When to Get a New Mattress: 6 Signs It’s Time to Start Shopping

There are plenty of factors that can contribute to a bad night’s sleep — from poor diet to medical conditions such as sciatica or sleep apnea.

But sometimes the culprit is simply your mattress.

A mattress is supposed to promote a healthy night’s sleep by keeping you cool, comfortable, and supported. But plenty of people come into Slumberland to talk to our sleep experts because their beds are doing anything but helping them get a good night’s sleep.

Still, it can be tricky to know when the issue is your mattress or something else. For example, is your mattress keeping you hot or is the temperature in your room too high? Are you tossing and turning because your bed is uncomfortable, or are you drinking coffee too late in the day?

In this post, we look at 6 signs it’s time to get a new mattress to help you figure out whether you really need a new bed or not.

Note: At Slumberland we created a universal rating system that makes it easy to shop for a new mattress. In our Sleep Solutions department, you can easily see which mattresses rate best for key features like back support, pressure relief, and cooling. To get started on finding the best mattress for you, visit a Slumberland showroom today.

1. You’re in Pain

People can fail to connect a sore back or neck with having a bad mattress. This could be because you’re more likely to put the blame on bad posture or a long work day.

But an unsupportive mattress can lead to neck and back pain (and worsen any pre-existing conditions such as sciatica or spinal stenosis).

When you lie down on a mattress, your weight is distributed across the bed. What you’re looking for is to be supported from head to toe. But certain parts of your body generally weigh more — your shoulders, your hips, and your knees. These key pressure points need significantly more support than the rest of your body.

If those areas aren’t supported, it can put your spine out of whack, leading to back and neck pain.

Finding a Mattress to Help Reduce Back and Neck Pain

Some mattresses will offer zoned support, which means firmer or denser foam in those key areas. For example, the bed is firmer in the mid section to keep your hips from sinking in.

Other mattress brands focus on using a top layer of memory foam that reacts to each inch of your body individually.

For example, Tempur-Pedic uses advanced memory foam that reacts to your body weight, shape, and temperature. This means the parts of your body that weigh more (such as your shoulders) are getting a different level of support than parts of your body that weigh less (such as your legs). This also offers you pressure relief, which helps reduce any pain or aches associated with a bad night’s sleep.

Mattress shopping tip: If you’re experiencing a lot of back pain on your mattress, then when you’re at Sleep Solutions by Slumberland department, we recommend you look for mattresses that are rated highly for back support and pressure relief.

2. You Toss and Turn throughout the Night

Pain isn’t the only thing that indicates you’re not getting a good night’s sleep.

Sadly, plenty of us toss and turn while we sleep. Even if we don’t wake up in the middle of the night (or remember waking up), our tossing and turning is stopping us from reaching that deep level of REM sleep that helps us recharge by morning.

The problem is that when we finally wake up, get ready for the day, and have our second cup of coffee, we are so focused on the day ahead that we often forget about our crummy night of sleep until we fall back into bed hours later.

There are several reasons why you may be fidgeting through the night.

  • You could be anxious. Most of us have had restless nights before a big job interview or an early morning flight. Dealing with anxiety when you should be sleeping is a sure fire way to toss and turn.
  • You consumed caffeine too close to bedtime. While the peak effects of caffeine last about one hour, caffeine can remain in your system for up to 10 hours.
  • You could be uncomfortable on your mattress. You could literally be tossing and turning because you’re trying to find the most comfortable position on your uncomfortable bed.

Finding a Mattresses to Eliminate Tossing and Turning

If it is your mattress that’s causing you to shift through the night, it’s often because there’s a mismatch between your preferred sleeping position and the softness of your mattress.

At Slumberland, we’ve rated the comfort level of all mattresses on our showroom floor to help our customers find the right feel. We’ve assigned them a rating of 1 to 5. One is the firmest, 5 is the softest.

Generally speaking, we recommend that side sleepers sleep on a 3, 4 or 5. This is because you want that soft comfort layer to fill the curves of your body.

If the mattress is too firm, then side sleepers will feel pressure on their shoulders and hips. As pressure gathers, your brain tells your body to shift its position (or toss and turn) to alleviate the pressure.

For back sleepers we recommend a 1, 2, or 3 comfort level. If you’re sleeping on your back and your mattress is too soft, then your hips may sink too deeply into the mattress. If your hips sink below your thighs, then you’re putting pressure on your lower back. As this pressure increases, your brain again tells your body to move.

A quick note: it is not recommended that you sleep on your stomach. Stomach sleeping goes against the natural curvature of your spine. Stomach sleepers will do better on a firm mattress, because their hips aren’t going to sink into their bed. If you’re only comfortable on your stomach, that could be a sign that you need a different mattress.

3. You’re Sleeping Hot

When customers walk into one of our showrooms, our staff of sleep experts are often asked, “Will this mattress make me sleep hot at night?”

It’s easy to see why heat is on their mind. If you’ve ever slept hot, you know how uncomfortable it is. You’re kicking off sheets and blankets, you’re tossing and turning, you’re checking to make sure your ceiling fan is on full speed.

But is your mattress to blame or is it something else?

First, there are other things to consider if you’re trying to sleep cool through the night, including:

  • Your diet
  • Your bedtime clothes
  • Your bedding
  • Your room temperature

But if you’re kicking off your covers at night, it could also be your mattress. Mattresses can form a heat trap. This is especially true if your bed is older.

A heat trap is when your body heat gets stored in your mattress, which then heats you up, which then leads to more heat in the mattress.

To solve it, you want a mattress that’s breathable and that also uses advanced technology to help make you feel cooler.

