It is the most important tool in ensuring you get a good night’s sleep. The mattress should not only support your body weight but ensure your spine curves gently in all the right places.
When we are comfortable, we fall in love with our mattress and so it comes as no surprise that we tend to hold on to our ‘comfy’ mattress for far too long. With the news that we should be changing our mattress every six to eight years, comes heartache at bidding our mattress goodbye.
But here’s the good news: there is a mattress out there that is just as comfortable. Even better news, there are ways in which you can ensure your mattress continues to perform by offering comfort and support, and for as long as possible.
The time has come to give your mattress a little care and attention. Here are our five top tips for maximising the lifespan of your mattress.
#1 Rotate It
The natural spread of our body weight means that there is more pressure on some areas of the mattress that others. There is more pressure on the head of the mattress than the foot of it and thus, over the years can lead to uneven surface wear.
And so, the stock advice was to turn your mattress every six to seven months. Being an unwieldy thing, for small double, double or king-sized mattresses you will need help to do so. But with so many different types of mattresses on the market today, you need to be aware what each mattress type says about the ‘turning rule’.
- Memory foam mattresses – the idea behind this material is that it ‘remembers’ where it needs to dip and where it needs to offer a different level of support. This mattress moulds to your contours so that you remain supported throughout the time that you sleep. Most memory foam mattresses are ‘no flip’ – that is, there is no need to turn it 180° degrees – but most people agree that the occasional turn won’t do any harm. However, read the mattress label!
- Sprung pocket mattresses – the jury is out on whether you really need to turn or flip a pocket sprung mattress with some saying that the ‘no turn’ rule means uneven wear whereas manufacturers say that there are times when you should leave your mattress well alone… again, follow the instructions or if you feel that the mattress is not wearing evenly, give is a 180° spin every now and then.
#2 Use a Mattress Cover
It is amazing what the mattress is exposed to: dust and dust mites, microscopic flakes of dead skin, grease, oil, body hair… the list could go on but you get the picture.
Keeping your mattress clean is essential in helping it stand firm against what is thrown at it. And that means using a mattress cover as a protective layer.
As you would expect, there are all kinds of products on the market and all purport to be the best:
- Winter – for an extra layer of warmth, some people use a sheepskin mattress protector. It gives a delicious soft undercoat to your sheets.
- Summer – there are various mattress protectors that promise a cooler night’s sleep, perfect for hot, sticky summer nights when sleep is almost impossible.
- Padded – there are some mattress protectors that also offer softness in the shape of padding or a quilted finish. Easy to wash and dry, they make protecting the mattress easy.
- Complete protection – there are some mattress protectors that act like an envelope on the mattress. Covering the whole mattress and closed by the means of a zip, it protects all the mattress from everything, dust and dust mites included.
#3 Banish the Dog and/or Cat!
There are two factors at play here; dust and dirt and, with dogs, their additional weight on the mattress.
- Dust and dirt – like most soft furnishings, the factor that causes the most problems with material and fabrics is the abrasive nature of dirt. As well as dropping unseen dirt, there could be fleas to contend with as even the most pampered pooch is at the mercy of the common cat fleas (which affects dogs too). The best move is to make sure that Fido and Tiddles have luxury beds of their own and don’t share yours.
- Additional weight – the added weight of a dog (or two, or more) will mean that your mattress is working extra hard to give you the comfortable, but supportive sleeping platform you need. Some larger dogs can be the equivalent weight of a child or a small human, adding considerable extra stress to your mattress. Again, their own bed is the best solution.
#4 Make It Part of Your Cleaning Regime
Just like you clean the shower and vacuum the carpet, taking time at least every few weeks to give your mattress a clean. It takes only a matter of minutes but can add to the useful lifespan of your mattress.
Using the soft furnishings nozzle on your vacuum, give your mattress a thorough vacuuming from time to time. Concentrate on the corners and around the seams of the pocket sprung mattress or lightly vacuum the top and side of your memory foam mattress. Do this as often as you change your bed and rest easy at night, knowing you have a spotlessly clean mattress to sleep on.
#5 Other Tricks…
- Airing – when you change your bed, allow the mattress to ‘air’. Warmer European countries have long appreciated improving mattresses and bedding by hanging in the sun by throwing open the bedroom windows or even hanging bedding from balconies.
- Stain removal – from time to time, stains can appear on the mattress and again, dealing with them helps your mattress to last longer. There are various remedies you can use but don’t use too chemical that are too strong as this can thin the material of the mattress. Before cleaning the whole thing, do a spot test on the fabric and unless you need to deodorise the whole mattress, spot clean the stain only.
Look after your mattress and it will look after you.