New Mattress Longevity?
June 25, 2020 9:01 AM   Subscribe

We are shopping for a new mattress. We're not yet sold on any particular brand or material yet. However, we find that most reviews online are done in the 'honeymoon' period, when the mattress is new. The few that are longer-term reviews often say things like, "this mattress was awesome for the first two years and then it started sagging and causing backaches". So, good people, can those of you that have had a mattress that retained its form and comfort for many years please tell us what brand and model you have? Our back, hips, knees, and brains thank you!
posted by Don_K to Home & Garden (29 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
You have my sympathy! Mattress shopping is SUCH a nightmare. From your profile you’re in the U.S., as am I, so here’s my experience:

— One mattress from Ikea, I kept for about five years and it was fine. I replaced it more because I was moving, not because it had reached the end of its useful lifespan.

— One mattress I bought from one of the big shady chains and it was awful. It only lasted about six weeks (!) before it started to sag. But the return process was the real nightmare: to get a refund I had to go to the BBB and also complain directly to the company’s executive management. I do not recommend the chains.

— My current mattress I bought from Room and Board. It was surprisingly the same price as the horrible chain, after you factor in all the chain’s hidden charges. And Room and Board’s customer service is spectacular, so I figured if I had a problem they would help me fix it. I have only owned that mattress for one year so far, but it’s been great and I’ve had no problems.

Good luck!
posted by Susan PG at 10:09 AM on June 25, 2020 [1 favorite]

(Parenthetically, don't be seduced by a Saatva - the service was good and the one I have is not a sagging mess or anything after a year but they do soften dramatically after about six months, so the sleeping experience is unpredictable to say the least. There aren't a ton of long-term reviews of them out there, so I thought I'd warn you.)
posted by Frowner at 10:38 AM on June 25, 2020 [1 favorite]

I like a firmer mattress and after trying out both innerspring and latex mattresses I ended up going with an innerspring flippable mattress from Englander. I've had it for ten years and no sags, broken springs, etc. You do have to regularly flip and turn the mattress to keep its shape. I use mine on a platform bed, no box spring.

You can always get a topper if you want more cushion.
posted by brookeb at 10:44 AM on June 25, 2020

I love my latex mattress. It’s one of the cheaper ones, but has been amazing for a couple of years now, and apparently they are one of the most durable mattress types.

It basically does everything I used to get from a firm mattress with a soft topper, but without a hard transition between the two zones. The feel is hard to describe, very different to a sprung or memory foam mattress. Also allows good airflow- they’re highly rated for people who sleep hot.

Downside is weight- they’re heavy and super awkward to move around.
posted by Jobst at 11:01 AM on June 25, 2020

I'm going on 7 years on a not-the-cheapest, probably-the-firmest Ikea mattress. It's still good. It can't be flipped, but we rotate it occasionally (And the purchasing experience was ten thousand times less annoying than any mattress store I've met.)
posted by eotvos at 11:13 AM on June 25, 2020 [2 favorites]

I'm a BIG fan of buying a cheapish (sub-$1K) flippable coil spring mattress (probably on the firm side), then buying a nice topper that you like (I love this latex one). This setup will last for years.
posted by nosila at 11:21 AM on June 25, 2020 [1 favorite]

I can also vouch having an 8 year old Ikea mattress that is still going strong. We are thinking about getting a bigger bed and I too have been wondering if it's worth it to splurge on something pricier than Ikea. Maybe not!
posted by nakedmolerats at 11:23 AM on June 25, 2020

I don't think there's a single major mattress brand that sells the same models to different retailers, so it is impossible to buy e.g. the exact Simmons Beautyrest that somebody bought at Macy's at, say, Mattress Discounters (or vice versa). Macy's and Mattress Discounters will have Simmons Beautyrest mattresses that are equivalent in coil count and may even have the same pillow top construction, but they will each have a unique stitching pattern on top and a unique model name to go with it. It's also possible that they'll sell mattresses with the same coil count but integrated pillow tops that differ more or less in the materials, thickness, or number of various layers, just to make it completely impossible to comparison shop and fit into a store product range.

