Should You Keep A Mattress From A Previous Relationship?

5 min read

Last Modified 2 June 2021 First Added 6 September 2016

By Leigh Horan

The aftermath of the end of an important relationship can sometimes be jarring or unsettling. In such a time of upheaval it can be tempting to cling on to what’s familiar, even if the memories attached to the things you associated with that other person are negative ones. For some people however, getting rid of everything you shared or owned with a former flame is the only way to move forward both independently and with a new love.

But what happens when the things you shared with this person were necessary for everyday life? It’s simple enough to discard a comfy t-shirt or a novelty mug, but making the decision to get rid of something as intrinsic as the mattress you sleep on every night is a bit more of a challenge.

A fresh start

It’s generally considered wisest to get rid of the various imprints your old relationship left on your life. Not only does it feel cathartic to cut all ties with a situation that didn’t make you both happy, but it leaves space for a new person who may be the right one for you. The obvious things to get rid of include sentimental gifts and photographs, but sometimes bigger items can leave a hovering question mark over your home. Mattresses can be important purchases, so if you owned one with your ex, or shared one with them for a significant enough amount of time that it feels like theirs too, then considering getting rid of it can be a difficult decision to make.

image of toy bears on bed

Emma Johnson at Elle magazine says a mattress is one of the three key things you should part with after a long-term relationship. She believes it can hold an intense amount of energy from the amount of time you both spent there. The amount of activities that take place in, or on, a bed, can range from the romantic to the mundane, and can leave a reservoir of painful memories that are difficult to detach from the piece of furniture that features in all of them.

If you’re finding that where you sleep is less a place of respite and more a space you dread to see the ghosts of former romances, then it’s best to get rid of what’s causing you so much stress. Closing that chapter on your life could be as simple as investing in a new mattress. After all, ‘a marital bed is a marital bed’.

image of sad woman looking at photo

Negativity and your mattress

A bed is an intimate item and is used so regularly and synchronously by both partners that it would be difficult for it to not bring certain memories to mind. When you’ve moved onto a new relationship however, your mattress should only be a positive location.

Navigating a new relationship after you’ve been in a long one is difficult enough, and spending any time in a bed that your partner shared for a long time with someone else could make some people feel uneasy. If your partner expresses discomfort at your sleeping situation, and you’ve been considering upgrading your mattress anyway, then replacing your mattress may be a wise move.

Image of woman awake at night

Of course, mattresses need replacing after eight years to best provide you with the most support throughout the night, so buying a new mattress could benefit your new relationship in more ways than one. Sleeping on an old mattress can lead to sleepless nights which in turn can lead to increased stress and irritability between partners. Buying a new mattress will not only stop your partner from being miserable about the ties you still have to an ex, but it will stop you both from lying awake at night trying to find a comfortable spot on a mattress that’s seen better days.

To buy or not to buy

Of course, if your mattress is still in good condition, not yet eight years old and you feel no emotional connection to the item, then there’s no real need to replace it. However a new mattress will benefit your sleep enormously, providing you with the comfort and support so necessary to a restful night. In some cases buying a new mattress after the end of a relationship can benefit you enormously as you move forwards with your life. Not only this, but purchasing a new mattress is a rarer treat, improving your life enormously.

Image of couple happily talking in bed

To clarify we asked the users of Reddit’s R/relationships to see what they thought:

TofuQueen says ‘In my opinion it is impractical to replace your mattress if your relationship changes. Granted there may be some instances where you might want to replace your mattress, such as if it were a long term marriage or if there was infidelity in the relationship, a new mattress may represent a cleansing. However I think it’s totally OK to keep a mattress from an old relationship, and it would be unreasonable if a new partner insisted on a new one.’ In fact, most people seem to share that sentiment. But Reddit isn’t a national representative – there are bound to be people who have done this, so we focused on the ‘cleansing’ part of the above statement and asked an expert. Carol M. Olmstead is an expert in Feng Shui and believes you should get a new mattress, as when you sleep on your old one ‘you sleep with the negative energy from your former lover.’

Whatever you decide, the decision is a big one, but if you have the option to buy a new mattress then this is the best time. After all, now you can buy a mattress that’s perfect for your sleeping habits and no-one else’s, with the option to spread your limbs over every inch of its surface . . .

Do you think you should discard a mattress from a previous mattress? Let us know about your thoughts in the comments section.

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