Topics:Mattress Industry News Mattress Shopping Help Sleep Positions Mattress Logistics Mattress Satisfaction Mattress Benefits Improve Your Sleep In-Home Sleep Trial Mattress Policies
Buying a mattress online can feel like a huge gamble. There are so many variables, that it can feel like the decks are stacked against you. You bravely put yourself out there, research, and choose an option. Hopefully, you and your new mattress will have a long and fruitful relationship, with all the sleep you need. However, what if you set it up and start sleeping together, but the spark just isn't there; the newness wears off and you are stuck with a dud? With as much as mattresses cost, it can be hard to throw in the towel. This is where an in-home mattress trial comes in handy. Most online mattress retailers (and some brick and mortar stores) offer a sleep trial. After you buy a mattress, and have it delivered, you have a predetermined amount of time to exercise your trial period: this is usually 90 to 120 days. During that period, according to the specific retailer policy, you are free to return or exchange the mattress for a different model. Read more here about mattress sleep trials. So, how do you know whether your mattress is a keeper? We reached out to mattress experts to help us understand what to pay attention to during a mattress honeymoon. Here's what they said: 1. Has the mattress reached its full (size) potential? "Most mattresses purchased online are compressed, rolled and then put in a box to be shipped via FedEx or UPS," advises Bill Fish, a certified sleep science coach and cofounder of Tuck. "While it is quite the experience to unbox a mattress after delivery to see it go back to its original shape, it will take some time to get back to the feel it was built to have. It could take upwards of 48 hours for the bed to recover to its full height. If it is a week later, and you still don’t feel like the bed has recovered properly, this is an issue and should be addressed with customer service." So, what depth and height is your mattress supposed to reach? Double-check the online specs with your unboxed mattress. It should be within an inch of the fully quoted size. 2. How are you sleeping? "The sleep trial is the time when you should really figure out if the mattress is working for you," says Joe Auer from Mattress Clarity. "First off, many mattresses do take a bit of time to break-in. It may take at least a month to get used to your sleeping surface, so don't freak out if the mattress doesn't feel perfect from day one. However, after you've slept on the mattress for at least a month, think about the following: How are you sleeping? This one seems like a no-brainer, but it is still important. Are you tossing and turning at night or do you wake up feeling like you haven't moved at all? How rested do you feel?" 3. Has your sleep routine changed? "You'll want to take note of any changes to your sleep routine," advises Logan Block, Director of Content at Sleepopolis. "Are you falling asleep faster? Do you sleep through the night? Do you wake up feeling well-rested? If yes, the bed may be a keeper. However, if you feel as though your slumber isn't actively improving (or is, in fact, getting worse), it may not be the mattress for you." 4. Do you have any new aches and pains? "You'll also want to take stock of any new pains," says Block, "specifically in the lower back, shoulders, and hips. These are some of the most sensitive spots along the body and will react swiftly to uncomfortable pressure points." Dr. Rick Swartzburg, D.C., the creator of the Snuggle-Pedic and Air-Pedic mattresses advises that during a sleep trial, "the customer should be looking at their actual sleeping alignment, as well as how their back, shoulders, and hips feel in the morning." Swartzburg's Mattress Checker App can help check their spinal alignment, so you can compare from your old mattress to the new one. 5. How does the mattress feel? "Assess the feel of the mattress against claims made by the brand," suggests Block. "If you bought a mattress because the company said it was bouncy, supportive, and firm, that's exactly how it should feel when it's set up in your bedroom. If that's not the vibe you're getting, feel free to send it back." 6. How does the mattress look? "Beyond the recovery and the feel, the mattress should be inspected to ensure there are no rips or tears in the cover," advises Fish. "Some mattresses ordered online could weigh upwards of nearly 150 lbs, and it is possible that some stitching may have been damaged in the boxing process." Auer agrees that how a mattress looks is important. "This is something you should consider from day one. Does the mattress look put together?" In addition to loose stitching, he suggests looking for any holes or seams where mattress filling is exposed. If you do see any issues, take a picture to document, even if it is a minor stitching error. 