10 Subtle Signs Your Mattress Needs Replacing

If you’ve had the same mattress since you can’t even remember when, but you’ve noticed your sleep isn’t as good as it once was, then it’s time to face up to the fact that your mattress needs replacing. And it’s worth doing, because we spend about a third of our lives sleeping. Plus, there’s all that TV watching, lying in, breakfast eating, and sexy timing, our mattress puts up with a LOT!

So, how do you know when it’s time to give up on the mattress you’ve got and replace it with a new one?

On average a mattress should last between 7 – 10 years, however there are lots of factors that can influence the lifespan of a mattress. It’s much better to look out for the subtle signs your mattress needs replacing and we’re going to tell you about 10 of those signs in this article

It’s time to replace your mattress if…

1. It’s Sagging

Changes in shape, sagging, or indents are all signs that your mattress is probably past its best. If you have a coil spring mattress you will notice sagging if the coils have weakened. This will happen sooner if the person or people sleeping on the mattress are heavier. All mattresses will start to sag or change shape with age, no matter what material they are made from. Some degree of sagging is absolutely fine to sleep on, but if the dents reach a depth of 1.5 inches you should consider replacing your mattress if you want to enjoy good quality sleep again.

It is slightly harder to notice if a memory foam mattress loses shapes, because by their very nature they are designed to mould to the body and then bounce back to its original shape. Overtime they do tend to get softer, and this can result in them not bouncing back as quickly. If the indentations reach a depth of 2 inches or more it could be a sign your mattress needs replacing.

2. It’s Noisy

If you have a pocket spring or a coil spring mattress one of the subtle signs that it could be nearing the end of its lifespan is if it starts making a noise. Squeaks, creaks, and screeching metal are an indicator that the springs have gone. In some instances, you might be able to get the springs repaired. However, the cost for doing this versus the cost of buying a new mattress, doesn’t make this a particularly sensible option.

Whilst you can still sleep on a mattress with aging or damaged coils, it is not advisable. The coils give the mattress its support and soon as that goes you will start to sleep far less comfortably and will likely wake up full of all kinds of aches and pains.

3. It Smells

Humans perspire as much as an egg cupful of sweat every single night – that’s up to 3 gallons of sweat in the average lifespan of a mattress. Throw in all the other kinds of bodily fluids and odours we produce and it’s no wonder our mattresses can end up proper stinking!

Mattresses are like giant sponges. And whatever they absorb remains in the hidden depths of the mattress where it eventually turns to mildew, mould and fungi. Aside from the health implications, the smell factor alone should be enough to at least question whether your mattress needs replacing.

But before you do anything too hasty, try giving your mattress a clean and see how it smells afterwards. Vacuum both sides and then sprinkle with bicarb of soda to help soak up any surface odours. If it still whiffs, you definitely need a new one!

4. It’s Making You Sneeze

Along with all the lovely sweat and dead skin cells residing in your mattress, there are anywhere from 100,000 to 10 million dust mites living in there too.

And aside from the gross factor, all of this lovely lot can play absolute havoc with any allergies you might have. One sign your mattress needs replacing is if you’re waking up with watery eyes, a runny nose, feeling bunged, sneezing, or with a headache.

If you are someone who suffers with allergies, it might be a good idea to look for a replacement mattress that is made from natural latex and wool, as these materials help prevent the build-up of allergens. Turning the mattress over one or two times a year, plus regular cleaning will also help.

5. It’s Causing You Pain

When the springs have gone in your mattress and all support has gone it’s likely you’ll start waking up with a few more aches and pains than you did before. A mattress that is causing you pain is a mattress that needs replacing!

The pain can affect you pretty much anywhere, but most prone is the neck, shoulders, back, and hips. If you’re waking up feeling achy, but the pain gradually subsides throughout the day, it’s highly likely your mattress is the culprit. Sleep is a chance for the body to rest, repair and recover, but if your mattress has got too old or is damaged, you will be unable to give your body the proper chance to this.

6. It’s Uncomfortable

And guess what? If your mattress is causing you pain, there’s no way you’ll be sleeping comfortably either. Perhaps you’re finding it harder to get off to sleep, or maybe you’ve noticed yourself tossing and turning more or even more annoying waking up during the night.

One good way to determine whether your mattress is causing you discomfort is by comparing it to other mattresses you have slept on. For instance, if you’ve slept over at a friend’s house or stayed in a hotel recently, think about how good your sleep was. Usually, we don’t sleep as well when sleeping in a different bed or unfamiliar surroundings.  If, however, you find yourself sleeping better in this situation, it could be a sign that your mattress is to blame.

7. Its Purpose Has Changed

The purpose of your mattress can change over its lifetime in more ways than you might consider. For example, pregnancy, weight loss and weight gain, a new sleeping partner, and certain sleep conditions, can all play a part in how long your mattress will last. If you develop a chronic pain health condition you may also find your needs change. You may require more support or better pressure relief than your current mattress gives you and so you’ll need to buy a replacement mattress than can cope better with these changing requirements.

8. It’s Old

As we mentioned right at the beginning of this article, most mattresses have a lifespan of around about 7-10 years. If you’re sleeping on one that’s 10, 20, 30 years old it’s safe to say you’re due a new one.

Sometimes there might not seemingly be anything wrong with a mattress, other than that it is old. Which is perhaps not reason enough in itself to buy a new one, but you should at least ask yourself the question of how good your sleep is and whether the quality of your sleep has changed.

To help you keep track of the age of any future mattress you buy, it’s a good idea to make a note of the purchase date in your phone or jot it down on the mattress label or warranty. This will then give you a good indicator of when you will likely need to replace it further down the line.

9. It’s Making You Tired

The purpose of sleeping is to feel rested, so if you’re waking up feeling more tired than when you went to bed it means you haven’t slept very well. Now, obviously this could be for all manner of different reasons. Maybe you’re a snorer (or sleep next to a snorer), perhaps you experience vivid dreams, or maybe you suffer from any of the many other sleep disorders there are. But if there is apparently no good reason as to why you’re not sleeping as well and therefore feeling tired the next day, it might be a good idea to take a closer look at your mattress for any of the other signs we have listed here.

10. It’s Lumpy

Mattresses don’t just get saggy and lose their shape, they can also get lumpy too, and can you imagine how uncomfortable it is to sleep on a lumpy mattress!

Lower quality mattresses are even more prone to lumps, as the cheaper padding and material can more easily move with time. When you have lumps in your mattress you won’t sleep as well, and you are more likely to experience pain and stiffness if you continue sleeping on it.


Hopefully, our top ten signs will help you with how to tell when you need a new mattress. We understand that letting go of a mattress that has given you many years of restful, comfortable sleep may be hard, but think about how much your body and your mood will thank you for it.

If your mattress is displaying at least one of the signs listed above it’s worth doing some further investigation to work out whether your mattress needs replacing. Sleeping on a well-supported, clean, and comfortable mattress is really important for good sleep hygiene, to improve the quality of your sleep, and for optimum health. Look out for our future articles where we will help you discover the key features to look out for in a mattress and the ways you can make your mattress last longer.

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