7 Symptoms of Sleeping on a Bad Mattress

One of the most important part of good health is sleep. But, it’s hard to sleep well because worn-out, unsupportive mattress could be big guilty one in this case. This article discusses the main symptoms of the poor sleep and health caused by the bad mattress and also the danger of sleep deprivation. The article will also delve into how to select the best mattress depending on your needs and for better sleep.

Getting adequate, high-quality sleep is crucial for cognitive function, mood, heart health, weight management, immune function, and much more. However, many people blame things like stress, busy schedules, or aging for their tossing and turning, without considering the clear bad mattress signs that indicate it’s time for an upgrade.

Your mattress has a massive impact on comfort and support during sleep, considering we spend an estimated 26 years of our lives in bed! An old, sagging mattress can cause or worsen sleep disturbances like insomnia, fragmented sleep, and reduced REM sleep. This sets off a vicious cycle of sleep deprivation that steals your energy, mental sharpness, and wellbeing.

This article will cover:

  • The top signs your mattress is deteriorating
  • How lack of sleep affects the body and brain
  • Tips for choosing the ideal new mattress for your needs
  • Where to find mattresses that promote healthy sleep

Arm yourself with knowledge so you can recognize if your mattress is sabotaging your sleep and invest in the restorative sleep vital for health.

Signs Your Mattress is Contributing to Sleep Issues

Here are some of the most common indicators that your mattress is negatively affecting your rest:

01. Frequent Nighttime Awakenings and Difficulty Falling Asleep

If you find yourself frequently waking up in the middle of the night or struggling to fall asleep in the first place, your mattress may be to blame. Unrestful sleep throughout the night can signal your mattress is not providing adequate comfort and support as you shift sleeping positions.

A man laying in bed having an unrestful sleep due to a bad mattress with his head resting on his hand.

Tossing and turning leads to fragmented sleep robbed of restorative deep sleep and REM sleep where dreaming occurs. Without adequate time in these reparative stages, you wake up groggy and unrestored, setting up a repetitive cycle night after night.

02. Constant Tossing, Turning, and Difficulty Getting Comfortable

Listening to sleep soundtracks, perfecting your environment, and going to bed early may not help much if your mattress doesn’t properly conform to your body. This forces you to constantly toss and turn trying to get comfortable.

An older mattress that has lost its initial comfort and responsiveness or an improperly firm mattress can cause you to toss and turn. This makes it tough to truly relax into deeper stages of restorative sleep.

03. Allergy Symptoms Like Congestion, Runny Nose, and Itchy Eyes

One of the most common allergy triggers is right under you—your mattress. Over time, mattresses accumulate dust, debris, dead skin cells, and dust mites that can trigger allergies, congestion, runny noses, and irritated eyes.

Allergen prevention techniques like mattress and pillow covers can reduce exposure to these triggers. But a new mattress may be in order if covers don’t fully alleviate symptoms.

Look for mattresses like those from Casper that have designs minimizing allergen buildup and are made with hypoallergenic materials. Their breathable mattress protector also blocks allergens and keeps your mattress fresh.

04. Back, Neck, Joint Pain, and Muscle Aches Upon Waking

A man experiencing back pain while lying in bed due to the discomfort caused by the mattress

Does your back ache and your neck crack every morning when you get out of bed? Do your hips and shoulders feel sore? This is a tell-tale sign your mattress is not supporting proper spinal alignment.

As mattresses age, they can sag or form indentations. These dips throw your spine out of alignment, causing aches and pains and pressure points on hips and shoulders. This leaves you feeling sore and achy in the mornings as you start your day.

Mattresses that are too firm or soft relative to your body type can also generate discomfort in pressure points like the hips, shoulders, and back.

05. Noticeable Sagging, Lumps, and Indents

Inspecting your mattress appearance is one of the most clear-cut indicators of excessive wear. Sagging areas that cause you to roll towards the middle, mattress lifespan shortened by improper care, or visible irregular lumps point to a mattress ready for retirement.

Sagging is a natural process as mattress materials compress over time, especially in areas like the middle where weight concentration is highest. But excessive sagging that leaves your spine unsupported signals it’s time for replacement.

Turning and rotating your mattress periodically and using a supportive foundation can help prevent premature sagging and impressions. But inevitably, mattresses wear out and need replacing.

06. Creaking Noises, Squeaks, and Other Audible Disturbances

A woman is sleeping in bed experiencing audible disturbances caused by a bad mattress.

As mattresses age and materials compress and break down, structural mattress structure issues arise. You might notice snoring partners, creaks, squeaks, or other noises that disrupt sleep. These audible signs can signal your mattress has surpassed its useful life.

