15 Signs You Need a New Mattress ASAP (2023)

The average person spends a third of their life in bed, but those long hours logged on your mattress aren't always as restful as they should be. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in three adults in the U.S. isn't getting enough sleep, and for some of those folks, a bad mattress may be to blame. If you're on the fence about upgrading your bed, read on to discover the definitive signs you need a new mattress.


Your bed has a dip in the middle.

15 Signs You Need a New Mattress ASAP (1)

Find yourself falling asleep on one side of your bed, but waking up in the middle, a few inches lower? If so, it's time to replace that mattress.

"If you think your mattress is losing support and there could be a 'dip' in the middle, it is highly recommended to take a yard stick and place it across the mattress," says Bill Fish, a certified sleep science coach and founder of sleep health and news site Tuck. "If you see an indentation, it is time to begin your research as you aren't getting the support necessary to get a great night of sleep."


The mattress has a chemical smell that won't go away.

15 Signs You Need a New Mattress ASAP (2)

"In the beginning, many mattresses have chemical smells. The solution to that problem is to let them off gas for a day or two, preferably in the sun," says Bart Wolbers, a researcher at Nature Builds Health, a company dedicated to investigating the scientific validity of natural health interventions.

"After that time, the mattress shouldn't smell like chemicals. If it does, then toxic glues, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), or polyurethane is off gassing. All these compounds add to the toxic load of your body. Toxin exposure is linked to increased cancer, diabetes, heart disease, autoimmune conditions, and brain illness risk. No mattress should strongly smell like chemicals after a week of use. … Replace—and opt for organic materials!"


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You're getting skin reactions.

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If you wake up itchy or with hives in the morning, your mattress could be the culprit. "Believe it or not, even organic materials used in mattresses are sprayed with pesticides," explains Wolbers. "Other compounds such as glues or polyurethane also [create] skin issues."

Additionally, "mattresses can also have poor breathability and break down over time," causing irritation, Wolbers cautions.


You're experiencing insomnia.

15 Signs You Need a New Mattress ASAP (4)

If you're having trouble going to sleep or staying asleep, it might not just be that triple-shot latte you had in the afternoon—it could be your mattress. "If you can't fall asleep, or frequently wake up during the night and adjust positions, it could be time to replace your mattress," says Martin Rawls-Meehan, CEO of sleep technology company Reverie. "If you're tossing and turning at night, there's a good chance that your mattress isn't providing the proper comfort your body needs."


You're sinking deeper into the bed than before.

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You used to be able to sit on your bed comfortably, but now it's feeling more and more like quicksand—what gives? "If you notice that you sink deeper than two inches into the foam, or if you notice the impression left by your body lasting long after you've gotten up, then you should know it's time to move on to a better mattress," says Stacey Morgan, co-owner of Ted and Stacey's Mattress Guides & Reviews.


You have morning back pain.

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15 Signs You Need a New Mattress ASAP (6)

That nagging pain in your lower back could be more than the result of your grueling workouts.

"Morning back pain is an indication that it may be time for a new mattress," says Dr. Thanu Jey, clinic director at Yorkville Sports Medicine Clinic in Toronto, Ontario. "When a mattress no longer provides firm support to your spine, you may begin to wake up with an achy back."


Your bed is visibly lumpy.

15 Signs You Need a New Mattress ASAP (7)

You keep trying to get your bed to look presentable, but those lumps and bumps under your sheets just won't let that happen—and in that case, it's time for a new mattress.

"Mattresses that are lumpy and uneven provide uneven pressure on the body that will cause you to wake up with aches and pains in the morning," says naturopath Dr. Kasey Nichols of Online Mattress Review. "The sticking-out-of-mattress springs can potentially cause injury when sleeping at night and are a sign of excessive wear of the top padding of the mattress."


You have a persistent stuffy nose.

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Those cold-like symptoms that last all year could be more than just your allergies acting up. "If you are experiencing new allergy signs and symptoms, a change of your mattress may be the answer to your problems," says Nichols. "If you're not using a mattress cover, dust and other allergens can accumulate in your mattress, leading to you waking up feeling like you have a cold."


Your mattress has stains.

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15 Signs You Need a New Mattress ASAP (9)

You get rid of your clothes when they have stains you can't get out in the wash—and you should extend the same courtesy to your mattress, too. "Excessive staining of your mattress can foster mold and microbe growth that can cause illness over time," says Nichols.

The good news? "The use of mattress protectors and the occasional flipping of certain types of mattresses can extend the life of your mattress," while preventing some of those stains in the first place, says Nichols.


Your home has mold.