7. Does it show structural issues? "If you notice any wear and tear within the first two weeks (dramatic sagging in the middle of the bed, diminished edge support, excessive squeaking or creaking), the mattress likely isn't a quality product," advises Block. If your mattress is sagging, Auer says, this is a RED FLAG. "It often takes years for mattresses to begin to sag, but if it's happening in the first year, that is a serious problem. If you spot any indentations or large body impressions, that is a bad sign." Edge support is another thing to take inventory of. Block asks "Does the structure hold up at the sides as well as it does in the middle?" If there is sagging or diminished edge support within your sleep trial, you should initiate a return. 8. Would you recommend it to a friend? Block suggests that "perhaps the most important question to ask yourself is this: Would you recommend the mattress to a friend? If the answer is no, it's likely not the one for you." And that's okay, as long as you are still within your trial period. Using your trial period How long should you try it out before returning? When do you give up? Expert opinions vary: "In terms of an in-home trial policy, you should be able to know from the first week whether this is the mattress for you. The Vispring comfort pledge states you should try a bed for a minimum of 30 days. If between 30 days and 90 days you are not happy with the tension they will swap it for the next, hassle-free." — David Ewart, Director and Lead Mattress Buyer, Pavilion Broadway "It can take a month to adjust to a new mattress, so try it for at least a month before you decide to change mattresses." — Jeanine Joy, Ph.D., contributor at bestmattress.reviews "It may take a few days to adjust to a new mattress, especially if you have been sleeping on an old sagging mattress. Your body should acclimate within the first week to the new support. If you are continuing to experience aches and pains after a week of using your new mattress, you may want to look deeper into this issue. If you start to experience an increase in the severity of the pain you have been experiencing, this is a red flag that the mattress may not be a good match for your sleep style and body." — Dr. Kasey Nichols, contributor at www.ravereviews.org "You should be able to tell if a bed is right for you after a week of use. You'll want to allow a few nights to 'break in' the structure, but after that, you'll know whether or not the mattress is a good fit." — Block Why wouldn't you know immediately? Why wait to make your decision? Bill Fish from Tuck has a helpful explanation: "The first item you should understand is that you should not determine if the mattress is for you after night one. We like to equate it to a new pair of running shoes. They might be stiff for a new days, but within a couple of weeks, they will be broken in and feeling great. The same can be said for a mattress. If you have been sleeping on a sub-standard mattress for years, your body may be compensating for the lack of support received. When you are sleeping on a new mattress for the first night, your body won’t be accustomed to that new found support and you may wake up a bit sore. This is completely normal, and it is recommended that you sleep on a mattress for roughly 30 nights and make your judgment at that time." Good sleep = better health According to Joy, "Sleep is possibly the most important factor when it comes to good health. Poor sleep increases the risk that you’ll experience an accident, be in a bad mood, experience an impaired immune system, or have trouble remembering things. When you don’t sleep well, your self-control also decreases which means you’re less likely to exercise and eat well." Once the honeymoon is over and you have broken in the bed, ask yourself these eight questions. You should know whether it's a match made in heaven or not, and decide whether your purchase was worth it.
Shopping for a mattress isn't on anyone's top ten list of things to do on a Saturday morning. Many shoppers develop "large purchase anxiety" when they know they're about to drop a load of cash on something they'll use every day. But what if you end up hating the mattress you choose? Are you stuck sleeping on a bad investment? The good news is there is a way out. . . usually. Consider this recent mattress shopping experience, shared with Best Company from contributor Tiiu Lutter, from HomeInsuranceRates.com: "With the assistance of sleep experts (pronounced “salespeople”), we tested what seemed like 100 beds the last time we went mattress shopping. We quickly ruled out foam because our neighbor said that they were challenging for the other in-bed activity which you can’t test in the store. We ended up with three close contenders. With confidence inspired by the 90-day trial, we chose the most expensive, a big fluffy cloud