Mattresses that have seen better days are usually plagued with sagging. That means, despite how heavily you've invested in purchasing a high-quality mattress, it'll start to sink and lose its mattress support at some point. Sagging mattresses might seem harmless, but they gradually impact your sleep quality negatively. In fact, about a tenth of US citizens are diagnosed with sleep apnea and other sleep conditions. And sleeping on a saggy mattress is one of the major causes of such conditions. Though it may sound logical to purchase a new mattress to solve the problem, there are some cost-effective tips you can apply to make a more even sleep surface out of your existing mattress, but first let's look at some reasons behind a sagging mattress.
Causes of Mattress Sagging
The main reason a mattress sags is usually the quality of the mattress. A low quality mattress will start to sag faster than a high quality mattress. Additionally, if a heavy sleeper gets a soft mattress, it'll soon start to sag. Some pests and rodents can also chew their way through your mattress, causing it to sag. Read more on what causes holes in mattress to learn how you can protect your sleep surface.
Each mattress is made up several layers, mostly with the bottom layer made of support material. A mattress with poor support is likely to be plagued with sagging on the surface. The signs may not be apparent instantly, but as support from the bed or the box spring gradually deteriorates, the mattress will start to lose its support.
Large expensive mattresses like the king and the queen size should have adequate support. Due to their large sizes, they're likely to sink if some sagging areas are too weak and end up causing back pain. Advisably, consider investing in a high-quality box spring and get the best mattress if you want an extended period of sleep comfort.
Wear Or Tear
It's natural for all mattresses to wear out whether you're sleeping on a hybrid mattress, latex, or latex foam mattress, and many others. The wearing out is primarily due to the loss of the mattress's material strength over time. For example, a traditional spring mattress may lose its firmness to bounce when sleeping on them. In return, this may lead to the mattress sagging in specific areas. On the other hand, a sagging memory foam mattress may become moldable under prolonged use to constant compression of the materials.
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Whether you sleep alone or with a partner, your once super comfortable mattress will most likely lose balance and shape within the first 5 years of purchasing it. Depending on your sleep position, the mattress may develop indentation on areas receiving more pressure from your body weight. These are usually areas to which your shoulder and hips are exposed.
Using Mattress Toppers
Using a mattress topper to even out your mattress's sleep surface will increase your mattress's overall comfort instantly. Also, mattress toppers work to moderate the firmness level of most modern mattresses. A high-quality mattress topper comes with merits like excellent pressure relief—and can significantly revitalize your old bed while also extending its life span.
The industry is flooded with countless varieties of toppers with different thicknesses (usually 2 to 5 inches). These mattress toppers are made of different types of materials like wool, latex, feather, foam, and others. For instance, a GhostBed mattress topper is an excellent option designed with targeted comfort layers to contour well with the body. Since the GhostBed mattress pad is a gel-infused memory foam mattress topper, it provides tremendous pressure relief to ensure the utmost sleep comfort.
Depending on the state of your sunken bed, it's up to you to decide on the type of material and thickness ideal for your used mattress—that is, when shopping for a new mattress topper.
Replacing Mattress Foundation
The mattress foundation can deteriorate with time, just like other mattress areas. If you have a memory foam mattress with a poorly constructed foundation, it'll most likely develop premature sagging. But replacing the foundation can make a significant difference in the sleep surface of a saggy mattress. Since the foundation is responsible for overall mattress support, you'll most likely experience less support at the center of the bed.
Though slats are preferable to box springs, they may create mattress indentations making the mattress pretty uncomfortable to sleep on. If your mattress is sagging because of the flats, try evenly spacing them out since they can push to one side of the mattress. Generally, slats are primarily suitable for foam and latex mattresses. Remember that this will only serve as a temporary fix. It's best you replace the mattress foundation.
Like most typical sleep products, choosing the proper mattress foundation depends on various factors. So, to get the right mattress foundation, check with your mattress manufacturer for the best style that'll perfectly suit your existing mattress. Keep in mind that such a replacement can impact the mattress warranty. This is due to strict policies imposed by some mattress companies concerning slat spacing.
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Changing your Sleeping Spot on the Mattress
While this might seem like a straightforward trick, it may not be simple for some. If you have a sleeping partner and each has either side of the bed to themselves, consider swapping sleeping spots, say, weekly. The same also applies if you're sleeping alone. And if that's the case, you can switch up the spots from one side to the middle and to the other side of the bed. Advisably, you should switch up, if best, daily.
