How to Tell if Your Mattress is Making You Sick?

How to Tell if Your Mattress is Making You Sick?

Research shows that most of us spend about a third of our lives in bed, and yet we seldom pay close attention to the mattress we sleep on. We don't give much thought to our mattresses because we always think that they are in good shape most of the time. It is true because, when it comes to mattresses' matters, we just shrug off our shoulders and turn our heads away.

But did you know that your mattress could be silently affecting your health, leaving you feeling unrefreshed and even contributing to various health problems?

That's why in this article, we'll shed light on a concern that often goes unnoticed but has a profound impact on your health and well-being: the condition of your mattress.


Can Your Mattress Make You Sick?

Can Your Mattress Make You Sick

Yes, your mattress can potentially make you sick if it becomes a breeding ground for allergens, dust mites, bed bugs, or mould. You may not give much thought to this, but over time, dead skin cells, sweat, and body oils can accumulate on your mattress, creating an ideal environment for dust mites and tiny arachnids that feed on skin flakes and can trigger allergies or asthma symptoms.

Additionally, if your mattress is exposed to moisture or high humidity, this may lead to mould formation that can release spores into the air, potentially causing respiratory issues and allergic reactions. In extreme cases, a poorly maintained mattress can even harbour bacteria, leading to adverse health concerns.


What are the Common Health Issues Caused by a Bad Mattress?

What are the Common Health Issues Caused by a Bad Mattress

If you're not paying too much attention to your mattress, it will eventually accumulate allergens and dust mites that may trigger different health issues. Especially if you have an old or worn-out mattress, they are more prone to accumulating dirt and could no longer provide the necessary support for a good night's sleep you need.

Here are some of the most common mattress health issues:


Over time, many mattresses develop sagging areas where the mattress loses its firmness and sags in the middle or in specific spots, which can lead to poor spinal alignment and discomfort during sleep.

Dust Mites

Dust mites are tiny organisms that thrive in mattresses, feeding on dead skin cells that can trigger allergies and asthma symptoms in some individuals, leading to respiratory problems and skin irritation.

Mould and Mildew

If your mattress gets exposed to moisture, it can develop mould and mildew, especially in humid environments, which can cause allergic reactions and respiratory issues.

Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are small, parasitic insects that can infest mattresses and bite you during your sleep, causing itchy, red welts.


Mattresses can trap allergens like pollen and pet dander, which can trigger allergic reactions, especially for those who have allergies to asthma.

Heat Retention

Some mattresses retain heat, causing you to sleep hot and uncomfortable, which can disrupt your sleep and lead to night sweats.

Insufficient Sleep Support

As mattresses age, they lose their support and comfort, and sleeping on an old or worn-out mattress can lead to poor sleep quality and various health issues.

Pressure Points

Mattresses that don't distribute your body weight evenly can create pressure points on areas like the hips and shoulders, leading to discomfort and potential long-term issues.


Signs Your Mattress Might Be the Culprit

Signs Your Mattress Might Be the Culprit

If you are inspecting your mattress at this moment, check out the following signs:

  • Waking up feeling achy, sore, or with increased pain in your neck, back, hips, or other body parts

  • Frequent tossing and turning during the night

  • Visible sagging and indentations

  • Restless sleep or having trouble falling asleep

  • Obvious signs of wear and tear

  • Noise every time you move

  • Visible stains or odours

  • If you share your bed with a partner and their movements easily disturb your sleep

  • Most mattresses have a lifespan of around 7–10 years, depending on the quality and type. If your mattress is older than this, it may no longer provide the support and comfort you require.

If you notice one or more of these signs, maybe it's time to consider buying a new mattress and having an upgrade. However, it is important to keep in mind that the right mattress for you depends on your personal preferences, body type, and sleeping habits, so what works for one person may not work for another.


Materials You Should Avoid When Choosing a  Mattress

Materials You Should Avoid When Choosing a  Mattress

Polyurethane Foam

Polyurethane foam is a synthetic material commonly used in mattresses that is known for its softness, supportiveness, and affordability.

