Effects of Sleeping On an Old Mattress

Effects of Sleeping On an Old Mattress

Just like every other item that is used daily, our mattresses begin to depreciate after a couple of years. There are several ways of taking care of the mattress to get a few extra years out of it like steaming after every six months to kill dust mites and other dangerous bacteria. The use of mattress toppers or waterproof covers will go a long way in increasing its longevity. 

Whenever you begin to wake up with back pain, skin irritation, or some allergies, it is possible that you have exhausted the useful life of your mattress. You may be very tired and can easily fall asleep immediately you lay on your mattress, but as soon as it gets old sleep disruptions to become a regular occurrence. 

Good quality sleep comes with immense health benefits and reflects the true state of your mattress. Hence, you cannot attenuate the negative effects of sleeping on an old mattress. 

We will discuss major recommendations for identifying and getting rid of old mattresses to improve your quality of life as you enjoy a deep slumber. 

The Structure of a Mattress in Relation to its Durability

The materials that are used in the manufacture of a mattress plays a huge role in its longevity. Most brands peg the lifespan of their mattress models at seven years which is ample time for users to enjoy their money’s worth before seeking a replacement. 

There are several mattress models in the market today, some of which are memory foam, latex, and innerspring mattresses. Hybrid models which combine two or more of the previous options are also available.

Models that feature innerspring systems depreciate faster as the steel coils tend to sag from prolonged use and eventually make creaking noises. All-foam models like latex or memory foam mattresses last longer, especially those that are made from high-quality natural materials. The type of fabric that is used in the design of its cover also has a role to play in extending the life cycle of its components. 

Your body weight and bedtime routine can determine how long your mattress should last. It can be observed that the weight of heavier people forces the mattress to compress significantly, whether it’s an all-foam, innerspring, or hybrid model.

1. Identifying an Old Mattress

When you have exceeded the specified useful life of a mattress, problems may start occurring. You may also notice other signs like worn-out cover fibers which may soon become torn. Aside from the obvious physical sign of structural deformation, there are several other factors that can help you to identify an old mattress. 

Dust Mites

While you sleep during the night, dead skin cells from your body collect on the mattress. Dust mites which are not visible to the naked eye become attracted to your bed as they feed on these dead cells and multiply. The droppings from these dust mites tend to cause skin irritations and could trigger asthma attacks, as well as allergies.

Washing your bed sheets regularly, like once every week will help reduce the chances of an infestation. Using a steamer on the surface of your mattress right after vacuuming it will ensure that all particles are fully removed and germs are killed. This should be done every few months to increase the longevity of your mattress.


There are several particles that can trigger allergies in sleepers aside the fecal matter from dust mites. Pet dander, mold spores, mildew, pollen, and dust also cause allergic reactions like skin rashes, respiratory problems, itchy eyes, runny nose, and lots more.

Maintaining a cool room temperature, reducing humidity, vacuuming and keeping the surface of the mattress dry at all times will help get rid of these allergens. A mattress cover or bedsheet with hypoallergenic properties will go a long way in keeping you protected.

Unpleasant Smell

During sleep, we sweat and body oils are secreted onto the surface of the bed. The oils and sweat tend to soak into the mattress and cause it to have an unpleasant smell as it accumulates. Warm temperatures and relatively high humidity in your room, coupled with the deposits of dead skin cells, body oils, and sweat on the mattress support mold growth. The mold spores and mildew gives it that unpleasant musty smell. 

A waterproof mattress cover can come in handy to ensure that this does not happen, leaving you with a bed that smells and feels fresh at all times.

Back and Joint Pain

As your mattress gets old, its components weaken and it begins to sag excessively under the weight of your body. This causes skewing of the spine for long periods while you sleep, regardless of your sleeping position. You would end up having lower back pain, sore muscles, and stiff joints when you wake up.

It is true that mattresses become softer after years of use, making it difficult for you to reposition or get in and out of bed. The softness of the mattress affects its responsiveness and leaves sleeper feeling stuck as they sink deeply while lying down. Losing the natural curve of the spine for a long time results in muscle tension and eventual stiffness or neck sprain.

Getting a new mattress will help soothe sore muscles and relieve pain from injuries as you experience pain-free sleep.

Poor Sleep Quality

A feeling of tiredness and fatigue even after several hours of sleep could result from resting on a bad mattress. Maintaining a healthy sleep routine will help you stay healthy both mentally and physically.

Your body is fully rejuvenated during sleep. Without a proper sleep routine, you can’t perform your routine tasks with great attention.

2. Extending the Longevity of Your Mattress

The nature of your bedroom has a role to play in the longevity of your mattress. It is where you will be spending a good fraction of your time. It should be properly ventilated as excessive sweating at night and high humidity will leave your mattress damp with a moldy smell.

Your comfort and relaxation can be enhanced with the use of other important bedding elements like:

Mattress Cover

Most mattress covers are waterproof, antimicrobial, and capable of keeping the mattress allergen-free. They are also breathable, ensuring that air flows in and out of the mattress freely to keep the surface fresh at all times. These covers which protect the mattress from dirt and spills can be removed and washed to maintain proper hygiene.

Mattress Topper

Mattress toppers can be used to enhance comfort on a mattress as it creates a whole new feel as you sleep throughout the night. It ensures that you have a uniform sleeping surface for improved pressure relief, body conformance, and support. With the right model, you can extend the useful life of your mattress while enjoying deep sleep like never before. 


The use of pillows can be helpful in providing additional support to cushion pressure in certain joints while you sleep. With the correct placement, it can be useful in managing pain and sleep disorders. Pillows can be placed under the neck to support the head and between both knees. It will cushion the pressure from your body weight for side sleepers. It can also be placed in a way that your hip rests on it.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) – Effects of Sleeping On an Old Mattress

What happens when a mattress gets old?

Over time, your mattress becomes soft, and imprints of your body shape can be seen on the bed. This is a sign that your mattress has become old. The uneven surface will affect the natural alignment of the spine.

Continuous use of this mattress will have you sleeping in a wrong posture for long periods. This will result in lower back pain and sleep disorders that have a negative impact on your health. Its effects are also seen in your relationship with people as you tend to have mood swings due to poor sleep quality. 

Is It bad to sleep on an Old Mattress?

Sleeping on an old mattress can worsen certain health conditions including sleep apnea, sciatica, and hip bursitis. Sleep apnea occurs due to the relaxation of the throat muscles. It can be managed by sleeping on the right mattress. It also soothes inflammation in the sciatic nerve and Bursae in your hip. 

Dust mite infestations can cause a series of skin problems as well as nasal congestion, hay fever, and other allergies. Creaking sounds from innerspring models make disturbing noises that can keep you and your partner awake throughout the night.

Final Thoughts – Effects of Sleeping On an Old Mattress

Sleep experts recommend that you change your mattress every 7–10 years. This way you can enjoy maximum comfort for a deeply satisfying slumber.  Even with a limited budget, you can get a better mattress to avoid sleeping in one that will leave you in pain every morning.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.