Staying with Family - Mattress Issue


We occasionally go down to visit my hubby’s brother’s family, and they always offer to let us stay. However, since they’ve moved house they have moved their old mattress to their spare bed. 

Unfortunately, I have noticed that the mattress causes me a bad back due to the dip in it. I have stayed a few times and not mentioned it but it’s gotten to the point where I can no longer stand to sleep in it. I’ve tried putting a camping mattress on it but it’s too noisy when I’m tossing and turning. Hubby won’t say anything to them as he feels he can’t tell them to buy a new mattress, so we shouldn’t stay there anymore. (Which I felt was a bit passive aggressive..) However, I would like to make them aware of it. Then coming to some solution where everybody is happy. I was thinking of mentioning it next time we’re down, maybe if it was ok to turn the mattress to see if it makes a diff. Failing that, offering to buy a mattress topper… and last resort to buy a “portable” one we take down with us every time. Unfortunately, I don’t get on with their sofas either so it can tend to aggravate anything else that’s hurting! (But I’ll keep the sofa issue to myself!) 

Do you think this is reasonable and not offensive? 



  • pinkshoes
    pinkshoes Posts: 20,055 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary Photogenic First Post
    I would just buy your own mattress topper then take it with you! They're only about £25 and roll up in a bag.

    I'm assuming you drive to visit and can just throw it into a car??

    I would then leave it in the hallway when you arrive, and if they question it, then just say you found the mattress hurt your back a lot last time so decided to bring your own topper with you! Make it sound like it's you that has a sensitive back! 
    Should've = Should HAVE (not 'of')
    Would've = Would HAVE (not 'of')

    No, I am not perfect, but yes I do judge people on their use of basic English language. If you didn't know the above, then learn it! (If English is your second language, then you are forgiven!)
  • I second a mattress topper.

    My own bed is probably the best part of nearly 20 years old. The mattress also, I can not afford to replace either and last year found it was causing me a lot of discomfort.

    After a bit of research, I bought a mattress topper and it's a game changer. I think it cost me about £35. But it is a thick one. Think it has pockets filled with fluff and is the best £35 I've spent. It is like sleeping on a cloud. I have since bought another one,  although the second one is thinner, the other was a bit too warm in the summer months, it still is wonderful to sleep on. 

    You don't need to spend a vast amount on one and this way you get a good night's sleep without the back pain.

  • TBagpuss
    TBagpuss Posts: 11,199 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited 13 September 2022 at 10:49AM
    I would tell them! 
    Most people don't sleep in their own spare beds so they aren't likely to know.
    Maybe mentin that unfortuantely you've found it causes you pain, that you are happy to bring a topper to see whether it helps .

    I would have thought that it's much more likely to cause offence if you refuse to stay with them without giving a reason. (I agree that telling them they need to buy a new mattress woukd be rude, but if what you say is 'unfortunately,we found tht sleeping on that bed left me in a lot of pain - I can bring a mattress toppper to try whether that helps, or we can arrange to stay at a hotel instead" isn't telling them that they need to spend money, it's letting them know that they haven't offended you but that you are not able to sleep on that bed as it currently is. 

    (What type of bed is it? my parents were looking into getting a new mattress for htie spare bed but realised that one of the wooden slats had brokene causing the bed to sag - fixing the slat was much cheaper than replacing the mattress, and solved the issue! Putting a board under the mattress may also help )
    All posts are my personal opinion, not formal advice Always get proper, professional advice (particularly about anything legal!)
  • Mojisola
    Mojisola Posts: 35,556 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary
    TBagpuss said:
    Most people don't sleep in their own spare beds so they aren't likely to know.
    Maybe mentin that unfortuantely you've found it causes you pain, that you are happy to bring a topper to sere whether it heps .
    I would do this as well.
    We stayed with friends who had moved to the country and had already had a stream of visitors staying with them.
    To make life easier for us, they gave us their bedroom and slept in their spare room.
    When we got up the next morning, they were up and ready to go out - to buy a new mattress!
    They hadn't slept well at all and were quite upset that they'd had so many friends and relations to stay and none of them had mentioned how awful the mattress was.
  • I know the pain! I’m currently sleeping on a mattress with a dip in and last night tried camper bed on top of mattress, not ideal.

    It will be some weeks before I can replace the mattress so may purchase a mattress topper in meantime, if that really does work? 
  • TripleH
    TripleH Posts: 3,018 Forumite
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post
    We have a mattress topper for our guest bed and haven't had complaints.
    When we travelled round Australia in a camper van we had an egg box mattress topper that worked well and wasn't too expensive although slightly strange to get used to.
    May you find your sister soon Helli.
    Sleep well.
  • My first thought is that they are trying to discourage visitors by having an uncomfortable bed. 

    Your husband needs to speak with his brother and tell him you love to visit but the mattress is uncomfortable. Are they planning on getting a new mattress (or topper)?

    Do they ever stay over with you? 
  • McKneff
    McKneff Posts: 38,819 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary First Post
    A mattress topper would just go down in the dip as soon as you lie on it.....

    The problem would still be there just a few inches higher up. 

    When you go to bed just try turning the mattress over and round....

    They won't notice....

    See what happend
    make the most of it, we are only here for the weekend.
    and we will never, ever return.
  • I was also thinking about you flipping the mattress when you go to go to bed. As the poster above said, they likely won't even notice, then if the problem persists, I'd get your husband to mention it to his brother. If it were me and my sister, I'd have no problem in asking her how long she'd had the mattress and explain it wasn't at all comfy.
  • I have this problem when I go to visit my parents, who have old mattresses with dips in. I'm too polite to complain to them, so I just sleep on the floor.
    Pensions actuary, Runner, Dog parent, Homeowner
Meet your Ambassadors


  • All Categories
  • 342.9K Banking & Borrowing
  • 250K Reduce Debt & Boost Income
  • 449.6K Spending & Discounts
  • 235K Work, Benefits & Business
  • 607.6K Mortgages, Homes & Bills
  • 172.9K Life & Family
  • 247.7K Travel & Transport
  • 1.5M Hobbies & Leisure
  • 15.9K Discuss & Feedback
  • 15.1K Coronavirus Support Boards