mattress on a scale getting heavier overtime
Care Tips

Does Your Mattress Really Get Heavier With Age?

    Last Updated
    September 10, 2022
    min read

    If you’ve had your mattress for a while, you may have noticed that it’s heavier than when you first got it. But what could be behind this additional heft? Is it just your imagination, or do mattresses really get heavier with age?

    Read on to learn about what makes your mattress take on extra weight over the years. We’ll also go through tips to keep your mattress fresh and signs that your mattress might need replacing.

    Do Mattresses Get Heavier Over Time?

    Yes, mattresses get heavier over time. As we use them, mattresses soak up our bodily fluids and hold our dead skin cells. These things attract dust mites and fungi, which also add to a mattress’ weight. Debris, pollen, and dander may also make their way to your mattress core as it ages, making it heavier.

    Here’s a closer look at several reasons your old mattress is so heavy.

    Body Fluids

    The average person sweats and expels up to a pint of body fluids every night. Aside from your daily perspiration, these fluids include tears and oils from your skin.

    Over five years, you can sweat and excrete up to an astounding 880 pints of body fluids into your mattress. This added moisture will weigh your mattress down and provide the perfect damp environment for fungi, dust mites, and bacteria. 


    Even if your mattress looks clean, it may be harboring mold and fungi. This is especially true if your room is humid and lacks ventilation. Your bedding can harbor as many as 16 different types of fungi, and they release spores into the air throughout the day.

    These spores build up over time. As you breathe them in, they can trigger allergic reactions or breathing problems. In the most serious cases, they can even infect your lungs. If you’ve been sneezing while you toss and turn on your mattress, fungal spores may be responsible

    Dead Skin Cells

    Dead skin cells are the biggest culprit behind a mattress’ increased weight over the years. The typical person sheds 1,500,000 dead skin cells hourly, and that can add up. Without proper deep cleaning, these skin flakes will keep piling up and settling deeper into your mattress core, making them harder to dislodge in the long run.

    What’s worse is that these shed flakes are the perfect food source for dust mites. The more dead skin lurking in your mattress, the more mites you’re likely to have in it.

    Dust Mites

    The average used mattress is estimated to have anywhere from 100,000 to 10 million mites. Also known as bed bugs, dust mites feast on your dead skin as a food source and then shed their droppings on your mattress. Unfortunately, you will end up breathing these in as you sleep.

    These mites and their tiny poop pellets are often the culprit behind many people’s breathing problems, itching, and other allergic reactions. The less frequently you clean your mattress, the more mites it’s likely to have – keeping you from getting your nightly rest.

    Spills And Debris

    Breakfast in bed is a cozy thought, but incidental crumbs and spills over the years can make your mattress heavy. Accidental spills of juice, coffee, or other liquids end up in your mattress, and each spill makes your mattress weigh a little bit more. This is especially true for mattresses with foam layers, as the foam will absorb the liquid and keep it trapped there for a while until it’s fully dried.

    Why Is My New Mattress So Heavy?

    Your new mattress may be heavy because they’re made with thick or dense materials. These materials give your body more support so you can rest comfortably. 

    Latex, hybrid, and memory foam mattresses all tend to be on the heavier side because of these materials. While this can make moving it around difficult, these types of mattresses also help with joint pain and restless sleeping.

    It may also be because of your mattress size and thickness. Simply put, the larger and thicker the mattress is, the heavier it will be. Thicker mattresses are ideal for beds that accommodate heavier sleepers or couples.

    How Much Dead Skin Is In Your Mattress?

    For a typical night of sleep, your mattress will accumulate up to 12,000,000 dead skin cells per person sleeping on it. This adds up to a hefty pound of dead cells per year – about as much as a loaf of sandwich bread.

    After a decade of owning your mattress, it’ll have up to 10 pounds of dead skin. Over the years, these shed skin flakes will make their way to the core of your mattress and become harder to remove. 

