In the summer before my last year of college, nine years ago now, I was an intern at the company where I now work full time as a software engineer. My then-fiancee and I were living in Isla Vista, where most UCSB students live. The internship actually paid pretty well, so I had some extra dough after expenses and whatnot. (My parents smartly left me to entirely support myself over that summer.) We decided to go for a big-ticket item - we replaced our crappy futon with a Real Mattress and Real Box Spring. We got just the most basic metal frame possible as a bed. It was soooooo nice! We did eventually get a real, grown-up bed, once we later moved to a real, grown-up apartment - but kept the mattress.
I spent the next nine years trying to remember to flip it regularly. I did pretty well for a while there by doing it on the first weekend of every month, with odd-numbered months requiring a rotation and even-numbered months an end-over-end flip. (I turned this into a name as a mnemonic: r(otate)+odd and fl(ip)+even became "Rod Fleeven".) However, after we bought a house two years ago, with a master bedroom with a ceiling fan thus requiring a lot more care be taken while flipping, this tapered off significantly.
I'm sure I don't need to describe how slumped and saggy a mattress gets after nine years. We had two nice little depressions on each side. It was time to go.
So now, across the hall from our sleeping toddler, sits our brand-new mattress. We bought it from a man who can only be described as a "mattress nerd." He & his family own & run a store in Santa Barbara that sells mattresses (and apparently they also construct them). It was amazing! He knew everything about the composition of mattresses, when certain mattress technologies came about or became unpopular - a regular font of information. So with his expert advice, and a lot of awkwardly lying on mattresses in public, we got a natural latex foam mattress. It's supposed to be a balance between a traditional inner-spring mattress and a memory-foam mattress, very breathable, and even eco-friendly.
Best of all, they took away our old mattress & box spring away when they delivered the new one. It was a little sad to see it hauled away, thinking of how proud I was to buy it back then. The new one could, in theory, last for 20 years. In 20 years our son will probably be in college, perhaps reaching the point where he's starting to get tired of his crappy futon and thinking about getting a real, grown-up bed. Hopefully he can find a mattress nerd too.