How long should an institutional mattress last?

I often get questions about how long "should" last, or more specifically how long my waterproof institutional mattresses will last. This is a very tricky question because it depends on a few different factors. For example, how is the mattress being used? Are there adults sleeping on the mattress or kids? Is it a dormitory mattress setting? Is the mattress being used for more than just sleeping?

Who is sleeping on the institutional mattress?

The biggest factor for determining the longevity of an institutional mattress is the size of a person using the mattress. The bigger the person the more strain being put on the foam, padding, fabric, and innerspring. Smaller people, like youths, put less weight on a mattress night after night and therefore less strain on all of the mattress components. Less strain on mattress components will equate to a longer mattress lifespan. Youth institutional mattresses usually need to be replaced less frequently than mattress for adult facilities.

How is the institutional mattress being used?

Institutional mattresses get used in a variety of ways that are not exactly their intended use. For example, when I was in college we would often take our mattress and push them down flights of stairs with fellow students riding on top.  This was definitely mattress abuse and without a doubt shortened the usable lifespan of my college dorm mattress.

There are other ways that institutional mattresses get used that are not quite so extreme but do contribute to a shorter lifespan. More specifically, institutional mattresses get used as a couch, chair or lounging space quite frequently. If any mattress, including institutional mattresses, are used like furniture their lifespan will suffer.  For example, sitting on the edge of a mattress is the single biggest reasons mattress start to "look" saggy.  Activities like sitting in bed while watching TV or reading putts most of the user’s body weight on one relatively small spot. All that weight in the same spot night after night can lead to a failure.

In conclusion institutional mattress lifespan depends greatly on how the mattress is used and who is sleeping on it.