Body impressions in mattress

By Jo Joiner

What’s the story with body indentations? Does it mean your mattress is ready for replacement or can you blame your comfort layers? In this article we get to the bottom of mattress impressions, so that you can rest easy.

How to differentiate between body impressions and a sagging mattress

When you make your bed in the morning, you might notice indentations where you and your partner sleep? These are called body impressions.  When you get in the bed, the indentations aren’t noticeable, because they only affect the top layers of your bed. Body impressions are most noticeable with mattresses that are described as ‘plush’ or ‘soft’, because they have the deepest cushioning layers.

On the other hand, you might notice that the bed is visibly lower towards the middle. This is called sagging. When you get in the bed, there’s a feeling of being in a hammock – your head and feet seem higher than the rest of you. When a bed starts to sag, it’s at the end of its useful life.

Do you have body impressions in your mattress or do you have a saggy bed that’s ready for replacement? An accurate diagnosis is important.

A body impression in your mattress can be a good thing

A modern mattress is designed to provide support for the entire length of your body, especially your spine, through its spring system. But it’s also designed to provide cushioning for your joints, so that you don’t get aches in your hips, shoulders and knees. So the best modern mattresses generally have a pocket spring system for support and a topping of various comfort layers for cushioning.

The cushioning layers of a mattress are continually compressed by your body while you’re sleeping and they will start to conform to your shape after a while. This isn’t a bad thing. In fact, a body impression can actually help your bed to provide you with a more comfortable night’s sleep. It’s kind of like how new running shoes get more comfortable after a few long runs.

A body impression of up to 5cm depth is not regarded as a defect in the mattress. Anything deeper than this within your warranty period is a reason to consult your mattress manufacturer.

If you love the look of a perfectly smooth bed, there are a couple of things you can do to minimise the appearance of body impressions.

  • Dress your bed differently. Go for the multi-pillows-plus-comforter look, which makes your bed look decorative while minimising the appearance of body impressions. Using a combination of textures and patterns will certainly distract from the subtle dents in your bed.
  • Have naps in the middle of your bed.  If you sleep with a partner and there’s an uncompressed area between you, make a point of squashing it down at every opportunity. If you watch TV in bed or like to take a nap, position yourself in the middle of the bed. This will help those central comfort layers to compress.
  • To help even out body impressions in a new mattress, rotate the mattress 180° every two weeks for the first three months, then once every three months after that.

A sagging mattress is never a good thing

A saggy mattress is an indication you need to visit the bed shop. Mattress sag happens when the spring system can no longer support you properly.

If there are two of you in the bed, there will be a noticeable ‘roll together’ effect, where you’re both pulled downhill into the centre of the bed. It doesn’t make for a good night’s sleep.

The best way to solve a sagging mattress is to buy a new one. You could look for a pocket spring system, where every spring operates independently. If weight is applied to one part of the bed, only the springs beneath the weight move. Pocket springs eliminate roll together and partner disturbance. They’re also wonderfully comfortable, because each part of your body gets the support it needs.

If you really can’t afford a new mattress, you could try to reduce the sagging problem with a memory foam topper pad. There will still be a degree of sag going on, but it will be less because the memory foam will help to spread the load.

Flipping your mattress is not an option

Once upon a time, mattresses were designed to be flipped. Sometimes they had a summer side and a winter side. However the arrival of delicious comfort layers has eliminated the option to flip your mattress. While the other side of your mattress might be fantastically flat, it will also be horrendously hard to sleep on.  Rotate your mattress instead, as we mentioned above.

What mattress firmness is best for you?

The benefits of an adjustable bed

Find a Dreamland mattress stockist near you

Similar Posts