Mattress shopping tip: At our Sleep Solutions department, we label which mattresses offer cooling benefits, separating them into those that offer moderate cooling and those that offer advanced cooling.

What to to Look for When Shopping for a Cool Mattress

Any quality mattress on today’s market ought to have technology in place that keeps their mattress from becoming a heat trap.

But there’s also mattresses available that actively work to cool you down.

When customers ask us to recommend the best mattress for cooling you down at night , we show them the Tempur-Pedic Breeze models — the ProBreeze and the LuxeBreeze.

The ProBreeze can feel up to 3 degrees cooler as you sleep, while the LuxeBreeze can feel up to 8 degrees cooler.

The Tempur-Pedic Breeze line does this by combining phase changing materials (PCMs) that react to your body heat by cooling you down via a cool-to-the-touch cover that doesn’t store heat. Plus, in the Luxe line, Tempur-Pedic uses a specially designed layer of ventilated foam that helps promote airflow.

4. Your Partner is Waking You Up When They Move

Sometimes you’re sleeping just fine. Your bed is comfy, it’s cool to the touch, and you’d otherwise get a full eight hours... except that your partner is tossing and turning (or getting in and out of bed because they’re on a different schedule than you) and waking you up.

If this happens to you, it’s likely because your mattress has a high level of motion transfer so you “feel” all motion on the bed.

To fix this problem, you want a mattress that promotes motion isolation also known as motion transfer.

To fight motion transfer, we’d recommend memory foam mattresses or latex mattresses over innerspring mattresses. (You can get spring mattresses that offer motion isolation — if they use advanced technology like individually wrapped pocket coils — but they still won’t be as good as using a foam mattress for preventing motion transfer.)

Memory foam mattresses (and hybrid mattresses with a thick top layer of memory foam) absorb motion, whereas coil mattresses push back more i.e, have that bounce associated with coil beds.

Mattress shopping tip: At our Sleep Solutions department, we label which mattresses offer motion isolation, so you and your partner can make an informed decision.

Consider a Split King Mattress

One way to completely eliminate any disturbance from your partner’s side of the bed is to invest in a split king mattress.

This is when you have two twin extra long mattresses right next to each other. So you — and your partner — are technically sleeping on two different beds.

At Slumberland, this is a popular solution for couples who have different needs from their bed. For example, if one partner wants a firmer bed and one wants a softer mattress, then getting a split king arrangement lets both parties find their true comfort. Plus, with a split king mattress you can purchase an adjustable bed frame that lets you and your partner both customize how you sleep each night.

5. You’re Sinking into a Valley

Are there dips or valleys in your mattress? If so, that’s a pretty clear sign that it’s time for a new mattress.

Sometimes you may not even notice you’re in a valley until you notice that the middle of your bed (where generally no one sleeps) is higher up than the corner of the bed.

While body impressions and slight indentations are normal, a sinking valley is not. If you feel like you have to climb out of your bed, then there’s a problem.

This means your body likely isn’t getting the support it needs. Ideally, you want to lie down on a flat surface that then conforms to your shape and weight. If you’re lying down on a lumpy bed with dips, then you’re already setting yourself up for a bad night.

Can You Get a Mattress Topper Instead?

Mattress toppers are extra inches of foam material that you put on top of an existing mattress.

At Slumberland, we often sell quality mattress toppers to customers who aren’t ready to buy a new mattress just yet. But they want to improve their quality of sleep in the meantime. (A mattress topper is also a good way to improve the mattress in your guest bedroom or add much needed softness to a bed that’s too firm.)

But a mattress topper does have its limits. If you put a mattress topper on a mattress that has dips and valleys, it’s only a matter of time until the topper itself begins to dip. This is because the topper isn’t being supported by an even, flat surface.

6. Your Mattress is Old

Sometimes an old mattress is still comfortable and still supportive, begging the question, “Do I still need to replace it?” After all, don’t mattress warranties last 10 years (if not longer)?

The answer is… it depends.

Quality mattresses do have a long lifespan, but an old mattress has gone through a lot. While we may think a bed just lies there, the truth is every day your mattress supports your body weight and movements. It also absorbs your body’s sweat and the pollen, dust, and allergens that are in your room.

If you’re using a waterproof mattress protector, then you’re ahead of the game. Your mattress is likely to hold up for much longer because that protector is going to keep out sweat, bed bugs, and dust mites. But if you’re not, then an old mattress may not be hygienic. Some research has shown that a mattress will weigh double its initial weight after 8 years. This is because all the sweat and allergens we discussed are getting trapped in the bed.

If you’ve been sleeping on your bed for over ten years, then it might be time to consider getting a new one.

The only real way to know is to try the new mattresses available on the market, and talk to an expert who can guide through your options. Your old mattress might still be what’s best for you, but there’s also been so many advances in technology and support that new mattresses are likely an improvement. To see how the best mattresses are working to help you sleep longer and deeper, visit a Slumberland showroom.

Final Thoughts: What to Do When it’s Time to Get a New Mattress

A good mattress is critical for getting better sleep at night. But actually finding the right mattress can feel impossible — thanks in large part to the mattress industry boom of online mattress companies and conflicting mattress reviews.

But at Slumberland we do things differently. We don’t think mattress shopping should be a guessing game.

We know that when you’re getting a new mattress it’s because you have a problem that you need to solve, whether it’s waking up in pain, sleeping hot throughout the night, or something else entirely.

Our staff is ready to answer any questions you have and recommend a mattress that will solve your pain points and improve your sleep quality.

If you’re ready to start sleeping better, visit a Slumberland showroom for a personalized recommendation.