Life Expectancy of Memory Foam Mattress

Memory foam mattresses are popular with consumers because they contain a visco-elastic material that comfortably cushions the body and promotes a feeling of weightlessness. The lifespan of a memory foam mattresses will depend on the density and thickness of the memory foam. A mattress that has only a small quantity of visco-elastic material will not last as long as one containing high-density memory foam.

lifestyle photograph of two asian children as they play together and jump on the bed
credit: Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images
Quality and thickness of a memory-foam mattress factor into its lifespan.

Quality

A memory foam mattress consists of high-density viscoelastic foam attached to a polyurethane base. Lower density mattresses will sag and lose their shape more quickly. Look for a mattress with a 3- to 4-inch depth of memory foam and a density of between 80 and 143 pounds. Ensure that the material covering the mattress is of good quality and well stitched. An average memory foam mattress lasts around 10 years.

Considerations

Keeping an electric blanket on while sleeping can damage the cells in memory foam, giving the mattress a shorter lifespan. People who are overweight may also find that the mattress will sag and lose its support more quickly. Placing the mattress on a firm base will make it last longer. The mattress will contour to any defect in your existing bed base, so ensure your bed base has no dips in it.

Misconceptions

Some people mistakenly believe that a memory foam mattress topper will have the same lifespan as a mattress. Toppers are generally thinner than mattresses, and those only 1 to 2 inches thick will wear out faster because the foam cells at the top crumble and there is not much memory foam underneath to take their place and support the body. A quality memory foam topper will last up to three years if it is made of high density foam, is reasonably thick, and the underlying mattress is in good condition.

Care and Cleaning

Use good quality bed coverings to keep the mattress in pristine condition and preserve its lifespan. Remove stains by dampening with plain water and mild dish soap rubbed on the foam with a sponge. Wipe with a damp sponge, then allow to air dry completely. Use as little moisture as possible, as water damages memory foam over time.

Tips

Look for a memory foam mattress with a minimum 10-year guarantee. Check that the mattress is well stitched and has a quality protective covering. Take your time trying out the bed, and consider one that comes with a 30- to 60-day refund option.


Elizabeth Burns

Based in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Elizabeth Burns began writing professionally in 1988. She has worked as a feature writer for various Irish newspapers, including the "Irish News," "Belfast News Letter" and "Sunday Life." Burns has a Bachelor of Arts in English literature from the University of Ulster as well as a Master of Research in arts.