Buying a new mattress is almost equivalent to buying a new car.
Both are just as essential for your comfort as the presence of oxygen in the air we breathe. The right mattress ensures that you wake up well-rested and ready to take on the tasks of the day head-on.
If you are interested in finding out the ideal mattress care routine, then you’ve come to the right place!
Let us start by debunking some popular mattress myths. First off, you don’t necessarily have to change one every seven to ten years or so.
Depending upon the use and your mattress care routine, you may even need to switch it for a new one within four to five years or fewer.
A mattress’s life span depends upon a few important factors, like:
- Sweat exposure
- 1 Maintenance and Care
- 2 Types of Mattresses
- 3 How to Prolong Your Mattress Life?
- 4 How Often should you Flip/Rotate a Mattress?
- 5 How Do you Deep Clean a Mattress?
- 6 How Often Should you Deep Clean a Mattress?
- 7 How to Remove Stains from the Mattress?
- 8 What Results in the Mattress Stinking?
- 9 Conclusion
Maintenance and Care
Another prevalent myth is that a firm mattress is best for your back. While this is true for some, it is not the case for everyone.
A good mattress is one that conforms to the shape of your body while simultaneously providing support to the spinal cord.
It is also essential that you know that a mattress isn’t always a perfect fit from the moment you buy it.
While we recommend conducting a sleep test before making your purchase, it also essential that you know that much like a shoe, you have to break in a new mattress.
You may be inclined toward buying the mattress with the most extended warranty.
However, contrary to popular belief, that is not equivalent to making a lifelong investment. Your decision should always be based on comfort and comfort alone.
Once you select the one you find most comfortable, you can prolong its lifetime with the right amount of maintenance and care.
The regime you follow determines how long you will obtain a peaceful night’s sleep. It also plays a vital role in dispelling infections and bacteria that could cause skin diseases and allergies.
A little hygiene never hurt anyone.
Before you start your mattress care regime, you must understand the specific requirement of each and what needs to be done to prolong their life.
Types of Mattresses
When you step into the market to buy a mattress, the plethora of options available may easily confound you. To help you make a decision, we are listing down eight prevalent mattress choices.
A memory foam mattress contains multiple layers of foam that prevent it from sagging early on.
Side sleepers, in particular, prefer it as it conforms to their body while providing the required level of support. For those who prefer a softer surface to rest on, this is the ideal choice for them.
Foam mattresses absorb and retain body heat, which can leave you feeling sweaty and stuffy as the night progresses.
If you aren’t particularly keen on waking up with a sweat trail on the mattress, then you can opt for a smart gel mattress instead.
They feature a layer of cooling gel either atop the foam or in the support layer.
The gel dissipates the heat of your body, keeping you fresh and comfortable all night long, providing you with the all-night rest your body needs.
People who prefer memory foam may prefer a pillow-topped mattress.
It provides a similar cushiony feel, letting the mattress and pillow top semi-engulf the body while providing it with the necessary support.
Spring mattresses rely on coils to provide internal support. The number and placement of coils determine how well it conforms to the body and the quality of support it offers to one’s back.
If you are one who continuously switches sleeping positions, then this could be the perfect one for you.
As the name suggests, a waterbed primarily uses water to provide support in combination with foam or fibers. You can choose from two main types of waterbeds.
One has free-flowing liquid while the other restricts the flow of water. This mattress is ideal for those who sleep on their back
Depending on your preferred firmness levels, you can select from either of the two types.
Air beds are more technologically advanced than others. They use air combined with foam or fiber upholstery to provide support to the user.
They are ideal for couples who prefer different firmness levels as they allow you to increase or reduce air pressure on each side.
There are three types of latex foams used in mattresses, which people now prefer over memory foam. Latex is considered more durable and long-lasting compared to memory foam.
While memory foam is made only from synthetic materials, you can get a latex mattress made from natural materials.
Adjustable bases mattresses come with moveable bases that you can adjust as per your preferences.
They are often utilized to treat certain medical conditions like sleep apnea. They prove beneficial for targeted sleep problems such as muscle spasms, back pain, heartburn, etc.
Whatever mattress you may be using, there are specific steps you can take to prolong its life. The tips we are about to mention work well for all mattress types discussed above except for water and air beds.
We suggest you check the manufacturer’s instructions to maintain those mattresses.
How to Prolong Your Mattress Life?
The average lifespan of a mattress is around five to seven years. If you buy a good quality mattress, then it may end up serving you well for approximately six to seven years.
If you want to prolong its lifespan further, then you don’t need to take extensive measures. Here are a few simple steps that you can follow to ensure your bed lives a long and healthy life.
