Sagging Mattress – Reasons, Repair, Prevention of a Sinking Bed

You spend a considerable proportion of your life in your bed with most people spending a third of their life in slumber. 

One downside to mattresses is that they can develop sagging but it’s not something you have to live with, but there are several things you can do to slow down or temporarily fix the sag, so you don’t have to take the plunge and buy a new mattress immediately.

A sagging mattress is when the surface of your mattress is uneven and begins to develop dips. This is where the cells in the material begin to become misshapen, and the springs start to depress.

Your body needs to be relaxed when you sleep, so it’s essential that you have a mattress that is fit for purpose. We’ll show you how to remedy your sagging mattress, the causes and how to prevent it from happening to begin with.

What Causes Mattress Sag?

Poor materials

With mattresses, you’ll often get what you pay for, and inferior quality materials are the main reason for mattress sag occurring. Some manufacturers will use lower quality or lower quantities of materials which then diminishes the longevity of the matters. For example, using cheaper springs or foam which then allows them to maximise their profits.

Although these cheaper materials mean a more affordable mattress it reduces the durability of the surface to handle the load night after night especially if two people are sharing the same mattress. This doesn’t happen instantly but gradually over the years after sleeping on it night after night.

Liquid or soiling

The mattress is prone to damage when exposed to fluids even including water which can damage the upholstery of the mattress which can lead to dips forming in the outer layers of the mattress.

For this reason, you’ll often find that manufacturers may invalidate your warranty or guarantee if they can see that damage has been caused by either liquid or soiling. This is because from the manufacturer's point of view it shows that the damage was caused by you not taking care of the mattress.

Low-quality foundation

The support a mattress provides is only as good as its foundation. A poor quality foundation will only contribute to sagging developing. A high-quality foundation is there to provide support and structure to the mattress to stop sagging from developing.

The quality of the foundation also links back to the materials that are being used to construct it. Higher quality materials will have a longer life and provide the mattress with the correct level of support.


Mattresses just like all products have a shelf life and are designed to last for 8-10 years. After this time the materials will begin to naturally wear down, and the support won’t be as effective as when you first purchased it.

This can then lead to sagging developing due to holding your weight every night for many years which begins to take its toll.

Problems caused by mattress sagging?

So you may be wondering what all the fuss is about, but a sagging mattress can cause many problems which is why you need to take steps to address it quickly.

Neck & Back pain

A mattresses main goal is to provide you with support for your favoured sleeping position to ensure that your spine is aligned while protecting your back and neck. If you’re always waking up in the morning feeling achy and sore, then it’s likely to your mattress could be causing it.


Don’t just assume that because you slept through the whole night that it’s okay, you need to listen to your body. The cause of your neck or back pain may not be because of your mattress, but a sagging mattress could be making it worse.

Dust Mites

This is one thing that you may have overlooked; if you have a sagging mattress, then this can create another issue of having an increase in bugs and dust mites in your mattress. If your mattress is sagging, then it’s likely that you’ve had it for many years meaning that theirs probably going to be a massive build-up of your dead skin and dirt that has accumulated over the years.

Unfortunately, dead skin is like liquid gold to dust mites which thrive on this for growth which allows them to multiply quickly. This theory has been back by reports that a typical mattress can have up to 10 million dust mites present depending on its age. Dust mites can be a significant trigger for allergies, asthma and other health issues.

Poor sleep quality

A sagging mattress is going to negatively affect your sleep quality due to the uncomfortable feeling which can not only make it difficult to fall asleep but can also cause several disruptions throughout the night.

This means that you spend less time in deep sleep which can leave you still feeling tired in the morning when sleep is needed to rejuvenate your body.

If you’re tired in the morning, this can affect vast parts of your life including memory, concentration and your ability to learn new information. Sleep quality can also be affected if the sag is causing back pain which then keeps you awake for large portions of the night.

How to Prevent Mattress Sagging?

When it comes to mattress damage, prevention is better than cure, so it’s important to follow these steps, so you don’t encounter sagging mattresses frequently.

Mattress protector

A mattress protector is a cheap yet effective way of giving your waterproof mattress protection against unexpected spills and accidents.
It is also great for children who are prone to bedwetting. The mattress protector forms an extra layer so it’ll be harder for liquids to penetrate the surface of the mattress.

Clean any spillages

Accidents can happen, but it’s essential that you act fast and clean up any liquid that you spill on your mattress.

One simple mistake can massively shorten the life of your mattress so you should allow your mattress to naturally air out and not sleep directly on the wet or damp parts of the surface.

Regular maintenance

With regular maintenance, you will be able to notice if your mattress has the potential to begin developing sagging. Simple checks could be checking the foundation or slats of your bed frame to check that the mattress is still being supported adequately.

If the foundation or slats are deteriorating, then these are much more affordable to replace compared to a mattress.

Regular turning

You need to ensure that you regularly change the positioning of your mattress. If you don’t, you’ll end up sleeping on the same part of the mattress for years and years which can cause sagging.

If you don’t have a no-turn mattress, then you need to move your mattress periodically to reduce the effects of sagging. The first it to rotate it so that your head position will swap with your feet position.

The second cycle is flipping the mattress without rotating, so you’re now slipping on the other side of the mattress. The final turning cycle is rotating between the head and foot again. This is different from the first cycle because you’re now on the opposite side of the mattress.

How to Fix Mattress Sagging?

If your mattress has started to sag, then now is the time to act. Several temporary fixes can be done as short term measures, but it’s time to start considering buying a replacement.

Mattress Topper

An affordable and quick way to help reduce the effects of a sagging mattress is to buy a mattress topper. A mattress topper is usually thinner than a mattress and is a layer of material, usually memory foam and placed on top of your existing mattress.


Similar to mattresses they come in a range of materials, but memory foam is usually the most common and useful. It can help to mask any lumps or sags. A mattress topper can’t mask sag forever if the sage progressively gets worse.

Use pillows

If your mattress sagging is concentrated into one area, then the effects can be minimised with the use of small soft pillows. These pillows can be placed into the dip to create a more even surface making it easier to fall asleep.

Flip the mattress

Although this is also a prevention method if you’ve started to get a sag forming, then you can also use this as an opportunity to flip the mattress. It won’t be as effective as if you flipped or turned before the damage started to occur so the results may vary depending on the severity of the sag and the quality of the mattress material.
Extra wood support

Plywood can be used to increase the comfort of your sagging mattress by placing the material underneath your mattress. It will even out the surface by giving the mattress more support and a higher strength foundation so it can take your bodyweight without dipping.

You need to ensure that the size of the plywood is the same size as the bed; otherwise, if it's too small, then it can still cause inking on the sides. If it’s too large, then it can be a safe trip hazard when you walk past the bed.

Your mattress will eventually need replacing.

These fixes are purely temporary while you find a new mattress. Sleeping on a sagging mattress can bring an abundance of health issues both short and long term.

If you’ve had your mattress for over ten years, then you should buy a new one as soon as possible. Buying a mattress is a big purchase for most people, but you spend a significant amount of your life using this so you should get the best one you can to fit your budget.

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