Health Effects of Old Mattresses – Some Potential Health Effects

Health Effects of Old Mattresses – Some Potential Health Effects

Mattresses, just like our furniture, do not attract much attention until they start to bother us. Some users may take the concept of long-term investment too seriously, so they don’t know when it’s time to change their mattress. 

Many people end up using their mattresses long after they’ve surpassed their life expectancy. It might be time for you to change your mattress before you start experiencing the detrimental health effects of an old mattress. 

Mattresses usually have a life expectancy of about a decade if you use them with care. However, most mattress companies advise changing a mattress after eight years. The reason is that using the same mattress for so long can lead to short and long-term health effects. 

The health effects you could experience by using an old mattress are severe and long-term. Keeping in mind that you spend one-third of your life in bed, sleeping disorders and health issues can significantly affect your personal and work life.

The significant health effects that an old mattress can cause are divided into two categories: 

  1. Short-Term Health Effects
  2. Long-Term Health Effects 

Let us discuss in detail how each of these categories.

Short-term Health Effects of Old Mattresses

An old mattress can cause many skin and nose allergies. And if you use a mattress past its recommended date, it can become a breeding ground for many small insects that infect your skin and respiratory tracts, but these are short-term issues, and you can avoid them by taking a few necessary steps. These health issues include: 

Skin Allergies

Skin Allergy Health Effects Of Old Mattresses

Your body produces oil and sweat, which can accumulate in the mattress and provide the perfect environment for the growth of mold, bed bugs, and dust mites. Dust mites are insects that like to be in contact with your dead skin and the dust and sweat your body sheds. This regular contact can leave your skin with red rashes, irritation, and itchiness.  

On the other hand, bed bugs can suck your blood when they come in contact with your skin. Bed bugs are one of the biggest threats to furniture and bedding. This is why doctors and other experts recommend not to purchase used mattresses or furniture. The same issue occurs when your mattress is too old. Dust accumulating in the mattress gives bed bugs a great reason to start laying eggs on your furniture. 

Related: Do I Need a Firm or Soft Mattress? | Benefits of Choosing Firm Mattresses

Respiratory Issues

Respiratory Issues Health Effects Of Old Mattresses

As you use your mattress for years and years, it can grow different kinds of bacteria, allergens, and insects, which, in addition to irritating your skin, cause many respiratory health issues. 

Respiratory issues occur when you constantly inhale bacteria, insects, and germs like mold, dust mites, and bed bugs. Being in constant contact with these micro insects can inhale them and cause sneezing, coughing, itchy eyes, and eczema.

If you have asthma or other breathing disorders, these conditions can worsen with time due to such insects and bacteria. Therefore, you can contract serious respiratory and lung issues if you keep using an old mattress containing such bacteria and insects. 

Spinal Issues

Spinal Issues Health Effects Of Old Mattresses

Over time, old mattresses can develop pressed spaces as they lose firmness and durability. Lying down in specific positions on the mattress can affect your posture and make the mattress sag. These look like deep depressions that terribly affect your sleep and spinal alignment. 

For a good posture, science recommends a straight surface for sleeping. If you lay down on an uneven surface, it can cause long-term backache and neck ache. Long-term aches turn into chronic back pain aches without proper intervention. 

An uneven surface can greatly affect your spinal alignment when using an old mattress. Changing your old mattress for a new one is a must-do task at all costs to avoid such an issue. 

Long-Term Health Issues of Old Mattresses

Issues that have existed for a long time can become long-term health issues. If not catered to on time, more minor health concerns can affect your health and well-being in the long run. Major long-term health issues are: 


Insomnia Health Effects Of Old Mattresses

When you can’t sleep peacefully at night due to the bacteria and pathogens, your sleep suffers sleep routine gets all the effect. Similar is the case when you can’t sleep properly due to bumps and sinks in the bed. 

A constantly-interrupted sleep cycle can lead to insomnia. Insomnia is a condition that can greatly affect your health and well-being, as well as work productivity. It can, in no doubt, affect almost every aspect of your life. 

Weight Gain 

Weight Gain Health Effects Of Old Mattresses

Continuous loss of sleep and tossing and turning in the bed can make you gain weight. Yes, you heard it right; not getting proper sleep and rest at night can make you gain extra pounds because of hormonal imbalance, making you eat more than usual. 

Weight gain opens the doors for several different health issues as well. So, to avoid gaining weight due to trouble sleeping, switch to a new mattress.


Stress Health Effects Of Old Mattresses

Continuous lack of sleep and frustration can make you feel stressed a lot of the time. Think about it – a lack of sleep can affect countless aspects of your life, like work, relationships, and even your mood.  

Stress can then lead to depression and can affect your mental health to a great extent. Stress is a great cause of long-term illnesses and affects your personal and social relationships. 


In light of the above-mentioned health issues, which can have short-term and long-term effects on your body and life, it is strongly recommended to change your mattress after it completes its lifespan.

Not changing your old mattress and experiencing discomfort can cause several health problems. So why not prevent it from happening in the first place? 

We hope this article helped you understand the health effects of sleeping on an old mattress.  

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