If you want to keep your bed protected from spills, dirt, and stains, then a mattress cover is the way to go. It fits like a thin bed sheet encasing its sides as well as the top of the mattress.
You can choose from either a naturally produced cover or a synthetically produced one.
For people with children or for adults who require incontinence care, we suggest you opt for a waterproof cover.
It keeps out liquids, which helps avoid stains and reduces the chances of an insect infestation.
Change Sheets Once or Twice a Week
Our bodies naturally produce oils that seep onto our bedsheets as we sleep. Body oils that make their way into the mattress can cause massive destruction, taking apart the mattress fiber by fiber.
To avoid that from happening, you need to wash your bed sheets and mattress cover once a week at least.
Think of a mattress pad as insurance for your bed. If your bed is susceptible to bodily fluids or water spills, you need a pad to save yourself from the hassle of soaking up and drying your bed every two days or so.
Rotate Your Mattress
Continuous pressure on just one side of the mattress compresses it from one side.
For even weight distribution, we suggest you rotate your mattress frequently to ensure that there isn’t excessive pressure on just one side.
Doing so will ensure the bed doesn’t lose its shape, firmness, and texture so that it lasts longer.
Avoid Bed Bugs
Bed bugs eat away at the fibers of your bed. Once your room gets infested with them, getting rid of them is a time consuming and labor-intensive task.
For a severe case of bug infestation, you may need to use harmful chemical sprays that can also deteriorate the texture, shape, and form of your mattress.
Dust particles that embed themselves deep into the fibers of the bed act like tiny shards of glass and can potentially slice through the threads.
If allowed to accumulate in your bed for long periods, then the dust can end up destroying your mattress.
Keep Pets Away
While we understand that you may want to keep your pets close at all times, you cannot let them scratch at your bed.
You must keep them away from the mattress, especially when changing the sheets and cover.
The pattern on the mattress attracts them, and they may want to get to the bottom of it, which can be a nightmare for you.
How Often should you Flip/Rotate a Mattress?
Sleeping on a sagging mattress is not the most appealing of thoughts, nor is it comfortable. It indicates that your mattress is dying, after having spent years in an abusive relationship.
If a good night’s rest is what you seek, then you need to pour in love, care, and attention into your bed. One way to do that is by rotating your mattress regularly.
Rotating helps keep your mattress in good shape by ensuring equal weight distribution. You don’t want to exert pressure on just one side of the bed continuously.
Uneven weight distribution damages the integrity of the mattress. When one side bows down more than the other, the fibers of the mattress may break, eventually resulting in a lumpy and deformed bed.
To avoid that, we suggest you rotate the mattress at least once every three months. Doing so can have it looking and feeling as good as new for longer.
However, as it ages, you need to rely more on your instinct. If you feel it sag from one side before the three-month cycle is over, then you can turn it earlier than you need to.
There is no science to rotating a mattress. It depends upon the weight it bears, frequency of use, mattress quality, and age.
Mattresses 5 years or older may not only need rotation but may also require to be flipped over once in a while. Doing so also helps in ensuring that you clean your mattress from all sides.
How Do you Deep Clean a Mattress?
Deep cleaning is a little more extensive than your day to day mattress care regime.
Besides regularly changing bed covers and sheets, you also need to remove debris, food particles, and dust that may have accumulated in your mattress.
To do that, you need to follow these few simple steps.
Before you start the cleaning process, make sure you open the doors and windows to let in air and allow for cross ventilation.
A well-aerated room is ideal as it enables the mattress to dry out after you are done shampooing and wiping away stains and dirt.
It also ensures that you don’t end up breathing in dust particles and chemicals as you get on with your cleaning regime. Besides, letting in sunlight is a healthy practice as it kills bacteria present in the atmosphere.
Remove the sheets, cover and mattress pad
The next step involves stripping the bed of all covers.
There is a technique you need to employ here to ensure you don’t end up transferring the dust particles from the sheets to the mattress. That’s just more vacuuming.
Start from the corners and tug them out from under the bed and then fold them over. Then, take the sides of the sheets/cover and fold them up and over to the center.
Then proceed to fold it into a rectangle and remove it from the bed.
Follow the same steps with the mattress pad, but be sure to clean up any spilled liquid in case of any embarrassing situations.
Once you strip them off the bed, you can place them in the washer while you proceed to deep clean the mattress.
Vacuum the Mattress
We are now at the most crucial step of all. For those suffering from allergies, regularly vacuuming your bed is essential.
Doing so removes not only dirt but also eliminates bacteria and fungal spores that may thrive in your humid room.
Start the cleaning with a standard upholstery brush and run it over the entire mattress, starting from the top to the bottom and then side to side.
