Memory foam may have been inspired by NASA, but even its revolutionary space-age technology comes with an expiration date. When left unresolved, your once contouring memory foam mattress will soon become a sinkhole that not only feels uncomfortable, but that is also unhealthy for your body. But with good upkeep and user habits, it’s possible to extend the life of your foam mattress and enjoy it until its final nights.
So, how long do memory foam mattresses last? The answers are inside, along with tips and insider info from us, the sleep specialists, including the types of memory foam on the market, how to care for your memory foam mattress, and the best practices to keep your bed comfortable for its full lifespan.
At a Glance:
Memory foam has become an umbrella term since its debut on the market, representing any mattress that is made with a specially formulated polyurethane, often referred to as viscoelastic foam. But did you know there is more than one variety for you to explore?
A memory foam mattress indicates any kid of bed that uses either traditional foam formula, a gel-infused method, or open cell memory foam. These are the differences:
Gel Memory Foam
Open Cell Memory Foam
‣ Low motion transfer
‣ Most affordable
‣ Cooling comfort
‣ Faster response rate
‣ Ideal for couples
‣ Most breathable
‣ Lightest option
‣ Cool sleep
‣ Best moisture control
‣ Hottest of the three
‣ Slow response rate
‣ Can be pricey
‣ Heaviest option
‣ Can be pricey
‣ Susceptible to mold
As you can see, memory foam is pretty durable, making it a great investment for the bedroom regardless of which type you choose. However, the three are not created equal. Here’s why:
Traditional Memory Foam
The original memory foam “recipe” has come leaps and bounds from its 1960s prototype, offering users a hefty 8–10 years of regular use. The tradeoff is its closed cell structure, which traps heat and tends to break down more readily than its gel and open cell counterparts.
Gel Memory Foam
On the other hand, injecting memory foam with gel beads creates a cooler sleeping environment, but the addition can affect the structure of a mattress. High-end gel memory foams use the best gel materials during the manufacturing process, which helps retain a mattress’ integrity better (some argue up to 15 years), but more affordable options won’t last as long. Still, with an average lifespan of 7–10 years, a mattress with gel memory foam is a sound recommendation for sleepers who want a fresher approach to memory foam.
Open Cell Memory Foam
The airy body of an open cell memory foam mattress provides supreme breathability for a cool sleeping surface with superior motion transfer. Sleepers looking for a fresher memory foam experience that is less dense than gel memory foam will enjoy these mattresses with an average lifespan of 8–10 years.
Get the Facts: The Life Expectancy of Each Mattress Type
So, why does memory foam wear out? There are several minor factors, but overall, these three areas will affect how long your memory foam mattress will serve you.
Next time you speak with your local mattress specialist, make sure to ask about mattress density. In short, this indicates the amount of foam in each layer of a mattress’s construction and is measured in pounds per cubic feet (PCF). Typically, the more foam each layer provides, the greater the density. This can be an advantage if you sleep with a partner or need to rest on a sturdier surface (e.g., back and stomach sleepers).
Mattress density is important to consider since too much weight and use on a mattress with low density can speed up the aging process, resulting in a mattress that is no longer usable long before it’s ready to replace.
This Tempur-Pedic memory foam mattress is a great example of how several layers of support combine to make an extra-durable and comfy mattress.
Indentation Load Deflection
Also known as ILD, indentation load deflection reflects a mattress’s firmness. Manufacturers determine the number by performing a force test across a 50 square-inch surface of 4-inch foam until the foam decreases by 25 percent in thickness. ILD mattress densities range from ultra-plush around 19 ILD and lower, moving up in firmness from there, typically with the firmest models around 70 ILD.
Knowing ILD is important since it correlates to how much weight a mattress can support. Purchasing a memory foam mattress that properly sustains its users will protect its layers from compacting, sagging, and wearing out, helping to prolong its overall lifespan.
Frequency of Use
As with all mattresses, the amount of use will have a big factor in how long a memory foam mattress lasts. Over time, polyurethan will become compacted under consistent body pressure, so if you also enjoy watching TV, reading, or the occasional breakfast in bed, the lifetime of you memory foam mattress may be shorter.
Even quality memory foam is susceptible to breaking down without proper care. The good news is maintenance is pretty simple. From knowing how to clean memory foam mattress materials to tips for extending support, these tips can keep your memory foam mattresses feeling and looking great for the duration of its lifetime.
- Proper Support: Most mattress foundations are suited to support memory foam, with the exception of traditional box springs. Aim for a solid surface of support, whether it’s a platform bed, slats, or an adjustable bed base.
- Timely Rotation: Although memory foam mattresses don’t require flipping, a rotation every six months is enough to ensure no particular area on the surface gets overused.
- Cleaning Your Mattress: In general, avoid liquids on memory foam mattresses. To clean a memory foam mattress, simply pass the wand of a vacuum hose over the cover (we recommend using a brush).
- Wash Your Bedding: Make it a habit to wash your bedding at least every two weeks. This will reduce the buildup of skin cells and body dander that will otherwise get stuck in the mattress and serve as possible food for pests like bed bugs and mites.
- Sufficient Ventilation: Make sure your memory foam mattress is in a well-ventilated area. As mentioned, the cell structure on some models is ideal for harboring moisture, which can lead to mold buildup when not taken care of.
- Mattress Protector: An affordable and easy way to protect your memory foam mattress is by purchasing a mattress protector. On top of blocking humidity, a mattress protector also helps prevent pests from making the porous interior home.
So, you’ve had your memory foam mattress for a while, and you’ve done a great job of upkeep. When is it time to throw in the towel? If your mattress shows any of these following signs, it’s a good time to consider an upgrade.
Given sleepers spend an average of eight hours per night on a bed, it’s no surprise a mattress will start to gather scents. With routine cleaning and maintenance, this is hardly an issue, but if stubborn smells linger on your mattress, it’s a good sign you’re due for a replacement.
The most vulnerable part of a memory foam mattress is its edges, but sinking in the center of a memory foam mattress is where you should pay the most attention. That’s because dips in the surface will create an uneven level of support that can cause unhealthy body alignment.
Take cues from how your body feels every morning. If you find yourself suffering from aches, soreness, and pressure, especially in the lower back, hips, neck, and spine, your mattress could be the problem.
Q: How do I clean my memory foam mattress?
A: Never use a liquid of any kind to clean memory foam mattresses. Instead, stick to a dry cleaning process by using the hose attachment on a vacuum to remove soils from the surface.
Q: Does memory foam wear out?
A: Yes, memory foam does wear out. Excessive pressure, improper ventilation, and exposure to moisture can all affect the durability of memory foam.
Behind every one of our satisfied customers, there’s a team of dedicated sleep experts who understand the science of sleep on a deeper level. While other chains can recommend a mattress, we guarantee you’ll enjoy rejuvenating sleep, thanks to our exclusive BedFIT technology that performs an astounding 11,000 calculations across 18 essential body measurements to ensure full-body relaxation night after night.
In other words, we don’t doze when it comes to the quality of your sleep. With over 13 million sleep profiles built, the Mattress Land experience is unlike any other on the market, with a proven record of success that can only be found at our stores.
Learn More: BedFIT 101
Shop Memory Foam Mattresses at Mattress Land
For a better you, start with a better mattress. At Mattress Land, we carry a large stock of quality mattresses in every type on the market, plus the bed sizes and comfort levels you’re looking for. And with our BedFIT experience, our sleep specialists can pair you with the right kind of support you need to help put an end to sleep discomfort.
Shop today online, by phone at (877)-477-5337, or at one of our mattress showrooms located in California, Nevada, Idaho, and Washington.