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Got a Squeaky Mattress? Here's How to Fix It

by Pam Silvia

While coil mattresses balance and distribute weight while cradling your body in supportive comfort, they may not outlast their foam and hybrid counterparts. A symptom of having an older coil mattress is nightly squeaking that robs you of precious slumber. Alternatively, you may be sleeping on a foam mattress and still be a victim of disruptive noise — in which case, your bed frame or box spring may be to blame. 

Read our guide to learn how you can eradicate that wretched squeaking once and for all.

Check Your Bed Frame and Box Spring

man using his hands to tighten up a bolt while assembling his bed frame

More often than not, the speaking that you hear at night may be coming from your bed frame or box spring—regardless of the type of mattress you’re sleeping on. Here are some tips.

Bed Frame

To check whether your bed frame is responsible for those nighttime squeaks, you’ll have to closely inspect for loose bolts and/or warped wood if your frame is wooden. If the bolts on your bed frame become loose, it might become wobbly, and similarly, warped wood may result from a water stain or change in humidity, leading to a weaker construction and thereby causing a squeak. Luckily, both are easy fixes if you find them askew.

To fix loose bolts, use a wrench to ensure they are tight. If you’re dealing with a warped wooden frame, it might be helpful to place a thin piece of plywood underneath your mattress or box spring to make your base firmer and minimize the squeak. That said, this cushioning is a temporary fix until you look to replace your damaged bed frame.

Box Spring

This measure should really be taken if no other method yields results. If you’re really having trouble getting rid of the squeak, try flipping over the box spring and then cutting a small hole in the fabric that covers the springs. Make sure you have WD-40 or a water-displacing spray that acts as a lubricant or rust removal product and spray each individual spring (or anywhere there is metal) to lubricate the areas that may be the culprits for the squeaks. Once you’re done, use a stapler to reseal the backing of the box spring. Replace both the box spring and mattress on the bed frame and hope for the best.

Rotate Your Mattress

If you’ve determined that the noise isn’t coming from your bed frame or box spring, it’s likely that your mattress is to blame — especially if the squeak is located under where you normally sleep. Ideally, you should be rotating your innerspring mattress once every six months to spread out the wear and tear that comes with sleeping in the same position every night. This habit ultimately prolongs the lifespan of your mattress, circumventing issues such as sagging and — you guessed it — squeaking.  In a pinch, rotating your mattress may be a temporary fix, as it helps minimize the traction on the squeaks.

Consider Buying a New Mattress

couple laughing, enjoying shopping together for a new bed

Ultimately, a squeaky mattress is often a sign that it’s time to buy a new one. Given that mattresses should ideally be replaced every 7 to 10 years for optimal comfort and hygiene, we implore you to reassess the quality of your sleep surface. When shopping for a new mattress, it is in your best interest to explore different comfort levels (e.g., plush, medium, and firm), mattress types (e.g., memory foam, innerspring, and hybrid), and reputable brands.

To avoid future instances of squeaking, you might want to consider looking into a hybrid or memory foam mattress for your next model, as these are designed to last longer and minimize sagging. In addition, all-foam mattresses won’t run into the issue of a squeaky spring.

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