Our bed is sagging: Can we fix it?
August 27, 2012 6:54 PM   Subscribe

My now-wife (then-girlfriend) purchased a new queen-sized mattress from Macy's about 3 years ago. We've recently noticed that the bed is sagging on both sides where we sleep, and the middle and sides are firmer and the way they were when she purchased it. It has a split box spring so that it could fit up her narrow staircase in her former apartment. We no longer have that restriction. So, is this the fault of the split box spring (and should we replace it with a normal one), or is it simply a problem with the mattress? What can we do to fix it, if anything?

Of course, we can rotate the mattress and have done that with no effect. We can't flip it because it has a pillow top.
posted by scottso17 to Home & Garden (15 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Sounds like a problem with the mattress. What kind of warranty did it come with? If it's still under warranty, call them up and see what they'll do. [My aunt had this problem and used the credit they gave her to buy a new, better mattress.]
posted by DoubleLune at 7:01 PM on August 27, 2012

Is it a pillow-top style mattress? (Aha! On re-read I see it is.) Ours is, and it does the same thing. It's the filler making a nest around us or something. To be expected if it's a pillow-top. Ours is double-sided so we do flip it.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 7:28 PM on August 27, 2012

This has happened to everyone I know who has bought a pillow top, including me. Perhaps not coincidentally, everyone I know with a pillow top mattress says they will never buy one again. Including me.
posted by something something at 7:51 PM on August 27, 2012 [3 favorites]

We had this happen on a fairly high end (not Hästens, but not Simmons either) mattress, and their official line on the warranty was that the impression had to be ridiculously deep (I forget the measurement, but it was way more than we'd consider acceptable) before it would be considered a defect. I've read similar things from other people about other brands. So not only is it "expected" on pillow-tops, but the warranty is likely to be of little use. In our case, the store we bought it from actually replaced it for us to keep us happy, even though the manufacturer wouldn't. The replacement developed the same problems shortly thereafter, and we just got rid of it and replaced it with a foam mattress. It was an expensive lesson, but that's life. We've had the foam mattress for several years and haven't had any problems.

All that said, it doesn't hurt to ask about the warranty, and maybe raise hell with the store if the manufacturer won't help. The worst they can do is refuse to do anything. Even if it's an inherent problem in the product, if you get a replacement it delays needing to buy a new mattress for another year or two.
posted by primethyme at 8:08 PM on August 27, 2012

the way to prevent this is to frequent flip and rotate the mattress to spread out the loading and 'push' the pillow top material back in place. But yea, they all do this.
posted by bartonlong at 8:18 PM on August 27, 2012

There are flippable pillow tops out there, if you don't have one already. It's not quite as squishy as a regular pillow top, but you can rotate and flip it, and it's way better than a regular pillow-top.
posted by xingcat at 8:24 PM on August 27, 2012

On our bed it's just the fill in the pillowtop that has the depressions so I just bash the fill around when I make the bed the same way I fluff the pillows. It's not the mattress itself so it doesn't affect the comfort level of the bed. I don't see it as a problem.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 10:16 PM on August 27, 2012

Can you add a memory foam topper? I just bought a good one from Costco, ~120 for a queen size, and it's helped a lot. When it goes bad in a couple of years or so, just toss it and get a new one. I read somewhere that Brad Pitt recommends a relatively inexpensive but firm mattress (no pillowtop) with a memory foam topper, so it must be a good idea.
posted by waving at 1:09 AM on August 28, 2012

OK, here it is, straight from Brad's typewriter to your eyes...I only included the pertinent bit but you can find the entire article her http://www.esquire.com/features/ESQ1006ESQ1006_164R_2

My List
Fifteen things I think everyone should know.
By Brad Pitt

Don't spend a lot of money on a big, giant mattress with double padding on both sides and all that. Just go out and buy a normal firm mattress. Then go buy the three-inch Tempur-Pedic pad, the memory foam, and put it on top. I'm telling you, take my tip. It's the perfect pressure. I take full credit for the discovery. You will sleep in bliss forevermore . . . unless you've got a six-week-old.
posted by waving at 1:14 AM on August 28, 2012 [3 favorites]

My husband and I solve this problem by switching sides every six months or so. I'm going to try the "massage the bed" approach to munging around the fill.
posted by bookdragoness at 5:56 AM on August 28, 2012

Instead of a pillow top, get a separate featherbed, which can be put on top of any mattress, and is easily fluffed every time you change your sheets.
posted by acm at 6:55 AM on August 28, 2012

I'm not sure if the rules are different for pillow tops, but we've had mattresses replaced under the warranty. I'm pretty sure the depressions have to be at least 1 1/2 inches deep. It would be worth checking with the mattress manufacturer to see what their warranty requirements are, and if it sounds like you qualify have someone come to take a look at it. We didn't have to replace it with the exact same mattress, so you could get a non-pillow top and use a topper pad, as has been suggested.
posted by Bresciabouvier at 7:45 AM on August 28, 2012

Here's a potential fix: Buy a featherbed or 3-inch memory foam topper. Flip the mattress onto the wrong side. Top with whatever topper you picked. Maybe this way you can flip the mattress periodically despite having a one-sided pillow-top, and the indentations will level out.
posted by palliser at 9:58 AM on August 28, 2012

My wife was sure it was the fault of the split box spring, but we now have some other places to investigate. Thanks everyone.
posted by scottso17 at 7:09 PM on August 29, 2012

How did this turn out? I'm considering buying a (non-pillowtop!) mattress from Macy's and I'm curious how good they are about replacement for sagging.
posted by needs more cowbell at 9:50 AM on January 12, 2013

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