To help us provide you with free impartial advice, we may earn a commission if you buy through links on our site. Learn more

How often should you change your mattress?

How often should you change your mattress - featured

Even the best mattress won’t last forever, but how do you know when it’s time to take yours to the tip?

Sore back? Achy shoulder? Stiff neck? These could all be telltale signs that your current conveyance to the Land of Nod may be past its prime. When you hear “expiry date” you probably think of eggs or milk, but the unfortunate truth is that even something as big and expensive as a mattress has a shelf life. What’s more, if you keep sleeping on yours after the springs have bust and the fabric has perished, you could be putting your health at risk, not to mention your beauty sleep.

So how do you know when it’s time to dispose of your old mattress and squeeze a new one through the bedroom door? Well, you certainly shouldn’t wait until it becomes a health issue. In fact, the National Bed Federation (yes, that’s a real thing) recommends that you change your mattress every seven years. But is that really necessary? Or can you wring a few more comfortable nights out of your old mattress before you pull the trigger on buying a new one?

To help you answer that question we’ve done some digging and collated all the need-to-know details about how often to change your mattress and why. Here’s the essential info.

READ NEXT: Best mattresses to buy


How often should I change my mattress: Everything you need to know

What is the lifespan of a mattress?

Most experts and official bodies agree that a regularly used mattress should be replaced after six to eight years. Nightly use degrades mattresses over time, which means they can gradually become less supportive and more uncomfortable. Sprung mattresses in particular may suddenly break towards the end of their life.

Why should I change my mattress?

New mattresses aren’t cheap and sleeping on an old one probably won’t kill you, which begs the question: in this economy, why change a mattress at all?

It might sound dramatic, but sleeping on a mattress that has lost its structure from overuse or damage can lead to injury, so it’s extremely important to replace yours when you suspect it’s on its way out. It’s uncomfortable and can cause neck, shoulder and back pain due to muscle stiffness from the lack of support. In fact, according to a study published in the Journal of Applied Ergonomics, 63% of back pain sufferers reported an improvement after sleeping on a new mattress.

However, structural issues aside, over the years your mattress will accumulate frankly disgusting amounts of sweat, dead skin cells, hair and who-knows-what. Sleeping on this is, at best, a bit gross and, at worst, could make you – or anyone you share a bed with – quite ill.

READ NEXT: Best mattresses for back pain


How can I extend the life of my mattress?

Thankfully, the six-to-eight-year rule isn’t set in stone. If you want to use your current mattress for a bit longer, there are some things you can do to prolong its life.

Adding a mattress protector is one way to reduce the amount of wear and tear your mattress suffers. This is a thin, padded sheet – usually only 25-35mm thick – that fits over the top of the mattress to save it from rips, stains and other types of damage.

A mattress topper is the next step up from a mattress protector. This is a soft pad that’s thicker than a protector – often 2-4in thick – and similarly held in place with elastic straps to cover the top of the mattress. There are many different types of mattress toppers available, including ones made of memory foam and feather.

Rotate your mattress to keep it at its best. If you don’t rotate your mattress regularly, it can lose its shape due to the repeated weight of your body in certain areas. Rotating it can help to even out this wear; however, you should check to see what your mattress manufacturer recommends as some mattresses aren’t suitable for rotation.

READ NEXT: Best mattress toppers to buy


The best mattresses to replace your old one

1. Simba Hybrid Pro: Best mattress all-round

Price when reviewed: From £877 | Check price at Simba

How often should you change your mattress Simba Hybrid Pro

This hybrid mattress from Simba uses a combination of springs and foam layers to make the most comfortable mattress we’ve ever tested. These types of mattresses can sometimes make it difficult to stay cool at night, but the Hybrid Pro’s clever use of wool below the top cover helps to regulate temperature effectively, delivering a comfortable sleep even on hot summer nights – comfortable enough that we awarded it five stars and a Best Buy award.

With all of those extra layers, the Simba Hybrid Pro is undeniably thick, but it’s still a good size for most fitted sheets. Crucially, there’s a 200-night money-back guarantee, so if you’re not completely satisfied, simply return it for a full refund.

Read our full Simba Hybrid Pro review

Key specs – Type: Wool, foam and micro pocket spring hybrid; Needs turning? Rotate once/month for the first six months and once every 3/6 months thereafter; Sizes: Single to super king; Warranty: 200-night trial, 10-year warranty

Check price at Simba

2. Emma Original: Best-value mattress

Price when reviewed: From £299 | Check price at Emma

How often should you change your mattress Emma Original

You don’t have to spend a fortune to get a comfortable mattress that’s supportive and great at regulating temperature. This multiple award-winning option from Emma does all of that at a very reasonable price, and it comes with a 200-night trial period for complete peace of mind, as well as five stars and a Best Buy award from us.

The Emma Original is a medium-firm mattress that requires very little maintenance – no flipping or rotating required – and it’s easy to keep clean with a removable, machine-washable cover.

The side support could be better, but this is only really an issue if you sleep right on the edge of the bed. And thanks to its lack of bounce, this mattress is a great option for couples.

Read our full Emma Original review

Key specs – Type: Foam; Needs turning? No; Sizes: Single to super king; Warranty: 200-night trial, 10-year warranty

Check price at Emma

3. Otty Original Hybrid: Best firm mattress

Price when reviewed: From £440 | Check price at Otty

How often should you change your mattress Otty Original Hybrid

The Otty Original Hybrid is another hybrid mattress, pairing springs with memory foam layers to offer the best of both worlds. There are three different layers of memory foam and 16cm pocket springs, which combine to minimise movement and provide a firm and supportive yet comfortable sleep, making it an excellent option for restless sleepers.

The mattress features a removable, machine-washable cover, which makes cleaning a breeze, and there’s good airflow to keep you cool throughout the night and keep sweating to a minimum. Otty also offers a 100-night trial period, so if you aren’t completely satisfied you can always return it for a refund within this window.

Read our full Otty Original Hybrid review

Key specs – Type: Hybrid; Needs turning? Once a month for the first year; Sizes: Single to emperor; Warranty: 100-night trial, 10-year warranty

Check price at Otty

Read more

In-Depth