Tips for Making a Mattress Last Longer

The following are tips for making a mattress last longer. A mattress is a significant investment for many people, and they will want it to last as long as possible. The average lifetime of a mattress is around 5 - 10 years. By using our advice on making a mattress last longer you can extend this.

If your mattress is delivered in compressed form, unwrap it and leave it in a ventilated room to expand to its correct size. Do not leave it in a garage or shed where it may get damp and make sure you have removed all plastic packaging that can lead to mildew if left attached to your mattress. Here are some ways of extending the life of a mattress once you have it on the bed.

1. Protect the Mattress with a Mattress Protector

Mattress protectors generally come with elasticated sides that can stretch over the mattress. A waterproof or water-resistant protector will help keep your mattress dry in the event of spillages or 'accidents.' Such waterproof covers tend to be made of plastic or vinyl, and ordinary covers/protectors can be made from such fibers as bamboo, polyester and cotton to keep the mattress clean.

2. Use a Mattress Pad

One of the best tips for making a mattress last longer is to use a mattress pad. This is a thin pad that lies on top of the mattress providing a better barrier to perspiration and other bodily fluids than a cover. The pad can also be used to modify your sleeping surface. They are available in a range of thicknesses from less than inch upwards.

The thinner pads are used for protection and can be machine washed. Try to buy a mattress pad with a high thread count in its cover. The higher the thread count, the more resistant it will be to liquids, dust and dust mites. The same is true of a mattress protector: you can use that with the pad! A protector and mattress pad can be very important in making a mattress last longer.

3. Clean Your Bedding Regularly

Your body produces perspiration and body oils 24/7. These are soaked up by your bedding which can then transfer the contamination to your mattress. Try to clean your bedding regularly – once a week is good! Most mattress protectors and pads are machine washable.

4. Don't Forget to Clean Your Mattress

Many people clean their bedding regularly but do not clean their mattress. You should clean your mattress on a regular basis and clean crib mattresses at least once a month.

Human adults shed over half a million skin cells every hour. If you spend about a third of each day in bed, you shed around 4 million skin cells every night. That's a lot of dust! Not only that, but dust mites feed on these skin cells. Some estimates reckon that there could be well over 5 million dust mites in an old mattress – even up to 10 million.

Dust mites don't bite you, but many people are allergic to them, particularly those suffering from hay fever. But what has this to do with the life of your mattress? Dust can cut into the fibers of your mattress – even dried up skin cells have sharp edges! So apart from the health issues, dust can reduce the effective life of a mattress.

Vacuum your mattress at least monthly. A regular vacuum can prevent all these skin cells penetrating deep into your mattress. Use the upholstery attachments for this in order to avoid damaging the mattress cover. Also wash any mattress protectors or mattress pads at least monthly.

5. Rotate and Flip Every 3 – 4 Months

Rotate your mattress around 4 times a year. Rotating means turning it so the foot of the mattress becomes the head. Irrespective of manufacturers' claims, rotation can definitely extend the life of a mattress. Some mattresses can also be flipped, where you turn it over so that the side in contact with the foundation becomes the sleeping surface.

You cannot flip all mattresses because some are designed and constructed to be used on one side only. For example, a memory foam top with an innerspring base cannot be flipped. However, a 100% foam mattress often can be. Turning, and flipping where this is possible, changes the distribution of your weight on the mattress, so it is less likely to sag or form indentations due to the pressure of your body.

6. Your Bed is For Sleeping In!

Your bed is for sleeping in, not for eating in. If you must eat in bed then clear away any dropped food, crumbs or debris immediately. These are magnets for tiny insects, molds and other microorganisms. Once these get into your mattress, they are difficult to remove.

The same goes for pets. Human skin is bad enough, but do you really want cat or dog skin cells to contaminate your mattress – along with what else might be on their paws? Give your pets their own bed, and keep them off your mattress. Their claws can damage the mattress surface, particularly any mattress protector you use.

Tips for Making a Mattress Last Longer: Summary

Making a mattress last longer is a simple matter of keeping it clean, rotating and flipping to spread the wear more evenly and remembering that a bed is for sleeping in – not for eating or for pets. Protection from fluid spillages, regular cleaning and proper care can add years to the life of any mattress.

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