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Do you need a new mattress? A checklist, and shopping guide.

high tech guest room: Germs

This post was created in partnership with Mattress Firm. As always, all opinions are my own.

On Monday, I shared some of what I’ve learned about how to get a better night’s sleep, in partnership with Mattress Firm. They’re working on a top-secret tech launch that I can FINALLY reveal next week — you can tune in to livestream the big announcement here on Tuesday at 8:30a CST. The official hashtag is #techtopoweroff, so you can probably guess how this tech might fit into your life (Zzzz).

All this mattress talk has got me thinking about the pile of cotton and springs I currently sleep on. It looks pretty good from the outside, but should I still be sleeping on it? We’ve had it for over 10 years… how do you know when to replace your mattress? I did some poking around and, as it turns out, it’s time to breakup with your mattress when you notice one or more of the following signs:

You toss and turn constantly

I have to admit, I sleep like a fish on dry land… flopping back and forth from side to side, frequently waking up to adjust to a more comfortable position. My research shows that’s the number one sign you need a new mattress. Another sign? When you sleep better in any place other than your bed (your sofa, the floor, a hotel room…) it doesn’t bode well for your current bedroom set-up.

You wake up tired, stiff and sore

Sigh. This is an issue for me too right now… I’ve been waking up for the last couple months with this weird mid-back pain that is new, and goes away by mid-morning. I know this is a sponsored post, but this is legit what’s going on right now. I used to love my mattress, but it’s clearly not doing it’s job anymore— which is to provide proper alignment for your body and support you while you sleep. We deserve to wake up refreshed and ready for the day!

Your mattress is thinning, saggy or lumpy

Just like anything else, when a mattress wears down, it’s time to replace it. This is what makes replacing a mattress tough, at least for me— mine looks just as good as the day I bought it. But having fitful sleep and waking up in pain is definitely enough to make me overlook the cosmetics.

You’re sneezing at night or stuffed up in the morning

You could be having an allergic reaction to mold, mildew or dust mites, which can build up in mattresses over time. Hasn’t been an issue for me, but it does make sense that the longer you have a mattress, the more likely that something is living in all that soft fiber… ew.

You’ve had it for a good long while

Most mattresses last about 8 years, according to the National Sleep Foundation (NSF). Around the 7-year-mark is a good time to start evaluating your sleep situation. So, basically, I’m overdue.

when to replace your mattress

Okay, you’ve decided that it’s time for a new mattress (especially now that I’ve freaked you out with warnings about lumps and dust mites—ick!). So, now what? If you’re like me, you find mattress shopping completely overwhelming: There are so many, many brands and variables and price points. And lately, there are so many options to purchase your mattress online, in many cases you don’t even get to touch or lie on it in a store anymore… as awkward as that can be.

You and your mattress are going to be sleeping together for the next 7 years (at least!) so you better pick right. Here are a few tips:

Know your comfort profile

Do you prefer firm support or a big, thick pillow top? Or, perhaps a hybrid mattress that combines innersprings with memory foam for sturdy support and contouring comfort is more your style? Comfort is highly subjective, and different people have different tastes. Mattress Firm has a cute Mattress Finder questionnaire that can help you create a personal profile  (factoring in budget!), so when you shop you have an idea of what you’re looking for. I ran through their questionnaire and got paired with a foam mattress with a cushy top and supportive foam layers beneath. I’ve always slept on coil mattresses… maybe it’s time to change things up? Hmm…

The return policy should be the stuff of dreams

If you’re shopping in a store, give any prospective mattress the 15-minute test: Kick off your shoes, lay down, and see how you feel. If you’re shopping online, most stores now offer a long  trial period with a no-questions-asked return policy if you’re not happy. Mattress Firm’s Love Your Mattress guarantee gives you a whopping 120 nights to try it out, then swap it for another or return it if you’re not sleeping like a baby (a re-delivery fee applies). Know the swap/return options, and buy your mattress from a place that isn’t stingy when it comes to making sure you’re happy.

Do remember that buying the right mattress doesn’t just affect sleep quality, it affects your overall health and wellbeing, too. Research shows that sleep has tons of positive benefits: It curbs inflammation, boosts immunity, lowers stress, promotes weight loss, spurs creativity, and even helps us learn and retain information. We’re the best version of ourselves when we’re well-rested — and the right mattress is key to a restful night.

when to replace your mattress

Lots of tools claim to help you get your best night’s sleep — like wearables, eye masks and beautiful alarm clocks. Keep an eye on Mattress Firm’s Facebook page for a chance to win some of those awesome sleep tools:

  • Nox Smart Sleep Light – May 6
  • Sense Sleep System – May 7
  • Aura Connected Alarm Clock – May 8

But the newest technological advancement for sleep is the best one yet. In just four days, the wait will be over. Head to Mattress Firm’s website on Tuesday, May 9, at 8:30 a.m. CST for the big announcement… and come back to the blog on Tuesday too, to see our final post in this sleep series!

This post was created in partnership with Mattress Firm. Thank you for supporting our sponsors!


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