The real question is: how long have you had your mattress? 5 years? 10 years? Longer? Mattresses tend to be one of those things we forget about over time. It doesn’t jump up to say hello when you get home, it doesn’t make you a delicious breakfast before you go to work, it just kinda sits there. Let’s face it – the thought of the state of your mattress doesn’t really blow your hair back. It’s not as exciting as a new outfit, a late night burrito, or a new phone, but it’s just as important. Well… maybe it’s a close second to the late night burrito, but for something you spend nearly a third of your life on, it should certainly be near the top of your priorities. Your mattress is there for you day in and day out, cradling you to sleep and supporting you after a long day. The problem with this: mattresses get tired too. Your bed will always be your bed, but after some time, your mattress will need to be replaced. Here are 7 signs your mattress might need replacing:
Squeaks & creaks
As you drift to sleep, your mattress should be the last thing to startle you awake every time you toss or turn. Traditional innerspring mattresses have a tendency to collect loose metal, causing loud hardware and unhinged springs to shift and disrupt your sleep. If your mattress is louder than your thoughts, it may be time to switch it up.
Most experts agree that our sleeping quality is dependent on changing up our dreaming vessels every seven to ten years. With the amount of time we spend cozied up in our beds fast asleep, we should change out our mattresses periodically as the materials degrade over time. This degradation is escalated by oils, moisture, bedtime activity and other general wear and tear. In addition, our support preferences and needs change over time, and different types of mattresses may be better suited to your evolving body.
Sagging, dipping or sinking
Your mattress should never sink in more than 1.5” throughout its lifetime. If you happen to have a well-worn mattress that does, you risk the loss of support and increase your chances of discomfort and back pain. No one person (or couple, for that matter) sleeps on every inch of their mattress evenly every night. Most solo sleepers might sleep in the dead center, favor one side, or splendidly starfish out; reaching to every corner of their domain. Couples might have more luck covering all of the mattress, but if you’re a particularly snuggly pair, the middle of the mattress is going to wear out sooner. Sagging and sinking is a sure sign that it may be time to change out your bedroom gear.
Let’s acknowledge the thing that comes to mind for most when discussing old mattresses; the loathsome bed bug. These aren’t the only nasty little invaders that might have an impact on our sleeping products, dust mites are another tiny critter to be mindful of. They may be the root of allergies and discomfort as they can cause runny noses or itchy eyes and throats. Though these little nuisances are small, they may be abundant in mattresses because their favorite meal to snack on is human dander and skin. Be aware of these symptoms, especially if they start really acting up when you lay your head on your pillow at night. This might be an important indicator that your bed is ready for a refresh.
The uhm… smell
Your mattress should never smell unpleasantly funky in any way. Not only should this just be a rule to follow in your day to day life, but this is especially important when it comes to your mattress as it can be a breeding ground for fungi, mold, and bacteria. If your mattress has any of these growing in or around it, your health may be compromised by the bedding you spend so much time on. Be sure to be hyper aware of any coughing, wheezing, or itching that could be caused by the condition of your mattress.
Stiffness, numbness or aches
As we discussed earlier, as we age our body’s needs will change. If we are not paying attention to these changes, we might be doing our bodies, health, and sanity a great deal of injustice. A sore back or neck may have much less to do with your age, and much more to do with your bedding.
You can feel something sharp or uneven
No mattress, no matter how new or old, should have sharp, lumpy, or uncomfortable components. You should always feel like you’re sleeping on a cushy but supportive surface. If you ever feel like you’re the princess sleeping on a pea, the time to change beds may be near.
While it might seem like a trivial task to consider how good or bad your mattress might be, it’s something you should do from time to time to make sure you are doing the best you can for your sleepy little self. Your bed will always be your bed, but if your mattress is a little tired, a new one might make your bed even better.