    To complicate matters, all those shed cells are ideal food for dust mites. This is why it’s important to regularly remove dead skin and debris with a carpet beater or vacuum.

    Does A Mattress Double In Weight After Ten Years?

    No, a mattress doesn’t double in weight after ten years. This popular statistic was quoted several times after it appeared in a Wall Street Journal piece, stating that dust mites and skin cells would make a mattress that much heavier after a decade.

    However, Emmett Glass, the original researcher quoted by the Wall State Journal, explained that he never said this and it has no scientific merit. So, while it may be alarming that your mattress can get significantly heavier over time, it’s not true that it doubles in weight after a decade.

    Tips For Keeping Your Mattress In Good Shape

    These simple tricks will help you prolong your mattress’ longevity so you can get the most value for your money.

    Flip Your Mattress

    Your body puts unequal pressure on different points of your mattress as you sleep. Because the area around your head needs more support, this is the area that tends to sag and deteriorate faster. Flipping your mattress will spread the wear and tear out and help your mattress last longer.

    If your manufacturers recommend mattress flipping, do it once or twice a year. However, older innerspring mattresses need to be flipped at least two to five times a year.

    Deep Clean With Baking Soda

    Regularly replacing your sheets with fresh ones isn’t enough to keep your bed hygienic and get a good night’s sleep. A deep cleaning will remove stains and fungi, as well as prevent dust mites from taking over your mattress. 

    Take all padding, bedding, and other covers off your mattress, including the mattress protector. Sprinkle baking soda on your mattress, allowing it to absorb odors and moisture for a few hours. If you can, let it sit in the sunlight for a full 24 hours. 

    Once the baking soda has broken up the grime, vacuum it off and put the bedding back on.

    Vacuum Thoroughly

    Regular vacuuming will keep extra pounds of dust, dander, and dead skin cells from accumulating in your mattress. Make sure to disinfect and clean your vacuum before using it to avoid debris transfer. Do this at least once a month to keep your mattress fresh.

    Use Mattress Protectors

    Mattress protectors provide an impenetrable layer that will keep your mattress from absorbing the odd spill, excess environmental moisture, and sweat. They also prevent dead skin cells and dust mites from getting into your mattress. These protectors can simply be taken off and washed every two months, keeping your bed feeling fresh and clean.

    Waterproof mattress protectors are highly recommended because they keep your skin’s oil and sweat from seeping into your mattress. Make sure your protector is also made of breathable wicking material to keep you cool as you sleep.

    Should You Replace Your Old Mattress?

    The quality of your mattress will have a significant effect on the quality of your sleep. If your old mattress has deteriorated, it may not be giving your body the support you need for restful nights. This can have serious negative effects on your physical and mental health.

    It may be time to change mattresses if:

    • You have problems breathing or wake up with aching muscles.
    • Your sleep is restless or frequently disturbed.
    • Your mattress has permanent, consistent dips on its surface.
    • Your mattress hasn’t been cleaned for a prolonged period, leading to heavy mite and dust buildup.

    In Conclusion

    Over the years, your mattress will accumulate plenty of dust mites, body fluids, and accidental spills that will eventually weigh it down. This heavy bedding can be very difficult to clean and move. It’s also bad for your health, often resulting in sneezing, coughing, and an achy back.

    If your mattress is saggy and heavy, it might be time to replace it. Ask for assistance at your preferred mattress store so you can choose the best replacement for your sleeping style and needs.


    About the authors

    April Seifert

    April has nearly a decade of writing experience, with 3+ years specializing in sleep content. Her work has been covered by sites like BuzzFeed, Entrepreneur, and Money Under 30. She has an M.A. in Magazine, Newspaper, and Online Journalism from Syracuse University and a B.A. in Communication Studies. As a self-proclaimed expert in all things cozy, she sleeps better at night, knowing her writing helps others sleep in comfort, too.