Sleep Disorders

Updated 24 July 2018

Tell-tale signs you need a mattress upgrade

SPONSORED: If you’re struggling to get quality sleep, your mattress could be to blame.


The Better Sleep Council recommends that you replace your mattress every seven to ten years, depending on how comfortable and supportive it feels.

After that time – given normal wear and tear – the foam or springs will no longer be able to support your body as well as those of a new mattress.

And if you haven’t used a mattress cover, your mattress will have absorbed oils, dust mites and bodily fluids like sweat, which aren’t great for your sleep or overall health.

Plus, mattress technology will have evolved during the course of 10 years. 

If you find yourself tossing and turning, here are few tell-tale signs you need a mattress upgrade:

You’ve got the groove (well, your mattress does)
This can manifest in a number of ways:

You have one or more indentations in your bed, like a furrow right down the middle. Either way, it’s not pleasant if you want to change positions or sleep outside the hollow section/s. 

If the trough is in the centre of the mattress, you’ll feel like you are rolling toward the middle of the bed any time you're not right in the centre. It can feel a little bit like sleeping in a canoe. This is especially annoying if you share a bed. 

You can feel lumps or bumps in the bed
Lumps and bumps are usually the result of damage to the mattress material due to spills.

Spilling fluids on your mattress causes more than just an unpleasant damp spot. It’s bad for the material that makes up your bed. Foam degrades when it gets wet, and when you spill liquid on a mattress, it’s difficult to dry it out. (Another reason to use a waterproof mattress protector)

You wake up with aches and pains.
If you’re waking up with aches, pains, or stiffness, it might be time to think about getting a new mattress.

Perhaps your mattress is too firm or too soft. If your mattress isn’t supporting your body the way it needs, start looking at different types of mattress construction. You may prefer the solidity of a memory foam mattress, or the buoyancy of an innerspring mattress.

You’re moving to a bigger place
If you have a double or queen bed and you're moving to a home with enough space for a king-size bed, consider making the upgrade.

A larger room can handle a bigger bed, and in certain cases, a large bedroom appears more visually balanced with a king-size bed. You – and especially you and a partner – will always benefit from more sleeping space.

You sleep better in a hotel room than at home
If you regularly get a better night’s sleep on a business trip, or even a vacation, it’s time to reconsider the mattress you have at home.

Maybe your current mattress is just not compatible with your preferences. And trying out a hotel mattress can be a great way to learn what you like in a bed. So, don’t forget to check the label on your next visit.

Remember, quality sleep requires a quality mattress. Start browsing trusted brands known for longevity now.


Ask the Expert

Sleep disorders expert

Dr Alison Bentley is a general practitioner who has consulted in sleep medicine and sleep disorders, in both adults and children of all ages, for almost 30 years. She also researches and publishes on a number of sleep-related topics both in formal research journals and lay publications including as editor of Sleep Matters, an educational newsletter on sleep disorders for doctors.

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