Studies have recently shown that upgrading to a new mattress can have much greater health benefits than you probably know. Research proves that a better bed can improve the quality of your sleep as well as helping with stress reduction. If you’re trying to decide whether to spring for a new bed or not, keep reading and you’ll see that going ahead and making that purchase can be the best decision you can make.
New Mattress Benefits (According to Research)
A recent study, “Back Pain, Sleep Quality and Perceived Stress Following Introduction of New Bedding Systems,” from Oklahoma State University, is the one we’re referencing here. This study demonstrated the health benefits of a mattress upgrade for 59 healthy adult subjects. Each participant had been using a mattress which was 5 or more years old, with an average mattress age of 9 ½ years. In the month preceding the study, the subjects reported discomfort associated with their existing mattress. When the participants started using new mattresses, researchers saw astounding results. Just by switching the mattresses, they managed to reduce back pain by 48 percent and improve sleep quality by 55 percent.
What This Means to You
What message should you, the average shopper, take from this? First of all, if you’re experiencing fatigue in the mornings, if you wake up in pain, or if you toss, turn and fidget throughout the night, take a hard look at the bed you’re currently using. Also, if you find that you get a better night’s sleep in a hotel than in your own home, your mattress may be to blame.
Most experts in the industry say you should replace your mattress every 6 to 10 years depending what type you have, but many people put off buying a new mattress for much more than 10 years. Maybe you don’t want the hassle of making a major purchase if you think your bed is still more or less okay. Some people mistake the intent of a 10 to 25 year warranty. These warranties are intended to protect against defects in workmanship, not ordinary wear and tear. Your old mattress may look okay at a glance, but that doesn’t mean it’s giving you the support you need. Inspect it to see if it’s lumpy in places, has a major sag anywhere, or if the springs are too easy to feel. All of these are symptoms of a bed that is past its prime and needs to be replaced. If you’re sleeping poorly and waking up sore, your old mattress could be the culprit.
The study from OSU shows that you can get a better quality of sleep with less stress and pain just by getting a new mattress when you need one. In that study the beds were more than 9 years old on average, which exceeds the life expectancy of most mattresses. Here is a guide to the lifespan of the most common types of mattress:
- Inner spring – 6 years
- Low density memory foam – 4 years
- Medium/high density memory foam – 10 years
- Waterbed – 8 years
- All latex – 10 years
- Latex over foam mattress – 6 years
Options for New Mattresses
Once you know that you need to buy a new mattress, you should consider all the different types of beds that are currently on the market. Think about your own specific needs and what will improve the quality of your life. The traditional inner spring mattress still is the best seller and the option that most people are familiar with. But memory and latex foam are increasingly becoming popular choices, as they get better reviews by owners and tend to last several years longer than spring mattresses. Manufacturers are now combining various materials and making hybrid mattresses too. Adjustable mattress bases that allow you to change the bed angle are becoming more popular, and might be good for you depending on what you need. Do some research on the Internet to find out more about all of the benefits and options that are available before you buy. Here are some articles that explain the differences between the various types of beds on the market to help you get going.
- Which Memory Foam Mattress Performs Best?
- Best Mattresses for Back Pain
- Is an Adjustable Bed Right for You?
- Guide to Understanding Different Mattress Types
It may be tempting to keep putting off buying a new mattress indefinitely. But the study we cited shows you just how important it can be to replace your mattress in a timely fashion. Why would you want to put off something that can make you feel so much better? And these days, you can even shop for your new mattress as you lounge on your current bed and browse the online resources and shops. If your bed is too old and worn out to give you the support and comfort you need, you should seriously consider replacing it with a new one sooner rather than later.