Quickfire question: How old is your current mattress?
You'll find that unless you’ve bought your mattress in the last few months that it'll be difficult to remember when you first purchased it. Considering it’s such a large purchase and we spend such a large part of our lives on it, it's crazy to think we don’t put that much thought into it.
Just because we’re not awake when we use it, doesn’t make it any less important. A good night’s sleep is hugely important for our overall health and gives us the energy and rest we need to attack the day ahead with vigour.
Key signs that you need a new mattress
Visual indicators of mattress deterioration are one of the easiest symptoms to spot. If lumps start appearing in your mattress, this is a sign that the padding inside of the mattress has begun to break down which has led to the density to become uneven.
This negatively impacts the comfort and support of the mattress which can result in sore joints as well as a lower quality of sleep making you feel tired in the morning.
There are a few DIY ways to fix lumps in a mattress but these are strictly temporary, and you should aim to replace the mattress, but these DIY methods can be used in the short term while you look for a new mattress.
2. Aches and Pains
If you gradually begin to wake up in the morning with pains or aches, then this can be caused by your mattress. This can also be a sign that your mattress has begun to develop sags or dips in the material.
Mattresses will often sag in the middle where most of our weight is concentrated, and over time old mattresses will be less effective at providing support to our bodies which will lead to aches and pains developing.
If you find that start to develop pain, you need to address it sooner rather than later because this can quickly turn into chronic long term pain.
Over time, the pressure from your body shape repeatedly using the mattress can lead to sagging developing. If you begin to have aches or pains, you should inspect your mattress for sagging as this can be one of the leading causes.
Sagging is easy to spot visually, and a mattress that's sagging needs to be replaced quickly especially if the sagging is more that one inch in depth. You first need to discover whether it’s the mattress springs that have worn down or if the frame isn’t adequately supported.
You don’t want to replace your mattress then realise that it wasn’t causing the problem all along.
4. Increase in Noise
One of the main reasons you may have bought a mattress is due to the mattress isolation which means that it makes little noise. However, you may find that you begin to get disturbed throughout the night by the sound of the mattress when you turn.
This is easier to highlight if you share a bed with a partner and you’re disturbed continuously by them moving throughout the night.
Once your mattress begins to deteriorate, the noise it makes will become louder and louder, but as a short term measure you can turn over your mattress for some noise relief.
5. Allergic Reactions
Dust mites are tiny insects that thrive where there is dust present. A large percentage of people are allergic to these bugs, and they can cause allergic reactions with symptoms including watery eyes, runny noses or itchy throats.
If you wake up with these symptoms or begin to develop them after never experiencing them, then your mattress could be to blame. There are ways to counteract them without changing your mattress such as using a mattress topper and regularly washing your bedding on a high temperature.
If you buy a new mattress, then one with a hypoallergenic cover or top surface could be an ideal choice.
6. When it’s Comfortable Elsewhere
A key tell-tale sign that you need a new mattress is when every other bed you sleep on is more comfortable than your own. For instance, if you spend the night in a hotel or a friend’s bed and you have a better quality sleep.
When you aren’t comfortable in your bed, this then affects how rested your body feels in the morning which can then lead to aches and pains.
It's common that people only realise that they needed a new mattress when they actually get their new mattress and can almost instantly tell the difference in their sleeping experience.
7. Feeling the Springs
If when you turn in the night, you start to feel springs digging into the side of your body then this is a critical sign that your mattress needs replacing.
As a short term measure, you can start to use a memory foam mattress topper to cushion the springs, but this is not a 100% fix, and depending on the severity you may still feel the springs poking through.
One thing you won’t be able to stop is the increased noise that they start to make, which can keep you awake at night or disturb you when you’re in a deep sleep.
8. Find it Hard to Fall Asleep
If you start to find it hard to fall asleep when no other factors are affecting you such as anxiety or stress, then this could be the fault of your mattress. This is often highlighted by the constant shifting of your body while finding it hard to find a comfortable position, which is usually caused by a lack of support.
This will lead to you tossing and turning all night, and a new mattress can eliminate this problem almost instantly. Finding it hard to asleep will lower the number of REM sleep hours you get each night leaving you feeling more tired and unrested in the morning.
9. Over 8 Years Old
7-8 years since purchase is widely accepted as the period when you need to start seriously assessing whether you need a new mattress. Although many mattress retailers have warranties that last longer than this, they often don’t cover wear and tear changes such as dipping and sagging.
A mattress that has been used regularly over 7-8 years will often have lost the comfort and support it had when it was first purchased, but because the change has been gradual, you haven’t noticed it.
Higher quality mattresses will last more years so they need to be replaced less often so this should be factored into your decision-making process.
10. Lack of Sleep
If you’ve slept for 7-8 hours, but you wake up feeling groggy, then this can be the fault of your mattress. This will have little effect on your body if it's just for a night or two, but if this happens long term, then this can lead to chronic sleep deprivation which has many serious consequences.
Sleeping allows your body to rest and repair itself, so it’s a critical part of your functioning, and a lack of sleep can result in you having less energy the following day.
11. Lack of Responsiveness
This is more reserved for those that have memory foam or latex mattresses. A lack of responsiveness is if after you change position or get out of bed, the mattress doesn’t return to its original position.
The mattress is supposed to contour and respond to the shape of your body and then bounce back to its original shape once you get out of bed. If the outline of your body remains ingrained into the mattress hours later, then this could be a sign that you need to replace the mattress.
If several of these points can be related to your own current experience with your mattress then this is a critical sign that you need a new mattress, and considering you spend a vast proportion of your life laying on it, it’s essential to act swiftly.