Mattress Sagging: The Ultimate Guide for Fixing & Prevention


wooden bed with white bedding and nighstand

Have you noticed signs of sagging in your mattress? This is one of the most common problems associated with aging mattresses. For many people, the moment dips and valleys appear on their bed surface, they prepare to write the mattress off for a brand new replacement.

Sure, while severe sagging can be a good indicator that the end of a mattress’ life is near, the sad truth is that all mattresses sag at some point albeit gradually. Thus it is important to weigh the extent of the sagging as well as its effects on your body during their night to determine whether it is worth keeping or not.

Why do Mattresses Sag?

While many of us dream of finally landing that top mattress model that can withstand our body weight for long periods, the reality is that they do not exist. At least, not at the moment because all mattresses sag at some point.

Sagging may set in when we sleep on the same spot on a mattress for several months or years. Whether it is memory foam, innerspring, hybrid, or pure latex, you can be sure of experiencing some form of sagging at some point.

This is typically caused by the softening of the foam, glue, and other raw materials at the spot in question over time.

Many of us struggle to wrap our heads around why coiled spring mattresses in particular sag eventually. However, you should know that even the strongest steel coils can suffer wear and tear over time. The integrated raw materials also begin to sink in which causes sagging in our beloved innerspring models.

Unfortunately, coiled spring mattresses may be more susceptible to sagging compared to rivals such as memory foam or latex. Whatever the cause of the valleys and hills popping up in your mattress, sleeping on such surfaces can be extremely difficult.

Which Areas of A Mattress are More Prone to Sagging?

The truth is some areas of a mattress can be more prone to sagging than others. This is because sagging occurs as a result of sustained pressure on particular areas of a mattress for prolonged periods.

Upper Body

Your upper body is one of the strongest areas meaning frequent resting spots for the chest and shoulders can easily sag over a period.

For powerlifters and bodybuilders with even stronger upper bodies, the dips can be more dramatic around the areas where they normally rest the chest and shoulders.

Mid Section

The mid-section is another part of the body that exudes a lot of pressure on mattresses. With many of us sporting expanded waistlines and pot bellies, it is only a matter of time before our mattresses begin to face the brunt of the pressure from our midsection.

Whether you’re skinny or have a few extra pounds, it is important to pay attention to those parts of the mattress where the belly usually lands after jumping into bed.

Thighs, Knees, and Legs

woman sitting in bed with laptop

The thighs, knees, and legs can also put a lot of pressure on your mattress which may result in sagging in the end. This is especially common among side sleepers who typically place one leg on top of the other in a specific spot throughout the night.

Tummy sleepers may also exert significant levels of thigh and knee pressure on their mattresses. This can collapse the foam and coil spring material underneath those areas, leading to eventual sagging.

Additional Causes of Mattress Sagging

There are other common causes of sagging mattresses. Being aware of them can help you put in the right steps to ensure your mattress doesn’t deteriorate with laser speed under your watch.

1. Inferior Components

Sure, even the best mattresses in the world can sag at some point. However, buying one that features mediocre material may result in deterioration within the space of a few months or even worse.

This is why it is critical to order a quality model that can deliver great value for money. Sure, inferior-made mattresses may be significantly less expensive but the costs of shopping for a new model every couple of months or years can add up over time.

Memory foam, in particular, can easily go downhill when made from less than quality components. If you prefer latex, it is important to choose one derived from world-class materials. Also, look out for innerspring models with quality steel-derived coiled springs if you want to minimize the probability of your mattress sagging sooner than later.

The good news is that you can get independent reviews of some of the most popular mattress-in-a-box models from Amazon and other online retail giants. Scouring through those reviews can give you an idea of other people’s experiences with your target models.

If many reviewers complain about specific models sagging quickly, staying clear of them can be a smart idea.

I’ve been sleeping on the Vibe 12-inch Memory Foam Mattress from Amazon for the past 2 years. It is amazingly supportive, still looks new and showing no signs of sagging or indentations even though My girlfriend and I are both overweight.

2. Mediocre Boxspring or Foundation

Did you know that sleeping on an inferior boxspring or foundation can also increase the probability of your mattress sagging in the middle? Well, the right foundation should provide stellar support for your mattress across all sides and angles.

Mattresses tend to suffer indentations when the foundation fails to provide the degree of support required. That is why it is advisable to order a brand new box spring or foundation whenever you’re shopping for a new mattress unless the older one is in great physical condition.

