The right mattress can make all the difference between sound sleep and a sleepless night. A good mattress offers a perfect balance of required comfort and support, keeping the natural spinal alignment and body posture in place, thus signs of an Old Mattress Trigger allergies and make them worse. It affects our health. Did you know? If you experience tiredness, drowsiness, and back pain, your old mattress could be the reason.

A study compared the sleep quality and stress-related symptoms between people sleeping in older beds versus newer ones. They found that new bedding systems increased sleep quality in comparison to old sleeping surfaces. As per the National Sleep Foundation, any mattress should not be used for more than eight years in order to prevent it from becoming a farm of dust mites and bed bugs.


A mattress is a slow-moving product in India. The slow pace with which mattress sales are growing in comparison to the available market potential is a serious concern for the brands. The unorganised mattress segment still dominates most of regions of India. Despite the brand’s introducing various innovative products in the market, the frequency of mattress repurchases is still slow.

Out of several other parameters that are hindering the growth of the industry, the lack of understanding of how the old mattress is harmful to health is one of the major reasons for consumers to postpone their decision of a new mattress purchase. Consumers devote maximum time to the bed, in comparison to electronics and gadgets. However, they still spend more money on smartphones and household items. The mattress purchase takes a back seat and in India, they are bought majorly at the time of the wedding or shifting to a new house.


All old is not gold

As per various industry reports, “Nearly 70 percent of people who use old mattress experience various health problems at some point in life.” The sad part is that not even half of this percentage acknowledges this fact. Rather when people don’t get a good sleep or wake up with a pain in back or neck next morning, they blame it on the wrong posture, pillow or the bed structure. However, what they forget is that it is their old mattress which is a major sleep spoiler. Here is a detailed look at how an old mattress can affect sleep and overall health.

Influence of Mattress on Health

Although Indian Consumers have now started understanding the importance of sound sleep and are actively involved at the time of mattress purchase, they are still not aware of the challenges which their health is facing due to the old mattress they sleep on. With this lack of awareness, the frequency to change their mattress gets postponed and they continue with their decade-old mattress, which could still be offering them a night of sleep but not a hygienic one. Consumers do not even realise the harmful health effects it is offering them subtlety.


Tangible Side Effects

Consumers can make out the tangible aspect of their mattress getting old with its deformation over a period of time, its uneven surface due to sagging, a compromised comfort level etc. The distortion of these physical properties affects satisfying sleep. Serious sleep disorders have been linked to various health diseases like hypertension, increased stress hormone levels, irregular heartbeat and accidents while driving or at the hospital.

An old mattress is a house of allergens and bacteria that make it unhygienic to sleep on and leads to serious allergies and breathing problems.

Intangible Side Effects

Another intangible side effect, which dominantly remains unnoticed is the hygiene factor. Old mattress breeds dust mites, bacteria, and allergens over a period of time. An old mattress carries our perspiration, sweat, and dead skin cells and once the mattress becomes too old, it becomes a breeding house of these allergens. These allergens require heat, the right temperature & humidity to grow at a fast pace and an old mattress offers them this perfect environment to multiply.

ISPF Initiatives

“Once the consumer is aware of the importance of a quality mattress for their mental, physical and emotional health, they would not mind enquiring more at the time of purchase and will also be willing to change their mattress after the expiry warranty period immediately. However, now, the trend is changing and people are increasingly becoming aware of the side effects of using an old mattress.”Says Secretary ISPF. Understanding the harmful effects of old mattress, importance of a sleeping surface and how it affects the sleep quality, ISPF has taken various initiatives through its Social Media Awareness Campaigns and Retail Training Programs, to make consumers aware of the harmful impact of the old mattress on their health.


  1. Leads to chronic back and neck pain:

    Pain and old mattress issues go hand in hand as an old mattress can result in an intense back and neck pain. As per Dr. Surendra Kumar Samar, General Physician and Surgeon,“If you sleep on an old and unsupportive mattress (as it becomes soft after years of usage), then this can stress the ligaments, tendons and joints of the spine. Also, it makes it difficult to maintain the right posture in the night which can further aggravate lower back pain. If this pain due to lack of proper sleep continues for long, then it can become chronic and cause further sleeplessness.”
  2. Triggers allergies and makes them worse:

    Various microscopic creatures trigger various allergies and lead to skin problems and respiratory conditions.
  3. Leads to more stress:

    Old mattress hugely impacts the sleepquality and lead to sleeplessness due to back pain and otherissues which in turn increase the stress levels. This makesone feel tired and fatigued during the entire day and hamper productivity.
  4. Leads to snoring:

    An old and unsupportive mattress can even put the airways under tension or the tissues may be sunken and this can lead to snoring. Further, since the old mattress can take the shape of the body, it can block the airways easily.
  5. Leads to obesity:

    Poor sleep caused by poor and old mattress can also promote binging and overeating, thereby, having an impact on weight. ‘Simply put, when people are not able to get sleep by lying on their old, saggy and worn-out mattress, they tend to stay awake, sometimes past midnight and usually that’s the time when the body starts feeling hungry and craves for a small snack. So, this habit of eating due to boredom in night result in making them obese. Also, poor sleep can weaken the immune system.’,
  6. Affects memory:

    Sleeplessness through old mattress can negatively affect brain and memory and lead to Alzheimer’s disease. As per the study conducted by the scientists from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism in the US, “Those who have sleepless nights have increased level of beta-amyloid plaque in their brain which is capable of disrupting communication between brain cells.”
  7. Puts heart at a risk:

    A study conducted by the European Heart Journal shows that people suffering from lack of sleep or poor sleep have 48 percent more chances of developing a heart condition as compared to those who sleep well. Thus, an old mattress which does not let one sleep well can put the heart at risk too.

Although it is also possible that one can still wake up fresh on an old mattress, due to the personal zone it offers. However, the person may develop breathing and other allergic problems due to dust mites and bacteria breeding in the old mattress. The consumers continue to complain about the unknown reason for their allergy problems, without even realizing once that their old mattress could be a reason for the same.

Should be replaced much before eight years if the ones using it are above the age of 40 years as the body of such people may need more support when they sleep. However, if we look at Indian psychology, then people feel that a mattress is a product that can be used for years together and should not be replaced at least for 15-20 years unless and until, it becomes completely worn out before that. This thinking is absolutely wrong and needs to be changed just like people’s old mattresses.