The problems caused by sleeping on an old mattress
Like most things, your mattress comes with an expiry date. You might not know this, but sleeping on an old mattress can cause problems. It won’t last you indefinitely, and it’s really important that you upgrade your mattress when you need to. If you don’t, you might find yourself in a little bit of trouble. There are more ways than one an old mattress can cause you problems.
You might be unwilling to get rid of your old mattress. Perhaps you like it, and think it is comfortable. Maybe it has morphed perfectly to suit your shape. But you might not realise how it’s affecting your sleep, and how some of your health issues are exacerbated by sleeping on it for eight hours a night. You might be so used to feeling this way that you don’t even realise it’s a problem. But you will, when you get a new mattress.
So, specifically, how can your old mattress affect you?
Lifespan can disrupt sleep
Your mattress comes with a lifespan. This isn’t a random number pulled from thin air, it’s usually decided by significant testing, and it should be taken seriously. You wouldn’t drink milk that was out of date, would you? So why would you sleep on a mattress that’s out of date?
The age of your mattress can be determined from a tag attached to it somewhere, or through the model and manufacturer name, which will help you look up its age.
You should be aware that the estimated lifespan of your mattress is likely based on average usage, so if you use your mattress as a trampoline, for example, it isn’t going to last as long as it should. In order to get the best from your mattress, you should take good care of it.
Wear and tear, such as sagging springs and torn materials, can have a detrimental impact on your comfort, which will affect your sleep. If your mattress is not supporting you properly, you might struggle to turn over, or you may find your body is not fully supported even when you’re laying still. Since lack of sleep can cause poor concentration and mental health issues, it’s really important you replace your mattress when it’s damaged or old.
Hygiene issues and their impact on health
We have no doubt that you keep your mattress clean, but it’s only natural that mattresses are going to become dirtier the longer you have them. Your body sweats when you sleep, in fact we lose around 200ml of water a night, and this usually ends up on your mattress. If it’s made from natural materials then this can be wicked away, but, over time, sweat can still do damage to your mattress.
Sweating on your mattress can lead to mould, then spores. This can turn your old mattress into an oasis for pathogenic fungi and bacteria. These can cause norovirus, staphylococcus, enterococcus and MRSA, which can lead to urinary tract infections, skin infections and problematic viruses.
Mould can also cause itchiness, eczema and coughing, as well as other allergic reactions.
Dead skin in your old mattress can also be an issue, because it attracts dust mites and bed bugs. If you have asthma, dust mites can be a potentially life threatening issue. Scientifically named cimex lectularius, bed bugs carry their own threats. They bite human skin, which leaves itchy lesions that can be uncomfortable. For some, this can result in an allergic reaction.
Aches and pains
We’ve touched on aches and pains a little bit, but they deserve their own section. If your mattress is not supporting you properly, if it’s indented and sags, your body will not rest properly, and this can result in aches and pains in your back, hips, shoulders, neck, and legs.
These aches and pains can lead to bad posture, which can make the problem even worse.
What do I do now?
If you think it’s time to buy a new mattress, it’s a good idea to do some research. Not all mattresses were created equal, and your individual issues might make one mattress better for you than another would be. If you have allergies, for example, you’ll want to look at a natural mattress, as they’re usually hypoallergenic, and so you are much likely to get a longer lifespan out of this mattress without your allergies causing you issues. If you’re heavier, you’ll need a thicker mattress. If you’re light, you’ll need something soft.
If you think your mattress might be too old for you, spend some proper time researching what type of mattress you should buy next.
Ely mattresses come with a ten year warranty, and are naturally fire retardant and hypoallergenic. For more information on how a natural mattress can improve the quality of your sleep, read about our thirteen layers.