Mattresses made purely of foam tend to hold up better than innerspring mattresses, where coils can warp and loosen over time leading to noise. However, all mattress types eventually degrade.

The sounds of an aging mattress can make it difficult to fall asleep. Plus, a partner’s tossing and turning is no longer absorbed but audibly transfers through the mattress.

07. You are Sleeping on a Very Old Mattress

Just like appliances and cars, mattresses wear out over time and lose their comfort, support, and hygiene. The standard recommended mattress replacement timeline is every 7-10 years.

If your mattress is over 10 years old, chances are the mattress longevity has expired. Support, pressure relief, alignment, and breathability decline with age as materials compress and components break down.

While a mattress protector can prolong mattress life, too many years of use will take its toll. If you are sleeping on a mattress older than 10 years, replacing it could significantly improve your sleep.

The Serious Effects of Sleep Deprivation

Sleep deprivation from a worn-out, uncomfortable mattress can have seriously detrimental effects on nearly every aspect of your health and quality of life. Ongoing poor sleep takes a major toll both in the short term and long term. Consider the following alarming effects:

Immediate Consequences

  • Daytime fatigue, sleepiness, and inability to focus or concentrate
  • Cognitive issues like cloudy thinking, memory lapses, lack of creativity
  • Mood disturbances like emotional volatility, irritability, anxiety, depression
  • Lack of motivation, difficulty completing tasks or making decisions
  • Clumsiness, slowed reflexes, impaired coordination and motor skills

Long-Term Effects

  • High blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, obesity
  • Hormonal disruptions like reduced libido, irregular menstrual cycles
  • Premature skin aging, hair loss, brittle nails, dark under eye circles
  • Suppressed immune function and more frequent illnesses
  • Cognitive decline, memory loss, dementia risk
  • Increased risk of mental health issues like depression, anxiety
  • Metabolic changes like weight gain, increased appetite, sugar cravings

Clearly, the cascade of adverse effects underscores how absolutely essential it is to prioritize healthy, restorative sleep by choosing a supportive mattress. Lack of sleep negatively impacts nearly every system in the body and brain. Don’t underestimate how a worn-out mattress might be the hidden culprit robbing you of reparative rest.

How to Choose the Right Mattress for Your Needs

If you’re sleeping on an old, uncomfortable mattress, it’s probably time to start shopping around. Keep these tips in mind when selecting your ideal mattress:

A couple shopping for a mattress in a store.

Consider Your Typical Sleep Position

Your sleep position helps determine the ideal mattress firmness. Side sleepers often need softer mattresses to cushion shoulders and hips for pressure relief. Back sleepers need firmer options to keep the spine properly aligned.

Combination sleepers who shift positions are best served by a medium mattress balancing comfort and support. Or opt for a zoned mattress designed for your sleep style.

Compare Different Mattress Types

Memory foam, innerspring, latex, and hybrid mattresses all have their own benefits. Understand how the construction and materials impact support, pressure relief, and durability.

Memory foam and latex excel at contouring to the body while providing pressure relief. Innerspring and hybrid options offer more bounce while reinforcing the back.

Seek Out Zoned Support

Look for mattresses designed with targeted zones supporting the areas needing it most—shoulders, hips, and back. Zoned coil, foam, or latex placements keep these areas properly aligned.

For example, Casper’s Zoned Support aligns the spine and alleviates pressure points

Set a Budget But Don’t Sacrifice on Quality

While cost is a necessary factor for most shoppers, don’t sacrifice your sleep health and comfort to save money. Invest in a high-quality mattress made with durable materials built to provide comfort and support night after night.

Quality mattress materials like memory foam and pocketed coil systems cost more upfront. But they last longer than poorly made budget mattresses that lose their shape quickly. Do your research to get the best return on your investment.

Ask About Trial Periods

Buying a mattress sight unseen can be risky. That’s why reputable online brands like Casper allow for risk-free at home trials.

Taking advantage of an in-home trial allows you to test out the mattress for 30-100 nights to properly evaluate it beyond a quick store test. If it’s not the right fit, reputable brands will arrange a fuss-free return.

Don’t Skimp on the Warranty

A quality mattress is a long-term investment, so you want reassurance it will provide reliable comfort and support for years to come. Look for a warranty of at least 10 years, but 15-25 years is ideal for more peace of mind.

The fine print matters too. Make sure the warranty thoroughly covers sagging, body impressions, materials defects, and replacement value. Carefully read policies on foundation requirements, maintenance, and claim filing process.

