When it comes to back pain, our mattresses are not something many common folk give much thought to. We associate our back pain with tasks performed the previous day and even blame our spouses for not being able to achieve a restful night’s slumber.
As it turns out though, how old your mattress is could be affecting your health. And the reasons why and how may just surprise you.
How Old Is Too Old?
Mattresses can be expensive, which is why many people try to get as many years out of them as possible. But ask yourself this: When did you buy your mattress? Do you even know how old it is?
If you can’t answer that question, then chances are it’s too old. To be fair, there isn’t actually a set number of years that determines whether a mattress is too old and needs to be thrown away.
It can often depend on how well you have looked after it and the quality of the mattress.
Mattress manufacturers recommend a complete mattress replacement every eight years. However, a well-cared-for mattress can comfortably last upwards of a decade.
Your age also plays a part. As you age, your body needs more support and tolerates less discomfort.
In that case, you may see yourself pondering an upgrade every five to seven years. Take a look at the warranties on offer from mattress manufacturers.
Some have complete confidence in the quality and longevity of their mattresses, so they will offer a conditional 10 or 20-year warranty.
You Extend The Lifespan Of Your Mattress
You can extend the lifespan of your mattress but within reason. Don’t let children jump on the bed. Doing so can damage internal components.
It also helps to get into the habit of rotating your mattress every eight weeks from new.
A single-sided mattress can be rotated from end to end, while double-sided mattresses can be flipped over.
If you want to avoid sagging later on in your mattress’s life, consider purchasing a bed frame that has center support.
Old Mattresses Can Cause Bad Backs?
One of the most common problems with an old mattress is that it sags. When that happens, you can end up sleeping in an awkward position in the curve, which doesn’t assist with your spine’s natural alignment. What’s more, you can end up finding it more challenging to fall asleep over time and may even struggle to stay asleep.
A temporary solution may be to place pillows under your body to provide relief.
However, a long-term solution is to purchase a new mattress and potentially see a chiropractor to fix the damage your old mattress has caused.
If you can look past achy bones, tired joints, and bad backs, you will see that mattresses can cause other health problems. Namely to do with all the dust mites, dead skin, and body oil that can build up on them over time.
If that doesn’t make you want to upgrade your old mattress, then nothing will. According to studies, we spend around 26 years in bed, sleeping. As you can imagine, that’s a lot of pressure on a mattress to perform.
Over that time, and hopefully not with one mattress, it can accumulate as many as 10 million or more microscopic bugs.
Most of us can manage just fine sharing a bed with dust mites, but that doesn’t mean all of us will.
Some people are particularly sensitive to these allergens, and experience issues ranging from watery eyes, sneezing, and runny noses through to coughing and sinus pressure.
People with Asthma may also be in for a rough ride if they don’t upgrade their old mattress. This condition can be exacerbated by dust mites, causing breathing difficulties, trouble sleeping, and chest tightness.
While you may never be able to rid your bed – young or old – of dust mites, you can do a few things to minimize just how many of them take up residence in your mattress.
Make sure you use allergen-proof bed covers. These covers tend to be tightly woven, which means dust mites can’t escape from your mattress as easily. Don’t purchase used bedding or bedding that’s hard to wash.
This is because you will be less inclined to wash it as much as you need to, which is once a week in hot water.
Don’t forget to use a mattress protector and vacuum frequently with a HEPA filter to remove dust.
Choose A Mattress
Once you learn that your current mattress could be causing back pain and health problems, it’s now time to buy a new mattress.
There are plenty of options to choose from, which is potentially half the problem.
The most common mattress types are innerspring, memory foam, and latex. All of these have their pros and cons for individual users.
Innerspring mattresses that fit with box springs can trap dust mites and bed bugs.
However, these mattress types can be ideal for people with lower back pain because they are firmer than other options.
You may also like to consider memory foam, which has a foam layer that responds to your body temperature and weight.
They can relieve pain and discomfort while reducing pressure points. New to the market and as desirable is latex. They may assist with back pain but can be quite firm.
What About Size?
Equally as important as the type of mattress is its size. There are so many size options to choose from that it can be challenging to know where to begin.
The most popular option is queen-size. Although, people with larger bedrooms may like to go up a size to a king or even a California king. The larger the bed, the larger the budget you need to have.
Time For An Upgrade
No one wants to wake up in the morning feeling like they haven’t slept a wink.
You also don’t want to wake up feeling congested due to millions of microscopic bugs taking up residence in your mattress.
If your mattress no longer brings you a comfortable night’s sleep, now might be an excellent time to consider purchasing a new one.
Your back and health will thank you for it.