What exactly causes a spring mattress to wear out?

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PrettyCoolWorkshop
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What exactly causes a spring mattress to wear out?

Post by PrettyCoolWorkshop » Wed May 16, 2018 12:04 pm

Hello forum folks.

I recently went through the gauntlet of researching and purchasing a mattress for the wife and I. Especially with the new online bed-in-a-box companies that are everywhere nowadays, and the referral-based distributed marketing ecosystem that has sprung up, misinformation is everywhere!

I ended up going with a firm queen size Haugesund mattress from Ikea for the following reasons:
-It is the most popular mattress they sell
-Good price
-The foam padding layer is minimal in thickness
-Easy to transport home

The mattress seems fine to sleep on (I feel like negative reviews for mattresses are dominated by people with much more discriminating tastes than mine). I am left wondering about durability. Exactly what causes a spring mattress to wear out?

In my engineering opinion, the springs would not be a wear component of the mattress. As long as a steel spring is not stressed to fatigue or yield, and it does not rust, it has an infinite lifetime. I imagine that none of these factors are an issue for a typical spring mattress. So the only wear component left is the padding. This I can imagine to wear out as the foam degrades, and from sweat/oil/dirt generally gumming it up.

Part of my reasoning for going with a firmer mattress is the idea that if/when it does wear out, it doesn't develop lots of sag, because it doesn't sag a lot to begin with. And if my foam padding layer is to begin with, even if it went completely flat it would hardly be noticeable.

Anybody have a well-informed technical opinion on this? I'm hoping to see that my mattress investment will last, like, forever!

livesoft
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Re: What exactly causes a spring mattress to wear out?

Post by livesoft » Wed May 16, 2018 12:06 pm

Overweight sleepers.

I've never had a mattress wear out. And we don't turn our mattresses that often.
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Pajamas
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Re: What exactly causes a spring mattress to wear out?

Post by Pajamas » Wed May 16, 2018 12:20 pm

You're correct that the polyurethane foam will probably be what wears out first.

You can extend the useful life of the mattress by rotating it every three or six months. (That mattress is not designed to be flipped.)

PrettyCoolWorkshop
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Re: What exactly causes a spring mattress to wear out?

Post by PrettyCoolWorkshop » Wed May 16, 2018 1:23 pm

Thanks for the replies guys. Being "educated" by all the marketing information is fairly neuroticism-inducing.

-buzz-
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Re: What exactly causes a spring mattress to wear out?

Post by -buzz- » Wed May 16, 2018 4:00 pm

Here is what we've found with mattresses.

Pillow top mattresses wear out because the pillow top breaks down. What you are left with is a lumpy surface that is uncomfortable.

We went to buying a very simple firm or extra firm mattress with no padding. We then add a memory foam mattress topper. When the mattress topper wears, we can replace it inexpensively. The mattress underneath is usually fine.

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gasdoc
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Re: What exactly causes a spring mattress to wear out?

Post by gasdoc » Wed May 16, 2018 4:58 pm

Probably "heavy" sleepers. We are small people and have never really had a mattress actually wear out. We just eventually replace it just for the heck of it. We buy plain, no pillow pad, spring mattresses.

gasdoc

NextMil
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Re: What exactly causes a spring mattress to wear out?

Post by NextMil » Thu May 17, 2018 6:14 am

FWIW - I have used the warranty on two mattresses that started to sag within the 10 year warranty time frame from a mattress store. Both times they sent a tech, he checked out the mattress, saw the indent, and told the store the bed failed. Both times we received full purchase price credit to purchase something new. After the second time, I threw a few thousand extra at it and purchased a tempurpedic - the kind that does not get hot, and I can tell you hands down its a much better sleep, and I am convinced there will never a be a sag.

nexesn
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Re: What exactly causes a spring mattress to wear out?

Post by nexesn » Thu May 17, 2018 7:48 am

No one should ever buy a "spring" mattress because it will loose it's usefulness by "winter" :happy

Sorry, obviously completely unhelpful post. But, I saw the heading of the post, and this just popped into my head. Good luck with having the mattress for many years! As others have said, rotating mattresses does help extend the usefulness.

Redfactor
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Re: What exactly causes a spring mattress to wear out?

Post by Redfactor » Thu May 17, 2018 8:58 am

Besides the obvious manufacturing defect on a spring causing it to break, I think another way that innerspring mattress fail is that the coils are not adequately supported and/or glued, become dislodged, and fall on their side within the mattress.

I think this is more of a risk with super cheap mattresses.

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Alexa9
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Re: What exactly causes a spring mattress to wear out?

Post by Alexa9 » Thu May 17, 2018 9:07 am

Well when a man and a woman love each other very much...

iskey
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Re: What exactly causes a spring mattress to wear out?

Post by iskey » Thu May 17, 2018 9:16 am

I have heard that it is not that the actual spring wears out or breaks, but rather the springs are wrapped in a type of fabric that always keeps them slightly compressed. It is the fabric that wraps the spring that wears out or breaks, causing the spring to be, well, sprung, more than the others and creating the infamous lump.

I'm no expert in the matter this is just what I've heard.

boglegirl
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Re: What exactly causes a spring mattress to wear out?

Post by boglegirl » Thu May 17, 2018 9:22 am

livesoft wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 12:06 pm
Overweight sleepers.

I've never had a mattress wear out. And we don't turn our mattresses that often.
gasdoc wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 4:58 pm
Probably "heavy" sleepers. We are small people and have never really had a mattress actually wear out. We just eventually replace it just for the heck of it. We buy plain, no pillow pad, spring mattresses.
It's not always the size of the sleepers. My husband and I are not big people (average height, and height-weight proportionate) and we had a pretty expensive pillow-top mattress that had deep indentations after only 3 or 4 years. Costco said we could go through the manufacturer and make a warranty claim, or they'd accept the return. (we returned it to them...or should I say, they sent some guys out with a truck to take our return).

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unclescrooge
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Re: What exactly causes a spring mattress to wear out?

Post by unclescrooge » Thu May 17, 2018 9:44 am

Alexa9 wrote:
Thu May 17, 2018 9:07 am
Well when a man and a woman love each other very much...
LOL. Good one!

takeshi
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Re: What exactly causes a spring mattress to wear out?

Post by takeshi » Thu May 17, 2018 1:51 pm

PrettyCoolWorkshop wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 12:04 pm
Exactly what causes a spring mattress to wear out?

In my engineering opinion, the springs would not be a wear component of the mattress. As long as a steel spring is not stressed to fatigue or yield, and it does not rust, it has an infinite lifetime.
No idea on your question but Vispring mattresses have lifetime warranties. However, they do come with very high price tags.

alfaspider
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Re: What exactly causes a spring mattress to wear out?

Post by alfaspider » Thu May 17, 2018 1:57 pm

Springs do have finite lives. Metal will eventually fatigue from repeated flexion. How soon that happens will vary based on the spring loading, metal type, stiffness, etc. Foam also can break down with age or from chemical exposure.

That being said, the idea that mattresses regularly wear out is mostly peddled by the mattress industry. Buy a new one only if the old one has become uncomfortable.

Spring mattresses (or spring-only) mattresses are starting to fall a bit out of favor as foam mattresses have gotten better. I much prefer the foam mattress I am on now than my old spring mattress.

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