Consider Sustainability

Eco-conscious consumers should look to mattress brands utilizing recycled, responsibly resourced, and recyclable materials in their designs.

For example, select Casper mattresses incorporate up to 60 recycled plastic bottles in each mattress along with recycled cotton, wool, latex, and foam. Plus, they are delivered in innovative recyclable packaging.

Read Reviews About Customer Service

Brands that offer responsive, all-encompassing customer support make the buying, delivery, set-up, and ownership experience hassle-free.

Read reviews and test customer service yourself to find brands that deliver exceptional service. They should offer convenient product selection advice, shipping and delivery coordination, mattress removal services, plus easy returns or exchanges if needed.

Give Yourself Time to Adjust

Remember there is often an adjustment period when sleeping on a new mattress, especially if you switched support types. Allow 2-4 weeks for your body to adjust and the materials to break-in before making a final verdict. But don’t hesitate to take advantage of return policies if discomfort persists.

Can a Bad Mattress Cause Stomach Pain?

A mattress that lacks proper support or causes misalignment of the spine can lead to a variety of health issues, including stomach pain and discomfort.

The Spine and Alignment

A mattress that properly supports the body keeps the spine in alignment while lying down. This helps reduce pressure on nerves, muscles, and discs in the back that can radiate pain elsewhere.

Proper Spine Alignment While Lying Down

Part of BodyProperly Supported Position
HeadIn line with spine, not tilted up/down
Neck & Upper BackCurved naturally inward
Middle & Lower BackCurved slightly inward at natural arch
Hips & PelvisLevel, not tilted up/down

If the mattress fails to keep the spine aligned, it can strain the back and rotate the pelvis into unnatural positions. This misalignment places pressure on muscles, surrounding organs, and nerves that can cause referred pain into other areas.

Stomach Support & Comfort

Proper support for the stomach area minimizes any pressures or strains on abdominal muscles and organs while lying in certain positions:

Preferred Sleeping Positions for Stomach Comfort

Sleep PositionBenefits
On BackAllows stomach/front of torso to relax without any pressure or contortion
On SideKeeps one side of stomach/waist supported without squeeze
On StomachCan work if thin pillow tilts pelvis slightly to avoid over-arching lower back

If support is lacking for the chosen sleep position, the stomach area can feel squeezed or compressed in ways that irritate the digestive system or surrounding nerves.

Effects on Digestion & Stomach Issues

The gastrointestinal system can be especially sensitive to strains and pressures from a misaligned spine or insufficient support under the torso. Issues that may arise include:

  • Digestive discomfort, indigestion, acid reflux
  • Pulling/cramping sensations in abdominal muscles
  • Irritation of nerves that radiate stomach pain
  • Poor circulation hampering normal digestive processes

So while a lumpy, worn out, or unsupportive mattress may not directly cause underlying stomach issues, it can certainly aggravate conditions like heartburn, reflux, constipation or pain from conditions like ulcers or hernias. Upgrading to a mattress suited to the sleeper’s size, shape, and preferred sleep positions can help alleviate these secondary problems.


As you can see, a subpar mattress can have profound detrimental effects on your sleep, health, and quality of life. Paying attention to bad mattress signs like sagging, pain, and sleep disruptions can clue you into the need for an upgrade. Investing in a high-quality mattress designed for comfort, support, and durability is one of the best things you can do for your overall wellbeing. Quality sleep promotes physical health, cognitive function, stable mood, enhanced immunity, heart health, and so much more.

So don’t underestimate the importance of the mattress you sleep on night after night. Arm yourself with the knowledge to recognize when it’s negatively impacting your sleep and take action to get the restorative rest you need to thrive and optimize your health. The right mattress makes all the difference between waking up feeling restored or waking up tired and achy.

Which type of mattress is best for sleeping?

Kalyani Nath

Kalyani Nath

Having reviewed furniture, home and kitchenware for more than 8 years, Kalyani Nath offers objective opinion on product quality and value. The reviews are made through hands-on testing and comparison with similar products which outlines the pros, cons, features, and real-world performance readers need to make informed decisions. Kalyani is proud of her thorough practical product testing, assessing how product design and function meet consumer needs. Authoritative analysis on whether products deliver on promises is possible thanks to her training in consumer science. Dedicated to fully testing items in everyday situations, she offers reviews which readers can rely on. Apart from reviewing for The Readers Time, Kalyani likes singing, cooking, and trying out new recipes. This enthusiasm drives her careful evaluation of kitchen tools and appliances. Having worked extensively in testing many products and an educational background that is ideal for the job, Kalyani writes realistic reviews to help consumers buy the right products.

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