Use the same attachment to vacuum over the sides of the mattress before switching over to the crevice attachment. With it, go over corners and seams of the bed.
Make sure to clean the area attached to the bed frame on both sides.
To get rid of allergens in the air and the mattress, make sure you use a vacuum with a High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter.
It ensures that all dust particles and even the smallest of bacteria get sucked in.
Deodorize the Bed
Deodorizing is essential as it gets rid of all nasty smells that may disturb your sleep.
The process does not entail using perfumes or aerosol sprays. The chemical present in perfumes can stain and ruin the mattress.
To naturally rid your bed of all nasty smells, sprinkle baking soda all over the mattress and let it rest for 24 hours. If you are in a hurry, then you can move on to the next step in 30 minutes.
However, we suggest you let it be for as long as you possibly can, with 24 hours being the recommended waiting period.
Baking soda not only absorbs smell but also rids the mattress of unnecessary moisture.
If your bed ends up retaining moisture, the fibers of the foam may rot over time or the coils in spring mattress rust and start creaking over time.
They also lose their flexibility, which is why we suggest that you do not skip out on the baking soda.
After you’ve let the baking soda rest for as long as need be or as long as you possibly can, then re-vacuum the mattress.
Again, we recommend using one with a HEPA filtration system as it sucks up the tiniest of particles from even the unreachable depths of the mattress.
Repeat the process using the upholstery and crevice attachments as recommended in the previous step.
Disinfect the Mattress
To maintain a clean bed, you have to disinfect it regularly, especially after someone who’s severely ill utilizes it.
You can do that by lightly spraying the area with a diluted bleach mixture and wiping it away with a clean piece of cloth.
To make the spray, mix two fluid ounces of bleach with a gallon of water and pour it in a spray bottle.
Make sure you do not add any other ingredients to the mix, and, of course, ensure that you follow safety guidelines when handling bleach. Wear goggles, a mask, and gloves when combining the disinfectant.
You can also use hospital-grade disinfectant sprays like Lysol spray. It eliminates 99.9% of viruses and bacteria. It also helps eliminate fungi and prevents the growth of mold and mildew over time.
Get Rid of Dust Mites
Dust mites are everywhere and can easily hop back on to your bed after you finish vacuuming.
To ensure they are truly gone, you can use an essential oil spray that will not only kill them but also prevent them from coming back.
In a separate spray bottle, combine 16 fluid ounces of distilled water with around two teaspoons of essentials oils. The essential oil combination must include at least three or four of the following:
- Tea tree
These scents eliminate dust mites and also act as repellants. Make sure you allow the mattress to dry out completely before you proceed with the spreading out clean bed sheets and covers.
While we are on the subject, we would like to advise that you get a waterproof mattress cover as it has uncountable benefits.
Typically, a mattress pad provides the ideal protection against water and other fluids. However, if you do not want to add another layer to clean every week, you can instead get a waterproof cover.
It works incredibly well and not only saves your mattress from liquid, but in the long run, it also protects against insects, mold, fungi, and rotting.
How Often Should you Deep Clean a Mattress?
An average mattress, if left unattended for long, can be home to over 2 million dust mites.
However, deep cleaning it every week or so is going a bit overboard. We want you to sleep on a clean, well-deodorized mattress, but we also don’t want you to wear it out due to excessive cleaning.
Ideally, you should deep clean quarterly or when the season changes. The transition period is when larvae and dormant insects raise their heads and begin their search for new places to nest.
During this time, you should not only deep clean your mattress but also your entire house.
You won’t always be able to follow through with such an extensive cleaning process four times a year. At the very least, you should clean, disinfect, and deodorize twice a year.
We still suggest that you try your best to conduct the mattress care routine as recommended.
How to Remove Stains from the Mattress?
A stained mattress is the ugliest sight in the entire world, and it is also an embarrassment for the owner.
You will forever be ashamed if anybody besides family finds out there is a healthy layer of sweat or oil staining the bed.
The worst part is that sweat or makeup stains, if allowed to sit for long, become harder to clean. They become so embedded in the fibers of the mattress that getting them out turns into a tiring workout.
Not to mention how harmful the excessive scrubbing becomes for the mattress. It pulls at the fabric and can end up destroying the encasing exposing the foam and coil.
The best way to deal with stains is to discover and remove them timely, which is why you should watch out for them every time you change sheets.
Couples with young children undergoing potty training understand the pain of urine stains, ruining a perfectly good mattress.
Not to worry, though, cleaning them need not be as daunting a task as we deem it to be. Follow these few simple steps to get rid of any type of stain.
A mixture of baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and dish soap works wonders on urine stains. Combine half a teaspoon of dish soap with three tablespoons of baking soda and 240 ml of hydrogen peroxide in a bowl.