Avoid worn-out, broken, and unsteady boxsprings and foundations to ensure the life of your mattress can be maximized.

3. Flooding

shirtless man in a flooded home

Have you ever come across a flooded mattress or one that has experienced heavy penetration of water or some other liquid? The physical deterioration can be staggering. The top layers may even compress to the point of discomfort when you lie down on it.

A flooded or soiled mattress can easily succumb to sagging from even minimal pressure. The moment your mattress gets into such a condition, it is advisable to take the plunge and invest in a  new one.

If you’re shopping for second-hand mattresses, make sure to avoid ones showing signs of flooding or soiling unless you’d rather not get the best bang for your buck.

4. Spooning Couples

Do you have a specific spot in your bed where you and your partner like to cuddle and spoon for several hours during the night? You’re inevitably marking that spot to sag soon.

As previously discussed, uneven pressure at specific spots on a mattress can cause dips which prevent the bed surface from being flat and comfortable.

What are the Effects of Sagging?

There are several negative effects of sleeping on sagging mattresses. Shall we take a look at a few reasons why you should dread those trench-like dips in your bed?

1. Sleeping Discomforts 

Lying down on a sagging mattress can be extremely uncomfortable. Sure, if you sleep alone on a King or Queen size model, shifting to the better side will always remain a possibility.

But couples sleeping on double beds and singles with twin beds can have a terrible time at night on mattresses with several dips due to sagging.

In some cases, multiple areas of your mattress may sag and that can make sleeping even more difficult at night. If you suffer insomnia regularly, a sagging mattress can aggravate the problem and rob you of valuable sleep. 

2. Bad Spinal Alignment

Achieving a healthy spinal alignment is an important factor for good health especially as you grow older. The correct spinal alignment can prevent health issues ranging from back pain to posture problems as well as scoliosis.

Remember, lying down on an uneven sleeping surface is one of the most popular causes of terrible spinal alignment. Sleeping on such surfaces for sustained periods can result in even more health problems due to excessive pressure on the back region.

This is why chiropractors and orthopedic surgeons recommend kicking deeply sagging mattresses to the curb to prevent such health problems. 

3. Reduced Libido

Have you ever tried making love on an uneven mattress surface? It can be extremely terrible to the point where most people may lose interest quickly.

This negative effect on your sex life may lead to tensions with your partner which can escalate to bigger problems in your relationship.

If you’re serious about bringing the spark back into a deteriorating relationship, the last thing you need is a deeply sagging mattress.

4. Noisy Beds

Sagging can increase the probability of your mattress making unbearable noises every time u move. This may be even more common in coiled spring mattresses because sagging reduces the tension in the coils and makes them weaker.

Weak coiled springs equal noise which can affect the quality of your sleep. This can also be embarrassing every time you try to get intimate with your partner. 

5. Hot Sleeping

menopausal woman suffering hot flashes

Whether you’re a hot sleeper or a menopausal woman experiencing hot flashes regularly, you need your mattress to be as breathable as possible.

However, sagging mattresses can block air from flowing through the specially created pathways. Since the weight of the sleeper’s body typically collapses the raw materials underneath the sagging spot, this can disrupt the entire airway structure of the mattress leading to problems with aeration.

What are the Best Types of Mattresses For Sagging Prevention?

You probably know by now that the type of mattress plays a huge part in the probability and speed at which sagging can occur. Choosing a low-density mattress featuring poor materials and craftsmanship can be a recipe for disaster.

The best type of mattress to prevent sagging is airbeds. Unfortunately, they can be too cumbersome to rely on as a primary bed because they require regular inflation.

The next best mattress type is latex. Thanks to the quality of the material, you can expect not to encounter any sagging issues within the first 5 years or so.

Memory foam can also offer a low-to-moderate risk of sagging even under severe pressure from the sleeper’s body weight. Many consumers have reported seeing signs of sagging in memory foam after approximately 5 years of use.

Innerspring mattresses are the worst when it comes to sagging. It is not uncommon to see signs within 3 years of use. In models that feature mediocre comfort material, the deterioration can even be quicker.

Note that hybrid models do better than pure coiled springs. This is because they usually feature superior quality comfort material derived from latex or memory foam. This can make a huge difference in how long it takes for sagging to set in even under severe pressure.

Do Mattress Warranties Cover Sagging?

Many of us run to check out the warranty terms and conditions as soon as our mattresses begin displaying signs of sagging.

