The quality and condition of your mattress play a major role in how you feel in the morning. Lack of quality sleep can lead to fatigue, memory loss, stress, and other health issues. Because your mattress's condition can affect your overall health, experts recommend you replace it every 7-10 years. Not sure how old yours is? Here are a few ways to find out — plus tips for what to do if your mattress is past its prime.
How to Determine the Age of Your Mattress
1. Check the manufacturer's tag.
All mattresses are required by law to have a tag noting its stuffing materials in case of allergy. The tag may also include the date your mattress was made. Check underneath the registry number on the bottom of the tag. The month and year the mattress was approved to be sold may be there.
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If there isn't a date, the tag will contain the manufacturer's name and possibly also the mattresses name or model. A quick search online with this information can reveal the year it was produced.
The tag may also have a red or yellow color on it to indicate that mattress may contain used materials. This blurs the line when trying to determine the age of your mattress. Used materials will not have a date on the tag. If your mattress is showing signs of age and has a red or yellow color, it may be time to replace.
2. Call the manufacturer.
If you're not able to find a manufacturing date on your tag or online, call the manufacturer directly and describe the warranty information on your tag. Their database should have a range of years the mattress was created and sold.
3. Look for visible signs of wear.
Is your mattress sagging, yellowed or torn in any way? Cat owners know that their pets can use mattress ends as scratching posts, and parents know that their children sometimes see the bed as a trampoline. Normal wear is expected. You use your mattress every night, so some dips and stains are par for the course. But how bad are they?
Sagging mattresses do not provide a restful night and torn mattresses can lose stuffing. A newer mattress will have a spring response when pressing down on it. If you press on the mattress and it's slow to reshape, or if there are excessive tears, large stains, or discoloration, these signs mean that your mattress has seen better days, and it's time for a change.
4. Listen to your body.
The main reason you may need to know the age of your mattress is because you're thinking of getting rid of it. If your sleep is suffering due to an uncomfortable mattress that pokes or sags or is causing sneezing from dust, mites or allegories, the age doesn't matter. Go ahead and find a mattress that offers the support you need to get a good night's rest.
How to Dispose of an Old Mattress
If you determine that your mattress is over 7-10 years old and you're ready to dispose of it, you have a couple options:
- Recycle it. Mattresses are made of materials that can be recycled in different ways. Wooden frames may be turned into mulch; foam can be remade into carpet or insulation; and metal springs can be recycled as scrap. Call your city office responsible for recycling to ask for information about how to recycle a mattress. You can also check out Bye Bye Mattress for a list of mattress recyclers by state.
- Throw it away. Different cities have different rules about how to dispose of a mattress. In some, you may be able to throw your mattress straight into a dumpster, while others require you to wrap your it in plastic first, and still others don't allow you to throw mattresses into the trash at all. Google "mattress disposal" plus your city for local rules. You can also contact private waste removal companies like Load Up (which specializes in mattresses) and 1-800-Got-Junk.
How to Choose a New Mattress
So you're ready to say goodbye to your old mattress and hello to better sleep. The right mattress is a highly personal choice — dependent on your sleep position, your body, and your preferences. Other important considerations include the mattress company's trial period and return policy, warranty, delivery services and fees, and your budget. This guide will walk you through it all — and it includes mattress recommendations organized by sleep position.