After a number of nights spent tossing and turning or waking up feeling less-than rested, you might chalk it up to simply “feeling off.”
But what if it’s actually your mattress?
Plenty of us suffer from lack of sleep, wake up with back pain or experience other sleep-related issues. These issues are so commonplace, we tend to not attribute them to anything in particular.
True, there are some medical conditions that lead to poor sleep, but it’s not uncommon for your mattress to be at the root of the problem.
So, how do you know when it’s time to part with your mattress?
Here are 10 signs it may be time for you to start mattress shopping.
1. Your Mattress Is 7–10 Years Old
Just like everything else in this world, your mattress won’t last forever.
If you’ve been having trouble sleeping, the first thing you should consider is the age of your mattress.
Most mattresses only last an average of eight years, though this number does vary from manufacturer to manufacturer and is influenced by other factors like your weight or excessive wear.
But if it’s in the range of 7–10 years old and your comfort level is less than ideal, you’re probably due for a new mattress.
2. It’s Not Comfortable
As obvious as it may sound, this sign you need a new mattress isn’t actually that easy to identify.
Most of us get used to discomfort after a while, and it becomes harder to tell if our mattresses are taking a toll on our bodies.
The top layers of most mattresses are designed primarily for comfort. They should support your body, relieve stress from pressure points and, well, feel good. But these layers break down and lose their compression slowly over time — so slowly, in fact, that you might not be aware it’s happening.
But discomfort isn’t just an issue with aging mattresses. Sometimes, you might try out a mattress and think it’s comfortable, but once you bring it home, it suddenly feels like you bought a lemon. It’s not unusual (even though it’s a huge bummer). However, it does mean you should probably trade in your mattress.
3. There’s Obvious Sagging
Whether you have an innerspring, pocket-spring, hybrid, latex foam or memory foam mattress — it can sag.
No matter what material it’s made out of, your mattress will eventually break down over time and lose its structure. A saggy mattress can disrupt sleep in a number of ways, including messing with your sleeping position and causing aches and pains.
And the saggier your mattress, the more uncomfortable you’ll be.
So, if you’ve noticed an unusually large dent in your mattress or if your mattress feels like a hammock — it’s probably time to shop for a new one.
4. You’ve Gained or Lost Weight
When you buy a mattress, you buy it because it works well for your body.
But if your body has changed, doesn’t it make sense that your current mattress might not be as effective?
In general, sleep quality and weight are inextricably linked, but any additional weight on your mattress will inevitably lead to greater wearing down of foam, springs and other components.
This also applies if you’ve recently started sharing a bed with a partner. Two bodies weigh more than one, and it’s not out of the question that the mattress that worked well for you alone isn’t a great fit for two people.
5. Your Body Is Leaving an Impression
It may also be time for a new mattress is if your body tends to leave a lingering impression in the material.
This issue is specific to memory foam mattresses, and yes, memory foam should “remember” your body — but not forever. Memory foam should still bounce back to its original form once you get out of bed. But as the cellular structure of the foam begins to break down, this stops happening.
And if memory foam stops bouncing back, it’s also going to stop supporting your body.
6. You’ve Started Having Back Pain (or Your Pain Has Gotten Worse)
Sudden or worsened back or neck pain is never a good sign.
However, it is a sign your mattress might be wreaking havoc on your body.
If your mattress has lost the ability to provide adequate support — either by the gradual wearing of springs and base layers or the loss of compression in the top layers — you’re going to notice a difference in your body.
This deterioration of support in your mattress is going to affect your back, neck, shoulders, and it will likely create uncomfortable pressure points.
So if you’ve been waking up stiff and achy most mornings, chances are it’s time for a new mattress.
7. You Spot Some Unwanted Guests
This probably goes without saying, but the second you see any signs of bugs in your bed — it’s time for a new mattress.
While most of us know to keep an eye out for bed bugs, we don’t always consider a dust mite infestation. Older mattresses are particularly susceptible to dust mites because the bugs love to eat the dead skin that builds up in mattress fibers. We know, it’s gross.
Plus, dust mites can worsen allergies and asthma — which we’ll touch on more in a minute.
8. It’s Getting Lumpy
As you use your mattress, the padding may start to shift and create lumps. Even just one or two lumps mean your body isn’t being adequately supported.
These lumps can also create uncomfortable pressure points, leading to more aches and pains when you wake up.
9. You’re Sneezing More Than You’re Snoring
Waking up with a stuffy nose when it’s not allergy season may also be a sign you need to invest in a new mattress.
Like we mentioned above, dust mites in your mattress can lead to allergy or asthma attacks or a general worsening of symptoms. But besides dust mites, mattresses can also accumulate mold, mildew and other irritants.
If you do suffer from severe allergies or asthma, you may want to consider getting a memory foam mattress (like the Bear Mattress) that wards off allergens better than other materials and use a mattress protector.
10. You Sleep Better on Other Beds
It’s a sure sign you need a different mattress if you sleep better on a different bed.
Sleep problems can be attributed to many factors. But if you wake up feeling rejuvenated on a bed other than your own, it’s hard to deny the problem is your mattress. Even if you find yourself wanting to snooze on your couch more than your bed, it’s likely a red flag that your bed isn’t cutting it anymore.
Be a Smart Mattress Shopper
Your mattress can either lead to great sleep or the worst sleep ever — so it’s not a purchase you should go into blindly.
It’s incredibly important to do your research and find a mattress that will meet your unique sleep needs. Ultimately, you want a supportive, comfortable and durable mattress that offers proper spinal alignment. It should fit your body and no one else’s (unless you have a partner, of course).
For you, that might mean getting one of the Bear mattresses, or it might mean getting something else entirely.
No matter what, your mattress should feel like it was made just for you.
(And just in case, always make sure your mattress has an easy, hassle-free return policy!)