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Can I Put A Mattress on Top of Another Mattress?

Mattress Resources
Read Time: 7 minutes
FAST FACTS
  • Stacking mattresses can lead to uneven wear and tear, reducing the lifespan of both mattresses and potentially causing damage due to friction between the old and new mattresses.
  • The practice of stacking mattresses can compromise breathability, creating a barrier that restricts airflow and promotes heat retention, leading to uncomfortable and sweaty nights.
  • Stacking mattresses may void the warranty of the top mattress, as most manufacturers specify the need for proper support, and the practice can hinder ventilation, increasing the risk of moisture-related issues.
  • Health risks associated with old mattresses, such as inadequate support, accumulation of allergens, and potential mold growth, highlight the importance of proper mattress care and alternatives to stacking for a healthier sleep environment.

When it comes to finding the perfect sleep setup, many people wonder if it’s possible to put a mattress on top of another mattress. While it might seem like a convenient solution, stacking mattresses can lead to various issues that can compromise your sleep comfort and overall well-being. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the reasons why stacking mattresses is not recommended, alternative methods to achieve a taller bed height, and creative ways to repurpose your old mattress. So, let’s dive in!

Putting a new mattress on top of an old one after determining the correct side can be detrimental. This practice may diminish sleep comfort and lead to additional expenses compared to investing in modern mattresses or a new bed base. Ultimately, it can result in the deterioration of both mattresses over time.

Here are the primary reasons why you should refrain from placing a new mattress cover atop an old one and why seeking a more suitable method for supporting a mattress is advisable.

Potential Damage to Your Mattresses

One of the main reasons why stacking mattresses is not recommended is because it can cause damage to your two mattresses together. When you place a new mattress on top of an old one, the top part of the old mattress will rub against the bottom of the new one, affecting how the top mattress supports you. This rubbing can lead to uneven wear and tear, reducing the lifespan of both mattresses. Additionally, if your old mattress is misshapen or sagging, it can further impact the support and comfort of the top mattress.

It Reduces Breathability

When you stack mattresses, it creates a barrier that restricts airflow, regardless of the materials used in both mattresses. This can be problematic for those who tend to feel hot while sleeping or live in warmer climates. The trapped heat and moisture can lead to uncomfortable and sweaty nights, even with a cooling mattress.

Additionally, the increased moisture creates an ideal breeding ground for mattress mold, dust mites, and fungi. These allergens and irritants can lead to allergic reactions and respiratory issues. While you can try to mitigate these issues by regularly airing out the mattress or using a mattress protector, the effort required may not be worth the benefits.

It Voids Your Mattress Warranty

Stacking mattresses goes against the recommended proper foundation and can void the warranty. Most mattress warranties specify that an unsupportive foundation can lead to premature sagging. Stacking mattresses can hinder proper ventilation and airflow, increasing the risk of moisture buildup, mold, mildew, and bacteria. All of these factors can void the mattress warranty. It is crucial to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and avoid stacking mattresses to ensure the warranty remains valid.

It Can Cause Movement and Slippage

Placing one mattress on top of another compromises the structural integrity of both mattresses. This can lead to natural wobbling, especially when getting in and out of bed or shifting positions during sleep. Even mattresses with edge support were not designed to support the weight of another mattress. The slipping and sliding of the stacked mattresses can compromise their structural integrity, potentially causing misshapen or broken internal springs.

Moreover, there is a risk of the top mattress slipping off the mattress stacks the bottom one, resulting in falls and injuries. For a steady sleeping surface and to avoid problems, avoid stacking mattresses on top of each other.

Health Risks of Old Mattresses

In addition to the drawbacks of stacking mattresses, there are also health risks associated with using old mattresses. An old mattress may not offer adequate support to the body, leading to improper spinal alignment, discomfort, and potential back pain. Sleeping on an unsupportive mattress can strain muscles and joints, causing stiffness and aches upon waking up.

Old mattresses can also accumulate dust mites, allergens, and bacteria over time. These microscopic organisms thrive in the warm and humid environment of older mattresses. The presence of allergens and bacteria can compromise indoor air quality and worsen respiratory conditions. Dust mites, in particular, can trigger allergies and respiratory issues.

Another concern with old mattresses is the potential for mold and mildew growth on soft mattresses. Moisture from sweat and humidity can penetrate the mattress, creating an environment conducive to mold and mildew development. Exposure to mold spores can trigger allergic reactions and respiratory problems.

Safer Ways to Achieve a Taller Bed

If you’re looking to increase the height of your bed, there are alternative methods that are safer and more effective than stacking mattresses. Let’s explore some of these options:

Bunkie Boards

A bunkie board is a thin and solid foundation typically made of wood or metal. Originally designed to replace a box spring underneath a bunk bed mattress, a bunkie board can be used with any type of mattress. Placing a bunkie board on top of your bed frame or platform can add some extra height to your mattress. However, keep in mind that the increase in height will be minimal since bunkie boards and box springs are generally thin, usually around 1 to 3 inches thick.

