In North America, consumers purchase a brand new mattress every 8 years and throw away their old ones. The U.S. alone discards 18 million mattresses a year, most of which end up in landfills. On average, a person would go through 10 mattresses in their life, spending tens of thousands of dollars and sending 1200 lbs of long-decomposing materials to the wasteland.
Getting rid of an entire mattress is unnecessary and wasteful, both financially and environmentally. Unlike appliances, mattresses do not break down or suddenly stop functioning. With years of use, they will pack down and harden, becoming uncomfortable due to the loss of elasticity but firmer and provide better support, which is beneficial to ageing sleepers with back and hip problems.
To make your old mattress comfortable again, all you have to do is add a 3" thick new modular mattress on top of it. The new module will cushion your body comfortably while the old mattress at the bottom provides firm support.
I've been experimenting with this approach for over ten years. My husband and I slept on an old mattress that was getting harder and giving us backaches. At that time, I was in the process of developing our new latex mattress, so I brought home a few pieces of latex foam of varying thickness and densities to try. When I put a piece of 3" thick latex foam on top of our old mattress, I noticed how comfortable our bed felt as soon as I laid down. I am happy to report that our back problems have significantly improved, and we've been enjoying bedtime much more.
I should mention that I am not the first person to come up with the idea. Many ingenious people before me have tried and proven it to work. However, it's very much an unconventional approach because the mattress industry advises consumers to replace the entire mattress every 7-10 years. They would much rather you spend more money to replace the whole bed with a brand new one. It's good for their bottom line but terrible for yours and the environment.
Before placing the new modular mattress on top of the old one, you should check the old mattress for sagging. Sagging occurs naturally under the hip and shoulders areas because these parts of the body weigh the most. You can fix sagging by placing small towels in the depressed area.
As the new top module loses elasticity over time, you can purchase a new one to stack on top. Over time, your mattress may become too thick and heavy as you add more modules to it. When that happens, consider giving the bottom modules to someone in need.
The modular method will significantly prolong the life of any mattress. Since it will be part of your home for a very long time and a significant factor in your indoor air quality, it is crucial to choose good quality healthy materials that stand the test of time. Dream Designs' modular mattresses are made from premium organic cotton, latex, and wool, specifically chosen for health and longevity. We offer different types of modules so you can select the elasticity, firmness, and breathability that best suit your needs.
Besides extending the life of your mattress, saving you money, and reducing waste, modular mattresses have other wonderful benefits. They isolate motion so co-sleepers won't disturb each other as they get in or out of bed. Modular mattresses are also portable and easy to handle, so you can bring them with you to sleep comfortably when you travel or make a temporary bed for your overnight guests.
In conclusion, it is not necessary to replace a mattress every 7-10 years. Old mattresses lose elasticity but gain firmness and support with years of use, making them the perfect base for a new modular topper. I hope this blog has provided enough knowledge and tools to dispel the myth of mattress replacement so consumers will feel empowered to hang on to their dear old mattresses decades longer.
Bei Linda Tang
Owner/Creative Director of Dream Designs