You and your mattress have been together for quite a while. And you might have thought it’s going to be that way forever.
Who am I to tell you it’s not so?
Who am I to tell you that you need a new mattress?
Well, I am the one who cares and the one who’s been there too. But don’t take my word for it. Instead, take a look at your bed, your life, how your bed affects your life… And see if you can spot at least one of the following alert signals.
It Doesn’t Look Right
Obviously, your bed is not perfect for you anymore if you can see this with a naked eye. Sagging, lumps, body impressions, and other visual deformations are all signs you need a new mattress.
Experts recommend rotating and flipping your mattress occasionally to avoid sagging in just one area. While this sounds like a good piece of advice, I believe it’s not actually about flipping and rotating.
Here’s what it’s about:
If your mattress isn’t of the best quality, it will sag anyway, no matter how often you flip and rotate it. And it doesn’t really make any difference whether it will sag in one area only or equally around the whole sleeping surface. It. Will. Sag.
Mattresses of higher quality, though, will likely benefit from flipping and rotating, as these manipulations will just help them keep their initial supportive qualities.
“Most models available on the market today can’t be flipped due to their construction, so rotating is the only option. However, few manufacturers produce flippable mattresses that provide a comfortable sleeping surface on both sides. Note that some of such models will offer you a different firmness level on each side.”
While sagging and lumps can be a problem for all mattresses, impressions are typical of memory foam ones only. It’s in the nature of this material that it “remembers” the shape of your body, conforms to it, and then returns to its initial shape once you get out of your bed.
But the bad news is:
Time breaks the structure of memory foam, making it softer and less supportive.
Thus, if you see the impression of your body on the sleeping surface when you’re already out of your bed, you should replace the mattress and it is better to choose a mattress delivered in a box (it lasts longer).
It Doesn’t Sound Right
If you own an innerspring or a hybrid, you may face the noise problem. While the mattress can be completely quiet initially, it can start making squeaking sounds after some time of active usage. It’s the first sign that the coils in the foundation layer are becoming weaker, which means they are not able to provide strong support anymore.
It Doesn’t Smell Right
You do the laundry for all your bedding items every week and still smell something weird?
Don’t panic. It’s not a smelling disorder. It’s your mattress!
Considering how much time you spend in your bed, it’s quite natural that it can become a home to fungi and bacteria. While sheets, pillows, duvets, and other bedding items can be machine washed to avoid that, a mattress can only be spot cleaned.
And here’s the thing:
Spot cleaning helps, of course, but it will remove only part of all those unpleasant things. The rest will keep on living and reproducing inside the mattress. Over years, their number can become so large that it won’t be only about the unpleasant smell anymore.
It Doesn’t Feel Right
Sometimes we just don’t pay attention to an issue until we have something to compare it with. So, have you recently stayed over at someone else’s house or slept in a hotel and noticed a big difference in the quality of your sleep? If your answer is yes, you should just admit that your bed is not comfortable enough for you anymore and let it go.
“If you’ve been sleeping on your mattress more than 7 years already and haven’t had any issues, you still need to change a mattress. At least that’s what experts advise. The thing is, you might have already been accustomed to an improper way of sleeping, to an uneven surface, and so on. This means your body might have already changed too, which is why you don’t notice the changes and which by no means is good.”
You Wake Up with Pain
Your mattress is not always the only one to blame for the pains and aches you wake up with. But it’s definitely one of the most common reasons for that.
Here’s how it happens:
All low-quality, most mediocre, and even some of the luxury mattresses lose their ability to support your body over time. The top and comfort layers wear out, flatten, and, as a result, can’t distribute your weight evenly anymore. This gives pressure instead of relieving it from your pressure points, causing that pain you feel when you wake up.
You Wake Up Feeling Tired
If you don’t feel well rested in the morning, you definitely need a new mattress. Mind here that I’m not talking about mornings after a three-hour sleep. I’m talking about a normal, healthy sleep, which ideally should start before midnight and end at least 8 hours later.
Those feelings of tiredness and lethargy in the morning can be a result of lots of tossing and turning during the night as your body was desperately trying to find a comfortable position on an old, lumpy mattress.
If you feel that you’re becoming a sensitive sleeper who wakes up much more often than you used to just some time ago, it’s also one of the signs you need a new mattress.
You could think that low sleep quality might be a sign of stress rather than of an improper mattress. And you would be right.
But here’s the thing:
It’s a vicious circle, where low-quality sleep creates stress, and stress makes your sleep even worse.
Here’s the good news, though:
There’s a high chance that a new mattress will help you break this vicious circle.
You Suspect Bugs
You don’t have to see them to know they are there, crawling out of their tiny shelters every night to feed on you.
Doesn’t that creep you out?
Inspect your bed for small traces of blood (which are left after the bugs feed) and shed skin (which may look sort of like a dead bug). If you find any, it’s time to take proper care of your bedroom, which includes renewing your mattress and bedding.
You Have Changed
Now, you really need a new mattress if you have changed in any of these ways:
- Lost or gained weight.
It doesn’t happen over one night, of course, and that’s the tricky part. If you’ve been slowly gaining or losing pounds, let’s say, during a year, your mattress has been slowly becoming an uncomfortable one. And people tend to overlook things that happen slowly, simply adapting to them. It’s unhealthy.
When it comes to your sleep, your weight is one of the key factors that define what kind of mattress is good for you. Larger sleepers will obviously need a firmer, more supportive mattress, while petite ones will feel more comfortable on a softer bed.
“If you got pregnant (congrats!), you’re going to gain some weight soon, which means you’d better look for a new mattress that will be able to give proper support to your changing body. Pregnant women are advised to sleep on their side, so if your old mattress worked for a back or stomach sleeping position, it will have no use for you during the next nine months.”
- Got health issues.
Any injuries or spine diseases might require you to change the surface you’re sleeping on. This may also involve changing the position you used to sleep in. In this case, you should carefully follow the instructions of your doctor as to the mattress’s material, firmness level, and any other specifications.
- Got a new partner to sleep with.
While your current mattress can work just fine for you, it may feel uncomfortable for your new sleeping partner. I wouldn’t hurry here, though, but if you’re going to spend at least the next few years with this person, it makes sense to get a new quality mattress that will be equally comfortable for the both of you. Some manufacturers make dual-sided mattresses, which are a great solution for couples with different sleeping preferences.
- Changed sleeping preferences.
I can imagine you were inspired by one of my posts where I mention that experts recommend side sleeping as the best position, and so you decided to train yourself to sleep on your side for your health’s sake.
What a nice scenario!
But even if things are not as described, you definitely need a new mattress once your sleeping preferences change.
You Notice Allergy Symptoms
Do your mornings start with sneezing, itching eyes, and a runny nose? Do these symptoms slowly disappear throughout the day and get back to you the next morning? If so, you’ve probably developed an allergy.
Dust mites are one of the most common allergy triggers. They settle and multiply in your bedding, as it’s a perfect environment for them. Mildew and mold, which your mattress might accumulate as well, can cause allergic reactions too.
If your old mattress isn’t designed to be hypoallergenic, maybe it’s time that you get a new one? Well, unless you believe in that sneezing-orgasming theory and actually enjoy your allergy symptoms.