What Are The Signs Of A Bad Mattress?

Written by
Purple Staff
Last Updated
January 30, 2023
min read

If you are not sleeping well at night, you may be wondering if your mattress is the cause.  There are specific signs you can look for, some more obvious, some less obvious. 

Read our guide to understand key symptoms to look for. We also have tips for what you can do to improve your current mattress. If you are experiencing the sign and symptoms It may be time to upgrade to a new mattress.

Purple has a GelfFlex Grid technology that instantly adapts to your body while cradling your pressure areas for comfort.

What Is A Bad Mattress?

A “bad” mattress can refer to many things, such as an old, broken mattress in need of replacement or an uncomfortable mattress that's the wrong type for your sleeping needs. Even if a mattress is relatively new, you may find it too soft or too firm to sleep on comfortably, keeping you from getting sufficient pressure relief and a good night's sleep.

As your mattress ages, its materials gradually wear down. Memory foam breaks down or spring coils weaken, causing mattress deformation and permanent body indentations. It may also have accumulated plenty of dust mites and dead skin cells over the years, causing bad allergies that make it hard to fall asleep.

Signs Of A Bad Mattress

signs of a bad mattress

Wondering what the signs of a bad mattress are? Here are major red flags that indicate that you're sleeping on a broken mattress or the wrong mattress type.

  1. Deformation

Mattress deformation is a big sign of mattress sagging, which occurs when its memory foam loses its shape or its coils become weaker.

See if your mattress still has deep indentations long after you've risen from it. If your mattress doesn't return quickly enough to its original shape, it's an obvious sign that your mattress has gone bad.

  1. Lack Of Sleep

A lack of sleep can be a sign of a bad mattress. You may be experiencing sleep disturbances, causing you to sleep for shorter hours. You may also start waking up drowsy despite sleeping for a long period of time. These are all big signs that you're sleeping on an uncomfortable and/or old mattress and deprived of quality sleep. 

While you can't help but miss an hour or two of sleep sometimes, it can have a serious effect on your well-being if it happens too often. You may find yourself lacking in energy in the morning, unable to focus, or suffering from mood swings.

  1. Body Pain

One of the biggest bad mattress signs is when you wake up with chronic pain. In some cases, body pain is caused by underlying medical issues. But some sleepers may find that sleeping on the wrong mattress type is responsible for their body aches in the morning.

A too-soft or lumpy mattress may sag or dip where your body puts the most weight. This means those pressure points lack sufficient support from your mattress, which in turn may cause stiffness or body aches.

  1. Allergies

Have you found yourself sneezing, itching, or suffering from a runny nose or other allergy symptoms? Your aged mattress may be the culprit. Our bodies shed thousands of dead skin cells at night, and those dead cells often end up getting trapped in the mattress. 

Dead skin cells attract dust mites who love to eat them, and over time, your old mattress may become their new home. Simply put, the older your mattress, the more likely it is to have plenty of these allergens.

Dust mites and their fecal matter can cause agitated allergies, making it hard to breathe easily at night. Mold, mildew, and pet dander can also accumulate on your mattress. 

  1. Hygiene Issues

Dust mites aren't the only problem you have to worry about. Apart from shedding skin cells at night, we also sweat quite a bit at night. Whatever sweat doesn't evaporate will end up being absorbed by your mattress. This added moisture can promote the growth of mold and mildew, which can gradually damage your mattress.

When To Ditch Your Old Bed

Here are a few cases you may want to consider getting rid of your mattress: Y

  • Your mattress is more than seven years old.
  • Your mattress has permanent dips, sags, or other deformations.
  • Your mattress is torn, stained, and dirty despite regular cleaning.
  • Despite regular dusting and cleaning, you suffer from respiratory issues and find it hard to breathe.
  • You find it hard to get into a comfortable sleeping position on your bed, even though it's a fairly new and clean mattress.

Consider How Long a Mattress Lasts

The average mattress lasts seven years. Some mattress manufacturers may claim that their mattresses last even longer with proper care. However, there are several factors that can affect mattress longevity, such as:

  • Materials used for mattress construction: Low-density memory foam doesn't last as long as high-density foam or natural latex. Additionally, a mattress made with poor-quality, cheap materials often break down faster.
  • Weight of sleeper: Heavier sleepers put more weight on a mattress, making it sag and compress more quickly.
  • Lifestyle: Do you eat or drink in bed? Do you co-sleep with pets that have small bedtime accidents on your mattress? Do you jump on your mattress? These can shorten your mattress' lifespan.

Read our guide on how long a mattress lasts.

Upgrade Your Mattress With Purple

Having a mattress with poor support can be exhausting, literally. Your mattress just might be telling you it's time for an upgrade.

Purple is comfort reinvented. Featuring the GelFlex Grid technology Purple mattresses adapt to your body instantly while cradling your body. For a truly rejuvenating sleep so you wake up refreshed and ready for the day. See our mattress selection.

Signs Of A Bad Mattress FAQs

Can You Fix A Bad Mattress?

Fixing a bad mattress may be an uphill battle for you. Although there are ways you can make your mattress more comfortable until you find a replacement. A few ways that may help are:

  • Mattress topper
  • Mattress pad
  • Check your box springs for damage
  • Rotating or flipping your mattress

Here are a few guides that may be helpful:

Can A Bad Mattress Cause Health Problems?

Yes, a bad mattress can cause health problems. If your mattress is old, it may no longer be a sufficiently supportive surface for your sleeping position and pressure points. This can make it harder to fall asleep, leading to shorter sleeping time or lower sleep quality.

Low quality and insufficient sleep time can affect your mental and physical health. Poor sleep has been shown by studies to increase the risk of developing these health conditions:

Can a bad mattress cause body aches?

Yes, a bad mattress can cause body aches. An unsupportive or worn-out mattress may not adequately support your body's pressure points and weight during sleep. Without sufficient cushioning and pushback to cradle your joints, you may find yourself waking up with body pain.

How do I know if I need a new mattress?

You may need a new mattress if you experience the following problems:

  • You toss and turn frequently in your sleep, unable to settle into a comfortable sleeping position.
  • You experience allergic reactions like itching or respiratory issues, leading to sleepless nights.
  • You have a sagging or creaky, noisy mattress, indicating that your innerspring or memory foam mattress has worn out.
  • You've noticed mattress holes, tears, or persistent stains that won't come out despite repeated cleaning.