Mattress Toppers

A full-foam mattress topper is a thick layer of padding that can be placed on top of your existing mattress to add extra height and cushioning. This can make your bed feel more comfortable and give it a higher profile. Mattress toppers can also help with temperature regulation, making your sleep surface feel cooler. However, if you are satisfied with the feel of your current mattress, a mattress topper may not be necessary, as many toppers are designed to make a bed softer or firmer.

Bed Risers

Bed risers are simple devices that can be placed underneath the legs or corners of your bed frame to elevate the height of the bed. By using bed risers, you can increase the overall height of the bed, including the mattress. Bed risers are typically made of sturdy materials like plastic or metal and come in different sizes and heights to accommodate various bed frame styles and preferences. They also provide additional under-bed storage space.

Types of Mattresses

It’s important to note that all mattresses require proper support beyond what an old mattress can provide. Additionally, mattress types vary in quality, materials, and features. Researching and testing different mattresses is crucial to finding the one that suits your preferences and needs.

Memory Foam Mattresses

Memory foam mattresses are renowned for their contouring ability. They’re made of viscoelastic foam that responds to body heat and pressure, shaping the mattress to cover the sleeper’s form. These mattresses offer excellent pressure relief and motion isolation but may retain heat.

Latex Mattresses

Latex mattresses are crafted from natural or synthetic latex foam. They provide a responsive and buoyant feel, striking a balance between comfort and support. Recognized for their durability and hypoallergenic features, latex mattresses also provide excellent breathability.

Innerspring Mattresses

Innerspring mattresses, equipped with a network of metal coils or springs, deliver support and bounce. They offer a traditional feel with varying levels of firmness. Innerspring mattresses are recognized for good airflow but may have limited motion isolation.

Hybrid Mattresses

Hybrid mattresses blend elements of both foam and innerspring designs. They typically incorporate a wrapped coil support system to minimize motion transfer and multiple layers of foam or latex for enhanced comfort and support. The aim of hybrid mattresses is to combine the responsiveness of coils with the pressure relief of memory foam mattresses alone.

Air Mattresses

Air mattresses use air chambers as their primary support system. They’re often used temporarily, such as for camping or as guest mattresses.

Waterbeds

Waterbeds utilize water as their primary support system and come in two main types: hard-side and soft-side. Hard-side waterbeds feature a water chamber inside a wooden bed frame underneath them, while soft-side waterbeds resemble traditional mattresses with water-filled chambers. They offer unique body contouring but require maintenance and may have limited availability.

Finding the Right Bed Height

When determining the ideal bed height, it is important to consider your own comfort and ease of getting in and out of bed. Your feet should touch the floor comfortably when sitting on the edge of the bed without straining or dangling. The bed height should also be suitable for your body size and any specific needs you may have. Some taller individuals may prefer a higher bed for easier accessibility, while others may prefer a lower bed for a more minimalist look. Ultimately, the goal is to find a bed height that allows you to rest comfortably and get in and out of bed with ease.

FAQs

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Can I put a mattress on top of another mattress?

Yes, you can place one mattress or two box springs on top of another. This is often done for various reasons, such as adding extra height or softness to the bed, using an old mattress as a base for a new one, or makeshift bedding arrangements.

What are the benefits of stacking mattresses?

Stacking mattresses can offer added comfort, especially if the bottom mattress of the platform bed is firm and the top one is softer. It can also help in prolonging the life of a new mattress by providing extra support or protection.

Are there any downsides to stacking mattresses?

One of the main downsides is that it might not provide the ideal support and comfort that a proper foam mattress, bed frame, or foundation would. It may also invalidate the warranty of the top mattress, as manufacturers often specify proper support requirements.

Is it safe to put a mattress on top of another without a box spring or foundation?

It’s generally safe, but the overall comfort and support may be compromised without a suitable base. Using a solid, flat surface divan bed or a proper foundation between the mattresses is advisable for better support.

Can I use any type of mattress as a base for another?

While it’s possible to use different types of mattresses, it’s ideal to match them for better comfort and support. For instance, placing a softer mattress on top of a firmer one might provide a more balanced feel.

Will stacking mattresses affect the overall feel of the bed?

Yes, combining different mattresses can alter the feel of the bed. For instance, a plush mattress on top of a firm one might create a softer surface, while two firm side mattresses stacked together might make the bed excessively hard.

Conclusion

While it may be tempting to stack mattresses to achieve the desired bed height, it is not recommended due to potential damage, reduced breathability, warranty voiding, and the risk of movement and slipping. Instead, consider safer alternatives such as platform bed frames such as bunkie boards, mattress toppers, or bed risers to achieve the desired height without compromising your sleep quality or mattress longevity. By choosing the right method and following the manufacturer’s guidelines, you can create a comfortable and stable sleep surface that meets your needs.

Harrison Wall is Sleep Junkie’s business strategist and sleep analyst. He also authors posts on bedding and mattress accessories. Harrison regularly coordinates with new mattress companies and tests their products to determine what really helps you get better rest and have brighter mornings.

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