promising 25 years of phenomenal rest. We carefully inspected the mattress when it arrived. Other than a little crooked edging, it was great. Sleeping at home is quite different from laying on beds in the store. Turns out we actually spend very little time laying in our primary store testing position: on our backs. I move around a lot and end up on my tummy, my hubby, on his side. It felt great to get into, but was hard to move around in, and it made me sore. I woke up whenever I tried to turn in this super soft bed, and every morning I had a dull ache in my lower back. After 30 days I asked to swap out. The store pushed back. They suggested we try to sleep differently, and that it takes more time to get used to a new mattress. We gave that a shot, but a lifetime of sleeping cannot be changed, even with 85 days of practice. They did not want to take this bed back. They told us if there were any marks or indication of wear, we would need to pay a huge restocking fee. We had used a mattress pad, so the bed was protected. But when they came, they pushed back on the crooked sewing (like that could have been our fault) but we had pictures. Take home lessons: fully understand the exchange rules, inspect carefully when your bed arrives, take pictures, and protect your investment by using a mattress pad. If a bed is guaranteed for years, it should be completely like new at the end of 90 days. There should be no divot, no wear, no sign that anyone actually slept in it. If there is, get a different bed. Remember, this is your body and your future. If your bed causes you discomfort, stick to your guns and swap it out! We actually ended up with a high-end foam mattress, and it’s the best ever!" Does anything from Lutter's experience sound familiar to you? Have you ever shopped for a mattress and picked out what you thought was going to be the perfect fit, only to find that your aching back disagreed with you after several sleepless nights once you got the mattress home? If you buy a mattress that comes with a trial period, you can rest assured that you won't be stuck with a lumpy lemon. Trial periods In the mattress industry, most in-home trial periods last 90 or more days. What is the significance of this time period? "For starters," says Christina Heiser, content manager at Saatva, "you want to have enough time to sleep on a mattress to be able to determine whether the mattress is right for you. It can take up to three months to 'break-in' a mattress — meaning, for the materials to soften up and conform to your body — so look for home-trial policies of at least 90 or 120 days." "It takes time for your body to adjust to a new mattress," she adds, "and for the components in a fresh mattress to soften up, so it's a good idea to sleep on your mattress for at least a couple of months before you start the return process." But don't wait too long. Laura Mogen, Editor-in-Chief and professional mattress reviewer at www.mybestmattress.com cautions consumers to pay attention to your time frame: "Return the mattress at least a week before the trial is over to make sure to be in time and get your money back" If you are ready to return or exchange your mattress, how does this process work? Contact customer service First, contact the customer service team from your mattress retailer. This could be a direct-to-consumer company like Nectar, a homegoods retailer like Wayfair, or a brick-and-mortar establishment like Mattress Firm. Each will have its own policy and process. Depending on whether your policy allows for a return or exchange, you will likely, at the least, have to explain why its not working out. If your policy qualifies you for an exchange only, this information is used to help find out what factors to look for in your new mattress. If you had another model in mind, let the customer service rep know about this product and ask questions about whether it will remedy the issues you mentioned earlier. If your policy allows a return and refund, it is used for customer feedback about the product. Mattress exchanges or returns Setting up a mattress exchange means two things: getting rid of the mattress at your house and getting a new one. Stores that offer exchanges only will often entrust a trained customer service rep or a floor supervisor/manager to help you select the new one, because your trial will likely only cover one exchange per original mattress purchase, or one exchange per household, per year. They want you to be satisfied, so they help you to choose. What happens if the mattress you choose costs less or more than the original? If it costs more, you pay the difference. If it costs less, depending on the retailer, you get nothing or an in-store credit refund. Most brands only offer one exchange per original order, though some offer up to two exchanges per order. Be sure to read the fine print. And don't forget — you should have a plan