A good mattress should last between seven and 10 years. However, to get the most out of yours — and maximise its effective lifespan — you will need to take some precautions. Your mattress is crucial to the standard of sleep you enjoy, and therefore your overall standard of life. To make sure yours is always in tip-top condition, follow these seven relatively simple mattress care tips.
1. Clean your bedding regularly
Every time you sleep, your body is producing oils. These oils rub off onto your sheets or duvet cover, and they eventually find their way into your mattress. Over time, these oils destroy the fibres of a mattress, and they can even cause rust in the springs. Clean all of your bedding at least once a week to slow down the process of moisture transferral.
2. Fit a mattress cover
A mattress cover is basically an addition to your existing mattress — delivering protection and added comfort. It can be made from a range of materials, but the most popular versions are a combination of foam and a waterproof covering. Fitting a cover onto your mattress stops oils and other forms of moisture from penetrating the outer layer of your mattress; it may also prolong the life of springs.
3. Rotate your mattress every three months
The constant pressure of your weight on springs and the internal structures of your mattress can cause it to become permanently deformed over time. To ensure even wear and tear, flip your mattress at least every three months. This will give the internal structures time to recover and return to their original state.
4. Clean your mattress regularly
Dust particles can actually cause damage to the surface of a mattress over time. It is therefore essential that you clean yours once a month. Vacuum all surfaces thoroughly before you start cleaning. Some people use a dedicated mattress spray for cleaning, while others rely on a homemade remedy of bicarbonate of soda, alcohol spray and essential oil.
Another effective way of cleaning a mattress involves the use of a steam cleaner, which uses superheated steam to kill bacteria and remove dirt.
5. Guard against bed bugs
While you might think that your mattress is spotlessly clean, the chances are it has at least some microscopic creatures living on it. Larger bed bugs, however, are visible to the naked eye, although you need to really look for them to find them.
If you spend any time in a hotel, check the mattress for bed bugs using a torch. These nasty creatures can get onto your clothing very easily, which means you run the risk of transferring them onto your own mattress when you return home.
As a final precaution, wash all of your clothes on a hot wash after staying in a strange bed. While this might seem a little over the top, it’s a lot easier (and cheaper) than hiring an exterminator or buying a new mattress.
6. Don’t eat in bed
While you might like midnight feasts whilst watching your favourite TV boxsets in bed, your mattress certainly does not. Tiny crumbs, food debris and grease can permanently damage a mattress and cause lasting odours. Anything wet has the potential to cause rust in the springs too. Food can attract pests, and surely that’s the last thing you want to invite into your bed.
7. Keep pets away
Any pet owner knows how hard it is to say no to a dog or cat when it tries to snuggle on its owner’s bed. However, pets salivate, sweat and drop hair and dander all the time. There’s also the chance that your pets might bring nasty critters from outside into your bed. And if all that’s not reason enough to keep your dogs off your mattress, there’s always the potential for little accidents — which can often cause permanent damage.
Keeping your bed protected from potential accidents, dirt, dust, allergens, pests and food, you should be able to maximise its life expectancy.