Do You Need A New Mattress? 10 Signs To Look Out For

Casper provided financial support for this article. We also have certain other financial relationships with Casper. See our disclosure page for more information.

sponsored by CasperFinding the right mattress is so important – because we spend so much of our lives sleeping, having a comfortable and supportive mattress is key – when someone finds that perfect mattress, it is an enormous relief.

However, all good things must come to an end – even if someone’s mattress has served them well, there comes a moment when it’s time to move on and say farewell. So, how do they know when the time is right to say goodbye?

Let’s talk about how people can know that their mattress has run its course – if our readers keep an eye out for these clear signs, it should be quite easy to tell. This video and post is made in sponsorship with Casper, who also gave us a mattress and sheets to use.


How Can Someone Tell That They Need A New Mattress?

Before people look for evidence that their mattress is finished, they should think about how long they’ve owned it – the average mattress lasts between seven and 10 years – if it has been over 10 years since someone purchased their current mattress, it’s probably time for an upgrade.

Even if that number is closer to the seven-year mark, it may still be time to purchase a new one – to know if it’s time to replace a mattress, look for the following signs:

  • Sagging. If a mattress is starting to sag, it’s an obvious sign that someone might need a new mattress; sagging can occur when the coils in a mattress start to weaken or the memory foam begins to lose its shape. One can partly tell that a mattress is sagging if there is a noticeable body impression in the mattress – this is especially common for larger sleepers, whose bodies may leave a deep indentation in the mattress. If people get up and the mattress does not quickly return to its normal, flat appearance, it might be time to consider a new mattress. Make sure to read our list of the best mattresses that won’t sag
  • Noise. Squeaking sounds and screeching metal sounds might be a sign that a mattress should be replaced; this mostly applies to mattresses that feature coils, and it is possible to fix this issue by tightening any bolts in the mattress or box spring. However, it could also mean that the coils are starting to age and may not be quite as supportive as before; this could mean the mattress is sagging and the sleepers aren’t getting the support they need.
  • Smell. This may not be the most appetizing thing to consider, but the mattress may just start to smell – this can happen over time as mildew, mold, and fungi build up in the mattress – it can happen even more quickly if someone lives in a humid climate. If they take a whiff of their mattress and smell some serious must, it might be time to get rid of it.
  • Allergies. When mold, mildew, and dust invade a mattress, they might exacerbate issues with allergies; if someone wakes up every morning with watery eyes, a runny nose, and a headache, the allergens in the mattress might be the cause. There are some materials (such as natural latex and wool) that can help prevent the buildup of allergens, so allergy sufferers may want to look for these particular materials when purchasing a new mattress.
  • Pain. If someone wakes up in the morning with serious pain, this could be a sign their mattress is not as comfortable or supportive as it used to be; they could experience pain on their shoulders and hips because the mattress is not relieving pressure on those areas. They could also feel lower back pain because they’re not being supported properly. Morning pain is not something to just get used to and can lead to further issues; it’s particularly important to pay attention if this is an issue. 
  • Can’t get comfortable. Discomfort can be another sign that a mattress is finished; tossing and turning may mean the mattress has lost its comfort and support. If people find themselves waking up often throughout the night, it is possible their old mattress is to blame.
  • Sleeping better on a different mattress. Someone might want to replace their mattress if they notice that they sleep much better on a different mattress; say they often wake up with a stuffed-up nose or joint pain, and then they sleep in a hotel and wake up with none of those problems. Well, this could mean their mattress is the cause of their problems; if someone thinks their mattress might be reaching the end, they should try sleeping on a newer mattress and compare how their experiences.
  • The situation has changed. Even if one’s mattress is still in tip-top shape, it still might be time to get a new mattress; life can change in an instant, and a mattress just might not fit someone’s new needs. Pregnancy, weight loss, weight gain, and/or gaining a new sleeping partner could all warrant the purchase of a new mattress – conditions such as arthritis could require people to find a mattress with better pressure relief.

How Can Someone Make Their Mattress Last Longer?

We’ve talked about the signs that someone should get rid of their mattress – there are also some steps one can take to ensure a mattress lasts as long as possible. People should keep these in mind if they want to get the most life out of their mattress investment.