So, do mattress warranties typically cover sagging? The answer is yes. The majority of manufacturers specify specific sagging depths under which you can invoke the warranties. The depths can be as high as 2 inches so keep that in mind before making contact with your mattress brand the moment you spot signs of sagging.

Note that slight sagging is a normal thing that happens to even the best of mattresses over time.

Additionally, keep in mind that manufacturers do not offer replacements just because your mattress has sagged to the specified depths. They usually offer strict guidelines in terms of the right foundation to use as well as the bed slats spacing and other conditions.

Thus, you can only expect a complete mattress replacement when you can show proof of adhering to all the laid down terms and conditions.

Be sure to contact your mattress maker with evidence such as photos and videos of the mattress as well as proof of depth measurements, purchasing receipts, and any other items they may request.

Your replacement mattress should be on the way shortly after.

How to Fix a Sagging Mattress

Getting your sagging mattress replaced or fixed by the manufacturer can be a cumbersome process that may take time and a lot of effort. In most cases, it might be a great idea to find a solution on your own. 

Here are a couple of sagging mattress solutions that can provide relief and enable you to enjoy sleeping again.

1. Flip the Sides of the Mattress

This is one of the easiest ways to fix sagging mattresses. Flipping the sides routinely may delay sagging in the first place and enhances the longevity of your mattress. We recommend rotating not just 360 degrees but 180 degrees as well so the spot that served as your head can become your foot area and vice versa.

This should prevent excessive pressure from being exerted at your favorite spot of the mattress, leading to a relatively higher rate of wear and tear compared to the other sides.

But what if you own a big mattress that is difficult to rotate? Well, such models can be a 2-man or even 3-man job so enlist help from your partner, friend, or family member.

For the best results, rotate your mattress every 3-4 months.

2. Buy a Mattress Topper

Mattress toppers can be critical if you’re serious about preventing the mattress from sagging. Toppers are thin layers of cushion which are placed on the surface of mattresses for the sleeper to lie down on.

This may prevent your body from making direct contact with the main mattress.

Mattress toppers can also come in handy by insulating the sleeper from gaps and trenches in mattresses which are already sagging. This can create an even sleeping surface for you to enjoy throughout the night.

There are several types of toppers on the market. However, the most popular ones range from memory foam to latex as well as wool, down feathers, and other foam materials.

I have been sleeping on the Linenspa 3-inch Memory Foam Topper from Amazon for the past 2 years. It keeps my regular mattress in pristine condition and provides cozy comfort throughout the night.

3. Get a New Foundation

If you want to prevent a mattress from sagging, buying a new foundation to go with it is one of the best decisions you can make. Sure, foundations are not cheap and can run into several hundreds of dollars.

However, brand new foundations provide optimum support for mattresses to stay in tip-top shape for ages.

Before you start shopping, make sure that the foundation you’re getting falls in line with the mattress’s warranty terms.

For instance, if your mattress maker’s terms and conditions demand that you pair it with a box spring then choosing another type of foundation can automatically void the warranty.

I love the Olee Sleep 18-inch Heavy-Duty Steel Slat Mattress Foundation from Amazon. It is affordable, flexible, and provides comfy support.

4. Cover the Bed Slats

The spaces found between bed slats may be a leading cause of excessive pressure on your mattress. Sealing off those spaces with a layer of thick plywood can ease the pressure on your mattress and maintain its physical structure.

Make sure the plywood is strong and well-positioned on the bed slats. The result is a long-lasting mattress that can stay free from sagging for several years.

5. Pillow-Cover the Trenches and Valleys

Placing pillows on the sagging spots can hide the dips and valleys to ensure effective sleeping all night. This can be an effortless stop-gap measure to provide good sleep while you figure out a more permanent solution.

To qualify, your pillow must be flat enough to cover the valleys well.

6. Invoke Your Warranty

So you’ve tried all the steps above and nothing seems to be working. It is time to file a warranty claim with your mattress maker or retailer.

Make sure that the warranty period is still active and all the requirements stipulated in the terms and conditions have been met.

This can save you the stress of back and forth messages with the mattress brand only for your claim to be rejected.

Conclusion

Sagging can be a real mattress problem that affects millions of people all over the world. While the issue cannot be entirely prevented in most cases, following the steps above can help minimize the risk of suffering it.

Remember, the first step towards sagging prevention is buying a quality foundation and mattress from reputable brands.

 

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