Unlike a broken window or a flat tyre, it’s not always easy to know when your mattress is worn out or in need of replacement. But as it’s one of the most used items in your home, it’s definitely something you should keep an eye on – after all, spend too much time with a worn-out mattress and you could be depriving yourself of restful, restorative sleep.
Did you know that it’s advisable to get a new mattress every seven to ten years? Even if your bed feels comfortable, you could still be compromising on a good night’s sleep, and that could have real long-term effects on your health.
First of all, you’ll want to look out for any holes, bumps or lacerations – these are the most obvious signs. But it’s possible that some tired and unsupportive mattresses can look in good shape on the surface and still have a negative impact on your sleep.
If you’re not waking up feeling as fresh as a daisy, you should keep an eye out for other indications that it’s time for a new mattress. Here are a few things to consider:
1. You wake up feeling stiff
Many of us don’t enjoy waking up at the best of times, but if you’re experiencing new pains in your neck, shoulders or back (upper or lower), you may not be getting the support you need from your mattress. Over time, they lose their ability to support your body as they should. Don’t forget that you can change too, and your body may now need a different level of firmness than you currently have – perhaps a specialist orthopaedic mattress will work best for you.
2. You fall into the mattress
Your mattress doesn’t appear to have any bumps or unevenness, but when you lay down, you just feel like you’re falling into a hole – or as if you’re sleeping in a hammock. As your mattress starts to fail, body impressions can occur, and the core in your foam will soften. When it reaches a certain level of wear, it can impact on your sleep and how you feel the next day. A new memory foam mattress will solve the problem – built-in layers will mould to shape of your body.
3. You don’t feel rested
If you don’t wake up feeling refreshed and rested, chances are you haven’t had a good night’s sleep (unless you have a diagnosed sleep disorder like sleep apnea). When your mattress needs replacing, you can spend a lot of time tossing and turning – it’s a sign that your body is trying (and failing) to find a comfortable position to sleep in.
4. You’re suffering from dust allergies
If your allergies seem worse at night or when you wake up in the morning, your mattress could be causing the problem. They can attract allergens and dust, and as levels increase, there’s an increased risk of allergy and asthma-related problems. While some mattresses feature hypoallergenic technology and deter dust mites, the cotton felt layer in many spring mattresses is a favourite place for bed bugs and dust mites to hibernate.
5. You sleep better elsewhere
When you stay in a hotel or a friend’s house, you sleep much better – even though the surroundings are unfamiliar. If this has happened to you then it’s worth asking yourself why it could be, and whether a new mattress is the answer. Your mattress at home should offer comfort and support, so you can relax and recover from the stresses of the day.
And when it comes to maintaining a good mattress…
When you make the decision invest in a new mattress, you’ll want to make sure it lasts as long as possible. Give it the protection it needs with a good-quality mattress protector, which will keep your mattress clean and help to protect against allergens.
Flipping and rotating your mattress is another smart idea, and you should aim to do so every two months or so, especially during the first six months of ownership. If you’re not used to doing this, it may seem like a hassle to begin with, but it’s well worth it in the long run. It can even prolong the life of your mattress, and ensure you get a good night’s sleep, every night!