Extend The Life Of Your Mattress With These Simple Tips
Caring for your mattress might not be something you have given a lot of thought to. We often set them up then kind of forget about them. But did you know that if you follow some very simple steps, you could dramatically extend the life of your mattress? That means more comfortable nights of sleep!
Here are five very simple ways you can care for your mattress to get the best from it in the years to come.
1. Set It Up Right
There are a large number of people who buy a new mattress, only to plonk it straight onto an old and worn out box spring (read this article to find out if yours needs replacing). They then wonder after a month of use, why their wonderful new mattress is sagging.
The sagging in this case is not the fault of the mattress, but rather it has not been put on a stable platform. This will put extra pressure on the mattress, meaning not only will you be feeling uncomfortable on it, you’ll be potentially shortening the life of the mattress too.
Make sure your mattress is on a great, stable foundation to maximize both your comfort and the life span of your mattress.
A good mattress foundation is:
- above all else, it is flat and supportive
- if it is a box spring, it is in good condition with no worn out springs
- if it is a metal platform, it will have a reinforcement down the middle
- if it is a slat base it will have gaps no wider than three inches apart
Don’t put your mattress directly on the floor, it makes it easy to get dirty (which could void your warranty), encourages mold (as air cannot circulate around it) and invites creepy crawlies.
2. Look After The Edges
The edges of a mattress play an important role in helping you stay comfortable on the bed. Particularly if you like to sleep right against the edge (or perhaps you’re pushed there by a small child or dog who creeps into your bed during the night), or if you sit on the edge while you get dressed or put on shoes, etc.
The best way to look after the edges of your mattress is to try not to sit at the same point every time you sit down on the mattress, as this places pressure through the same spot each time. This will cause uneven wear. I know I’m guilty of this, I always sit on the same spot to put my socks on: right in front of my set of drawers!
Edge care will be factor if you have an all foam mattress, as they do not really have good edges anyway, but you still don’t want to wear the foam out in one spot. Looking after your edges will be very important for a hybrid mattress though: these have a reinforcing foam layer around the coils, which will provide you years of great edge support if you treat it right.
3. Use A Mattress Protector
Using a mattress protector is the simplest way to guarantee your mattress will stay clean and healthy. This is crucial for your warranty, as any stains that land on the mattress can void it.
Many mattresses have covers that are non removable, so a stain can cause a real headache (read on for tips on how to clean a mattress).
It is important to remember that many modern mattresses have materials such as cooling gel or latex or other materials that have a function that is more than just providing comfort: they act to control the temperature of the mattress. If you put a waterproof mattress protector on top of those materials, you will block the mattress from performing that function (another reason I see one star reviews that are not the fault of the mattress are people saying a mattress sleeps hot when it’s being used with a non-breathable mattress protector)
Your best choice for a mattress protector is therefore one that is made from a breathable fabric such as cotton or bamboo. This means it will not be fully waterproof (breathability and waterproofing are always a trade off), so if you do spill your morning coffee on the mattress you’ll need to act quickly to whip all your bedding off to prevent the stain going through.
4. Regularly Rotate Your Mattress
It is a good rule of thumb to rotate your mattress every three months. Why? So that it wears evenly by distributing the weight of people sleeping on it as widely across the mattress as possible.
Make sure you read the instructions from your manufacturer, as some will recommend you rotate the mattress every time you change the sheets (Linenspa I’m looking at you) while others might say you don’t need to rotate the mattress at all (this tends to be a recommendation for latex mattresses which are extremely cumbersome to maneuver but also the most durable mattress type).
I’ve got a whole article about rotating your mattress that you can read here.
Bonus tip: DO NOT flip your mattress unless the manufacturer specifically recommends it. Most modern mattresses are constructed with a top comfort layer and a bottom support layer, which means you cannot flip them.
5. Clean Your Mattress
It’s a great idea to regularly vacuum your mattress. This will keep it free of dust and allergens, making it a much nicer surface to sleep on.
Spot clean any marks as soon as you possibly can. Try to avoid getting it wet, as particularly for foam mattresses, it can be difficult to fully dry them back out again. Damp inside a mattress encourages mold to grow inside it.
Keeping your mattress clean and healthy will help you extend the life of your mattress.
I’ve got an entire post on how to clean your mattress here, it includes information on how to vacuum it and what to use for spot cleaning. Alternatively, you might enjoy this article on cleaning a mattress by Consumer Reports.
Bonus tip: DO NOT remove the cover from your mattress unless the manufacturer states the cover is removable. MANY mattresses come with a cover that is not removable. You can’t always tell just by looking at the mattress, because some covers have a zip that has been put there as part of the manufacturing process. Why would a company ask you to never reomove the cover? It might be very cumbersome and difficult to get back on. The mattress may have a fiberglass scrim (tough layer of cloth fabric) as the federally required fire retardant, which you do not want to disturb.