20,761 hours. That’s the amount of time the average person spends in bed over 8 years. Over this same time frame, we shed more than 10.5 pounds of dead skin cells – the equivalent to a mini dachshund in weight. Although a few pounds of sluffed off cells doesn’t sound too terrible, consider the veritable smorgasbord you’re offering dust mites, which are known triggers for allergies and other ailments.
Why do these numbers matter? For one, the recommended lifespan of most mattresses is eight years. In practice, few people pay much attention to the age or general condition of their bed, or the potentially harmful effects an old mattress can place on your health. According to emerging research by a U.K.-based company, sleeping on an older mattress that is past its sell-by date can lead to eczema, asthma, allergies and poor quality sleep.
If you let your furry companion snuggle in bed at night, you’re also adding their dander and skin cells to the dust mite feeding ground. And let’s not forget about the pounds of sweat and other bodily fluids that accumulate on mattresses as we sleep. Over an 8-year span, these bodily fluids could fill two bathtubs to the brim!
Since changes and deteriorations in your bed are gradual, it’s not always obvious when your mattress needs replacing – though a good rule of thumb is once every 8 years. Mattress toppers and protectors may add another line of defense when it comes to keeping skin cells, sweat and bacteria from seeping through your bedding, but they are no substitute for replacing an old, dust-mite laden bed.
An estimated 10 percent of Americans have some sort of allergy to dust mites, which can number in the millions in your mattress and pillow. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, older beds are a prime habitat for these microscopic bugs. A typical used mattress may host up to 10 million mites inside!
Even the most expensive and luxurious of mattresses need to be replaced over time. Beyond these obvious health hazards posed by older beds, it may be time to part ways if you are suffering from aches and pains upon wakening, have noticed sagging, fraying and lumps in your bed, or cannot get comfortable no matter which position you try.
The good news is that shopping for a new mattress has never been simpler or more fun — that is, when you work with a specialty store like Mattress World Northwest. Our showrooms feature the latest advances in sleep technology, with top-of-the-line collections featuring organic latex and cooling gel memory foam. Our expert staff takes the mystery out of buying a new bed, and will work patiently to find the right option for your needs, lifestyle and wallet.