ensure you get a mattress that will stand up to your lifestyle and keep you well-rested throughout its lifetime.
If you're interested in learning more about caring for your mattress and other furniture in your home, consider subscribing to our newsletter. You'll receive tips and tricks on caring for the furniture you have, and special discounts for when you're ready to upgrade.
Our designers are ready to answer all of your questions about mattresses and other furniture, and ensure you get the product that will last longest and perform the best for your lifestyle. Contact us or stop by our stores in Harrisburg or Mechanicsburg to see the Davids Furniture difference.
From the beautiful wood bed frame in your bedroom to the leather sofa that is the centerpiece of your living room, furniture is an investment that creates a large portion of your home's character. Quality furniture is designed and built to last, but every piece has a lifespan. How long does furniture last? A lot of that depends on the condition you purchased it in, the material it is made of and how you take care of it.
Here is a helpful guide you can use to determine when to replace your furniture, how to take care of your investment and how to select quality pieces that will stay with you for years.
How Long Does Wood Furniture Last?
Wood furniture is a beautiful addition to any home, but it does age. You might notice fading or cracks on a dresser, table, hutch or any other type of wood furniture. Here is what you need to know about the lifespan of wood furniture and making your pieces last:
The Average Lifespan of Wood Furniture
The type of wood is one of the biggest factors determining how long a piece of furniture will last. Hardwoods, which tend to be a durable type of wood, make excellent pieces of furniture. Plus, there are plenty of varieties, allowing you to pick a grain and finish that suits your taste. Examples of hardwoods include cherry, oak, ash, maple, teak, mahogany, rosewood and hickory. You are not limited by hardwood, however. Quality furniture made of softwoods like pine, redwood and cedar are available as well, but some of these woods are more likely to be scratched or dented. Do your research when you select a wood type.
You will also want to know the difference between solid wood furniture and furniture made with veneers. Veneers are a thin slice of wood placed over a composite. Veneers are often used in solid wood furniture, but they are also placed over composites like plywood or particle board. Solid wood furniture tends to be more expensive than furniture made with other substrates because it has a longer lifespan.
High-quality wood furniture often lasts at least 10 to 15 years. But, if you select the right level of quality and care for your wood furniture, it is possible those pieces will last you a lifetime and become family heirlooms.
How to Make Wood Furniture Last
That quality of a piece of furniture is important, but you also need to know how to care for wood furniture to ensure it lasts. Dusting, regular cleaning and waxing are some good practices to make a habit. Allowing dust to accumulate allows particles to scratch the surface of the wood. Use a soft, non-scratch cloth or a feather duster to regularly remove the dust that settles on the surface of wood furniture.
When it comes to cleaning wood furniture, you can use gentle soap and water to treat small, sticky spots, but you'll need a specialized cleaner to clean the entire piece. Try using furniture polish or furniture oil to give the wood a glossy sheen and a thin layer of protection. Waxing will help protect the finish of the wood and keep the furniture looking like new.
Older pieces of wood furniture can benefit from restoration practices. Over the years, any piece of wood furniture will be affected by sun fading and pick up minor scratches. You can help mitigate that damage by re-staining the wood and making waxing a monthly habit.
Picking Out Wood Furniture That Will Last a Long Time
The type of wood, the construction and the finish are the three most important elements to consider when selecting wood furniture that will last a long time. The two types of wood — hardwood and softwood — are differentiated by the kinds of trees they come from. Hardwoods are from deciduous trees, while softwoods come from coniferous trees. Some of the longest lasting hardwoods include walnut, maple, oak, cherry, mahogany and teak. Consider these options when you want to make a purchase that lasts a lifetime.
The construction technique of a piece of furniture will determine its structural integrity, too. Will the table or chair stand up to years of weight bearing? Joint construction tends to be the most reliable approach. If you notice parts of the furniture glued or stapled together, this is not an example of joint construction. Furniture held together with those methods will likely not last for years.
Finally, look at the finish on the wood. Does the wood feel and look smooth? If there are any signs of fading or cracking already on the furniture, this will likely mean the piece will not have a long lifespan.
How Long Does Leather Furniture Last?
Leather furniture can be a beautiful addition to any home. The supple feel of the material offers a comfortable place to sit, while the warm, burnished appearance is pleasing to the eye. When the leather of your sofa or chair begins to fade, you know it is time to start thinking about selecting a replacement piece. Here's a quick guide to judging the lifespan of leather furniture and choosing pieces that will last for as long as possible:
The Average Lifespan of Leather Furniture
By its nature, leather furniture is designed to last. Fabric will wear out over time, but leather wears in because it has the durability of the animal hide it comes from. That being said, leather furniture can still have a finite lifespan. The type of leather and how you care for it are the two biggest factors that determine how long a leather sofa or chair will last. Full-grain leather is the highest quality leather available, and furniture of this type can last for generations.
Full-grain leather is made from the outermost layer of a cow's hide, and it is not sanded to remove imperfections. This means the leather has character and durability that ages very well over time.
