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Symptoms of Sleeping on a Bad Mattress


Your mattress is often the most expensive element of your bed, and it is with good reason. You really can’t put a price on a good night’s sleep and having a good quality mattress can do wonders for improving your sleep quality and health. So how do you know if you are sleeping on a bad mattress? Let’s take a look at the most common bad mattress symptoms.

Aches and pains

A good mattress is designed to be both supportive and comfortable. Your spine and your joints should be supported and the mattress shouldn’t sag underneath them. If it does, you may find that these points of contact with the mattress cause pressure point pain.

Because of this, sleeping on a bad mattress can mean you wake up in the morning with aches and pains in your joints and spine. These issues could be simply due to an old mattress whose comfort layers have broken down or it could be due to a poor quality mattress that was never supportive enough, to begin with.

The best solution to this is usually to find a new mattress that is more supportive and will help you to wake up pain-free. A memory foam mattress can be a good idea as it cushions the body and joints without allowing you to sag into it.

Poor sleep quality

A bad mattress can prevent you from having the quality sleep you need to be able to function at your best. When you sleep on an uncomfortable mattress, you may find that it takes you longer to fall asleep, that you wake up more often in the night, and that you don’t wake up feeling refreshed.

All of these symptoms are signs of poor sleep. And poor quality sleep isn’t something that you should ignore. Sleep deprivation can have very negative effects on both your physical and mental health.

Symptoms of sleep deprivation include:

  • weight gain
  • anxiety and depression
  • lower immune system (getting ill more often)
  • increase risk of diabetes
  • lower sex drive
  • increased risk of heart disease
  • fatigue
  • irritability
  • inability to concentrate

Sometimes poor sleep is caused by a medical condition such as sleep apnea, but chronic sleep deprivation can also be triggered by poor sleep health and this includes having a bad mattress.

To improve your physical and mental health, a new mattress that is more comfortable and helps you to fall asleep and stay asleep can really help. If it turns out it was your bad mattress all along, then many of these issues will start to disappear as soon as you catch up on your lost sleep.


Some of us are allergic to a wide variety of things. It might be unpleasant to think about but your bed and your mattress can harbour all sorts of substances that can trigger an allergic response. If you are waking up congested, with streaming eyes, stuffy nose, sore throat, or even a skin rash, you may be allergic to something that is lurking in your bad mattress.

These can include mildew, dust, and mould. One of the most common causes of these allergic reactions is dust mites. Dust mites feed on our dead skin cells, and you will be shedding skin cells throughout the night, every night. You may be allergic to the dust mites themselves or their faeces but, either way, if you are experiencing these symptoms it is time to do something about it.

You could buy a new mattress but you can also buy mattress toppers that can be removed from the bed and washed on high heat along with your sheets, duvet cover, and pillowcases. You should aim to wash all of your bedding around once a week, and it can also be a good idea to vacuum the bedding as often as you can.

Poor hygiene

We are going to stay in the slightly disgusting realm now. Not only will you be shedding skin cells that attract dust mites throughout the night, but you will also be leaking all sorts of bodily fluids. Which you will then be lying in. If you notice that you are more smelly than normal when you get up in the morning, it could be because your mattress has become soaked with sweat and other fluids which are then getting transferred to your skin.

A new mattress can also help in this case, but a waterproof mattress topper can also do wonders for preventing these fluids from soaking through to your mattress.

Bad skin

Beauty sleep is a real thing. If you aren’t sleeping properly because of a bad mattress, you may notice quite quickly that you have problems with your skin, such as breakouts, sagging, or even wrinkles. This is because poor quality sleep interferes with collagen production, which is necessary to keep your skin feeling and looking fresh.

These skin problems can be exacerbated if you are also dealing with allergens and body fluid issues with your mattress. Buying a new mattress, such as memory foam or another supportive mattress, can help you to get restful sleep and a waterproof mattress protector can prevent your mattress from becoming contaminated.

Does it matter which mattress I get?

Everyone wants different things from their mattress. Some people prefer a supportive mattress, such as memory foam, but other people prefer their mattress to be softer. Generally speaking, if you are looking for pressure relief a more supportive bed frame and mattress is a good idea but if you don’t need to worry about joint or back support, then you can go for a softer one.

It comes down to the fact that any mattress which helps you to improve your sleep habits and get enough sleep is the right mattress for you.

The bottom line

If you are dealing with a bad mattress, you might recognise many of the symptoms that we have talked about. Whether you have a worn mattress, a noisy mattress, a cheap mattress, or one that is full of contaminants, it could be making you sleep-deprived, causing your body pain, triggering your allergies, interfering with your hygiene, and even giving you bad skin. A new mattress and/or mattress topper can help to improve all of these issues. After your first night of restful sleep, you won’t regret addressing your bad mattress problems!


Jeff Campbell