8 signs your mattress is too soft for you

Are you waking up with aches and struggling to get comfortable? Your mattress could be the culprit...

Woman waking up in bed
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We all know sleep is important. A good night's kip helps us stay healthy, feel more intelligent and with it, and better able to cope with life in general. And so it's well worth spending money on the best mattress you can afford.

Unfortunately, though, even a quality mattress won't last forever. Over time it will gradually become softer. And once it gets too soft, this can disrupt your sleep, and cause physical discomfort and even pain. That's because an overly soft mattress simply won't give your body the support it nights, leading to poor spinal alignment and too much of a burden on pressure points.

That doesn't necessarily mean you need a firm mattress to get a good night's sleep. Whether you prefer a firm, soft or medium mattress will depend on your specific needs (for more on this, see how to choose the best mattress firmness level). But the important thing is that your mattress doesn't become too soft over time.

How can you tell whether it has or not? In this article, we'll share eight common signs.

1. Waking up with back pain

If you've recently started waking up with back pain which wasn't there previously, especially in the lower back, it's a strong sign that your mattress has become too soft. A soft mattress will cause your spine to sink in an unnatural position throughout the night, and this misalignment can lead to muscle strain and back pain. If this has already started, it's only going to get worse over time.

2. Difficulty getting in and out of bed

Have you recently found it's become more and more challenging to get in and out of bed? That may well be because your mattress has become too soft, and so it's sinking down in the middle more than it did previously. A feeling of being 'swallowed' by the mattress is a strong sign that this is the case.

Woman in bed in half-light

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3. Tossing and turning in the night

Are you tossing and turning a lot during the night, trying yet failing to find the right position to sleep in? This too could be a sign that your mattress is too soft. Again, a soft mattress will cause your body to sink too deeply, and that can put too much weight on your pressure points, making it difficult to sleep comfortably.

4. Feeling trapped in bed

An overly soft mattress can give you the feeling of being enveloped, making it challenging to move freely. This is especially the case if you're a side sleeper or stomach sleeper, as the sinking of the mattress traps you and restricts your ability to move around in bed.

Woman asleep in bed next to alarm clock

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5. Obvious sagging 

Perhaps the most obvious signs that your mattress is too soft are the ones you can see it with your own eyes. An overly soft mattress will often develop sagging or indentations where you typically sleep; the equivalent of a 'bum crack' in an old sofa.

6. Poor edge support

Soft mattresses often lack proper edge support, so if you sit or sleep near the edge, you may feel like you're going to roll off. This is particularly common for couples who share a bed.

Couple in bed looking unhappy

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7. Motion transfer

Another problem with soft beds that particular afflicts couples is that this amplify the effects of motion transfer. In other words, whenever one of you moves or gets in and out of bed, the other feels the movement more intensely, disrupting their sleep or waking them up entirely.

8. Overheating 

Because soft mattresses wrap around your body more tightly than firmer ones, they tend to retain more body heat. So if you've recently started overheating during the night, and this isn't obviously due to a change in weather, it's a sign that your mattress may be getting too soft. 

If you've noticed any of these signs and think your mattress has become too soft, there's no time to waste. Sleeping on a mattress that is too soft can disrupt your sleep, cause back pain and stress levels, so you need to address the problem immediately. 

In other words, don't compromise on your sleep by sticking with a mattress that is too soft for your needs. Take the time to find the perfect mattress that aligns with your body and provides the necessary comfort and support to provide a restful and rejuvenating night's sleep.

Tom May

Tom May is a freelance writer and author of the book, Great Ted Talks: Creativity. He has been editor of Professional Photography magazine, associate editor at Creative Bloq, and deputy editor at net magazine. He has also worked for a wide range of mainstream titles including Radio Times, NME, Heat, Company and Bella.