The Effects of Sleeping on a Bad Mattress

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Sleeping on a bad mattress can be downright uncomfortable. But it’s more than just the discomfort that should make you want to replace your bad mattress. It can also lead to negative consequences for your health, which can eventually bleed into other aspects of your life.

If you are still hesitant to get a new mattress, here are some of the worst effects of sleeping on a bad mattress that can motivate you to go to the local mattress store ASAP:

Poor sleep

The most common effect of sleeping on a bad mattress is poor sleep. When you can’t get comfortable in your bed, you are more likely to toss and turn throughout the night, and your level of unconsciousness tends to be shallow. When you wake up, you don’t feel as refreshed as you should, and your body may have aches and pains that weren’t even there before you turned in. Consequently, you may also experience the succeeding symptoms.

Back pain

back pain problems

A bad mattress is also a common cause for chronic back pain, right next to improper sleeping positions and poor posture. If your mattress is already irregularly shaped, it will force you to sleep in irregular positions that may cause excessive strain on your spine, thus leading to the pain you always feel on your back.


If your allergies tend to flare up while you are in bed, either your mattress or bedding is likely to blame. If the problem is the latter, you can easily fix it by regularly laundering your bedding to remove allergy-causing pollutants. However, if the mattress itself is the problem, you can try to get rid of the pollutants through deep cleaning. Unfortunately, for old mattresses, this doesn’t always work.

Stress and depression

When you can’t get a good night’s sleep at night, you tend to wake up with increased stress levels in your body, which can lead you to be irritable, moody, or generally exhausted throughout the day. Not getting enough quality sleep can also help develop or exacerbate symptoms of depression and other mental health problems.

Increased daytime sleepiness

Along with higher stress levels, you may also experience increased daytime sleepiness if your mattress bars you from a good sleep. This symptom can affect your performance at work or school, as well as your relationships with other people (it’s hard to pay attention to a conversation when you’re too sleepy!).

Unhealthy coping mechanisms

To cope with the lack of sleep, some people resort to unhealthy coping mechanisms like smoking, eating unhealthy food, and drinking excessive amounts of caffeine or alcohol. All of these coping mechanisms have corresponding health effects, which can decrease one’s health and well-being even further.


A mattress that does not offer enough support to your head can block the airways and lead to snoring. Not only is this annoying for other people, but it may also be potentially fatal.

Signs that you need a new mattress

bedroom interior

The first sign that you should buy a new mattress is when you experience one more of the abovementioned symptoms (that you are sure stems from your poor-quality bed). Other signs include:

Sagging. When the springs wear away or when the fibers in your bed compress, your bed will visibly sag around the part where you usually lie.

Lumpiness. If you see or feel lumps around your mattress, it means that the padding inside it has already shifted. Aside from being uncomfortable, lumps can also promote awkward sleeping positions that can lead to back pain.

Age. The average lifespan of a mattress is between seven and ten years. Higher-quality mattresses can last longer, some even up to fifteen years. But when your mattress is nearing the end of its lifespan or has already surpassed it, it’s a clear sign that you should buy a new one.

Memory foam problems. Memory foam mattresses “remember” your sleeping position to support your body. But if your memory foam mattress does not bounce back as fast as it should after you get up, or if the impression is deeper than normal, you may want to invest in a new mattress altogether. Additionally, if the mattress gets too hard or too soft, the changes in temperature may have affected its firmness, signaling the need for a replacement.

Sleeping on a bad mattress is bad for your body, your mental health, and your overall quality of life. If you spot these signs in your mattress, don’t wait for negative health effects to start affecting your life–look for a quality mattress store and get a new one as soon as possible.

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