15 Signs You Need a New Mattress ASAP (10)

That mold problem elsewhere in your home is likely extending past your walls—in fact, it might even have infiltrated your mattress. According to master mattress craftsman Tim Masters from Quality Sleep Shop and My Green Mattress, based in La Grange Highlands, Illinois, if your home has a mold problem, your mattress has one, too, and it's time to replace it.


Your bed makes noise.

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If the noises in your bedroom aren't limited to the sound of your significant other snoring or the sound of you two getting it on, it may be time to get a new mattress.

"Your mattress can provide audible signals it needs replacing," says Jessica Jones, a mattress expert and reviewer from The Sleep Judge. "Squeaks and creaks aren't normal and can signal foundation issues."


You wake up exhausted.

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15 Signs You Need a New Mattress ASAP (12)

Your bed is supposed to be where you rest and relax—but those with mattresses that need replacing might just find themselves waking up more exhausted than if they hadn't slept at all.

"If you sleep for seven to nine hours per night—which is the norm for most people—and still wake up feeling tired, the reason may be your old mattress," says John Breese, founder and CEO of sleep and mattress review company Happy Sleepy Head. "The thing is, if it's uncomfortable and unsupportive, you probably have a hard time falling and staying asleep on it. Tossing, turning, and waking up multiple times at night prevent you from reaching the deep stage of sleep, which is important for restoring energy. No wonder you wake up not feeling rested then."


You've been exposed to bed bugs.

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Bed bugs are hard to treat in general, but when they make their way into the crevices of your mattress, they're virtually impossible to expel. While bed-bug-proofing mattress covers can stop these critters from taking up residence in your bed, once they're there, that's a surefire sign you should dispose of that mattress once and for all, says Masters.


Your partner sleeps badly.

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Just because you're getting a good night's sleep doesn't mean everyone in your bed is.

"When it comes to your mattress, it might be good for you but not your partner, and because of that he/she may be tossing and turning or snoring and sleeping restlessly," says Mary Helen Rogers, vice president for the Better Sleep Council. "So while the mattress is in good shape and good for you, it's not good for your partner and that disrupts your sleep, so it's time to shop!"


It's more than seven years old.

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15 Signs You Need a New Mattress ASAP (15)

The seven-year itch isn't just for relationships. "Mattresses are like cars: They're not designed or built to last a lifetime," says Matthew Ross, co-owner and COO of leading sleep and mattress review website The Slumber Yard. "Over time mattresses naturally lose their original shape and support level."

Rogers adds that it's important to remember that "your body and lifestyle changes a lot over seven years." "That's why we suggest evaluating your mattress for comfort and support every seven years," she notes. And if you want to negate the effects of that bad mattress, start with these 50 Ways to Be a Higher Energy Person Immediately.

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How do I know when my mattress needs replacing? ›

Generally speaking, you should replace your mattress if one or more of the following apply:
  1. It's 6-8+ years old.
  2. It's negatively affecting your sleep.
  3. It's noticeably saggy or damaged in certain areas.
  4. It's making more noise than usual (noisy springs are common in old innerspring mattresses)
Jan 31, 2023

What are the signs of a bad mattress? ›

7 Obvious Signs and Symptoms of a Bad Mattress
  • #1 You're Waking Up Tired. ...
  • #2 You Can't Seem to Fall Asleep. ...
  • #3 You've Got the Sniffles. ...
  • #4 You've Been Sleeping on the Same Mattress for Over 10 Years. ...
  • #5 You're Experiencing Aches and Pains. ...
  • #6 Your Mattress Looks and Feels Uneven. ...
  • #7 You're Hearing Creaks and Squeaks.
Aug 27, 2021

Is it OK to put a new mattress on an old base? ›

There's no need to buy a new mattress base when buying a new bed.

How long should you keep a mattress before replacing it? ›

Also, different types of mattresses have different expected lifespans: A typical innerspring mattress lasts 5 to 8 years; memory-foam, conventional foam, and hybrid mattresses generally last 6 to 8 years; air mattresses usually last 6 to 8 years; and latex mattresses last 8 to 12 years.

How often do hotels replace mattresses? ›

How often do hotels replace mattresses? Most hotels replace their mattresses every three to five years, though the specific timetable varies between establishments based on volume, usage, and budget, type of mattress, and mattress brand.

How can I test my mattress? ›

The best way to test out a mattress? Lay on it! To get an accurate idea of the comfort level, experts suggest laying down in your normal sleeping position for at least 15 minutes. It also helps if you're wearing comfortable clothes when you test out a mattress.

What does a bad mattress do to your body? ›

Can a bad mattress cause body aches? Yes. Aches and pains are another one of the top bad mattress symptoms to watch for. If you're waking up with aches and pains in places like your lower back, neck, and shoulders, it's possible that your mattress is not providing the support you need while sleeping.

