After sleeping on your memory foam mattress for a couple of years, you may notice it losing shape, responsiveness, and support, causing you to sink deeper into your bed. In short, your mattress is sagging.
Why is a sagging mattress bad? When a mattress sags, it compromises the support the bed gives you. A mattress that can’t support you leads to issues such as lower back pain, hip pain, neck pain, and sleep deprivation.
Slight body indentations are normal, even on a good quality mattress. Lasting indentations indicate more extreme sagging, which impacts your bed’s comfort. Most mattress warranties cover sagging, but only if the impressions are deep enough— typically, greater than an inch.
It’s not just memory foam mattresses that sag. Most types of mattresses are at risk of sagging. Traditional mattresses collapse as their coils systems wear out, while foam beds lose support as the material is worn down.
The best solution is to buy a new mattress, but you may not be ready to do so just yet. If you need a temporary fix, we have some tips for repairing your old mattress until you can get a new bed.
Fix 1: Mattress Toppers
A common solution to a sagging bed is a memory foam mattress topper. A thick topper can even out a sleeping surface. Still, a topper follows the shape of the mattress, so while it can help with the mattress’s feel, a topper won’t add support.
A mattress topper is good for a side sleeper, but a back sleeper or stomach sleeper may sink uncomfortably deep, causing misalignment and back pain.
You can find a memory foam mattress topper between $50 and $300, although the price range is dependent on the size and thickness you want.
Fix 2: Pillows
Lining pillows on top of the mattress is an inexpensive option to fix a sagging area. Small, firm pillows will reinforce support where your mattress lacks it. After the pillow is placed in the hole, you can cover the pillow and mattress with a fitted sheet or a mattress pad.
Fix 3: A Bed Frame or Foundation
A sturdy foundation keeps your mattress steady once it starts sagging. A platform bed frame, a sheet of plywood, or even your floor provides enough solid support for a memory foam mattress. If a memory foam mattress is not kept on a solid enough foundation, parts of the mattress may sink below the foundation, stretching the bed out of shape.
However, a solid platform prevents air circulation through the bottom as well as heat and moisture-wicking, which may lead to mold growth or a pest infestation. A foundation with slats no more than 3 inches apart can cool down a hot memory foam mattress while still providing consistent support against sagging.
Why Does A Memory Foam Mattress Sag?
There are four main reasons why a memory foam mattress sags. You can’t completely prevent your mattress from sagging, but you can take steps to prolong your mattress’s lifespan.
Lying on your mattress night after night means your mattress bears constant weight, which can eventually cause foam materials to wear down. Shared beds will wear out even quicker.
A good mattress with a 10-inch thickness can take a sleeper’s weight constantly while maintaining support; thinner mattresses lose support much more rapidly with less material to hold them together.
While you can flip or rotate your mattress to even out wear or add support to your bed by placing it on a sturdy foundation, memory foam mattresses will need replacing once every 8 to 10 years.
Poor Mattress Support
An old or cheap mattress may have poor support cores — an old mattress from the material wearing out, while a cheap mattress lacks the material to prevent wear. A durable memory foam or latex mattress uses high-density foam to deter sagging and avoid an uneven surface.
A mattress experiences the most wear where a person sleeps every night. If your mattress has insufficient support, try bolstering it with a sturdy foundation or evening out the surface with a memory foam topper. You can also look for a memory foam mattress with a transition layer to add contouring and keep you from sinking into the support layer.
Keeping your memory foam mattress on a foundation with slats greater than 3 inches apart can cause the bed to dip, leading to foam damage. Box springs usually don’t have the support needed for memory foam mattresses. Bunkie boards are a good alternative if you want to reinforce a foundation that doesn’t meet the support needs of memory foam beds.
Minimizing the space between slats prevents the mattress from losing its shape.
If you do not maintain your mattress regularly, it may wear out faster. Sleeping on dead skin cells and other tiny debris grinds them into your mattress, which degrades the mattress’s materials and compromises its support.
To clean your mattress, strip the bedding off. Take time to vacuum not just the top but each side of the mattress and any crevices. Spot clean stains by spraying cleaner onto a cloth, then blot the stain. Do not spray cleaner directly onto your memory foam bed.
To further protect your mattress, consider a mite-proof cover with a tight weave to keep foreign matter out. Moisture, dust mites, or other particles accumulating inside the mattress can compromise the bed’s hygiene and cause a decline in your health by irritating your throat, nose, and mouth.
How to Prevent Sag
All mattresses sag eventually, but by keeping your mattress in excellent condition, you can reduce the risk of premature sagging.
Sleeping in the same spot every night can cause that area of the mattress to lose support faster than other portions of the mattress. To even out the wear, rotate it on a regular basis— once every three months.
Additionally, spot-clean and vacuum your bed often. We recommend dedicating a few hours for a thorough cleaning every three months, but give it a quick vacuum as often as you can. And avoid eating and drinking in your bed, to prevent food particles or spills from damaging your mattress.
Buy A Mattress With A Great Warranty
Mattress warranties protect a customer from a sagging mattress by outlining the company’s responsibility to repair or replace a defective mattress. Warranties cover only structural defects, and not damage caused by misuse and mishandling.
Many mattress companies won’t repair or replace a saggy mattress unless the indentations are more than an inch thick. The best mattresses come with warranties covering sagging under one inch, as a guarantee of their quality. The average memory foam mattress lasts about seven years. Caring for a memory foam mattress can stretch out its lifespan to a decade or more. The majority of memory foam mattresses contain a support layer on the bottom and a comfort layer on top. Flipping a mattress with this construction will compromise its support. A few memory foam mattresses are double-sided, however, so check with the company if it’s flippable.
Frequently Asked Questions
The average memory foam mattress lasts about seven years. Caring for a memory foam mattress can stretch out its lifespan to a decade or more.
The majority of memory foam mattresses contain a support layer on the bottom and a comfort layer on top. Flipping a mattress with this construction will compromise its support.
A few memory foam mattresses are double-sided, however, so check with the company if it’s flippable.
Did We Help?
A memory foam mattress keeps your spine neutral and leaves little to no space between your body and the top of the mattress. If the mattress starts to sag, it can no longer provide the support and comfort a sleeper needs to get a good night’s sleep.
Fixing up your mattress with our DIY methods will make your mattress usable until you can replace it. Still, it may not provide the same support as a new mattress. If you’re still waking up with backaches or other pain after trying our tips, look into replacing your mattress.
This article is for informational purposes and should not replace advice from your doctor or other medical professional.