6 Signs That You Need to Replace Your Mattress

Medically Reviewed by Dan Brennan, MD on August 17, 2021
4 min read

‌Your mattress might not be the first thing you think about when you aren’t sleeping well. But your body may notice when you need to replace your mattress before your eyes do. There are many reasons why mattresses break down or need to be replaced. Below are six signs you should look for if your sleep is not as satisfying as it once was. 

When you wake up each day feeling new aches and pains, you probably need a new mattress. An old mattress can cause pain in your neck, shoulders, lower back, and hips. This happens because your mattress is no longer giving you the support you need. ‌

You may also notice the physical outline of body impressions in your bed. Supportive beds are supposed to return to their natural state. When your mattress loses its shape, it no longer supports your spine’s natural curvature. This then adds stress to other parts of your body while you sleep. ‌

Your mattress breakdown will be gradual. This means you might feel tightness or soreness in certain areas of your body. It might not be enough for you to immediately blame your mattress. But it could be the first sign that you need to start looking for a new one. Especially if your soreness isn’t caused by other reasons.

‌When your mattress starts to show signs of wear and tear, it’s time to replace it. Signs of wear include: 

  • Sagging
  • Visible tears
  • Ripping
  • Holes
  • Stains
  • Other damage‌

Other signs of mattress damage you shouldn’t ignore include: 

  • Lumpy or deep indentations
  • Foam that is failing or shifting around
  • Springs that are poking you
  • Feeling the foundation

‌If your allergies have gotten worse and it’s not allergy season, it could be your mattress. Dust mite feces can cause respiratory problems which trigger allergies and asthma. An older mattress can have more dust mite issues than you’d think. 

Though older mattresses typically have the highest amount of dust mites present than any other item in your house, your old mattress may contain more than just dust mites. It might also be harboring the following: 

  • Dust mite feces
  • Mold
  • Bacteria
  • Other allergens

Different mattresses have different lifespans. A waterbed will last the longest, anywhere from 12 to 15 years. A foam bed — latex or gel — usually lasts around 10 to 15 years. A memory foam bed can last eight to 10 years if properly rotated. And an innerspring mattress can last eight years or so. Mattress life depends on proper care and maintenance.  ‌

Investing in a quality mattress is important — that quality will affect how long the mattress will last and how good it is for your body. Typically, it’s recommended that you replace your mattress every six to eight years. ‌

However, it’s best to start looking for a new mattress as soon as you’re no longer comfortable. As you get older and your body changes, you'll need a different support system. Listen to what your body is telling you, and if you’re not sleeping well, you may find that you need a new mattress before your current one reaches the eight-year mark. 

If you keep getting hot in bed or wake up sweating, your mattress might need to be replaced. If you didn’t have a problem with temperature regulation when you first bought the mattress that’s a sure sign that your mattress is breaking down. The longer you have the mattress, the more the materials will soften and restrict airflow on the surface. ‌

Your mattress may wear out faster if you keep your room unusually hot or cold. This exposure can break down the material and is most common for people with all-foam mattresses. 

Trouble sleeping is the final sign that indicates you probably need to replace your mattress. Even if you don’t notice pain — or have just accepted it — difficulty sleeping could be caused by your mattress. One way to tell is by sleeping on a different bed for one night. If you sleep significantly better, then it’s a good idea to start looking for a new mattress. ‌

Not getting enough sleep can cause significant stress and chronic sleep problems. Without the right amount of sleep, you might feel the following: 

  • Decreased mood
  • Feeling incompetent or having no self-worth
  • Slower mental and emotional function‌

If you notice one or more of these signs, you should start looking for your next mattress. Sleep is crucial for the human body and quality sleep — or a lack thereof — can affect your entire day.