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Sagging mattress: causes, prevention and solution

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Purchasing a new mattress can mean buying better sleep, but for most, it seems like a luxury expense that gets put to the side far past a mattress's lifespan.

A mattress can last several years, often 7 to 10 years, depending on the materials, construction, and how well it is cared for.

Without the adequate care and cleaning of your mattress, it can begin to sag prematurely, leading to disrupted sleep, aches and pains, and the uncertainty of how to fix the problem.

That said, can you fix a sagging mattress? Can a memory foam mattress topper prevent it? Polysleep is here to help you sleep better and extend the life of your mattress.

What causes mattress sagging?

Though many mattresses that are manufactured with high quality, durable materials are designed to last upwards of 10 years, no mattress can last forever.

Mattress sagging is among the most common complaints of mattress owners, but it can be an inevitable process, for several reasons.

  • Usage: Frequent usage without adequate support will lead to sinking in areas of higher pressure (like your preferred spot to sleep).
  • Heavier or lighter sleepers: Heavy people may also notice their mattress sagging quicker.
  • Sleeping with a partner: Do you sleep with a partner? Each of you is likely to sleep in the same spot night after night resulting in sagging in these areas while the rest of the mattress seems unphased. The regular pressure from your body weight in these areas of the mattress results in a breakdown of the once comfortable material leaving you with a less supportive mattress.
  • Foundation: Premature mattress flattening can result from an inadequate foundation. Foundations with fewer than six legs can often cause premature sagging.
A couple lying on a mattress standing against a wall.

Can you fix a sagging mattress?

A mattress is a big purchase and is an investment in your sleep. The most important thing we can do for our mattresses is to provide a supportive foundation.

All mattresses experience wear and tear from frequent use. Unfortunately, once a mattress has begun to sag, there is usually nothing to be done that will reverse the damage.

Yet, there are some things that can be done to minimize sinking and increase the longevity of your mattress.

How to prevent mattress sagging?

If you have owned your mattress for an extended period, you have likely noticed a decrease in sleep quality and support, leaving you to wake more frequently throughout the night or wake up with new pains in the morning.

With time, mattress materials begin to break down, become less supportive, and begin to appear sunken.

So, the question is, can you prevent a sunken mattress? There are some tips to help, including the below.

Change how and where you sleep

Unless a mattress is placed in a guest room without frequent usage, most people sleep on their beds every night.

It is not uncommon for sleepers, whether you sleep alone or you share the bed with a partner, to have a preferred sleeping position and spot.

By changing up where you sleep in bed, you are allowing different amounts of pressure to be applied to the mattress which can slow the breakdown of materials.

Flip or rotate your mattress

Unless the manufacturer specifically advises against this, it is recommended to rotate or flip your mattress every 3 to 6 months to extend its life.

To rotate the mattress, you simply turn it until the head becomes the feet and the feet become the head. This allows for pressure to be more evenly dispersed throughout the mattress and prevents sagging in high-pressure areas.

Some mattress types can be flipped (making the top the bottom and vice versa) to prevent excess wear on one side.

Mattresses that are made of layered foams or hybrid mattresses are typically not designed to be flipped as this will create an uncomfortable sleeping space.

Use a mattress topper

Using an antimicrobial mattress topper alongside your mattress is an excellent, inexpensive way to improve comfort, add support, and help to prevent or reduce sagging.

Mattress toppers are sold as an individual accessory for mattresses and are offered in a variety of materials and thickness levels.

For those looking to improve an already sagging mattress, a thicker mattress topper is recommended. Check out our guide on how to choose a mattress topper.

Change your mattress foundation

Many mattress manufacturers have begun creating products that are not required to be used alongside a traditional box spring, however, many companies have set forth specific requirements for how far apart slats on a foundation can be - a fact overlooked by many mattress owners.

A supportive frame allows for more even weight distribution and prevents the mattress from slipping between slats in the frame.

For example, a memory foam mattress with a support frame can last twice as long as one without, as the foam layers are subject to uneven pressure and are at risk of sagging between wooden slats.

Put pillows under the mattress

Though not widely recommended, a sinking mattress can be helped by placing pillows beneath the mattress in areas that are affected. This can help temporarily to prop up areas that are sinking, though it is not a permanent solution.

Adding pillows in affected areas may reduce the feeling of sagging or sinking in the material, though it does not evenly distribute support to sleepers and can ultimately worsen sleep.

A couple carrying a mattress in order to replace it.

Replacing a flat mattress

High-end mattresses made with high-quality materials are designed to last several years. However, no mattress can last forever. Sagging is primarily caused by frequent usage that eventually leads to a breakdown of materials.

The only way to permanently correct sagging is to replace the mattress altogether. Most mattresses should be replaced every 7 to 10 years.

Mattresses made with very high-quality materials that are well-constructed can even last longer.

Remember, the most important thing we can do for our mattresses is to provide a supportive base to place them on.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you fix a mattress that sinks in the middle?

While you cannot reverse sagging once it has begun, you can help to temporarily reduce the appearance of sagging by rotating, flipping, or adding pillows to a sunken area.

Can you fix a sunken mattress?

Adding a thick mattress topper, like the one from Polysleep, can slow mattress sagging and help you sleep better.

Sleep better with a Polysleep mattress

The sleep specialists at Polysleep are committed to providing a safe, healthy sleep space affordable for all.

Our products are made using antimicrobial foam to prevent the buildup of dust, mold, and other allergens and are offered in standard sizes as well as RV sizes to fit the needs of all sleepers.

Do not sleep poorly another day, take advantage of our 100-night sleep trial and begin sleeping better immediately.

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