How to Fix a Sagging Mattress When Replacing It Isn’t an Option

How to Fix a Sagging Mattress When Replacing It Isn’t an Option
Photo: Animaflora PicsStock, Shutterstock

Despite what manufacturers want you to think, buying an expensive, high-end mattress isn’t going to magically solve all of your sleep problems. Sleeping on a mattress that sags or dips in the middle can, however, make it much harder to get a restful night’s sleep.

In an ideal world, mattresses would last longer, and when yours did start to sag, you’d be able to replace it right away. But that’s not everyone’s reality, and sometimes you have to put up with an old, saggy mattress for longer than you’d like. And while you can’t technically “fix” a mattress in this condition, there are a few ways you can (temporarily) make yourself a little more comfortable. Here are some suggestions.

Find the saggy parts

Although it’s probably pretty obvious that your mattress is sinking, to pinpoint the specific areas, place something flat across the top of the mattress, and then look for gaps. Another option is to run your hand over the mattress and feel for dips, springs, lumps — anything that doesn’t feel smooth. This is more diagnostic than treatment, but knowing where the problem spots are will help you come up with the most effective (temporary) solution.

Rotate (and possibly flip) the mattress

Again, this isn’t a permanent fix, but rotating your mattress — so the dips are in a slightly different spot — may help temporarily. Many modern mattresses have a specific side that’s designed to be the top of the mattress, but if yours is dual-sided, you can also flip it over to the other side (which hopefully isn’t as saggy).

Check the mattress foundation

Although many newer mattresses — especially those that are delivered to your home in a box — say that they don’t require a box spring, it’s still important to pay attention to their foundation. For example, if the mattress rests on top of wooden slats, check to make sure their placement is even, and that none of the slats have fallen through.

If your mattress is on a bed frame with four legs, it may be fine for a while, but eventually, without anything to support the mattress, it can begin to sag in the middle. Once you check your bed’s foundation, determine whether replacing it or adding one could help. Placing a piece (or two) of plywood under the mattress is also an option.

Add a mattress topper

Sometimes, placing a soft-but-supportive topper on your mattress can extend the life of a sinking mattress. Most mattress toppers are made of between two and five inches of foam, latex, wool, down, down alternative, or feathers. When dealing with a sagging mattress, typically, the thicker and denser the mattress topper is, the more of a difference it will make.

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