However, polyurethane foam can release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) over time, which can contribute to poor indoor air quality and potential health issues.


Flame Retardant Chemicals

Flame retardants are chemical additives applied to mattresses to reduce their flammability and meet safety regulations.

However, many flame retardants have been linked to health concerns that can also break down over time and become airborne particles, which can be inhaled or absorbed through the skin.


Boric Acid

Boric acid is a naturally occurring compound that has fire-resistant properties and is sometimes used as a flame retardant in mattresses. Boric acid is generally considered a less toxic chemical than some other flame retardants. However, exposure to high levels of boric acid can cause eye and skin irritation and other health problems.



Formaldehyde is a chemical used in some mattresses as an adhesive or preservative. It's also released from certain materials used in mattresses, such as polyurethane foam.

However, formaldehyde is a known carcinogen and can irritate the eyes, nose, and throat. Prolonged exposure to high levels of formaldehyde can increase the risk of respiratory problems and some chronic pain.


Important Note: It's important to note that the health risks associated with these materials depend on the specific mattress and the levels of exposure. To mitigate potential health concerns, you can opt for non-toxic mattresses as an alternative because non-toxic mattresses use natural materials and safer flame retardants. Another important thing to consider is the mattress certifications to ensure that your recently purchased mattress is free from any harmful chemicals.


What to Look for When Buying a Healthier Mattress?

What to Look for When Buying a Healthier Mattress

Of course, when it comes to buying a new mattress, we should not just look at its aesthetics and size. We should start to consider healthier options for our mattress.

Here are some factors to consider for a healthier mattress:


Look for mattresses made from natural and organic materials such as organic cotton, organic wool, and natural latex, because these materials are less likely to contain harmful chemicals and allergens.


Certifications like GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard), GOLS (Global Organic Latex Standard), and OEKO TEX Standard 100 ensure that the mattress meets specific environmental and health standards to avoid health disease.

Low Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are chemicals that can off-gas from mattresses and potentially harm indoor air quality, so opt for mattresses with low VOC emissions or those that are certified to be free of harmful chemicals.

Allergen Resistance

If you have allergies, consider hypoallergenic or organic mattresses with materials like natural latex and wool that are resistant to dust mites and other components.

Support and Comfort

The mattress you choose should provide support for your body to prevent back and joint pain, as it should be comfortable and promote a restful night's sleep.

Firmness of Mattress

It is okay to choose firm mattresses, but they must have the right level of firmness based on your sleep preferences and any specific health considerations. However, firmer mattresses are not recommendable for people with back pain, and they must prefer medium-firm mattresses for better spinal alignment.

Consult a Healthcare Professional

If you have specific health concerns, consult a healthcare professional or a physical therapist for mattress recommendations tailored to your needs.


Types of Mattresses that You May Consider

Memory Foam Mattress

Memory Foam Mattresses

Memory foam has viscoelastic foam that conforms to the shape of your body, providing excellent pressure relief and support.


Latex Mattress

Latex Mattress

Latex mattresses are made from natural or synthetic latex foam that offers good support and durability, as well as being hypoallergenic and resistant to dust mites and other allergens.


Innerspring Mattress

Innerspring Mattress

Innerspring mattresses have a core of steel coils or metal springs that offers different levels of support and motion isolation.


Hybrid Mattress

Hybrid Mattress

Hybrid mattresses combine memory foam or latex with innerspring coils that aim to provide the benefits of both materials, such as contouring support from foam and enhanced breathability from coils.



Always remember that the impact of your mattress on your health should not be underestimated. While it may not be the sole culprit behind every ailment, it undoubtedly plays an important role in your overall well-being. Keep in mind that a good night's sleep and sleep quality are essential for our physical and mental health, so investing in a mattress that promotes both comfort and cleanliness is a step towards a happier and healthier you.



DISCLAIMER: All the information, including the texts, images, and other materials on this website, are for educational purposes only. Although we strive to present accurate information to our readers, no material on the Somnuz website is a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the guidance of a qualified medical professional concerning your health. NEVER disregard or delay seeking professional medical advice because of something you have read in this article.

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