When is it Time to Get a New Mattress? 4 Things You Need to Know

Photo by cafemama (flickr)

Do you love your bed?  If the answer is not an absolute “YES!”, it may be time to rethink your relationship.

Considering there is nothing else you use more than your mattress, evaluating its condition and level of comfort on a regular basis (semi-annually) should be a common practice.  A mattress that is past its prime or not providing adequate support can cause issues with comfort, ability to fall asleep, and back problems.

As part of my chiropractic consultation, I commonly ask my patients about the age and condition of their mattress (especially if they wake up with back or neck pain).  A mattress that has lost its supportive properties, even if it still feels comfortable, can cause the spine to shift out of alignment putting pressure on the intervertebral joints and sensitive nerves.  Done 6 to 8 hours a day, 7 days a week, this can ultimately lead to significant spinal related conditions such as pinched nerves, muscle spasms, and sciatica.

When deciding if it is time to replace your mattress, the Better Sleep Council recommends looking for the following signs:

  1. You wake up with stiffness, numbness, aches and pains
  2. You had a better night’s sleep somewhere other than your own bed (such as a hotel)
  3. Your mattress shows visible signs of overuse (it sags, has lumps, the interior is exposed)
  4. Your mattress is 5-7 years old

Also, keep in mind that as your body changes with age, so do your levels of comfort.  What you find comfortable today may be much different then what you preferred just a few years ago.  So, even if you don’t have any of the signs listed above, if your bed is not comfortable any more it may be time for a new mattress.

The Better Sleep Council recommends that you replace your boxspring (foundation) when you replace your mattress.  Do not put a new mattress on an old boxspring.

14 thoughts on “When is it Time to Get a New Mattress? 4 Things You Need to Know

    1. Dr. Jason Hagman Post author

      Thank you. Having a mattress that is comfortable with good support is so important. If you sleep 7 to 8 hours each night, by the end of the year you will have spent approximately 2555 to 2920 hours on your mattress!

  1. Madison

    My mattress is only about two years old but I can feel the springs in it and its sagging in the middle. I only get about 5 hours of sleep every night too:/ time for a new one??

    1. Dr. Jason Hagman Post author

      Hi Madison, it sounds like you need a new mattress. A sagging mattress can definitely lead to a poor night’s sleep, as well as back and neck problems. I would recommend getting a new one as soon as possible.

  2. Steven Hooper

    This is an excellent compilation. Thanks for taking the time to create a popular Blog for us. I have found lots of information here.
    Steven Hooper

  3. Eric Acosta

    For every question that you have put the answer was yes to each one. Question for you now if I do tend to get a new mattress and box spring will that help realign my body back again because I’m been having some serious pain issues and I think I do believe this is what the cause of it was is having to old of a bed or will i have to seek consultation from a chiropractor to get to feel better again? Thank you so much for your information it was truly helpful

    1. Dr. Jason Hagman Post author


      Thank you for your comments and questions. Sleeping on a mattress and box spring that does not provide adequate support will certainly lead to spinal misalignments and ultimately back problems. But, there are many different causes of back pain. If you are having “serious pain issues” (as you describe) I strongly recommend that you see a doctor as soon as possible.

      Dr. H

      1. Eric Acosta

        But i have a really old bed that is atleast 16 years old but have been sleeping on for but have slept on for exactly 12 years. This serious pain i have been haing in my hip along with weak and numb limbs from time to time i have been trying to find out the cause from. This pain started as a ongoing set pain and not as an automatic pain from a trama event. So to me your answer is correct. But i have already seen a medical doctor for consultation on what medical test to get to see what is going on inside my body. But anyway will getting a new bed and boxspring to my preferred style of comfort for sleeping and how i want towake up again. Will it make every nerve, muscle and everything else go back to where it originally was at automatically go back to its place where it needs to be? Or will i have to seek for a professional massage or seek help from a chiropractor like yourself?

      2. Dr. Jason Hagman Post author


        Thank you, again, for your comments and questions. For any medical advice regarding your specific health condition, please follow up with your medical doctor or chiropractor.

        Dr. H

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