When you work in a mattress store, you hear it asked at least once or twice a day, “How often should you change your mattress?” Sleep is important, and we all need a better night’s sleep, but there shouldn't be a generic one-size-fits-all answer to the question of when you should change out your mattress. You will hear lots of opinions, depending on where you go and to whom you ask. Some will say, every eight years, but they don’t really ever tell you why. Some will say you should change between seven to ten years, but they will also add that how you care for your mattress can make it last longer, which is true, but our consumers want to know, “do I, or do I not, need a new bed?”
Some will say that body type, body weight, the frequency of use, how often you turn during the night, and quality of components can all be factors that can cause a bed to wear out. Some will say too soft a bed will add to the breakdown factor, but what about those folks who like a soft bed? Normally those who say a softer bed will break down faster will also say the urban myth that you must have a firm bed to get good support. Some will counter too firm a bed will cause unnecessary pressure points which cause pain in shoulders and hips because body alignment has been compromised. While that may be true, what about those folks that like the feel of a firmer bed which to them that is the just right feel? Some will add, as we age, our skin and muscles become thinner and our softer tissues don’t pad the bones as well as when we were young.
To cut to the chase, we should really be talking about the fact that our bodies are not flat, and the contours of our bodies need to be met. Your mattress needs to meet those body curves and help maintain anatomical alignment. Bedding industry experts will tell you that the longevity of your mattress is based on five factors, which I listed above. Longevity is a good thing, but the main factor is simply this, the physical needs of our bodies change about every five years.
When I was in my thirties and forties, I would have questioned whether my body needs were changing every five years, but now, in my sixties, I am becoming a believer in that ‘needs’ philosophy. With that in mind, salesmen need to remember, our job is really to find what will benefit the customer’s unique and subjective needs. The process should be about how the mattress feels to the customer, not a generic feel to a generic public. If the new feel better, perhaps it is time to switch. If the age of the mattress causes them to question the old mattress, perhaps it is time for a switch.
The customer will normally be thinking it’s about time to switch because something may not be feeling “just right” or feeling like it used to feel when they get up in the morning. Normally, the customer will come in with plenty of questions, that is good because, at Sleeping Giant, we try to listen to their questions and concerns. We try to pick up on what they are saying, the words they use, their facial expressions, and their body language, as they try out a bed. Does it feel good to them? Sometimes they will tell you right away, sometimes they’ll try four or five beds before they find the bed that Goldilocks would call “just right” for a better night’s sleep.