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10 Signs It’s Time for a New Mattress

A good tomorrow starts with a sound night's sleep. Before you head off to dreamland, make sure your current mattress isn't actually a sleep expert's nightmare with these tips.

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It doesn’t look right

The most obvious sign that you need a new mattress is that it doesn’t really look like a mattress anymore. Rick Maynard, spokesperson for Stearns & Foster, recommends looking for visual cues when changing your sheets. If it’s uneven or sagging in certain areas, that’s a pretty good indication that it is no longer providing the support you need when you sleep and that it’s time for a new mattress. These are the things you should know when shopping for a new mattress.


It’s noisy

Your bed shouldn’t be loud, even when you’re tossing and turning. If you hear grinding metal or can feel displaced springs, it means that the foundation of your mattress isn’t strong anymore.

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It smells funny

If you wash your sheets every week and something still doesn’t smell right when you’re falling asleep, it could be a sign that you need a new mattress. Think about how many hours you spend in your bed. Over time it collects a lot of unpleasant bacteria and fungi. Also, if your room is damp, it could develop mold. Making these little changes can help you sleep better in just one day.

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It’s old

Maynard says that modern mattresses last for about eight to ten years. Not only does your mattress lose support over its lifetime, but it also accumulates oil, moisture, and dead skin.

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You feel older than you are

Support issues aren’t as obvious because you can’t always see them. “Your body will tell you that there may be an issue,” says Maynard. “A lot of things that people attribute to getting older—aches and pains—can normally be credited to the age or quality of their mattress.” Watch out for these other things that can happen when you sleep on an old mattress.

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You see creepy crawlies      

The second you see any signs of bugs in your bed, it should motivate you to get a new mattress. Many people don’t realize that bed bugs aren’t the only thing they need to worry about. Older mattresses are a haven for dust mites—they feed off of the dead skin that builds up in your mattress. According to a study by Ohio State University, the typical used mattress may have from 100,000 to 10 million mites in it. Yuck! Check out these secrets that bed bugs don’t want you to know.

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You don’t take care of it

To prolong the life of your mattress, you can flip or rotate it a few times a year. Doing this will help the bed to wear down evenly. However, for higher quality mattresses such as Stearns & Foster or Tempur-Pedic, you don’t need to rotate them.

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You sleep better when you’re not home

Another sign that you need a new mattress is if you find that you get a better night’s sleep on the couch, in a hotel bed, or in a friend’s bed, says Maynard. Your bed, not in front of the TV, should be where you can comfortably get a full eight hours of sleep. These are other bedroom items you need to replace more often than you thought.

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You have bad allergy or asthma symptoms

A buildup of dust mites in old mattresses can cause allergic reactions such as a runny nose, sneezing, and an itchy nose, mouth, and throat. If you find that your allergies don’t go away even when the pollen levels go down, it’s probably time to think about investing in a new mattress.

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Your body has changed

As you get older, your body will need to be supported differently while you sleep. To help with pains, your bed should get firmer as you get older. This all depends on the individual though; whether they sleep on their stomach, side, or back. When going to pick a new mattress, Maynard suggests bringing your pillow and actually laying on the different beds in the position that you sleep in every night. Don’t just test the bed by sitting or pushing on it with your hands. Next, find out how to choose the best mattress for every type of sleeper.

Morgan Cutolo
Morgan is the Assistant Digital Managing Editor at Reader’s Digest. She graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 2016 with a B.A. in Journalism. When she’s not writing for or keeping the 650+ pieces of content our team produces every month organized, she likes watching HGTV, going on Target runs, and searching through Instagram to find new corgi accounts to follow.