in place for what you are going to sleep on until your new mattress arrives. Mattress removal Whether you are using your sleep trial to return or exchange for a different model, there is the little problem of how do I get this thing out of my house? First of all, if your mattress arrived compressed and rolled up, many people wonder how they will return it because they can't get it back in the box. Don't worry. That's not necessary. Bed-in-a-box shipping is an awesome cost-effective way for for mattress brands to get their product shipped to your door as fast as possible. However, it doesn't have to go back into the box to be returned. Katie Golde is Editor and Head of Sleep Research for Mattress Clarity, as well as a certified sleep science coach through the National Exercise & Sports Trainers Association (NESTA). Golde explains, "Many brands will arrange a pick-up time with you to take their mattress back and, don't worry, they won't add it back to their inventory to re-sell. If this doesn't sit super well with you from an environmental standpoint, there are some brands that will donate these mattresses." Mogen adds, "Also, some companies pick up the mattress themselves, others ask you to bring the bed to the nearest charity." If this is the case, you may be required to provide a donation receipt for your refund to be processed. Refund policies Sleep trials have refund policies of all shapes and sizes. Some offer a truly risk-free trial, where you will get a full refund of every penny spent on the mattress purchase. While any trial policy will help to defray the cost of an unwise purchase decision, not all mattress trials offer a legitimate full refund. "When reading the trial policy, you should pay attention if you’ll need to pay extra for the return," advises Mogen. Here are a few of the fees and deductions to look out for when you are considering exercising your trial policy: Restocking fees — This is sometimes a standard fee and sometimes a percentage of the price of the mattress Shipping fees — For many mattress brands, shipping fees are non-refundable. There may even be an added shipping fee to bring out your new mattress or pick-up the old one. Return fees — "Some online mattress manufacturers charge a $99 return fee," says Jeanine Joy, Ph.D., a sleep researcher and editor at bestmattress.reviews. "This is more common when the mattress is delivered by a delivery service instead of by Fed Ex or UPS." However, it can also apply when your mattress is delivered via free ground shipping. This is sometimes also referred to as a mattress pickup or retrieval fee. Some sellers will issue a refund immediately. Others will have to wait until the mattress has been confirmed as retrieved or confirmed as picked-up or received by the charity. Once a refund gets issued, expect to see it on your original form of payment within a few business days.
Do you dread sleeping in your own bed? Do you get jealous when you see other people coming in to work rested and refreshed? Do you feel guilty for longingly watching mattress commercials? Are you jealous of the people pretending to sleep in the ad? Have you had more than three dreams in the last month featuring a BRAND NEW MATTRESS? Do you find excuses to sleep an extra day at a significant other's place, your in-laws' house, or even on the living room couch, just to avoid your mattress? It's time to face the facts: You're cheating. . . on your mattress. It's time to end the relationship, get a new mattress, and enjoy some well-deserved sleep at your own home. For those of you in denial, here are 12 signs that you need to look for a new mattress. 1. Your back or neck hurts "If your back or neck is stiff or hurts when you wake up, but feels better as the day goes on, it might be because of your mattress," says Meg Jacobini, Mattress expert at RAVE Reviews. How often is this happening? "If you wake up with aches and pains two, three, or more times a week, that's a really good sign it's time for a new mattress," says Christina Heiser, content manager at luxury mattress company Saatva. "As a mattress wears over time, it'll provide less support than it used to at the beginning, which could leave you with a sore neck or back in the morning." 