Sleep Resources

How to Fix a Sagging Mattress

Check out these tips to fix your sagging mattress so that you can have the restful night’s sleep that you deserve.

By Daniel Grogan

There are many factors that go into a good night’s sleep, and one of the major ones is mattress integrity. Over time, it’s normal for a mattress to begin to sag and lose some of its structure, but it’s easy to ignore these minor inconveniences. However, there will come a time when the sag is so bad that it’s keeping you from getting any sleep. Read on to find out several ways you can combat mattress sagging and vastly improve your sleep experience.

Why Do Mattresses Sag?

Even the best mattresses go through standard wear and tear over the years, and included in this normal wear and tear is sagging. If you’re going to be spending a third of your day (or more) in your bed, there is bound to be some sagging eventually. But it’s important to look at what exactly is happening inside the mattress as it sags.

For mattresses that utilize foam in their construction, that foam tends to soften and lose its firmness as a result of cushioning the weight of the sleeper night after night. The foam gradually softens and loses its supportive ability, eventually developing an indentation.

In hybrid or innerspring mattresses with coils inside them, the metal springs go through a similar process as a result of accommodating the sleeper’s weight for long periods of time. The springs lose their tension and offer much less support. You’ll typically notice the most sagging in high-pressure areas, such as around the hips and shoulders.

The Effects of a Saggy Mattress

When a mattress sags, it can lead to numerous problems with your sleep experience, from affecting your sleep temperature, to causing excessive noise. Below are just a couple of the most prominent mattress problems and effects you’ll notice as a result of excess sagging.

Too much noise. Innerspring and hybrid mattresses that utilize coils in their construction can become noisier as they begin to sag over time. This is due to the fact that the springs themselves are starting to wear down and deteriorate. Once you notice your bed sagging, you’ll also hear the squeaking of the coils, mostly when moving around the saggy area. All this noise can make it hard for you to fall asleep, especially if you’re a combination sleeper who changes positions throughout the night.

High sleep temperature. If your mattress is sagging, it can cause you to sink. This can lead to your mattress “hugging” you and enveloping you in its top layers, resulting in you feeling hot at night. Sleeping hot is uncomfortable and can lead to you waking up feeling irritable and unrested.

The longer you wait to address your sagging mattress, the worse these problems will become. Make sure you’re taking the necessary steps to fix mattress sagging before it’s too late.

How to Prevent or Solve Mattress Sagging

Use a Mattress Topper

A mattress topper is an additional layer that you can place on top of the mattress to help make it more comfortable and supportive. Toppers should not be confused with mattress pads, which are typically softer and thinner and better for adding a plush layer to a bed.

Traditionally, mattress toppers are utilized by side sleepers who need extra cushioning for their firm mattress to support their hips and shoulders, but toppers can also be used to help reduce sag. 

A majority of mattress toppers are made of some form of foam or latex, which is designed to contour to the unique shape of your body and avoid aggravating pressure points, much like memory foam mattresses. In addition, memory foam mattress toppers can also even out your sleep surface. So if you’re experiencing a mattress with some sag and an uneven surface, a topper can help out.

Please keep in mind that a mattress topper should only be used as a temporary fix in cases where there is minor sag that’s around one or two inches. Any deeper than that, and the topper won’t do much to minimize the effect of the sag. Also, if you’re a back or stomach sleeper, you’ll want to ensure that the mattress topper you use is still offering you proper support on your high pressure point areas and keeping your spine properly aligned.

Rotate the Mattress Frequently

Rotating your mattress helps prevent indents or sag within one specific region. By committing to a regular rotation schedule, you can keep your mattress surface nice and even for a very long time. Depending on what material is used in your mattress, you’ll have varying frequencies of how often you should rotate it. 

For softer memory foam and latex mattresses, you will want to rotate your mattress one or two times a year. For most spring mattresses, you should consider rotating approximately two to five times a year, but newer innerspring and hybrid mattress models can typically stick to a less frequent schedule. Overall, these rotation schedules aren’t set in stone. Whenever you feel like you’re noticing a sag in your mattress where you sleep, you should consider rotating it to see if that helps. 

One common mistake made by some people is when they try flipping the mattress, which is different from rotating it. While rotating involves turning the mattress clockwise or counterclockwise on the foundation, flipping requires you to flip your mattress completely over. Some double-sided mattresses are designed for regular flipping, but single-sided mattresses do not have padding on both sides, so they may not be flippable. Always make sure to check manufacturer recommendations prior to flipping.

Related: Do You Need to Flip Your Mattress?

Replace Your Foundation

Your bed’s foundation is almost as important as the mattress itself. While your mattress may be sagging, it could also be the foundation, usually a boxspring, that’s the culprit.

Just like how coils or high-density foam inside a mattress can deteriorate over time, so can the coils inside a box spring, leading to sag. Like with your mattress, you should be making sure that you’re replacing your box spring on a regular basis, usually around eight to 10 years. This way, you can ensure you’re sleeping on a solid foundation that is at its peak structural integrity.

Related: Do You Need a Box Spring?

Box springs aren’t the only choice for bed foundations. You can also look into a slatted option, which consists of solid wooden planks or beams that are attached to the overall bed frame. Bed slats are recognized for being very DIY when it comes to fixing and installing, but best of all, they can also severely reduce sagging due to their solid structure and extra support. If you’re unhappy with your boxspring’s lack of mattress support and attempt at reducing sagging, then a slat foundation may be a great alternative.

Check the Warranty

Always double-check the warranty on your mattress. Normal wear and tear (including sagging) on a mattress is to be expected throughout its lifetime, so it may not be covered. But in some instances, mattress companies will cover sagging if it falls within a certain excess measurement (assuming the mattress is going through normal use). Look over your mattress warranty when you begin to notice sagging and determine whether it will cover a replacement. New beds can be costly, so it’s wise to see if there is any financial benefit to exercising the warranty option on your old mattress.

How Often Should Your Mattress be Replaced

As a general rule of thumb, mattresses should be replaced approximately every six to eight years. This is the typical lifespan of any mattress type, and it’s usually how long it takes for the mattress to begin developing problems. However, if you notice any of the following issues prior to the six- to eight-year benchmark, it may be wise to start shopping for a new mattress.

The mattress has dedicated “sagging areas.” As discussed earlier, some sagging is normal and to be expected, but if your mattress is saggy to the point that you’re waking up with lower back pain or you’re seeing a large indentation in the material, then you’ll need to consider it’s time for a replacement.

You wake up feeling stiff or sore. Aside from backaches, you may experience neck pain, muscle soreness, joint stiffness, and several other problems when your mattress is reaching the end of its lifespan. 

You’re having issues falling and staying asleep each night. Once your bed is no longer comfortable, it becomes much more difficult for you to fall asleep and to stay asleep. There are other factors that can lead to your sleep problems (such as bright lights, caffeine, and stress), but don’t count out the possibility that your mattress may be on its last legs.

Related: How Often Should You Replace Your Mattress?

Conclusion

A sagging mattress can be extremely detrimental to your sleep experience, so it’s crucial that you take care of it sooner rather than later. As you’re looking for ways to combat the negative effects of mattress sagging, don’t forget to consider buying a brand-new mattress, getting a mattress topper, replacing your boxspring, or rotating the entire mattress. It’s time for you to get the good night’s sleep you deserve.


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