Dip a clean cloth in the liquid and lightly dab it on the stain. Leave the area uncovered and let it dry completely.
Do not drench your mattress with the liquid as that can turn into a nightmare for you.
Drying it out will take ages, and if you cover it while there is still moisture, then the liquid combined with urine can stink up the entire room.
Baking soda and dish soap not only take out the stain but also effectively rid the mattress of the smell of urine.
If the mark remains, then mix laundry powder with water to make a thick paste. Apply that on the stained area and let it dry before scraping it off with a knife.
It should get rid of not only the smell but also the mark.
Yellow Sweat Stains
There are multiple home remedies you can use to get rid of yellowish, unattractive sweat stains from your mattress, as well as your white tees.
Combine equal parts of vinegar with water and apply it to the affected area. Wipe it away with cold water and let it dry.
It should get rid of the stain and leave the surface, looking brand new.
Make sure you do not use a steam cleaner after you spot treat with a vinegar solution. Heat and vinegar on fabric are not a good combination.
A Baking soda and hydrogen peroxide mixture also works well against unpleasant odors. Mix the two to form a paste, apply it onto the stain, and wipe with cold water.
Do not expose the treated surface to heat until the mattress dries completely.
Mix lemon juice and water in equal proportions and spray it onto the mattress. Let it soak for a couple of minutes before rubbing it out with a damp, cold cloth.
While not as smelly as urine stains, blood stains are harder to remove and not as uncommon as one might think.
To get rid of them, combine 50ml of hydrogen peroxide with one tablespoon of salt and one tablespoon of dish soap.
Spread the mixture over the stained area and let it rest. Once it dries out, scrape off leftover residue with a butter knife or a plastic scraper.
Dab the stained area with a clean cloth moistened with hydrogen peroxide to ensure the entire stain is completely gone.
Bodily fluids are some of the hardest stains to get out of fabric.
Out of all those containing gastric juices top the list because acid combined with food makes a combination almost impossible to identify, which makes locating the right cleaning product exceptionally difficult.
Ammonia, while possibly harmful to your mattress and you, is the only effective solution against vomit stains. Use a clean cloth lightly moistened with ammonia and dab it over the stain.
Wipe away the area with a clean towel and repeat the process as many times as needed. Make sure you wear a mask and keep a safe distance to avoid excessive inhalation.
What Results in the Mattress Stinking?
A new mattress will always have a distinct smell, which is often termed as a stench or the off-gassing smell.
When you open a new mattress, it expands, and some chemical components start to break down and release. They are what give the off-gassing stench.
The mattress stops releasing chemicals within three to four days. If it starts to stink after a few months or years down the road, it could be because of multiple other reasons.
The most significant reason, though, is moisture embedded in the fibers of the mattress.
Moisture that’s allowed to pool gives life to not only bacteria but also aids in mold and fungi growth inside the mattress.
Both mold and fungi have a distinct smell that gradually increases in concentration.
With spring mattresses, it also becomes the reason why the coils rust, adding the scent of rust to the damp, dewy smell of rotting foam.
A child during their potty training stage or an adult requiring incontinence care needs special attention. With them, there may be regular excretory waste spills to wipe up.
Once the mattress soaks up urine or materials of the like, it can leave behind an unbearable stench.
How to Get Rid of Unpleasant Scents?
To get rid of the new mattress smell, you have to let it air out for two to three days before you use it. We suggest you leave it uncovered in a spare room and leave the fan on.
You could also just leave it uncovered in a well-aerated place, allowing the foam to release the smelly chemicals.
For all other smells, we recommend sprinkling baking soda all over the mattress and let it rest for over 24 hours.
It will get rid of not only unpleasant odors but also excessive moisture, saving you from the trouble of having to switch out a moldy mattress.
Spraying a diluted version of your favorite essential oil over the mattress can leave the mattress smelling clean and fresh, which creates a relaxing atmosphere that’s ideal for a good night’s rest.
Deep cleaning is essential, as we have already established.
However, it is quite a time-consuming process with steps, including lengthy intervals and resting periods.
Even if you cannot go through all the steps at once, we suggest that you change your sheets and bed cover once a week.
While changing sheets, you can also check for stains and clean them as soon as you spot them. Apart from that, you should also vacuum your mattress at least once every two months.
It will save you from a lot of pain later on.
A proper mattress care routine keeps it healthy and good as new for as long as you possibly can. A good firm mattress is critical to our overall health as it affects our sleep cycle.
Without proper sleep, performing simple daily chores can become challenging.
The tips and guidelines given in this article should prove enough to help even those new to housekeeping get a good head start on the mattress care process.