How To Tell If Your Mattress Is What’s Causing Your Poor Sleep

There are many things that could be disturbing your sleep at night. Maybe your bedroom is too hot or too cold, street noise or a snoring partner are interrupting you, or you suffer from a condition like sleep apnea. But in some cases, the culprit behind your bad nights might actually be your mattress. Here’s how you can tell.

You wake up feeling sore in your back or joints.


The mattress may not be what caused your initial pain — after all, analysis of one data set found that around 80 percent of Americans will experience acute lower back pain at least once in their lives. But it’s possible that your mattress is just making things worse, leading to pain and causing you to toss and turn at night.

If your mattress is too soft, it won’t support your spine properly. And if it’s too hard, it may dig into your spine and put extra pressure on your joints. Figure out what firmness is best for you in order to enjoy pain-free sleep where your body is appropriately supported.

Related: Our Picks for Best Mattresses

You constantly wake up feeling overheated — even though your room is cool.

Some mattresses, especially memory foam models, can “run hot” during the night and cause you to overheat. In turn, this can make you sweat and wake up. Especially if you sleep with a partner, some mattress materials can “trap” your body heat rather than dissipating it. Look for a mattress or topper with temperature regulating technology to ensure this doesn’t happen.

You wake up with a runny nose or itchy eyes.

If you wake up feeling like you’re in the midst of an allergy attack, that could be a sign that mold, bacteria, or dust mites in your mattress are bothering you. And if you wake up feeling nasty, imagine what your body is going through when you breathe in these things all night long.

“Along with cleaning your sheets and pillowcases regularly, you can help prevent bacteria and other microorganisms from building up in your mattress and pillows by protecting them with allergen-proof covers,” a Prevention article advises.

Featured image: PhotoMediaGroup/Shutterstock

Joe Auer

Joe is the editor of Mattress Clarity. When he isn't testing sleep products, he enjoys working out, reading, and playing classical piano.

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