How To Tell If You Need A New Mattress

The information in this article is for educational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice. [Read our full health disclaimer]

Updated on October 1, 2023

Do you wake up each morning stiff and sore? Do you take longer to get up every day? If so then you may need a new bed.

A restful night’s sleep is crucial to our overall health. A good night’s sleep allows us to recover from daily tensions and allows us to perform at our highest level throughout the day.

There are many methods to assess if your mattress is comfortable enough to let you relax properly. There are other options to improve the quality of your mattress like altering the firmness or adding memory foam. Let’s take a look at these possibilities.

Tell-tale Signs You Need A New Mattress

Obvious sagging

Mattresses are made to support the body during sleep and take the pressure off joints. However, if your mattress is too firm it’s not doing its job effectively. Some mattresses can lose 20 percent of their lift with time. In the event of this, the mattress loses its capacity to stand the weight and form. The mattress will slide, creating indentations that let people sink. In time the indentations will get larger, and it becomes more difficult to lay on a flat surface.

If you feel your mattress is sagging whenever changing your bedding, your mattress may have lost its support. The best general rule of thumb is to take a measurement of your mattress once every six months and make sure it’s at or below 2 inches from the level it was measured at the time of its purchase.

When you wake up, you feel back pain.

Back pain in the morning can be a sign that it is an appropriate time to changing your mattress. If your mattress no longer gives enough support to the spine, it could result in waking with a stiff back.

Based on Dr. Thanu Jey, a clinic director at the Yorkville Sport Medicine Clinic in Toronto, Ont., the reason certain people feel back pain and others don’t could be in the mattress they sleep on and how it supports their backs. Although most people rest on hard surfaces such as wood or concrete, people who have sensitive backs typically are able to sleep on more firm mattresses like Latex or memory foam mattresses.

Back pain from sleeping on old mattress

 If the mattress feels too firm, it will not give enough support to help keep your body straight. This means that you’re likely to feel pain in your lower back.

If you’re experiencing difficulty sleeping due to back pain, consider switching out your mattress to one that is more supportive. You can check out some of the best mattress for bad backs here. A bed that is soft can aid in reducing pressure points caused by your body’s weight which can prevent injuries to muscles. Additionally, a quality mattress can allow you to sink further into the mattress, providing more relaxation.

If you suffer from neck pain, putting a pillow under your neck and your head could provide additional relief. The reason is that pillows can help squeeze the neck area, easing tension and allowing the muscles to relax naturally.

Your bed makes noises

If you are hearing squeaking sounds when you sleep, then you may want to think about replacing your old mattress. Many users find that the sound comes from their bed. Mattresses are often noisy because they bend and flex as they age. This doesn’t happen in a single day, however. It may take months or years before a mattress can begin creaking.

To determine if the noise you’re hearing is generated by the mattress, lift it off your bed frame and place it across the ground. Then, you can lie down on it and attempt to move around to determine whether you hear any strange noises. If it is making a sound, you need a new mattress. If the noise isn’t coming from your mattress, you may want to think about tightening the joints on your bed frame.

You’re Getting Hot

Sleeping too hot mattress

Mattresses are among the things we don’t think about once we’ve bought them. We assume that it will be fine for the rest of our lives. However, mattresses get worn out with time, especially if you sleep on your mattress all night.

If you wake up sweaty or you’re having trouble sleeping because you’re feeling too hot, it could indicate that your mattress is in need of replacement. Mattress warranties usually cover the replacement of defects such as tear, sagging, stain and burns, odors, and the growth of mildew. They don’t usually cover issues that are caused by wear and tear, however. If you notice you’re experiencing more heat than normal then you might want to consider replacing your mattress.

Your mattress is stained.

If you’ve looked at your mattress and seen stains or dark spots, It’s probably time to change mattress. A new study has found people sleep approximately 20 hours every day. So if you’re sleeping on a mattress that isn’t in good condition, you may be harming your health.

Sweat stained pillow on mattress

Hence, washing your sheets once every couple of months and changing them frequently is important. If you don’t wish to spend money for an entire new set of sheets you can try changing your pillows once each six-month period. If you’re really averse to being up at the end of the evening, think about buying a mattress protector. These are products designed to keep stains from appearing on your mattress.

You’ve got a constant nasal congestion.

The dust mites at home are in beddings and mattresses. They release tiny droplets of oil which draw in bacteria and dust which makes them perfect places for the growth of mold, mildew, and even viruses. The tiny creatures also release enzymes that break down old skin cells into smaller fragments which transform into airborne dust. This can make the symptoms of allergies to dust mites more severe.

If you notice that your allergies become more severe during the night or before you awake, It may be due to the allergens that are present in your bedding. It is possible to get rid of the dust by regularly washing your bedding and using a dust mite-proof mattress cover, and also vacuuming often.

If you’ve done this before and your allergies continue flare-ups, you may consider changing your mattress. Mattress makers use various kinds of materials to create their mattresses. Some use natural fibers, such as cotton, whereas others are synthetic like polyester. Wool and natural latex are two examples of naturally hypoallergenic mattresses of today.