2. Everywhere hurts For some of us, the aches and pains cover more than just your back. Laura Mogen is a professional mattress reviewer, sleep enthusiast, and editor-in-chief of mybestmattress.com. She suggests that "waking up with soreness in your back, shoulders, and hips" are all signs that it's time to get a new mattress. When you are waking up with aches and pains, it might be your mattress, not you, says sleep researcher Jeanine Joy, Ph.D. from bestmattress.reviews, "Many people assume their morning aches and pains are a sign of aging, but they’re more likely to be a sign of an aging mattress." "Mattress quality is an important part of getting an optimal night's sleep," explains chiropractor Dr. Tauberg. "Having a quality mattress allows for your body to relax more completely during the night which allows your body to recover and for you to sleep better. When your mattress starts losing support it becomes harder to stay comfortable for long periods of time as the body is having to rely on muscles and joints to properly provide support. When this starts to happen waking up with pain or stiffness is common." "If you're beginning to notice aches and pains when waking that you didn't use to experience, this indicates the materials are beginning to degrade," says Jessica Ruiz-Jones, Lead Mattress and Sleep Product Expert with The Sleep Judge. If these new pains are happening "night after night (particularly at the shoulders or lumbar region), the structure of your bed has likely been compromised," agrees Sleepopolis content director Logan Block. 3. You can't get comfortable Do you find yourself wiggling around more than normal trying to nestle into a comfy position? "Inability to find a comfortable position" is a great indicator that it's time to start thinking about a new mattress, says Mogen. It could mean that your mattress is too old or that it wasn't right for your sleep position in the first place. "If you wake up in pain, it could mean that your mattress is not supporting your body while you sleep," says sleep researcher Joy. "This means your muscles are working to support you, which leads to soreness. If you have the wrong mattress for your primary sleep position it could cause soreness as well." What is your primary sleep position? Side, back, or stomach? "Side sleepers need softer cushioning in the shoulders and hips so that they can sink in without creating pressure points or causing pain or numbness," says Joy. On the flip side, "Back and stomach sleepers need a firmer mattress," she says. "Medium-firm is the best for most back and stomach sleepers." It's also one of the most common mattress comfort levels available. For example, all of Purple's mattresses are rated as medium-firm. 4. You feel sleepy during the day "If you’re often sleepy during the day even though you spend enough time in bed, you may need a new mattress," advises Joy. "Adults generally need seven to nine hours of sleep each day." If you are putting in the hours, but still sleepy, your mattress may be the culprit. Writes Chris Nguyen at SleepStandards, "The average lifespan of a mattress is about eight years. More important than any statistic is how you feel sleeping on your mattress. If you need to toss and turn or feel tired after waking up, then you should consider a new mattress." If you feel sleepy during the day, your sleep quality may be declining as your mattress ages. Alesandra Woolley is Mattress Advisor’s executive editor and a certified sleep science coach. She shares, "A study published by the U.S. National Institute of Health found that subjects who slept on a new mattress improved their overall quality of sleep." But how will you know the difference? Sleep researcher Joy suggests keeping a sleep journal or using "actigraphy to track the quality of your sleep on your old mattress." That way, you can have something to compare your sleep quality to, like a snapshot of your sleep quality on the questionable mattress vs. a new one. 5. You wake up multiple times each night "Quality of sleep and duration are solid measures for evaluating your mattress," advises Vinay Amin, Health and Wellness Expert and CEO of Eu Natural. "If you're waking up several times per night due to discomfort or wake up with joint pain despite not having injuries, it could be due to having an old mattress or the wrong one." 6. Your body has changed If your mattress isn't comfortable anymore, it's time for a change, says Jacobini. "This may seem pretty obvious, but you might not notice if it’s a gradual change that occurs over the years. The change could be due to normal wear and tear, but could also be because of changes in your body, from weight gain or weight loss, pregnancy, or surgeries. Whether it’s the mattress or your body that’s changed, there is no reason to hold on to a mattress that is uncomfortable — invest in a new one." In addition to weight changes, surgeries, and pregnancy, other physical circumstances could cause your old mattress to no longer be ideal. Joy explains, "injuries or illnesses may make it advisable to sleep on a softer or firmer mattress. This can sometimes be accomplished by changing the foundation or adding a mattress topper, but those solutions are usually not the optimal choice." The optimal choice is a new mattress, but these are great frugal solutions for people who aren't financially ready to invest in a whole new mattress. 