When you sleep on a hard mattress, your odds of getting poor sleep can increase by 78%, according to data from Sleep Doctor — and that’s not the only potential problem that could be disrupting your rest.
It’s common for people to not know which type of mattress is best suited to their specific comfort preferences and support needs, according to Dr. Shelby Harris, a New York-based director of sleep health at Sleepopolis, a sleep knowledge website.
“People may also be unaware of the wide variety of mattress options available to them, with each designed for different sleeping styles and preferences,” she said.
Your choice of mattress can make or break the quality of your sleep, experts agreed.
Fox News Digital spoke with several sleep specialists to pinpoint six signs that yours might need replacing.
1. You have aches and pains in the morning
Body pain in the morning is a common sign that a mattress is having a negative impact on sleep, Harris said.
“When a mattress starts to age and sag, typically in the middle where we place the most weight, it can lead to waking up with low back pain, stiffness or sore muscles,” she said.
How you sleep on something is just as important as what you sleep on, noted Megan Anderson, a Houston-based sleep expert and director of merchandising transformation at Mattress Firm.
“For example, if you sleep on your side and you’re sleeping on a firm mattress, it’s likely you need something plusher to conform to your hips and shoulders more,” she told Fox News Digital.
“Or, if you sleep on your stomach but you have an extra plush mattress, you are putting pressure on your lower spine and back as it curves into the bed, versus staying in neutral alignment.”
2. You have trouble falling or staying asleep
The same things that cause aches and pains can also lead to sleep disruptions, making it difficult to fall asleep and increasing the chances of nighttime awakenings, Harris said.
“Not sleeping comfortably can lead to tossing and turning,” Anderson added.
Failing to get proper sleep can also lead to pinched nerves — which can cause the limbs to fall asleep and lead to tossing and turning, she said.
“I’ve heard this called ‘sleeping like a rotisserie chicken,’” she said. “That constant movement is very disruptive to our own sleep and potentially that of our partners.”
3. You’ve had your mattress a long time
The average lifespan of a mattress is typically between 5-10 years, according to Harris.
“However, this can vary, as the actual lifespan of a mattress depends on individual factors, such as the quality, usage and maintenance” of the mattress, she said.
Over time, the comfort layers of the mattress can break down and change the support and comfort it provides, Anderson added.
“A mattress protector can help extend the life of your mattress by protecting it from sweat, moisture, dust mites and more, which break down the comfort layers,” she said.
“A strong foundation or adjustable base is also crucial to ensuring that your mattress is well-supported.”
4. Your neck hurts when you wake up
Neck pain upon waking could be related to a poor-quality pillow, Anderson said.
“A pillow is 25% of the sleep surface, and keeping your neck in alignment is essential,” she told Fox News Digital.
People with a smaller frame should look for pillows with a low loft, Anderson said, while those on the taller side may need something with a higher loft.
“You want it to conform to the area between the neck and body comfortably, so the size of the pillow is relational to your body shape,” she said.
5. You experience allergy symptoms at home
As mattresses age, they accumulate a higher volume of allergens, including mildew, mold, dust mites and pet dander, according to the Sleep Foundation website.
This can lead to a worsening of allergy symptoms at home, especially when sleeping.
A machine-washable mattress protector and well-ventilated foundation can help to minimize the buildup of mold and mildew, the Sleep Foundation stated.
6. You notice visible signs of wear
The experts agreed that noticeable signs of wear and tear indicate it’s time to invest in a new mattress.
These signs include sagging, rips and tears, shifting foam, springs poking out, stains and other physical damage.
Signs of wear can also be audible, as a squeaky mattress is likely showing its age and in need of replacement.
Now, tips for choosing the right mattress
When looking for a replacement mattress, your sleep position, body type and personal preferences for feel and materials should all play a role in choosing the best one to meet your needs, Harris said.
“A good mattress will keep your spine aligned while you sleep,” she said.
“It’s also important to consider any sleep issues that you may have.”
“For example, look for a cooling mattress if you typically sleep hot or sweat throughout the night,” the expert noted.
“You might also want to consider durability and cost, and whether you will be sleeping with a partner.”
Added Anderson, “Sleep is critical to overall wellness and health, and it’s important to invest in your rest.”