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How to Fix a Sagging Mattress (Pillow Top, Memory Foam & More)

Mattresses generally serve the ultimate purpose of supporting our bodies and keeping our spines aligned while we sleep. However, when your mattress sags and starts developing indentations, it may no longer hold the body in an ideal position that keeps your spine aligned. And even if the rest of your existing bed feels comfortable, a sagging mattress can easily throw off alignment, thus causing back pain, hip pain, poor sleep, and other health consequences.

Remember that this issue can affect your mattress irrespective of its quality. Fortunately, there are effective ways to fix a sagging mattress or, at the very least, help you patch up the issue until you can purchase a new mattress.

Tired of spending sleepless nights rolling down into a bed canyon? Read on for more information about sagging mattresses, including what causes them and the best ways of restoring your sinking and dead mattress. We’ll also help you know when to replace your existing mattress.

Why Does My Mattress Sag?

Sagging is an inevitable occurrence in almost every mattress that gets regular use. A dip in your bed material is a normal part of its lifecycle and usually a signal that it’s time to go shopping. Most mattresses are designed with latex, foam, or plush cushioning materials. Over time, the soft material within the mattress begins to break down, losing its shape and support strength.

As a result, you’ll no longer experience even support and may feel a dip when sleeping even if you try to change your sleep position. You’ll likely feel the discernible dip on your back and hips, which exerts significant pressure on your mattress.

It’s worth noting that not all mattress materials are alike. The type of mattress you have will significantly affect how long it will last before it starts to sink. Consider the standard mattress types below:

  • Memory foam mattresses – Mattresses made of high-density foam will last longer without sagging. However, poor-quality memory foam mattresses with flawed bed foundations can lead to premature mattress sagging.
  • Innerspring mattresses – Over time, the metal coil springs inside innerspring beds lose their tension, making it hard to hold up the plush outer mattress material. If you sleep on an innerspring mattress, you may actually feel the metal coils when you roll into the indented section. Concurrently, the uppermost comfort layer material starts to soften, thus making sagging a common complaint.
  • Hybrid mattresses – Like innerspring beds, hybrid mattresses feature the same coil springs that lose their tension over time. If you use one of these and it has high-quality foam, it may last a bit longer, but the indentations will eventually appear.

Remember, even a mattress with top-shelf materials will eventually sag. So, the big question is: Is it time to purchase a new mattress, or is there a way to go about the mattress indentation before replacing it? There are tricks you can use, as we will discuss in great detail below.

Is a Sagging Mattress Bad?

Although you can manage for some time with a minimal sag on your mattress, it won’t stay minimal for long. As you continue rolling into the indented area, it will only worsen, making it hard to find a non-saggy part on your bed’s perimeter.

Not fixing a sagging mattress can have many unintended health consequences, especially if you stay with your mattress for too long. Consider that, on average, we spend about 8 hours every single day in bed, not to mention the afternoon naps and other activities that might occur on your mattress as well.

That said, this is what you should expect if you continue using a saggy mattress:

  • Poor sleep quality: Poor support for your neck and spine will make it hard to find a comfortable position on your mattress. If you’re not getting quality sleep, your bedding isn’t serving its intended function, so you should consider other alternatives.
  • Back pain: Good posture is vital when you sleep. Too little or too much support can significantly affect the ability of your muscles to rest and recover at night. With a sagging mattress, you won’t get the needed support on your neck and spine to prevent back pain.
  • Difficulty falling and staying asleep: A sagging mattress will make you toss and turn all night long as you try to stay out of the indented spot. This could make sleep elusive as it is hard to fall asleep when uncomfortable. And remember, trouble with sleep onset and maintenance often leads to insomnia. So, the earlier you deal with your sagging mattress, the better.
  • Sleep apnea: Proper alignment of your neck and shoulders is vital in preventing sleep apnea. With a sagging mattress, the chances of keeping your neck and head in the correct position are low as you gradually sink into the indented section.
  • Overheating: As you sink into the mattress valley, less air can flow through the sleeping surface or around your body, making it hard for your bed to dissipate body heat.
  • Squeaks: This is a significant problem with innerspring mattresses. The coil springs will groan and squeak with the extra weight and pressure always in the same spot.
  • Intimacy difficulties: For couples, trying to make love and be intimate with their partners can be awkward when they keep rolling and slipping into a mattress canyon.

How to Fix a Sagging Mattress

The bitter truth is you can’t permanently fix a sagging mattress. The only way is to replace your mattress completely or send it to the manufacturer for repairs. But there are tips you can use to minimize sagging effects until you purchase a new mattress. Keep in mind that the effectiveness of these strategies varies depending on various factors, such as the severity of the sagging and the mattress age.

