See how to protect your investment and get the most out of your mattress.
The average person spends anywhere from $500 to $3000 or more on a new mattress. Since it is one of the larger purchases for most households, many people expect beds to last for several years. But, not taking good care of a mattress can dramatically reduce it’s life span, and leave you in need of a new bed sooner than you anticipated.
A mattress typically lasts somewhere between five to ten years, according to the Better Sleep Council, National Sleep Foundation, and Consumer Reports. But how long your mattress will last depends on several factors, including quality of materials, sleeper size and usage. Care and maintenance can also play a big role in the lifespan of bed.
How to Extend the Life of Your Mattress
We’ve collected the top undercover ways to keep your bed in top shape. By following these sweet and simple steps, you can help protect your investment and make your mattress last longer.
Rule 1: Use a Mattress Protector
Perhaps the single most important thing anyone can do to make a mattress last longer is to use a water resistant or waterproof mattress protector. Even if you’re a healthy adult who hasn’t wet the bed in decades, spills and other unforeseen accidents can ruin an otherwise good bed.
Liquids and bodily fluids can degrade foams, leave nasty odors, and produce mold and mildew within mattress layers. Cleanup can be very difficult once a spill soaks below the surface, whereas a mattress protector makes clean up swift and easy.
You also sweat a significant amount each night, which is absorbed into your bed along with shed skin cells, dust mites, and dust mite detritus. Keeping this out of your mattress reduces allergen buildup and keeps your sleep environment healthier.
Rule 2: Clean Your Bedding Regularly
People’s preferences for frequency of washing sheets and bedding can vary widely, but most experts suggest washing sheets at least every two weeks or so. Bedding soaks in sweat, skin cells and lots of other things you’d probably rather not sleep with, so remind yourself to keep sheets clean. If you have dust allergies or skin irritations, consider washing sheets even more frequently.
Rule 3: Clean Your Mattress Regularly
Did you know you should clean your actual mattress, too? Every month or so, it’s a good idea to strip your bed and vacuum the surface and seams to reduce dust and debris (even if you use a protector). Some cleaning experts recommend sprinkling baking soda on the mattress surface before vacuuming to absorb excess moisture and odors.
If your mattress cover is removable and washable, wash it as well. This is also a good time to inspect your mattress for any issues.
Rule 4: Regularly Rotate Your Bed
Rotate your bed regularly, especially the first couple of years. Every 2-3 months should be often enough to promote even wear and reduce impressions. Rotate your mattress even if the manufacturer says it’s not necessary, as it will help extend your bed’s lifespan.
Rule 5: Don’t Eat In Bed
It’s tempting to grab breakfast in bed or snack while watching movies, but it’s really a good idea to keep food off the bed. Crumbs can find their way into sheets and mattress layers, attracting nasties, while liquids can spill and cause problems as well.
Rule 6: Get Pets Their Own Beds
It may be comforting to have Fido to snuggle, but pets bring a whole new set of problems with them to bed. For one, they sweat, slobber, and shed hair and dander, all of which you’ll be sleeping with. Pets are also prone to accidents, which can ruin a good mattress.
Animals that go outdoors can track bugs and mites indoors as well, so it’s better for everyone if they have their own designated beds to snuggle up in.
Rule 7: Be Aware of Bed Bugs
Bed bugs can immediately turn a decent bed into a hazard zone. Be vigilant when you go to hotels or sleep away from home, as bed bugs are prolific hitchhikers and they can easily become your problem.
If you live in a bed bug prone area, consider using a bed bug-proof mattress encasement. These zippered covers fully encase the bed and prevent bugs from getting inside.
Rule 8: Ensure Your Mattress is Supported
Your mattress is designed to support you, but it also needs to be supported to provide long lasting comfort. Inspect your bed frame and foundation/boxsprings every couple of years to make sure they are in good shape and providing a solid foundation for your mattress.
Boxsprings that are saggy and worn out, wood slats that are weak or too far apart, or a broken frame can all contribute to quicker wear and reduce your comfort.
Pay Attention to Warranties
Finally, always read the terms of your warranty when you buy a new mattress. The manufacturer should spell out what they cover, how to file claims, and many also provide helpful tips for mattress care.
Several brands require beds to be stain-free, well-supported, and have tags attached. Not following these conditions can void your warranty, which may mean the manufacturer won’t provide support if a problem pops up.
Making Your Mattress Last a Long Time
By keeping your bed protected from allergens and accidents, regularly cleaning, and reading the fine print, you can help extend the life of a mattress as long as possible.
Starting with a good-quality mattress is also important to getting several years of good sleep, as lower-quality materials will break down sooner regardless of care. Check out our guides on mattress shopping, memory foam beds, and latex mattresses to learn how to shop and compare specifications.
While no mattress will last forever, taking good care of your bed could add a couple of years to a quality mattress, adding value and making it well worth your time.
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