What happens when you sleep on an old mattress? ›

You could experience back or neck pain

Neck and low back pain is a common complaint due to the lack of support from an old mattress. As your mattress gets older, it will become softer and less supportive for the spine.

How do I know if my mattress is causing my back pain? ›

Initial Back Pain When You Wake up

But if your back is in acute pain when you first wake up and you have to actively stretch to get rid of it, that might be a sign your mattress is doing more harm than good, according to The Joint Chiropractic.

Is it okay to keep a mattress for 20 years? ›

Consumer Reports magazine recommends replacement every 7 to 10 years. This may be a shock to many people who have purchased a mattress with a 20-year warranty. You should know that the warranty is meant to cover certain parts (springs) and workmanship and not a mattress's overall comfort.

How often should you replace your sheets? ›

If you use a sheet set every day of the year, you'll need to replace it after about two years. However, luxury cotton sheets, like percale and sateen, can offer another year or so of use. And with linen, you'll get three to five years — sometimes more.

Why do you have to leave a new mattress for 72 hours? ›

It's because the mattress materials need time to soften and conform to the contours of your body. Although the materials in your new mattress are flexible and strong, they can be rigid especially when they are brand new.

Is it OK to put a new mattress on an old box spring? ›

Yes, you can use an old box spring with a new mattress. However, you need to know the risks and considerations when mixing and matching mattresses and foundations. The first consideration buyers must be aware of is that matching a new mattress with an old box spring may result in subpar support.

Are box springs used anymore? ›

Over a decade ago, a box spring was essentially required when buying a new mattress. Today, that's not necessarily the case. Most modern mattresses including mattresses in a box do not require a box spring. In fact, traditional box springs don't provide the rigid support needed for many newer foam and latex beds.

Can you replace just the mattress without replacing box spring? ›

It's not always necessary to replace your box spring every time you replace your mattress, but it's probably a good idea to do so. They do wear out at a similar rate as mattresses. Box springs last around 10 years, which is a slightly longer lifespan than the typical mattress.

Why do hotel mattresses feel so good? ›

Hotels beds are incredibly comfortable thanks to their use of mattress toppers. These can significantly adjust mattress firmness and the quality of your rest. A mattress topper is simply an added layer of cushioning that rests on top of your old mattress and provides support and extra levels of comfort.

Do hotels use firm or plush mattresses? ›

Typically, the mattresses used in hotel rooms are medium-firm. This is because medium-firm mattresses can accommodate all three sleep positions. Back, side, and stomach sleepers will feel supported with proper spine, neck, and hip alignment.

Why do hotels flip mattresses? ›

Maintenance policy. Good hotels will have a maintenance policy under which they'll clean, flip and rotate mattresses at least twice a year. If they spot that a mattress is torn or soiled in some way, they'll get rid of the mattress. Of course, not all hotels do this.

How do you know if there are bed bugs in your mattress? ›

Rusty or reddish stains on bed sheets or mattresses caused by bed bugs being crushed. Dark spots (about this size: ), which are bed bug excrement and may bleed on the fabric like a marker would. Eggs and eggshells, which are tiny (about 1mm) and pale yellow skins that nymphs shed as they grow larger.

How long does a bad mattress last? ›

Most mattresses should last between 7 and 10 years. However, there are many variables that can influence mattress lifespan. The original build quality of the mattress, the materials used, and even the weight and sleeping styles of the sleepers can all influence a bed's longevity.

What to look for in a mattress if you have back pain? ›

Generally the mattress shouldn't be too soft or too firm,” said Kevin M. Cerrone, DPT, director of Rehabilitation & Orthopaedic Services at Northwell Health's Huntington Hospital, Huntington, NY. Again, studies have leaned toward medium firmness mattress as being generally better for lower back pain .

Is it better to sleep on a hard mattress or soft? ›

Body weight

Generally speaking, heavier people prefer firmer mattresses. Soft foams may sink in too much for comfort and adequate support. Conversely, lighter sleepers may sink in less and find firm beds to be uncomfortably hard, so they generally prefer soft to medium firm options.

Why does my body ache in bed at night? ›

Common causes of pain at night include: Hormone levels – production of the anti-inflammatory hormone cortisol drops to its lowest point at around midnight, so this could see discomfort rise for certain ailments. Sleep position – staying in one position all night can cause your joints to get stiff.

Are soft beds bad for your back? ›

A mattress that's too soft will cause your back or hips to sag and your spine to fall out of alignment, which can lead to significant pain. A mattress that's too firm will put too much pressure on your joints, especially if you sleep on your side or your back.

Can urine cause mold in mattress? ›

Allowing urine to settle into your mattress will not only result in an unpleasant aroma but potentially lead to mold growth.

How often should a mattress be cleaned? ›

Generally, we recommend cleaning your mattress once every 6 months or so. Of course, if you spill something on your mattress, you should clean it immediately before the stain sets in. Using a quality mattress protector will reduce the need to clean your mattress as frequently.