7. You keep migrating to the middle "As mattresses age, they lose support, which is crucial for a good night’s sleep and a healthy back," says Jacobini. "When one part of the mattress is dented or softer than the rest, it’s time to let it go." In addition to losing support, (innerspring coils or high density foam), your mattress could also be gradually losing comfort layers (upper layers of softer, fluffier materials, like a pillowtop). Ruiz-Jones explains, "Along with aches and pains, often comes sagging of the comfort layers. This is a telltale sign of degradation, and you should replace it soon before you start to notice yourself falling into new crevices during the night much like you would a hammock." If you love hammocks and don't get it, here's an example: Melanie Musson, a writer for USInsuranceAgents.com shares a personal experience that may seem all too familiar for some of us: "You know it’s time to get a new mattress when you’re always falling to the middle! The first time I slept in the bed that my husband had before he met me, I said, ‘I feel like I’m falling into the middle.’ And for ten years, I said every night, ‘I keep falling to the middle.’ But mattresses are expensive, and this was not an old mattress. So we kept it. Finally, we got a new one and every night, I am in awe that I’m not falling anywhere! Now, we have a fifth-wheel camper, and it has a lovely king size bed which should feel quite roomy, but in this bed, my husband and I both fall to the middle. It’s my lot in life, apparently. So the size of the bed is wasted because we’re pancaked together taking up a combined foot in width. It’s time for a new mattress!" How can you assess this lack of support on your own? How much of a dip is too much? Brett Thornton serves as Director of the Revive mattress brand, sold exclusively at Living Spaces. He explains, "Although we typically think about mattresses in terms of comfort, the most important thing is the support our mattress is giving us. Once your mattress starts losing its support, it is time to move on. The best way to see this is generally by looking for dips and sags in the mattress. A dip is caused by one of two things. Either your support, whether coils or foam, has broken down and no longer pushing back to its original shape, or the comfort layers on top are compressed and not providing the loft they once did. In either case, this will cause your body to be unaligned and will most likely lead to soreness in the lower back or hips over time." Block from Sleepopolis says, that the "dreaded mattress dip ... typically pops up in the area in which you sleep the most. It should be pronounced and noticeably different from the rest of your mattress." What can you do about it? "We would recommend flipping your mattress at least once every three months in order to even out the distribution," advises David Ewart, Director and Lead Mattress Buyer at Pavilion Broadway, a designer furniture and mattress retailer. "If even after flipping your mattress, there are still gorges appearing, then it’s probably time to buy a new mattress. Generally, the feel of the mattress is far more important than how it looks. Your mattress should gradually adjust to the people sleeping in it, without losing shape entirely." However, not every mattress is flippable these days. While you can still rotate your pillowtop or hybrid mattress, this isn't a preventative measure that everyone can use. How bad is bad? "To know if you have a sag," says Thornton, "take your sheets off and put a broomstick or large stick on the bed. If you can fit two fingers' distance between a dip in your bed and the stick you should look into either checking in on the mattress warranty or move on to a new set." "If it is still under warranty," advises Joy, "most older warranties require an indentation of 1.5 inches before warranty coverage will kick in. Some newer mattresses only require half that, at .75” deep." Read your warranty thoroughly. It could save you hundreds of dollars. As a budget-friendly tip, Ruiz-Jones, sleep expert from The Sleep Judge suggests a lower-cost solution: "you can often buy a mattress topper to get a few extra months or even years out of a saggy or otherwise compromised sleep surface." 8. Looks aren't everything, but they matter "Beyond thinking about how your mattress makes you feel, examine how it looks," suggests Heiser from Saatva (reviews). "The appearance of the mattress can also let you know that the mattress has seen better days," explains Joy. "If it appears lumpy or there is a visible indentation where you regularly lay, it may mean your mattress is worn out." What indicators should you be looking for? In addition to big dips in your bed (#7), "Rips, lumps, or springs poking through are more signs you're ready for a new mattress," says Heiser. "Visual flaws such as sagging, tears and holes," are also good indicators says Mogen. What else? Katie Golde, Editor and Head of Sleep Research for Mattress Clarity, suggests physical appearance is a good thing to monitor. When "your mattress is showing physical signs of damage, whether it's from fluid or liquid-related accidents or sagging from overuse or jumping or something else," it could be time to upgrade to a new model. "The other thing to look at is the top quilt pattern for sweat stains," says Thornton. What's the harm in a little sweat? "Moisture will get into the padding layers and break them down over time, so if you have a lot of stains you may be due for a new mattress," he clarifies. Multiple liquid stains on your mattress cover could just be showing you the tip of the iceberg, with much more structural damage underneath. 