You are exhausted the next morning.

If you’ve ever woken feeling tired and unfocused, it’s likely that your mattress is in need of replacement. The study in the Journal of Sleep Research found that sleepers that slept on mattresses of low quality were less rested when compared with those who used mattresses of higher quality.

Waking up exhausted

Researchers surveyed more than 500 people about the amount of sleep they had every week, what kind of mattresses they decided to use, whether they were suffering from insomnia, snoring, obstructive sleep apnoea, restless leg syndrome, and how often they felt exhausted during the daytime. They discovered that people who slept on mattresses of lower quality felt more tired during the day than those on mattresses of higher-quality.

The team of researchers came to the conclusion it was the case that “mattress quality affects perceived daytime fatigue”. One participant claimed that he “slept more poorly on his old mattress” and another reported her experience as “more uncomfortable.”

It’s seven years old.

“The average lifespan of a mattress is around 7-8 years,” states Mattress Firm owner and CEO Steven Rogers. “If you decide to buy a new one, make sure to check how many years it has been on the market. If it’s been less than five years, chances are it’s still under warranty.”

Your sleeping habits have changed

Sometimes, your mattress is in good condition however an alteration in the way you sleep, such as the addition of a partner might require a new type of mattress. A common rule of thumb: if you awake feeling stiff, it’s a telltale sign to buy a new mattress.

Mattresses are made to provide support to your body when you rest. If you lost significant weight or experienced weight gain or got pregnant, you might be interested in a different mattress. It will provide more space from your companion. Or if you’re suffering from chronic pain, then you might be able to benefit from a mattress that lessens pressure points and helps support your spine.

Your home is infested with the smell of mold.

Mold is all over the place. We see it everywhere: in houses, on our clothes. But did you know that mold could be present inside your mattress? In certain cases, it can grow three times as fast in mattresses as on the outside. If you’re seeing dark spots on your sheets or pillows, or discoloration or odors emanating out of your bed, it might be a cause. 

Tim Masters from Quality Sleep Store and My Green Mattress in La Grange Highlands IL, recommends replacing your mattress within the first 12 months after purchasing since it’s the most frequent site for mold growth. “You’ll notice a difference immediately,” he claims. “Your mattress will feel softer and smoother, and you won’t wake up with sore joints.”

It’s essential to maintain your mattress clean. It is possible to use dry cleaning soap to wipe down your mattress every month. If you’re looking to be green, consider using vinegar, baking soda hydrogen peroxide, and ruby alcohol. Make sure to cleanse your hands well afterward.

What Should You Look For In A New Mattress?

The life expectancy for a mattress can be eight years as per Mattress Firm. However, based on nature and the quality of the mattress, you will be able to get more or less from it. There are five primary kinds of mattresses: box springs, waterbeds, hybrid, latex mattresses, and memory foam mattresses. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages. If you’re looking to purchase the perfect mattress for your needs, here are some points to think about.

Innerspring Mattresses

A mattress made of innerspring is comprised of springs within a box frame. They provide support and radiate warmth when you sleep. They are thought of as the best for comfort however, they’re not very effective in keeping cold air out.

Memory Foam Mattresses

Memory foam mattress

Memory foam mattresses are composed of layers of viscoelastic polymer gel that are sandwiched over two layers of material. This gel assists in spreading weight equally across the surface of the mattress which makes it feel soft and comfortable. But, since the gel does not hold heat, it will lose the ability to keep your body warm.

Latex Mattresses

The latex mattress is like the memory foam mattress with the exception that it utilizes organic rubber in place of synthetic. Because it is softer in comparison to other kinds of mattresses, these mattresses tend to wear out more quickly than the other types of mattresses.

Hybrid Mattresses

A hybrid mattress is a combination of the best characteristics of both memory foam and innerspring mattresses. This will allow for better temperature control while also providing pressure relief.

Waterbed Mattresses

Waterbed mattress

While waterbed mattresses appear expensive, they’re actually uncomfortable. The mattresses require special pumps and beds in order to work effectively. Additionally, the amount of time you sleep on these mattresses is limited by the requirement to pump liquid back into the mattress following use.

Other Things To Look For When Buying A Mattress

There are numerous factors to think about when shopping for the best mattress. Some of the most important ones are:

  • Comfort: Is the material comfortable enough to help your body? Are the coils hard enough or soft?
  • Durability – Does it last for a long time? Will it last over time?
  • Support – Could help ease stiffness and pain due to poor posture?
  • Temperature Regulation – Do you feel cold or hot while lying on it?
  • Price – How much is it going to cost you?

Do you have any tips for flipping?

The majority of people think about flipping their mattresses at least every six months. However, there are numerous benefits of doing it more often. Flipping your mattress can help distribute the weight evenly over the surface which prevents the mattress from bunching and appearing saggy. This decreases stress points and can make the bed feel more comfortable as time passes. There are some mattresses that need to be rotated every month to ensure better sleep quality.

