As mattresses age, they get less comfortable, less supportive, and less hygienic. After several years, even the best-kept mattresses will reach the end of their lifespans, completely unable to provide you with an adequate sleeping experience. Accordingly, you may find it harder to get to sleep and stay asleep, you may feel uncomfortable during the night, and you might even find your allergies aggravated by the mattress.
Most people, when they get to this point, understand that the best thing to do is get rid of the old mattress and invest in a newer, better one. However, mattresses can be expensive—especially if you want the latest and greatest models. Is it possible to, instead, extend the lifespan of an older mattress, or revitalize it to be more supportive?
Using a Mattress Topper
One of your best options is using a mattress topper. Mattress toppers are manufactured like mattresses, but they’re much thinner, since they’re designed to lay on top of your existing mattress. They can be made of a variety of different materials, serving different functions; some are designed to provide you with more comfort, while others try to give you firm support. Some are even designed with extras, like gel infusion designed to give you a temperature-neutral sleeping experience.
A good mattress topper can prolong the lifespan of your aging mattress, making it more comfortable after many years of service. This is especially true if you invest in a high-quality, well-manufactured topper. However, it’s not going to fix all the problems with your old mattress, and it’s only going to work for a finite period of time. Depending on the circumstances, you can buy yourself at least another couple of years.
Flipping the Mattress
One of the most important things you can do to prolong the life of your mattress is flip it on a regular basis. Flipping your mattress lengthwise and/or widthwise every 6 months will ensure that it wears evenly. Over the course of several years of ownership, this will limit the development of lumps and other inconsistencies, and will make your mattress supportive for a longer total period of time.
However, if you’re at the point where you’re considering replacing your current mattress, it may be too late to begin this habit. Still, you may be able to mitigate some of the problems you face with a strategic flip or two. For example, if there’s a specific lump or sunk-in area near your upper back, you may be able to rotate and/or flip the mattress to avoid it. This is especially helpful in combination with a mattress topper.
Cleaning the Mattress
If you’re more concerned about the hygiene of your mattress, like if your allergies are affected, you can minimize some of these problems by giving your mattress a deep clean. Start by taking a powerful vacuum with a proper attachment to the mattress, and vacuum the total surface area (especially the seams). From there, you can use a diluted dish soap mixture to scrub the mattress, and wipe it down with a damp towel to act as a rinse. Let the mattress air dry afterward. Again, this won’t solve all your problems, but it could buy you some extra time.
Investing in Better Pillows
Another option is to invest in better pillows. Head and neck support is one of the most important elements to getting a good night’s sleep, so even if your mattress is lacking, you may be able to get more comfortable by purchasing a high-quality pillow. Pillows tend to be much less expensive than a full-fledged mattress, so definitely make the investment—especially if your pillows are just as old or older.
Investing in Better Sheets
You can also invest in better sheets for your bed. Sheets won’t provide you with support, but they will provide you with a baseline texture that will define your comfort when lying in bed. If you invest in high-quality sheets of the material that you like most, you’ll find yourself much more comfortable (even on a deteriorating mattress). Just make sure you change your sheets regularly; sleeping on dirty sheets will have a negative effect, no matter how new or high-quality they are.
The Bottom Line
So let’s address the question we asked in the introduction, with all this information in mind. Is it possible to revitalize an old mattress? The short answer is yes, but only temporarily. Mattresses lose their ability to provide you a comfortable experience over time, but with the help of a good mattress topper, a deep clean, a flip, and some good sheets and pillows, you can make your mattress last a little bit longer. Don’t delay your purchase too long, or your sleep quality will diminish.