All the Ways You Didn’t Know You Were Ruining Your Mattress

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You Didn’t Know You Were Ruining Your Mattress

Given that we spend around 26 years of our lives sleeping, how we care for our mattresses is critical. A bed, on the other hand, is simple to overlook. Most of the time, it’s hidden behind covers and too many throw pillows. We may not even think about it till it’s time to be replaced as long as it fulfills its duty.

Given that we usually spend between $450 and 2,500 for the luxury of better slumber, it requires adequate care and cleaning like any other significant investment in our houses. However, many of us unintentionally do things to our mattresses that shorten their usable life. Here are a few things to avoid if you want it to last longer.

Mattress coverings protect your sleeping haven from perspiration, spills, and stains, which can lead to mold and bacteria growth if left unattended. They also protect your skin from dust mites in the fibers, which can cause allergic reactions. Many water-resistant yet breathable choices are now available on the market instead of the cheap, plastic, and heated ones of the past. Forgetting to rotate the mattress is a common mistake.

Sides of mattresses that are exposed to significant pressure (usually around the hips and shoulders) tend to sag early. According to the Sleep Foundation, a regularly-rotated mattress will outlast a non-rotated one “possibly by a year or more.”

The owner’s handbook will tell you how often to rotate your mattress, but a decent rule of thumb is, it is once or twice a year for memory foam, latex, and modern innerspring mattresses. If your mattress is one-sided, skip the traditional flipping and instead rotate the top side of the mattress down to the foot side of the bed. (The only mattresses that should not be turned are those with a “zoned comfort system,” which provides extra support to specific body parts.)

It would really help if you never cleaned your mattress

Please don’t shoot the messenger, but dirty mattresses are revolting. They’re effectively bacterial graveyards for our spit, sweat, dead skin cells, and millions of dust mites who feed on our skin. At the same time, we sleep before dropping allergic turds, dying, and leaving their carcasses in the mattress fibers. (Yes, some mites will get through even with a mattress protector.) Vacuum the top area and sides of your mattress with the upholstery attachment every three months to eliminate unwanted intruders.

bouncing about on the bed

Parents who shout at their children to stop jumping on the bed aren’t just being cruel, they (we) are correct. It can cause significant injuries (especially if a window or ceiling fan is nearby), but the concentrated jolts of intense pressure can also cause lumps in the mattress’s internal structure. It can also damage the bed frame and weaken the innerspring. It’s a lousy concept all around and a win for grumpy parents everywhere.

You’re not washing your bedding enough

Sweat, pet dander, grime, and other debris collect on your sheets and eventually make their way into your mattress. Your mattress will stay fresher if you wash it weekly or at least every two weeks. Remember to clean any blankets or duvet covers with the sheets.

Keeping it out of the sun

A mattress is not a plant that needs sunlight to thrive, but exposing it to natural light has its advantages. While sunshine does not disinfect a mattress, it is a natural deodorizer that eliminates musty odors, and UV rays kill mold, bacteria, and mildew. A sunbath can also kill a large number of dust mites. Just make careful to bring it inside before the weather gets too wet outside.

Choosing the incorrect bed frame

Depending on the kind of mattress you buy, you might need to rethink the frame that supports it. Whereas most traditional mattresses could be supported by a box spring and slatted bed frame, modern, denser, heavier memory foam mattresses require a platform bed frame’s more powerful and durable framework. Follow the manufacturer’s guidance to ensure that your mattress lasts as long as possible.

Keeping it in the garage is a good idea (or basement)

Avoid bringing a mattress to an unfinished basement to hang out indefinitely if you wish to save it for future use. Wrap it in a protective mattress protector and then store it flat in a climate-controlled location after vacuuming it thoroughly. Leaving it upright in a garage or wet basement exposes it to humidity, mildew growth, bug infestations, and inner padding and coil migration, which will irreversibly ruin the cushion and render it unsuitable for sleeping. 

Ask Ameer

Ask Ameer

Ameer is the content director of Sleepingmentor, which means he not only reviews new mattresses, bedsheets, pillows, and mattress toppers every week, but also curates all the comparisons, best of pages, reviews pages, and vs pages on the site. He takes a straightforward, honest approach to his reviews. He covers sleep science by researching a lot on Google and finding meaningful content which entertains his users.

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