Can an old mattress cause back pain? Find out why!

Have you ever woken up with a sore back, feeling like you haven’t slept at all? You might be surprised to know that your old mattress could be the culprit. In this article, we will explore the potential causes of back pain caused by an old mattress and what you can do to alleviate the problem.

What causes back pain from an old mattress?

There are several reasons why an old mattress can cause back pain. The most common of which include:

  • Loss of support – Over time, the springs or foam in a mattress can lose their resilience, causing the mattress to sag and lose support. Without proper support, your spine can curve unnaturally, leading to back pain.
  • Increased pressure points – An old mattress can cause pressure points to form on your body, which can cause pain and discomfort. This is due to the fact that the mattress becomes uneven with use, and its surface becomes less uniform as it ages.
  • Worn out materials – The materials that make up the mattress can become worn and lose their effectiveness over time. This can cause the mattress to no longer provide the level of support required to keep your back straight and aligned.

How can an old mattress affect your spine?

Your spine is responsible for supporting your entire body, including your head, neck, and shoulders. When you sleep, it’s important that your spine remains straight and aligned. Otherwise, it can cause unnecessary strain on your muscles and joints, which can lead to pain and discomfort.

An old mattress can affect your spine by causing it to curve unnaturally due to a lack of support. This can result in pressure points and an uneven sleeping surface that can accentuate and reinforce bad posture. Additionally, a lumpy or sagging old mattress can also cause spinal misalignment, thus leading to back pain.

What are the signs that you need a new mattress?

The lifespan of a mattress can vary depending on several factors, including quality, usage patterns, and type of materials. However, general signs your mattress needs replacement may include:

  • Visible sagging or lumpiness – If you can see noticeable dents or bumps in the surface of your mattress, it’s a sign that it is losing support and is likely well past its prime.
  • Age – As a general rule of thumb, most mattresses should be replaced every seven to ten years. If your mattress is older than this, it’s a strong indicator that you should consider replacing it.
  • Difficulty sleeping – If you find yourself tossing and turning or waking up feeling more sore than when you went to bed, it could be a sign that your mattress is losing support.
  • Mattress feels lumpy or bumpy with uneven support – If you notice that your mattress is no longer providing even support or has begun to take on a lumpy or bumpy feel, it’s time to consider a replacement.

How do you prevent back pain from your mattress?

If you’re experiencing back pain caused by your old mattress, there are a few things you can do to find relief. They include:

1. Invest in a new mattress

The most effective way to alleviate back pain caused by an old mattress is by investing in a new one. You can easily find a mattress that is designed to cater to your sleeping style and preferred level of firmness. Be sure to invest in a high-quality mattress that is built to last for years to come.

2. Use a supportive pillow

Pairing a new mattress with a supportive pillow can further reduce the risk of back pain. It’s essential to choose a pillow that supports the neck, head, and spine alignment. It would help if you discussed with your chiropractor or doctor the best pillows to use if you’re already experiencing back pain.

3. Adjust Sleeping Position

If you’re already experiencing back pain, adjusting your sleeping position can help reduce associated pain. The best sleeping positions to help deal with back pain include sleeping on your side or back, which can keep your spine aligned correctly. A pillow can help keep the spine aligned and prevent or reduce pain associated with back pain.

4. Perform Gentle Stretches

If you’re experiencing back pain, gentle stretching can help to alleviate it. Stretching can increase circulation, warm muscles, and enhance flexibility in the back, which can help relieve pain. Ensure you perform gentle stretches like touch toes, hip stretch and downward dog can help.

5. Exercise Regularly

Exercise can help alleviate back pain and boost your overall health. It can also strengthen your muscles and help you maintain proper posture. Exercises like swimming, cycling, and walking can all help reduce back pain. Consult with your healthcare provider before starting a new exercise routine if you’re already experiencing back pain.

The Bottom Line

Back pain caused by an old mattress is a common problem that affects many people. It can lead to discomfort, poor sleep quality, and impaired wellness. The good news is that there are plenty of effective ways to prevent and treat back pain caused by an old mattress. By following the tips outlined in this article, you can find relief and get back to a healthy and pain-free sleep.

List of the Most Common Questions About Mattresses and Back Pain

  • What are the common causes of back pain?
  • Can a sagging mattress cause back pain?
  • How can I ensure my mattress does not cause back pain?
  • What mattresses are ideal for relief of back pain?
  • How often should I purchase a new mattress?
  • Can poor sleeping positions lead to back pain?

List of Answers to the Above Questions

  • The most common causes of back pain include poor posture, lifting heavy items, and spinal problems such as herniated discs and spinal stenosis.
  • Yes, a sagging mattress can cause back pain. A mattress that sags or loses support results in misalignment of the spine which leads to pain and discomfort.
  • Avoid using a sagging mattress, and ensure that you sleep in the proper posture with the curves of your spine supported correctly.
  • Memory foam and latex mattresses are best suited for back pain relief since they conform to your body, giving you the support you need.
  • It’s recommended that you purchase a new mattress every seven to ten years, depending on your use and level of care.
  • Yes, poor sleeping positions can lead to back pain. Ensure to sleep in a position that maintains a natural curve in your spine.


1. Sleep Council. How to Common Causes of Back Pain. Retrieved from

2. Whittington, T. (2020, November 21). Mattress Buying Guide: Choosing the Right Bed. Retrieved from

3. Sleep Foundation. (2021, February 25). Best Mattresses for Back Pain. Retrieved from

4. Mayo Clinic. (2019, June 6). Back Pain. Retrieved from

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