  • Use a mattress protector. Placing a mattress protector over the mattress can be a quick way to guard against dust, mold, and mildew; many mattress companies will void the warranty if people do not use a protector. Either way, using a mattress protector is an easy way to add life to the mattress.
  • Support the mattress properly. If someone’s mattress does not have the proper foundation beneath it, it could start to sag – if someone has a heavier mattress, it could require an extra supportive foundation. Also, some mattresses are meant to go with a box spring; consult the website for each specific mattress brand to find the right foundation or bed.
  • Don’t hop on the bed. While it can be fun to let the kids jump on the bed, this can damage a mattress and cut into its lifespan; foam can start to break down more quickly and coils can also weaken. In the end, this is a mattress and not a trampoline.
  • Keep animals out. It’s nice to spend the morning in bed with that favorite pup; Fido can bring some not-so-cuddly friends along with him. Bugs, dirt, pollen – they can all hitch a ride on the pet and eventually reduce the lifespan of the mattress. It’s not easy, but people might have to choose between sleeping with their pet and a longer-lasting mattress.
  • Don’t eat in bed. If someone likes to snack in bed, it might be time to change their ways. Food can stain the mattress, and the crumbs can invite bugs to move into the mattress. Bed bugs are the worst; they can ruin a mattress and can also be a logistical nightmare. Keeping one’s living space clean and free of food items can go a long way in keeping these nasty critters out of the bed.
  • Clean and vacuum the mattress. If someone makes a mess, they should clean it immediately; spot-clean any stains using a white cloth and a simple mix of baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and dish soap. Also aim to vacuum the mattress a few times a year; this can help prevent a buildup of dirt.
  • Rotate and flip the mattress. This doesn’t necessarily apply to mattresses with a zoned construction or layered hybrid construction. However, some standard spring mattresses should be flipped or rotated a few times a year; this can prevent one’s body from creating a deep impression in one spot.
  • Wrap the mattress in plastic to move. If it’s time to move across town or across the country, make sure to wrap the mattress in plastic; if unprotected, the mattress can pick up dirt, pollen, and those nasty bed bugs on these jaunts. But, a thin sheet of plastic should protect the mattress from picking up any unwanted guests.

What Should People Look For In A New Mattress?

So let’s say it’s time; it is clear that the mattress needs to go – if this is the case, what should they consider when purchasing a new mattress? How can people make sure they get a mattress to last for a good, long time?

First, if people are looking for a mattress that contains foam, they should find something with a higher-density foam – a 4- to 5-lb density is what they should be looking for. Three- to 3.5-lb foams may break down more quickly; higher-density foams are more durable and should make for a longer-lasting mattress.

Second, consider a mattress with coils – these are durable and can add some more life to the mattress – they can help fight sagging and ensure that shoppers are making a wise investment.

Besides finding durable materials, people also want to make sure the mattress is a good fit for your sleeping preferences. Here are some general guidelines:

  • Back sleepers are going to want a mattress with a balance of comfort and support. They want support in this position, but they also want their hips to sink in somewhat.
  • Side sleepers should find a softer mattress; they want a soft comfort layer to relieve pressure on their shoulders and hips.
  • Stomach sleepers should opt for a firmer mattress; their hips need enough support to ensure they don’t sink in when they’re stomach sleeping.

People should also think about their sleeping temperature. If people sleep hot, a hybrid mattress could be a good choice, as the coils allow for airflow. If someone wants an all-foam mattress, they should make sure the mattress has some features to keep them sleeping cool.

Finally, people should take their size into account. If someone is lighter, they might not need the support that a heavier person does. If someone is heavier, they could need a thicker comfort layer so they don’t bottom out.


It should be easy to tell if a mattress is ready to be replaced. Keep an eye out for sagging, noise, discomfort, and so on, and if people aren’t sure, they should try sleeping on a different mattress for a few nights to compare how they feel.

Prior to replacing a mattress and after purchasing a new one, make sure to take steps to get as many years out of the mattress as possible.

Featured image: MAD_production/Shutterstock

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Marten Carlson

Marten is a staff writer for Mattress Clarity News. He covers the mattress industry as well as sleep science news. He is specifically interested in the connection between sleep and overall health.Marten has written for media publications like Consequence of Sound and received a master’s degree in Film Studies from Emory University.He comes from Franklin, Indiana, and spends all the time he can writing, directing, and acting in films. He has directed genre short films and features. His newest film, Starlets, recently premiered at the River Town Film Festival in Clinton, NJ. He also stars in the upcoming thriller, Sour Bear. His next film, At The Hop, is a hot rod actioner with a horror twist.
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