Swapping sleeping spots with a sleeping partner or switching your sleeping spots (sleeping alone) ensures even pressure is applied on the mattress. This initiates a slowdown in the mattress sag. Also, say you are a back sleeper and your partner is a side sleeper, a change to a different sleeping position for each side also significantly extends the mattress's lifespan.
Using a Box Spring and Mattress
Box springs are known for their excellent support since most bed frames use them. While some people may prefer slats over a box spring for their modern mattresses, a box spring still works best to provide that ideal support to prevent mattress sag.
A box spring is ideal for other mattresses except for a latex bed and foam mattress. Note that a box spring is particularly better suited for two-sided innerspring mattresses.
Some mattress companies only guarantee a mattress warranty covering excessive sagging if you use a spring box. Otherwise, the warranty may become void. So suppose you want to use slats; check the details of the mattress warranty whether or not it requires you to use a box spring unless you don't want to maintain the warranty.
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Placing a Pillow Underneath the Mattress
According to some mattress reviews from those seeking a solution for a sagging mattress—placing a pillow underneath the mattress is also an effective solution.
Simply place the pillow on the bed frame or the box spring. After that, you should feel a significant change in the pressure levels of your existing bed. This helps the mattress recover exponentially. The anti-sagging solution also promotes good shape retention of the mattress.
Keep in mind that this solution won't take effect overnight. If that pillow isn't giving you that ideal support of a perfectly leveled mattress surface, consider adding extra pillows. Feel free also to add some blankets.
Rotate the Mattress Regularly
Generally, mattresses sag due to uneven pressure applied on the surface, making the mattress firmer in some spots than others. One of the logical ways of dealing with an annoying dip on the bed is rotating the mattress.
Remember that you are to rotate the mattress at 180 degrees. Meaning that if you were experiencing the dip on the right-hand side of the bed, it'd appear on the left-hand side. This is good for sleeping partners who don't like the idea of swapping sleeping spots to even out the surface of the mattress. You should rotate the mattress after 3 months to half a year to maintain it in good condition.
Support plays a significant role in evening out a sagging mattress's surface for the sleeper. And using plywood is an excellent solution to this problem as it restores the mattress's shape. Simply place the plywood above the box spring beneath the mattress where the mattress is sagging.
In case you have a squeaky bed, the plywood will help muffle the annoying squeak sounds. Those who have their mattresses on a wooden bed frame will have to place two pieces of plywood between the bed frame and the mattress. Like the mattress foundation, this solution also fends off premature mattress sagging.
Consequences of Sleeping on a Sagging Mattress
As a mattress sags, not only will it negatively impact your sleep quality but also your overall lifestyle. The eminent consequences of sleeping on a bad mattress are as follows;
Aches and Pain
If you've started experiencing some pain or aches when you wake up in the morning, chances are it's your mattress that's causing it. That means the sagging mattress has less support tension than average for your body weight. At sunrise, you may experience lower back pains, neck kinks, or general body aches.
Like any mattress, innerspring mattresses are also subject to normal wear and tear. As a result, they may develop gradual loss of the integrity of the supportive foam layer and loss of strength of the metal coils. This usually results from mattress sagging caused by uneven pressure on the surface. Tossing and turning may make the coils squeak, producing noise unfit for a good night's sleep.
When the mattress sinks in with your body, the mattress's surface covers a significant area of the body. Heat is then trapped, leading to decreased air circulation. Not only is sleeping hot annoying but also a potential cause of insomnia, decreased daily performance, irritability, and general fatigue.
Sleeping on a sagging mattress with uneven surfaces is, overall, uncomfortable. Such a mattress makes it harder to fall asleep. Plus, you might find yourself waking up more often than usual at night, which will disrupt your sleep health gradually.
It's best to replace your mattress with a new one after about 6 to 10 years to avoid the consequences mentioned above.
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The strategies outlined in this article should adequately offer a temporary solution to fix a sagging mattress. However, note that they won't fix the root cause of the problem. Generally, they'll help boost your mattress's life span for some time as you plan to purchase a new comfortable mattress.
As previously mentioned, you should replace your mattress after about 6 to 10 years if the sagging becomes much worse. After applying these solutions and you're still experiencing significant pains and body aches, or an inadequately aligned spine, just know that the mattress is a lost cause. To avoid jeopardizing your sleep health, consider replacing your mattress with a new one immediately.