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How Long Does a Mattress Topper Last?

How Long Does a Mattress Topper Last?

Mattress toppers are excellent add-ons for beds, and they deserve the best care possible. If you’ve had the same mattress pad for quite a while, you may be wondering if it is time for a replacement topper. 

You know you have to replace your topper every now and then, but you might not know the signs that tell you when it’s time. Luckily, there are a couple of indicators that let you know you’re in the market for a brand-new mattress topper.

There are plenty of reasons your mattress topper might need replacement. Read on to learn about some possible causes for a worn-out mattress topper, how to choose a new one, and more.

What Is a Mattress Topper?

Before we get into some potential reasons why your mattress topper may have lost some years of its lifespan, you should first know what a mattress topper is. Believe it or not, it’s not the same as a mattress pad!

Mattress toppers and mattress pads often get mixed up since they can look alike and sometimes have similar functions. At the core, however, they both serve different purposes. 

Mattress toppers act as an extra layer of support on top of the mattress. They are generally thicker than a mattress pad, ranging anywhere from two to four inches in thickness. Toppers are known for increasing the lifespan of your mattress.

Mattress pads, on the other hand, serve a different purpose and are made differently. Mattress pads tend to be thinner than mattress toppers, ranging from one to two inches in average thickness. These pads also often come woven into a fitted skirt, while some include straps that secure the pad down to the mattress itself. 

Mattress pads and mattress toppers can wear out for different reasons. Here’s how to know when it’s time to get rid of a mattress topper:

When Is It Time To Get Rid of Your Mattress Topper?

There are a few reasons why you may need to consider replacing your mattress topper. Here, we’ll highlight the key factors that wear out mattress toppers over time.

It’s Past Its Lifespan

Your mattress topper may need to be replaced simply because of old age.

On average, toppers are supposed to last anywhere from three to five years. However, this number can vary depending on the type of mattress topper on your bed.

For instance, if you bought a mattress topper made out of memory foam, latex, wool, or any other high-quality material, you can expect a longer lifespan. On the other hand, if your mattress topper is made from a material that wears out fairly quickly, think of buying a topper made from a high-quality memory foam foundation next! 

The Topper Loses Its Shape 

When you first purchase a mattress topper, it should sit comfortably and evenly across the top of your mattress. 

If your mattress topper is made out of memory foam, latex, or any other material that conforms to the body, repeated use can cause it to lose its support and overall shape. 

If you notice this is happening, it’s time to think about switching out that topper for a newer model. A telltale characteristic of a comfortable and long-lasting mattress topper is whether or not it remains in the initial condition you received it in. 

Here’s the bottom line: when your topper is starting to look deflated or flat, consider buying a new one.

The Mattress Topper Smells

Believe it or not, your mattress topper may begin to smell after repeated use. You might notice an unpleasant odor due to spills as well.

Your mattress topper’s material can make it more or less susceptible to taking on a smell. Still, any topper can start to smell after enough time passes.

The best way to avoid a smelly mattress topper in the future is to make sure that you are always getting in your bed clean and covering your mattress topper with a mattress protector. In addition, washing your mattress protector regularly goes a long way.

What Else Can Wear Out a Mattress Topper?

Those are some of the more common ways that a mattress topper can become damaged and wear out faster than expected. However, there are also some other less common ways your mattress topper could take a beating and need replacement. 

How Often the Topper Gets Used 

Some people use mattress toppers on specific beds, such as in a guest room. Since toppers are so easy to remove and place on another mattress, usage rates can vary. That might mean that one mattress topper wears out faster than another that you bought at the same time.

For example, if a mattress topper has been passed down from one child to the next when they go to college, or you have used it in a number of different places, the topper may wear out much faster. 

As you now know, one easy way to tell if you have gotten everything you can out of your topper is whether or not it has maintained its shape. Sometimes, a well-loved mattress topper that is only a few years old might wear out faster than expected due to overuse. If that’s the case, it’s time for a new one.

Bearing Too Much Weight

Since mattress toppers are made from materials that conform to the shape of your body, a topper will continually make indents in the same places that you sleep. If you find that the indents don’t bounce back easily, that mattress pad may not be thick enough to support whoever is sleeping on it. 

Issues with permanent indentation could be due to the mattress topper's quality rather than your actual weight. To prevent any of these types of mishaps, try switching positions so that your topper isn’t taking on weight in the same area repeatedly.

Lack of Maintenance

How you take care of your mattress topper can determine how long it will last you. 

Mattress toppers need to be washed like the rest of your bedding, so you should make cleaning yours a part of your monthly routine.

There are a few ways you can maintain the condition of your mattress topper. First, routinely check for bed bugs, dust mites, and other types of pests that often nestle in bedding. Also, try to avoid eating or drinking in bed — your topper will be spared from stains and smells if you eat at the table instead.

The Quality of the Mattress Beneath the Topper 

This may come as a surprise, but the quality of the mattress that your topper is sitting on could easily affect the longevity of your mattress topper. 

If your mattress is on the older side, it’s likely that it’s lost some of its ability to contour to a mattress pad or mattress topper. 

When you are looking to get the most out of your mattress topper and want to keep it in good condition for as long as possible, pay attention to the mattress underneath. Mattresses wear out, too, and it might be time for a new one.

How Do You Maintain Your Mattress Topper?

Now that we’ve covered some of the potential reasons why your mattress topper may not last as long as you want it to, let’s go over some quick tips for how to keep it in good condition for as long as possible.

  • If your mattress topper is machine washable, try washing it at least once a month. Always check first to see if the material your topper is made of is washing machine-safe. For example, memory foam is a material that cannot go in the wash and needs to be cleaned using other methods.
  • If your mattress topper is not machine washable, you could use some baking soda and other simple cleaning solutions, such as a mixture of water and vinegar, for a spot clean. These ingredients can absorb any stains or impurities that can make your mattress topper look and smell subpar.
  • If you deal with seasonal allergies or often invite your pet into bed, more frequent cleaning of your mattress topper can help minimize your symptoms.

Whether you machine-wash or spot-clean, taking care of a mattress topper doesn’t have to be hard. Simply follow the care instructions that came with the topper, and you’ll be good to go.

What To Remember 

In general, it’s best to replace your mattress topper every three to five years. 

Some signs that your mattress topper needs replacement are:

  • Whether or not it loses its shape
  • If it takes on an unpleasant smell
  • If it just exceeds the typical lifespan of a mattress topper

The best way to make sure that your mattress topper lasts is to keep it clean and use it primarily for sleeping. In other words, eat in the dining room or kitchen instead of in bed! 

You can keep your mattress topper looking and smelling its best by cleaning it at least once a month, either by putting it in the wash or cleaning it by hand.


Bed Bugs: Get Them Out and Keep Them Out | US EPA

Vinegar | The Nutrition Source | Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Seasonal Allergies | Causes, Symptoms & Treatment | ACAAI Public Website

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