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The National Sleep Foundation suggests we change mattresses anywhere between five and 10 years. Experts also believe the determination should include factors like condition of the mattress or if you’re not sleeping well.

Signs You Need a New Mattress

  • If you’re waking up tired or achy.
  • Your mattress is lumpy or saggy. (This may only be noticeable when you’re lying down.)
  • You sleep better on other beds or the couch.
  • You have back pain.
  • The springs or box squeak or creak.
  • You’re suffering from dust allergies.
  • There’s been a big change in your weight.


The world of mattresses is a buffet with some of the best dishes in one place. On average, here’s what’s on the menu:


Traditional mattresses are composed of steel coils. You can get innerspring units with layers of cushioning, infused gels and pillow tops. Hybrids can consist of foam and springs. You can roll and shift, but on lesser models anyone sleeping with you may experience bounces.

Memory Foam

Memory foam is popular and highly recommended for shoppers with joint and back pain. Some units are infused with gel. Take care that some products sleep hot, i.e., absorb body heat and raise temperatures while you rest. Gel helps keep the material cool.

Adjustable Air

These mattresses let you adjust the firmness via an electric pump. Typically, these units come with features like foam to maximize comfort. Some are designed so that each side can be set for different comfort levels.

Myths About Mattresses

Foam is Better

A foam layer isn’t always a benefit. In many cases, the foam tends to be too thin. If you purchase a hybrid, go with a model with foam several inches thick. This doesn’t guarantee performance, but it improves your chances.

More Coils, More Better

Innerspring models with between 600 and 1,000 coils can make for a better product. But more coils does not mean better. Thinner coils will not provide the comfort you’d expect even if there are 800 coils. Browse hourglass coils, individual pocket springs or continuous wire, but know they don’t necessarily make for a superior mattress.

Gel Promises Cooler Rests

Gel layers don’t mean cooler. This is especially true if that gel layer is below other layers. Foam beds with gel do not tend to offer cooler benefits. Innerspring units with gel have shown benefits.

Perform Your Due Diligence

While the Internet has made finding a mattress easier, you should still get out and test products. Lie down on units for up to 10 minutes. Bring your pillow and don’t let salespeople rush you.

Most importantly, check return policies. Will you get a full refund or credit towards a different product? There may be a restocking charge and you might have to pick up any shipping fees. All this should be in the warranty which you should familiarize yourself with.

Don’t be bullied into a box spring. If yours is in good shape, keep it.

When you accept delivery, thoroughly inspect the product for damage, stains and its “all-new material” label. If there is an issue with any of these, refuse delivery.