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After all wouldn’t it make sense that if a mattress has a 20-year warranty, it should last that 20 years? The fact is warranties are nothing more than a sales tool that customers rarely read and they should because warranties are usually nothing more than detailed lawyer jargon that finagles manufacturers and retailer out of having to stand behind the product. Body impressions in mattresses less than 6 months old are a common occurrence even with a 20-year warranty, which often doesn’t even come into play unless the impression is deeper than 11/2 inches.
Dunlop latex rubber is probably the most durable sleeping surface available and I have witnessed them lasting over 20-years. Talalay latex, which is usually softer, has slightly less durability but it still far better than other bed building materials.
I have been selling memory foam for about 14 years and 10-15 years is reasonable expectation for mattress life. If your mattress is made with super soft foam and other materials on top of it they will tend to wear faster. The same goes for latex mattresses.
Common waterbeds last about 10 years or more. We recommend replacing them at 12 years need it or not. A side note for people of size better waterbeds typically hold up better than regular conventional coil spring mattresses.
The general consensus in the industry is 5-7 years for a conventional spring mattress. I was once told by a brand name manufacturer that in laboratory testing, their mattresses lost 30% of their sleep ability in 6 years and was considered normal wear and did not qualify for warranty replacement. I would only add that this was before the introduction of one-sided mattresses that cannot be flipped.
Other things to be considered in determining how long to keep a mattress is hygiene and health, sometimes in plain view other times hidden mold or mildew issues are often serious and if they cannot be properly and effectively cleaned, you should dispose of the mattress. Having an allergic reaction to mold, mildew, dust mites, and dirt and soiling that build up in a mattress? Replacement is usually the best option.
Finally if rotating or turning your old mattress seems to offer no comfort relief or increase in support you need to replace it. Sleeping on an old mattress can be like driving an old car. You simply don’t realize how bad it is until you drive a new one.