I'd expect about ten years out of a major brand mattress. We're coming up on year seven with our current Beautyrest (a firm pillow top bought at Macy's) and I find it a little firm, but I have always found this one a little firm. My wife likes a firmer mattress than I do and she hasn't complained. She thought the previous one (a Beautyrest plush pillow top also bought at Macy's, now on guest bed duty) was a bit too soft. The old one is like a decadent hotel mattress that feels great for a couple nights but I can see how it would maybe be too squishy long term. I wasn't bothered by it, but if we found one that was about ¾ as firm as what we have now we'd both be happy with it.
posted by fedward at 11:45 AM on June 25, 2020

I bought a Casper five years ago, and it's still pretty much exactly as comfortable as when I bought it. It's like sleeping on a giant marshmallow and I love it.
posted by little king trashmouth at 11:45 AM on June 25, 2020

The best most longest lasting mattress I've ever had was from Paramount Sleep / Hypnos, however it cost as much as several cheaper mattresses put together. On a 'cost per year' basis the Hypnos works still out more expensive but then is also a good mattress.

A key thing to understand about mattress hardness vs softness is that this is related to body size and weight. Bed shops are never going to ask you about that - they would rather just sell you the wrong mattress!
posted by Lanark at 12:40 PM on June 25, 2020 [1 favorite]

I just was looking at my mattress and thinking -- I think this is 25 years old. I got a good quality stearns and foster king from Costco for about 1000 bucks. It seemed like SO much money to me at the time but it was so comfortable. I loved it then and I love it now.
posted by ReluctantViking at 12:52 PM on June 25, 2020

We got the original Tuft and Needle in a king size about 4 years ago and my wife and I both still love it. It has held up really well and is super comfortable.
posted by fairlynearlyready at 1:00 PM on June 25, 2020 [1 favorite]

My wife and I have had an Oostermoor Beekman mattress since 2005, when we moved into our current house. We have spent a couple years living overseas, but other than that it's been used 10-11 months a year, and it still feels firm. We have it on a platform bed (no box springs). I have no idea whether the brand is still available in the US.
posted by brianogilvie at 1:00 PM on June 25, 2020

My 5+ year old firm Ikea mattress is showing no signs of failure.
posted by gregr at 1:17 PM on June 25, 2020

Adam ruins everything did a full epi on how the mattress industry continually scams us poor sods. Link is to a short yt clip.
I’ve also had good luck with the reccos from the Wirecutter (in fact, just bought the sheets they recco’d (from jc penny, and have been very happy with them)).
The majority of mattresses on the market today are not flippable so they won’t last as long (according to the salesperson @ Macy’s a couple of years ago). That way we can replace it again sooner! Fun!
I’m due to upgrade mine as well so let us know what you decide.
posted by pmaxwell at 1:38 PM on June 25, 2020 [1 favorite]

N’thing we have a Tuft and Needle that is about 3 years old and feels absolutely as good as it did new.
posted by spitbull at 2:10 PM on June 25, 2020

Response by poster: This is a wealth of useful information! I really appreciate it. I'm sure this will end up helping many people on this forum, too.
posted by Don_K at 2:34 PM on June 25, 2020 [1 favorite]

Sleep number bed; almost 10 years old and going strong.
posted by dancing leaves at 3:30 PM on June 25, 2020 [1 favorite]

Once we tried to get nice expensive beds from stores or Costco, but they aren't really any better and since we are bigger people we tend to easily make hollows but do expect at least 2 years out of a bed, and the guarantees are all pretty much worthless if this happens sooner than that (for example a bed might have a corner that caves in at the slightest pressure on delivery but if it looks fine with nothing on it = not covered!) and there are actually some shadowy industries/practices that will help with this like placing bags of concrete on a bed so it definitely qualifies for return but we're not willing to go that far for money. Also ran into these from trying to order online from big fancy stores: ridiculously high bed (almost need a ladder!), ridiculously hot bed (ugh so much sweat, I think this was latex) and memory foam like quicksand (no chance of turning over and hard to get out, you risk this with greater than 12 inches of "luxury" foam).

