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How to Fix a Mattress that Sinks in the Middle

You probably think you’ll never need to know how to fix a mattress that sinks in the middle, right? Well, I didn’t either. Until a few months ago. And now I’m so glad I learned! Let me tell you why…

Almost twelve years ago, my husband and I were given a queen mattress as a wedding gift. It was such a blessing at the time because shelling out a few hundred dollars for  – well, anything – wasn’t in the budget. That mattress provided a nice place to lay our sleepy heads for well over a decade. Unfortunately, mattresses manufactured these days aren’t built to last much longer than ten years. A few months ago we finally decided to bite the bullet and buy a new one.

We were ecstatic when a friend told us about a store that sells surplus mattresses and models no longer being manufactured. They assured us we would be able to find a good deal on a great mattress.

The store was more of a warehouse, but there were definitely some good deals! So good in fact, that we decided to upgrade to a king sized mattress! We were able to purchase a king mattress for much less than a regular queen mattress. We were pumped at the thought of all that room we would each have.

It was delivered and set up. That night I jumped in bed ready to get comfortable, read a book, and then get some sleep.

But when I got in…I sank. I sank down a good 6-9 inches into the mattress. What? Weird. I hopped on over to the other side and it sank too. Seriously?

The sinking mattress was perplexing to me, especially since it was supposed to be a FIRM mattress. I always thought firm mattresses were like bricks. But no, this mattress was firm around the edges, it was firm right down the middle, but it was soft and sinking on either side where you sleep.


I’m really not that picky when it comes to sleep. Really, I’m not. I can sleep on a couch, the floor, just about anywhere. But trying to sleep on this king sized mattress was more like trying to sleep in a hammock. And if I wanted a hammock, I would have saved a few dollars and gotten a hammock. Know what I mean? :)

If this mattress was just taken off the manufacturing line and we had purchased it at a traditional retailer, we would have taken this sinking mattress back in a heartbeat. Or called the manufacturer. But no. We got ours from a discount store that wouldn’t take our mattress back.

All I knew is that I had to find a way to fix this sagging king size mattress and eliminate the 6-9 inch dip on both sides.

How to Fix a Mattress that Sinks in the Middle

I racked my brain for days and finally had a lightbulb moment. Pillows. They’re soft, squishy, small….maybe, just maybe they would help.

My husband and I arranged a couple of small pillows in between the mattress and box springs right where the dip was in the mattress. We held our breath and tried it out. MUCH better. A little off, but no sinking. We adjusted the pillows a bit more and voila! A non-hammock mattress. A normal mattress!

Maybe one day we’ll be able to get a new, better, non-sinking mattress. Until then, the pillows are doing the trick!

It seems kind of ridiculous to even have to share this information, but if any of you are suffering from a sinking mattress, I want you to know that placing a one or two pillows under it just may save your back. Or your marriage!

Have you ever had a mattress sink in the middle? Did you do anything about it?

  • Bobbiann February 18, 2013, 4:15 pm

    We got a cheap mattress too and, after a few months, it was sinking. I never thought of this solution—I’ll have to give it a try. Thanks!

  • Cathy March 9, 2013, 3:37 pm

    We actually bought a very expensive pillow top mattress about 4 years ago. We did not have the sinking problem. However, about 2 years latter. You could see the indentations where my husband and I sleep. It seems like no matter how much you spend on mattress’s these days. It is going to happen. I may just try that trick.

  • mendez May 16, 2013, 5:41 am

    Our bed was given to us a gift but turns out to be sinking and is killing our backs, I am definitely gonna try this seems like a “light bulb” idea thanks

  • Lissa June 7, 2013, 11:17 am

    Yep, recently I have began to feel that sinking feeling in my 9 year old mattress…luckily I have a surplus of pillows, so I will definitely be giving this a try.


  • Katherine June 29, 2013, 10:30 am

    What a great idea!! Worked perfectly!!

  • QuatroMama November 7, 2013, 1:17 pm

    We used 2×4 to support the boards underneath the box springs. So MUCH BETTER! Let me know if you need more info if the pillows start to fail ya…

  • Barbara Medeiros November 11, 2013, 2:44 pm

    wow our mattress is pretty old & have been thinking of getting a new one but due to finances we just got a 4 inch memory foam mattress pad, now I’m thinking when that quits to just replace that…seems new mattresses don’t last much longer. We have a wooden base with drawers so we don’t have a box spring, just plywood and I think that is what has made our mattress last so long!