If you’re experiencing strange symptoms or health issues, you’re probably trying to find out why.
Maybe you’ve seen a doctor, and they couldn’t find any specific cause. Perhaps you’ve considered your habits and environmental factors. In all likelihood, however, you probably haven’t considered the impact your mattress might be having on your health.
Surprisingly, old mattresses can introduce several critical health hazards—and many people are unfamiliar with the consequences of using a worn and outdated product.
If your mattress is causing any of the following issues, it may be time for an upgrade.
Use this guide to learn more about the eight health hazards of sleeping on an old mattress and decide it’s time to say goodbye to your old one.
Over time, your mattress accumulates known allergens, which can contribute to health problems down the line.
A mattress contains fibers that trap allergens like pet dander, dust, pollen, mites, and other irritants. Exposure to those allergens can trigger respiratory problems, sleep apnea, rashes, and other allergy symptoms.
If you’re looking for an allergy-friendly upgrade, Essentia makes a hypo-allergenic mattress that can protect you against exposure to such irritants.
Old mattresses often contain extensive bacterial colonies.
Most people sweat more than you might think during the night. The average person sweats 26 gallons in bed every year. Sweat and moisture often harbor bacteria, and a recent study through WebMD found that seven-year-old mattresses contain over 16 million colony units of bacteria per square inch of fabric.
These colonies often contain harmful bacteria like E. coli or staph, so it’s best to avoid them altogether and purchase a new mattress.
Exposure to toxic chemicals
Mattresses contain many chemicals to aid in treating and preserving the materials used during production.
Many of these chemicals can harm your health, and they slowly release over time.
Known chemicals in mattresses include polyurethane, formaldehyde, and PSAS. PSAS is particularly harmful and can cause different types of cancer, heightened cholesterol, liver enzyme issues, and more.
Mattresses are often home to pests, and old mattresses are likely to contain pest colonies.
According to experts, your mattress doubles in weight every ten years due to the accumulated weight of pests.
The most common types of pests that can live in your mattress are mites, which contribute to allergies, and bedbugs. These unwanted house guests can cause many additional health issues.
Your mattress contains moisture, making it prime real estate for mold colonies since you likely sleep in a cool, dark place.
Numerous types of mold can set up home, including very harmful varieties like black mold. It is the cause of multiple health complications. Mold exposure, in general, can lead to long-term effects like cancer, respiratory issues, and shortened life span.
Aches, pains, & postural issues
No matter which type of mattress you use, its materials will age over time.
Springs lose elasticity, and foam tends to thin and flop, causing sagging. These effects can dramatically affect your posture, leading to aches and pains in your joints and muscles. You can also develop long-term postural problems from sleeping on a sagging mattress.
Moreover, you might be disrupting the quality of your sleep. Rotating your mattress frequently and replacing it if the issues persist can address these issues.
Weakened immune system
An old mattress isn’t just uncomfortable. It could threaten your ability to combat illnesses, which is a problem if you expose yourself to 16 million germ colonies each night. Using an old mattress weakens your immune system by exposing you to germs, allergens, and poor sleep.
A lack of sleep can play havoc on your immune system, leaving your body compromised and at risk of various ailments. If you also face increased exposure to toxins and allergens, you are even more likely to suffer from ill health.
Having an old mattress can contribute to sleep deprivation in several ways.
First, loss of pressure or flexibility can disrupt your sleep. You can also experience restless nights if you have an allergic reaction or are exposed to pests in your mattress.
Sleep deprivation can quickly become a severe condition that could trigger many physical and mental ailments, including depression, anxiety, hallucinations, weakened immune systems, cancer, and more.
If you aren’t sleeping well, consider replacing your mattress to see if that helps.
If you suspect it might be time for a mattress upgrade, consider purchasing a new mattress as soon as possible.
Prolonged exposure to the above health hazards can lead to severe complications, and you’ll want to minimize the time you spend suffering from serious issues like sleep deprivation.
You should swap your mattress out every seven years to protect your health, and remember to maintain a hygienic sleep environment to promote longevity in your mattress.