Here are a few tips that you can try to fix a sagging mattress:

Rotate the Mattress

One of the easiest ways of minimizing the sagging effect is by rotating your mattress. In fact, most manufacturers recommend that you turn your bed regularly to distribute your body weight and sleep positions more evenly. Of course, this won’t eliminate the possibility of sagging, but it can help slow their progress or delay their onset.

Since excessive sagging results from weight and body pressure, rotating your bed changes the main pressure points. This tends to be the sections around your hips and shoulders. But how often should you do this to maintain even weight dispersion?

A good rule of thumb is to rotate your mattress every three to six months, switching its top and bottom. Notice that we didn’t advise you to flip your mattress. Most modern mattresses are one-sided (they have a pillow top design), so you can only rotate them from one end to the other. Flipping them will result in poor comfort and can even increase the chances of damaging your mattress.

Use Extra Pillows

If you’re pondering how to fix a sagging mattress, another simple trick is to place extra pads where your mattress sags. If you’re like other sleepers who prefer sleeping with pillows underneath their back, hips, and legs, you may want to use a pillow with good shape retention.

It’s wise not to put your pillows under the mattress itself. While this will help prop up the sagging areas, it can accelerate your bed’s aging process by preventing even support.

Consider a Mattress Topper

Tired of waking up with pains and aches due to a sagging mattress? It might be time to purchase a high-quality mattress topper. Toppers are generally used to alter a mattress’s feel and offer extra pressure relief. They can also revitalize an old bed and even lengthen the useful lifespan of a new one.

Mattress toppers are generally sold individually as accessories and available in 2 – 5 inches thick profiles. You can find them in standard bed sizes too. Choices in the material include:

  • Quilted, cotton, down-alternative fill mattress topper
  • Gel-infused memory foam alternative with built-in ventilation
  • Egg crate memory foam mattress topper that provides extra support through the egg carton design

Generally, a good mattress topper will help you reduce the sagging effects by creating a more even top surface so you can sleep comfortably, irrespective of your preferred sleeping position. Here, you may want to consider choosing the GhostBed Mattress Topper. Designed and manufactured in the U.S., this gel memory foam mattress topper has targeted comfort zones designed to give you the contouring support and pressure relief you so deserve.

Replace the Foundation

In many cases, especially if you’re using a memory foam mattress, an incorrect or poorly made foundation can cause premature sagging. A foundation with less than 6 legs is a recipe for sagging as there is minimum support around the center of your bed. Also, bed foundations that use slats can cause mattress indentations, particularly in the sections that fall between the support of your bed’s slats.

So, if there are slats within the mattress foundation, ensure that they’re evenly spaced out. They might have been pushed to one side of your mattress, thus causing your bed to sag. Similarly, high-end bed foundations can also wear out with time.

Choosing the best type of foundation for your mattress will depend on several factors. We recommend that you check with your manufacturer for guidance on the best-suited foundation style for your specific mattress type. Many mattress companies are strict about the allowable space between the support slats. This often impacts the mattress warranty.

Consider Using Plywood

Generally, mattresses sag for two reasons:

  • Insufficient support from beneath
  • Breakdown in the bed’s internal structure

If you don’t have a box spring underneath your mattress, it could sag because of its own weight. On the other hand, if you have a bed foundation, your mattress could sag simply because of old age. Over time, your body weight exerts pressure on your mattress, weakening the materials in the interior. This could lead to soft spots and sagging.

You can use plywood to give your mattress a firmer base (if the problem is lack of support). Plywood offers an affordable DIY alternative to reinforce your bed frame. All you’ll need to do is lay a sheet of plywood between your box spring and your mattress. Besides offering support, adding plywood can help stop your mattress from squeaking.

If you’re using a bed frame in place of a box spring, you may want to double up on the sheet of plywood to ensure it remains straight and sturdy. Keep in mind that this technique won’t completely fix your problem, but it should at least minimize the sagging effect.

Get a New, Long-Lasting Mattress (If All Else Fails)

If all else fails, it might be time to invest in a new mattress. While you can extract a few more years with short-term solutions, such as using extra pillows and mattress toppers, if the sagging is due to your mattress material degrading, it’s here to stay. Generally, it would help if you replaced your mattress every 6 – 10 years.

However, some variables can influence your bed’s lifespan. This includes its original build quality and the materials used, not to mention your body weight and preferred sleeping style. A good mattress can cost you about $1,000 - $5,000, but when you consider the expenses you’d incur from sleep problems resulting from poor mattress support, it’s worth every penny.

Closing Thoughts

That does it for this post. We hope that you’ll find this helpful and be able to use these tricks to fix your sagging mattress. However, if your bed continues to cause significant aches and pains even after trying these tips, it might be time to consider purchasing a new one.

Feel like we’ve left out some tips on fixing a sagging mattress? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments sections below!

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