Can a pillow-top really affect the outcome?

A pillow-top may seem like a straightforward solution to better sleep, However, the benefits of this aren’t always apparent. Actually, some experts claim there’s not much evidence that pillow-tops assist sleepers in falling asleep faster or more deeply. Even if they don’t perform as advertised, they do have the same set of issues. Pillow tops may wear away in time, rendering them uncomfortable. While they’re frequently touted as being less messy to wash, they could still contain dust pollen and allergens.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should you replace your mattress?

If you’re planning to sleep for eight hours a night, it could be beneficial to replace your mattress every 10 years.

Which mattress type lasts the longest?

The most effective mattress to last is one that is made of memory foam. Memory foam mattresses are great for comfort, support, and coolness all night. They also reduce sleep snoring, making them ideal for those with sleep apnea or obstructive breathing.

How to tell if your box spring is worn out?

If you see visible indications of wear and tears on the spring, it might be worn out. Check for cracks, holes, dents or tears, stains, or any other signs of damage. If you notice anything like this, you should replace the mattress right away!

Can I install a brand-new mattress on an existing base?

Yes, it’s okay doing this. If you’re looking to get the best sleep, place a brand-new mattress on top of an older one. If you aren’t at ease with this, you can simply buy an entirely new bed frame.

For more detailed how-to’s you can read our, Can I Use My Old Box Spring with a New Mattress? here.

What can a bad bed cause?

The average person sleeps for approximately one-third of his or her time sleeping. It is therefore crucial to select a mattress that is suitable. They must offer enough support to avoid discomfort and pain throughout the night. Furthermore, mattresses should be soft and comfortable to allow for a better night’s sleep.

A bed that isn’t properly cleaned will have a buildup of dust, dead skin cells, and dry saliva. These particles could trigger allergies. Allergies are often caused by dust mites due to the fact that they live in bedding fabrics and can’t be removed without damaging the fabric. The symptoms of dust mite allergies include eye irritation, sneezing, asthma attack, and sinus infections.

Pressure points form throughout the body throughout the daytime. As you lie down, these points are closer to each other. In the process, blood vessels narrow. This causes muscles to become tight and cause tension headaches. When you sleep on hard surfaces such as concrete, it may increase the chance of getting migraines. To avoid this, consider buying a mattress that has comfort layers for better cushioning.

Sleep quality can be affected by a poor mattress. Bad sleeping position is associated with various diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, obesity, depression, and cancer. A mattress that is comfortable supports the spine and reduces strain on muscles. In addition, a quality mattress assists in regulating the body’s temperature.

What can you do to ensure that your mattress lasts longer?

Mattresses aren’t affordable. They’re costly, particularly when you’re looking to purchase one that is durable. However, there are methods to ensure your mattress looks great for a longer time. Mattress covers are excellent as they can help keep away stains and smells. It is crucial to turn your bed on a regular basis to ensure that it wears evenly. This will enable your mattress to keep the same form and not lose its shape with time.

The main factor in keeping your mattress in good form is to have the right support. A sturdy bed frame can give you a solid foundation on your mattress. If you’re not sure how to set up the bed frame, talk to someone who can.

It is also possible to clean your mattress according to the instructions given by your mattress manufacturer. Some mattresses have cleaning guidelines. Other mattresses need professional help with cleaning. Find the manual for the cleaning procedure online to find out how to do it.

How to properly dispose of a mattress?

Below are some helpful tips for disposing of an old mattress.

1. Get in touch with your local council to discuss mattresses collection options

2. Get your unwanted or old mattresses collected by companies that specialize in recycling of mattresses for mass use renovation, environmentally-friendly disposal that is safe and secure.

3. If you reside or work in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide, Hobart, Canberra, Darwin, Townsville, Mackay, Rockhampton, Newcastle, Wollongong Albury/Wodonga Bendigo, Ballarat, Geelong, Launceston, Gold Coast, Ipswich, Logan City, Sunshine Coast, Tamworth, Wagga Wagga, Bathurst, Broken Hill, Dubbo, Grafton, Port Macquarie, Taree, Tweed Heads, Traralgon, Wangaratta, Warrnambool, Whyalla, Yamba, Wyndham, Yeppoon, Nhulunbuy, Mount Isa, Broome, Albany, Alice Springs, Katherine, Darwin, Townsville, and Gladstone Call Mattress Recyclers on 1300 726 806.

4. To find out more about how to recycle mattresses within Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Hobart, Canberra & Darwin contact Mattress Recycler on 1800 066 544.

5. For Auckland, New Zealand, make a call to Mattress Recycling on 09 358 3200.

6. Contact the Environment Protection Authority on 13 10 20 to find out more about getting rid of mattresses in Queensland.

Bree Taylor - Lead Editor

Lead Editor

Bree is an interior designer with a passion for helping people improve their sleep quality.

She specializes in creating comfortable and functional bedroom spaces that promote a good night’s rest.

When she’s not testing mattresses or helping people get the best rest possible, Bree loves to travel and explore new cultures.

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