Is it safe to sleep on a 40 year old mattress? ›

Mattresses can last around a decade with proper care, but most mattress companies recommend getting a new mattress every eight years. If you are in your 40's or older, changing your mattresses every five to seven years is advisable since your body tolerates less pressure during sleep.

What kind of mattress causes lower back pain? ›

Your Mattress is Either Too Soft or Too Hard

A mattress that is too soft for you can start hurting your spine sooner than you realize. A mattress that is too hard causes joint pressure. Most sleep experts recommend going for a medium-firm orthopedic mattress to combat this issue.

Is a firm bed better for your back? ›

If you carry weight, sleep on your back, or sleep on your stomach, a firm mattress may help alleviate lower back pain by distributing your body weight more evenly across the mattress. This way, your back isn't curving as much while you sleep.

Why is back pain at night a red flag? ›

Back pain red flags – Night Pain

Back pain that worsens at night or while you're sleeping might indicate something more severe like an infection or cancer. This is especially true if you also have other symptoms in addition to your back discomfort when you sleep or relax.

Can a mattress last 20 years? ›

It's possible - but not likely - that a mattress can last 20 years. The longevity of your mattress depends on several factors, including how much wear and tear it undergoes and the quality of its parts. Some mattresses, like memory foams and latex, can last up to 15 years, much longer than the average innerspring.

Will a new mattress make a difference? ›

Experts generally agrees, yes, people have been able to improve their sleep with different sleep surfaces and sleep is an important part of overall health. Beyond that, what's comfortable for each person is subjective. Let's look at what research and medical professionals say about mattresses and getting our best rest.

Do I need a new bed or a new mattress? ›

The Sleep Council recommends that you replace your mattress if it's seven years old. If it feels less comfortable than it used to, that's a clear sign it's time for a replacement. Ideally, you should replace your mattress and frame at the same time if you can.

What happens if I don't change my mattress? ›

There are a few reasons to replace your mattress, with the main one being comfort. Over time, a mattress can lose its shape and begin to sag, creating dips and lumps. An uncomfortable mattress can interfere with your ability to get a good night's sleep.

Is it OK to sleep on an old mattress? ›

Chiropractors agree that sleeping on an old mattress is a recipe for chronic back pain. That can mean tossing and turning through the night to find a more comfortable sleeping position, or simply waking up the next morning feeling stiff and sore.

What kind of mattress lasts the longest? ›

Typically, latex mattresses last the longest by comparison to other mattresses but this shows in their average price point.

What happens to your body when you get a new mattress? ›

After some time with resting on the mattress, your body will feel less sore, leaving you with an adequate night of sleep and comfort. (2) You might expect to find falling to sleep difficult and distracting but eventually, this will stop as your body becomes more familiar with the nuances of having a new mattress.

Is it better to sleep on a hard or soft mattress? ›

Body weight

Generally speaking, heavier people prefer firmer mattresses. Soft foams may sink in too much for comfort and adequate support. Conversely, lighter sleepers may sink in less and find firm beds to be uncomfortably hard, so they generally prefer soft to medium firm options.

How can I tell if my mattress is causing back pain? ›

How To Tell If Your Bed Is Causing Back Pain
  • You Wake Up With Back Pain. ...
  • You Struggle To Get Comfortable In Bed. ...
  • You Wake Up Often at Night. ...
  • You Feel Like You're Rolling Off Your Bed. ...
  • You're Folded Like a Taco. ...
  • Your Mattress Is Saggy. ...
  • You Feel Like You're Sleeping On a Board. ...
  • You've Got Things That Go Lump In the Night.
Dec 14, 2021

Can you put a new mattress on an old box spring? ›

If you put a new mattress on top of an old box spring with existing body impressions, the mattress will begin to fill in the existing gully and develop body impressions prematurely. The industry has moved away from coiled box springs to immovable grids, called foundations.

What problems can a bad mattress cause? ›

10 Annoying Health Side Effects of Sleeping on a Bad Mattress
  • Drowsiness. It shouldn't be any surprise, but low quality sleep will usually leave you feeling tired and drowsy. ...
  • Back pain. Image Source / CC 2.0. ...
  • Obesity. ...
  • Lung and throat irritation. ...
  • Weak immune system. ...
  • Heart conditions. ...
  • Memory issues. ...
  • Premature aging.

Is an old mattress unhealthy? ›

Yes, an old mattress can make you sick. According to the ISPA Sleep Council, old mattresses may be harboring a whole host of organisms that cause dangerous diseases. Dust mites, bacteria like staphylococcus, and the hospital superbug MRSA are just some of the nasty things that can be found in an old mattress.


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