9. You can't sit on the edge Do you ever sit on the edge of your bed when getting ready in the morning or tying your shoes? Have you ever sat down on the edge of a friend or relative's bed and been surprised by a lack of support? Thornton suggests that a lack of edge support is a good indicator of your mattress's age creeping up on it. He explains, "If the firm seating edge has broken down, this means that the entire edge system may be compromised and you are probably losing support, especially if you sleep next to the edge of the bed as many couples do." 10. You've had your mattress forever "According to Mattress Advisor, you should change your mattress every 7 to 10 years," says Woolley. "Mattresses age like people do. They can sag as your body leaves impressions, which can lead to aches and pains." "If your mattress is nearing the end of that [7 to 10 year] range and you find yourself waking up with more pain and stiffness, have a harder time getting comfortable, or you are having a harder time falling asleep, then it may be time for a new mattress," advises Dr. Alex Tauberg DC,CSCS, CCSP®, EMR, a Pittsburgh Chiropractor. If mattresses last up to 10 years, why do warranties sometimes last longer? "For starters," says Ruiz-Jones, "mattresses don't last forever. Although a 20-year warranty may give the impression you'll get two decades of use, the warranty ensures workmanship of certain parts, not comfort." The 7 to 10-year rule isn't exact for every mattress on the market. "This will vary based on the material and build (all-foam/springs/etc) but seven years is a great general guide," suggests Carolyn Burke, a certified sleep coach and outreach manager with The Sleep Advisor. "That being said, if you are noticing sagging, rips and tears, lumps, memory foam that doesn't reclaim its shape, or a flattening of the mattress, you will want to consider replacing it. If a bed used to bring comfort and good sleep and no longer is, you might also want to think about replacing it or adding a topper to get that good sleep magic back." 11. It makes noise "Your mattress can also provide audible signals it needs to be replaced," says Ruiz-Jones. "Squeaks and creaks aren't normal and can signal foundation issues. This is often associated with changes in weight. If you or your sleep partner have gained a significant amount of weight, it's always good to be on the lookout for potential side effects on your sleep surface." 12. You're not alone anymore If humans aren't the only living organism going to bed with you at night, shop for a new mattress. Woolley warns, "They can become breeding grounds for dust mites and mold and mildew." AND BEDBUGS. Nguyen suggests that a good sign that it's time to shop for a new mattress when "Your mattress has more dust than an abandoned attic." "No one likes to think about creepy-crawlies living in their bed, but the truth is that after many years, it’s quite probable that they’re in there," says Jacobini. "Getting your mattress professionally cleaned can prolong its life, as will the use of a mattress protector. No matter how hard you try, though, your mattress won’t live forever." Not only are dust mites gross, but if you are allergic to them (as 10 percent of Americans are), it can cause sneezing, runny or stuffy nose, itchy skin and eyes, coughing, and more. "Dust mites may be the most common trigger of year-round allergies and asthma," according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. Dust mites are gross but bed bugs are worse. It's time for a change if your mattress has "a bed bug infestation brought back from your travels," says Joy. Wiser words were never spoken. The bottom line Let's be clear. We don't suggest breaking any vows, but you deserve to sleep happily ever after. Don't be afraid to sleep around. "Another good way to look at your own mattress is to sleep outside your home for a night or so and see how much more comfortable you feel sleeping on other mattresses," suggests Mattress Clarity's sleep expert Katie Golde. As my mom always said, "There are a million mattresses in the sea." (paraphrasing) The mattress of your dreams is out there. You just have to keep looking. Check out our mattress reviews to see what's good, what's bad, what's in your price range, and what you should look for.