On the other hand, furniture made with split grain leather or bonded leather will likely not last as long. These two types of leather are not made from the outermost layer of animal hide. Instead, they are made using leftover byproducts. The result is a less expensive leather, but one that is not as durable.
How to Make Leather Furniture Last
Proper maintenance is the most important part of prolonging your leather furniture's lifespan. Avoid too much sun exposure because this can lead to fading and cracking of the leather. Additionally, use a high-quality leather conditioner on the surface every six months to a year. This conditioner will help the leather keep its shine and suppleness.
When cleaning leather, avoid cleaning products like soap and detergent, as they can damage it. In between conditioning, you can dust or vacuum the surface of leather furniture to prevent the build-up of grime that will affect the look and feel of the sofa or chair. Remember, high-quality leather can easily stain. If you spill on the leather, address the spill immediately. Use warm water and a gentle cloth to wipe up the area. You can also address small scratches in the leather by gently buffing them out with a soft cloth.
Picking out Leather Furniture That Will Last a Long Time
When you buy a piece of high-quality leather furniture, it can last a lifetime, but it is good to know the right questions to ask before you pick out your new sofa or chair. First, ask the salesperson how the furniture was made. What type of leather was used? Was the piece handmade or mass-produced? Handmade furniture made with full-grain leather will probably last longer when compared to mass-produced pieces that use less expensive types of leather. Asking about the quality of the other materials, like wood or metal, used to make the furniture will also help you select a long-lasting piece.
Next, you can ask about specific maintenance directions. Will typical leather care be sufficient, or should you take any extra steps to make the piece last? Does the sofa have the durability to handle the wear and tear of children and pets? You can also do a quick test of quality on your own. Is the furniture heavy? If you can't lift the piece, this is an indication of high-quality work. If it is light or feels flimsy, the piece probably won't be something you pass down through the generations.
How Long Do Mattresses Last?
Nearly all people — 92 percent — believe a good mattress is important to their overall health and well-being. The right mattress can have a significant impact on the time it takes for you to fall asleep and the quality of that sleep. A poor-quality mattress, for instance, can make it more difficult to fall asleep, disrupt your sleep cycle and even contribute to health problems like back pain. How long will a mattress last? Here is everything you need to know:
The Average Lifespan of a Mattress
Your mattress, like any piece of furniture, can last for years, depending on the material it is made of and how you take care of it. A memory foam mattress can last up to 10 years, while a futon will be on the shorter end of the spectrum with a life expectancy of about five years. Materials with lifespans between those two include innerspring (eight years), waterbed (seven years), hybrid (six years) and air bed (six years).
Memory foam lasts longer than an innerspring mattress because it is less likely to experience sagging issues, but it will still wear down eventually. Each of the other types of mattresses has their pros and cons, but sleeping each night on any type of mattress will eventually wear it down to the point that you need to replace it.
How to Make a Mattress Last
There are a few good rules of thumb to keep your mattress in good shape and comfortable for years. First, avoid eating and drinking in bed. Spills and crumbs are going to wear down the appearance of your mattress and potentially lead to staining or even water damage. If you can't resist the urge to snack in bed, invest in a good mattress protector. This will make your mattress waterproof and can help reduce the amount of wear and tear. Cleaning the actual mattress is a helpful step to take as well. You can spot treat any stains with soap and water. Plus, you can vacuum off the surface of the mattress every few months.
Cleaning isn't the only way to make your mattress last, though. Proper use and maintenance help as well. Do your best to avoid any jumping on the bed — that means no bouncing kids and pets — and ensure your bed frame is properly supporting the mattress.
Lastly, rotating the mattress is one handy tip that you have probably thought about doing but maybe haven't gotten around to. Regularly rotating the mattress helps distribute the wear. You are less likely to experience sagging in one particular place if you keep up with this trick.
Picking out a Mattress That Will Last a Long Time
You want a mattress that will last a long time, but you also want to make sure it is the right kind for your body and sleep preferences. Select a high-quality material like memory foam or a hybrid mattress to ensure it will last at least 10 years. Second, always buy your mattress new. Used mattresses might not have the same regulations, like fire resistance, as new mattresses, plus any used mattress will come with dust and allergens.
Next, you will want to determine the firmness of your mattress. You may love the idea of a soft, cushy mattress, but in the long run, a firm mattress is better for your health. You don't want a soft-as-a-cloud mattress that leads to back pain.
Testing out a mattress is an ideal way to determine if it is the right fit for you. Try lying on it in a few different positions. Are you comfortable and relaxed? Does your spine follow its natural curve? Remember that it might take a little time to adjust to your new mattress once you bring it home as well.
Quality Furniture From Davids Furniture & Interiors
If you have decided you need to replace any furniture or mattresses in your home, browse our products online or make a trip to one of our four showrooms. At Davids Furniture, we have a wide selection of wood furniture, leather furniture and mattresses that can become a part of your home's style. For more insightful tips on caring for your furniture and styling your home, visit our blog.