But wait! After reading a lot online, we did find a solution - buying bed-in-a-box beds on amazon or other sites - we currently have: Sleep Innovations Shiloh 12-inch Memory Foam Mattress. So this type does come in a box and takes a bit to unfurl and smells a bit to start, but they are cheap and we thought we can just replace after 2-3 yrs if needed, but it hasn't been needed! Put a nice base like this under it (have to assemble but its not hard): Zinus Walter Standard Profile Metal Smart Box Spring / Mattress Foundation / Wood Slat Support / Easy Assembly. And you're all set!
posted by meepmeow at 4:50 PM on June 25, 2020 [1 favorite]

I'm only about four months into my Purple Hybrid 3" which I am irrationally in love with and I hope hope hope lasts for years, but that won't help you with the longevity question. What I will say is that I previously had a pillow top mattress and that was a mistake. The pillow top breaks down faster than the rest of the bed and then you are stuck with a valley where you sleep even if the rest of the mattress is still supportive. You also can rotate but not flip a pillow top.

Also, having just gone through this process, I highly recommend if at all possible spending a lot of time lying on different kinds of beds. I went into the local Mattress [whatever], mostly because I was curious about the Purple and they had them there. I was there for probably two hours at least, spending quality time on various beds, and then I went home and thought some more and went back and did it again. Sometimes you get on a bed and think it feels nice and then after 20 minutes realize it is going to hurt your back, or hips, or shoulders. I always thought I needed a "firm" bed but after spending time on them I realized I was wrong...or at least my needs had changed. Even if you go with a bed in a box, you should be able to figure out what qualities you like which would help with your selection.
posted by Preserver at 5:23 PM on June 25, 2020

I have an original Tuft and Needle and am going on...5 years, I think? I love it. I regularly lay in bed thinking how much I love my comfy bed.
posted by firei at 6:55 PM on June 25, 2020

I have an original tuft and needle as well for about four years and like it so much I plan to vacuum pack it into a mattress bag and bring it with me when I next have to move. It does not seem like it has gotten softer with time.
posted by zdravo at 7:28 PM on June 25, 2020

The room and board Foam and coil hybrid mattress is great. I don't like the all-foam/all-latex ones I've had in the past. This one is the best of both worlds.
posted by ch1x0r at 7:51 PM on June 25, 2020

Our T&N is going on 7 years, and it’s still great.
posted by sideshow at 9:44 PM on June 25, 2020

I have a Keetsa mattress that is around 10 years old and its still fine. It’s a bit slack in the middle but not approaching a problem, and I am not a small person.
posted by janell at 10:18 PM on June 25, 2020

(Parenthetically, don't be seduced by a Saatva - the service was good and the one I have is not a sagging mess or anything after a year but they do soften dramatically after about six months, so the sleeping experience is unpredictable to say the least. There aren't a ton of long-term reviews of them out there, so I thought I'd warn you.)
For what it's worth, we own four (!) Saatva mattresses and this hasn't happened to any of them. The oldest is five years. Big fan. Would recommend.
posted by caek at 10:28 PM on June 25, 2020

I see you're in Boulder, CO. May I recommend Denver Mattress? I've owned 2 or 3 of their basic pillowtop mattresses over the last 15 years (probably this one is comparable -- I'd say they run about $400 with box spring for a queen) and have had no complaints. The only reason I've gotten rid of them is when I moved, at which point they were sold to friends to raved about them. I brought one cross-country with me so probably had that for about 7-8 years and it never stopped being comfortable. I'm hoping I'll never have to buy a mattress that isn't a Denver Mattress
posted by jabes at 1:35 PM on June 26, 2020 [1 favorite]

We've had a Sleep Number mattress for 4 years now and it is in very good shape. Each side of the mattress is adjustable. My husband needs a soft mattress and I need a firm one. The mattress is still meeting both our needs at this point.
posted by WalkerWestridge at 10:12 PM on June 26, 2020

lest you trust any online reviews behold mattresses as a window into late capitalism
posted by lalochezia at 6:23 PM on July 13, 2020

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