Time to Buy a New Mattress

How do you know it’s time to buy a new mattress? There are a couple of things to think about.

One, how do you feel when you wake up? Two, what does your mattress look like when you observe its surface?

And finally, how long has it been since you bought a new mattress?

These are all the questions I’m going to address in this article, along with tips for buying a new mattress. This is based on my own experience as well as advice from experts.

king sized bed with mattress in guest room

Time to buy a new mattress

One of the reasons that I’m writing this article now is not because I’m buying a new mattress. No, it’s because of my article about the best things to buy in May.

And as luck would have it, May is right around the corner and mattresses are a good buy in May.

We all (likely know) that long holiday weekends are a great time to find deals on lots of home goods and other items. Well, it turns out that Memorial Day weekend is when you should be aware that you can find a good price on mattresses. 

One of the reasons is because mattress manufacturers release new “models” in June. So, they’ll be looking to clear out the older models by marking down prices. 

The only other times that you might see decent prices on mattresses is Black Friday and during (the now poorly named) white sales in January. Those are focused on sheets, towels and bedding.

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Anyway, given this timing, I’m tackling this question of when to buy a new mattress.

How long since you’ve replaced your mattress

I’m going to start with the third question first. And that is, when was the last time you bought a new mattress? Or how long has it been since you got a new one?

If you can’t remember, then I can say with confidence that it’s time. 

I know that when my husband first thought about getting a new mattress a few years ago, we’d realized that we hadn’t treated ourselves to one since the early days of our marriage. This was back when 1800MATTRES (leave off the last S for savings) was a thing in New York City where we lived.

Fast forward to four moves and two children later, and we realized that 20 years may have come and gone with us sleeping on the same mattress.

moving a rolled up mattress

Most experts agree that the average mattress lasts between seven to 10 years. I mean, it doesn’t wear out the way, say, a pair of socks with holes in them might. 

You can go right ahead sleeping on an older mattress. But is it giving you the best sleep possible?

What does your mattress look like

Take off all the blankets and sheets from your bed, and give it a good look. Are there dents and divots where you sleep? Or, is there a bump in the center, like the middle seat in the backseat of a car?

These are all signs that you need to get a new mattress, even if it feels comfy to sleep on that broken-in mattress that seems to mold to your body. 

If you haven’t turned or flipped your mattress, you can try that to get some more life out of it. Unfortunately, though, many of today’s memory foam mattresses are not made to be flipped. You can turn them 180 degrees and try that out. However, you cannot turn them over to extend their life.

Here are additional things to look for that show it’s time for a new one. These are courtesy of the mattress experts at Raymour & Flanigan:

  • Lumps forming in mattress padding
  • Allergies worsening
  • Taking longer to fall asleep
  • Waking up frequently during the night
  • Morning back pain

How do you feel when you wake up

Besides realizing how long it had been since we bought a new mattress, it was morning back pain that tipped my husband and me off that it was time to go mattress shopping.

That and the fact that we were waking up feeling like we hadn’t gotten a good night’s sleep. This despite going to bed at a decent hour and allowing for seven to eight hours of sleep.

Now, of course menopause makes me hot at night all the time. However, even accounting for those factors, my sleep was suffering. 

In hindsight we should have bought a cooling mattress or at least a cooling mattress topper. However, just getting a new mattress on our bed (and sleeping with fewer blankets) made a huge difference.

Where to buy a new mattress

These days there are two ways to buy a mattress. One, you can buy a mattress in a box and have it shipped to you.

This is what we did with our Tuft and Needle mattress from Amazon. We slept on that mattress while living in New Jersey and then Western Pennsylvania.

You can also buy a mattress in a box at Costco. I snapped this picture at my local Costco to show the different brands you can get there. They include Casper, Simmons and Tempurpedic.

Or, two, you can buy from a traditional mattress retailer like Mattress Firm or Raymour and Flanigan. The benefit of this option is you can try out mattresses before buying them.

A third option is to support a local mattress maker. For example, when we moved to Maine, we used this as a reason to buy new mattresses for our new house.

We decided we want to be good stewards of the local economy and bought our mattress from the Portland Mattress Makers.

They are made locally and delivered to your home. Even better, the company has retail locations in Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. So, if you want to see and try out your mattress before you buy it, you have that option, too.

Finally, if you’ve decided to buy new sheets along with your new mattress, this is a good primer on how many sheets and towels should you own.

Discounts on buying a new mattress

Companies like Mattress Firm offer discounts for people working in certain professions. They are:

Final thoughts on buying a new mattress

So, to recap, you know it’s time to replace your mattress if it’s been more than 10 years since you bought it. Also, if you’re waking up feeling unwell (sore, tired, etc.), you may need a new mattress.

Finally, if your mattress’ appearance has changed–lumps, divots, worn spots, etc.–then it’s definitely time to go mattress shopping.

If you’re thinking of trading up to a larger mattress size, here’s what you need to know about different bed sizes.