If you have invested in a new mattress, you will want to protect your investment by looking after it. Well cared for, a mattress can give you at least 8 years of use - and when you consider that out of those 8 years, you'll spend over 2.5 years lying on top of that mattress, it’s easy to see why it's so important.
Caring For Your Mattress Starts From Day One
The care of your mattress starts the day it arrives. The mattress has been constructed to give you the right level of support and comfort, but in order to get from the factory to you, it has had to be wrapped and moved, perhaps more than once.
When it gets to your house, you should take off all the wrapping and let the mattress breathe. Mattresses are usually wrapped in polythene, which may encourage the build-up of moisture, so it's wise to let the fresh air circulate around your mattress for a while.
You should also give some time for your mattress filling to settle. You can sleep on it whilst this happens, but don't be alarmed if your mattress feels slightly different after a few nights of sleep.
Consider a mattress cover or protector. These additional layers protect your mattress from stains and reduce the likelihood of airborne allergens from dust mites.
How to clean your mattress
It’s important to keep your mattress clean. But there’s more to it than simply putting your bedding through the wash. Here we look at 5 ways to clean your mattress:
Wash your bedding
Strip your mattress and wash your bedding once a week and use a hot wash once a month. This helps to kill off any dust mites that may be in your bedding and prevents them from living in your mattress too.
Airing is fantastically good for your mattress. Dust mites think that your mattress is a perfect home, but cool air and light are exactly the opposite of their ideal conditions. Air your mattress as soon as it is delivered and continue to do so regularly throughout its life.
Every morning turn back your covers, rather than making the bed. When you change the bed, leave the mattress to air for at least 30 minutes.
Carefully done, vacuuming can help to remove dust and debris from your mattress. You do need to be careful though, because heavy-handed vacuuming could damage the ticking, or outer covering of your mattress. This not only compromises the support that the mattress can give you but may also invalidate your guarantee or warranty.
Vacuuming will not remove dust mites, but it will remove the dust and dead skin that they live on. Use a hand-held vacuum, or soft attachment to give your mattress a quick vacuum when you change your bedding.
The fabrics, materials and fillings used to make your mattress have been carefully selected and combined to provide you with a quality product. The last thing you want to do is damage that product by scrubbing or using strong cleaning solutions. Most stains on your mattress can be removed by cleaning with a gentle solution and warm water. Never soak the mattress, attempt to dry-clean it or take a harsh brush or cleaner to it. This will only damage your mattress and reduce its effectiveness.
There are companies who specialise in cleaning mattresses. You really only need professional help if you have had a serious problem with your mattress. Before you commit to a professional clean, find out what it involves and how much it will cost. If it's cheaper to buy a new mattress, then do so.
How To Keep Your Mattress In Good Condition
- If your mattress requires turning, don't forget to turn it. Some mattresses only require rotating rather than turning, and your care instructions should tell you how often you need to do this.
- Don't fold your mattress, even if you're storing it. If you’re looking for a mattress to store before use, consider a rolled mattress. These come rolled tight into a box and take up the least amount of room.
- Only use mild detergent and non-harsh cleaning equipment to remove stains.
- As mentioned, it’s important to air your mattress regularly.
Although we often take our mattress for granted, it's a substantial piece of furniture which should conform to relevant British and European standards. Even when mattresses have gone through these thorough checks, and have passed the manufacturer's quality control tests, there are things you can do to reduce the possibility of having an accident that’s related to your mattress.
Don't smoke in bed
Whilst all mattresses should have been tested to British Standard 7177, which covers the flammability of mattresses and other furniture, it's still inadvisable to smoke in bed.
The risks of falling asleep with a lit cigarette are well documented by the Fire Service, and because you're already sleeping, you could be very susceptible to the toxic smoke that could be released by your bedding or your mattress. It's far safer to restrict your smoking to other parts of your house, and never be tempted to light up in bed.
Don’t Ignore Exposed Springs
If your mattress is coming to the end of its natural life, you may find that the ticking is threadbare, or that you can feel the springs through the mattress cover. Don't ignore this - start looking for a new mattress. Exposed springs and leaking filling can be dangerous both to adults and children. It's best if your mattress doesn't get into this state at all, but if it has, it's time for a new one.
Share The Load When Turning Your Mattress
Many mattresses still require flipping over on a regular basis to keep the filling evenly distributed and to vary the load on the springs. Most mattresses are very heavy - particularly when you get to king or superking beds - and you shouldn't attempt to turn one by yourself.
The size and weight of the mattress means that you could damage your back, shoulders or neck. If your mattress needs to be turned, always ask for help. If you think you could have a problem finding someone to help, think about buying a non-turn mattress, which only needs to be rotated from head to foot.
Why Dust Mites Love Your Mattress
It's almost impossible to control the dust in your home. Traditional cleaning may just move the dust from one place to another and, as 80% of household dust is made up of our own dead skin, we're always producing more.
It's in this environment that the dust mite thrives. Practically invisible to the naked eye, dust mites thrive on the dead skin we shed and on warm, moist conditions. It may sound unsavoury, but we're all living in close contact with dust mites all the time.
Your mattress is one of the key places that dust mites like to live. It's warm, cosy and constantly fed with the fluid and dead skin that we lose at night. In many cases, it's the enzymes released in dust mite droppings that causes or inflames allergic reactions - particularly asthma or other breathing problems.
There are things that you can do to help reduce the number of dust mites in your home - although eradicating them altogether is a huge, expensive task, and a full-time job. Even if no-one in your family suffers from allergies, it's beneficial to your health to clamp down on dust mites.
Clearly, cleaning is most important. Use the steps identified above but it’s also important to note that dust mites don’t just like your mattress. They like carpets and curtains too, so you may want to consider installing wooden or other flooring and blinds instead of curtains. Most important though, clean regularly and air your room, even in winter.
If someone in your family is suffering from asthma or eczema, dust mites could be part of the problem. Before you spend weeks cleaning your house and changing your fittings and furniture, however, speak to a doctor, who may be able to diagnose another cause, saving you time and energy.
5 Reasons To Replace An Old Mattress
Everyone has to replace a mattress at some point and it can definitely be a pain, but it is sometimes hard to determine exactly when is the best time to replace that old mattress with a new one. There are actually 5 reasons as to why you should replace that old mattress and those 5 reasons are outlined for you below:
The bed weight has doubled due to dust mite feces
10 years after you purchase your mattress, the weight of the bed is actually double what it used to be. This is because dust mites that feed off of dead skin leave their dropping in the bed.
New technology means better sleep
There is always some kind of new technology coming out that inhibits better sleep. Let's take the memory foam mattress, for example. It moulds to the body, which creates support for those pressure points and takes pressure away from the spine.
Back pain related to your mattress
Back pain tends to be one of the main reasons people replace their mattress. A supportive mattress can keep the spine aligned.
Manage fatigue and improve your performance
By getting a good night's sleep, you can improve your memory and your overall efficiency. If you find yourself nodding off during the day, then it may be time for a new mattress.
It has been 8-10 years
All mattresses should be replaced after 8-10 years. Longer than 10 years can be a bad thing.
It's generally accepted by mattress experts that protecting your mattress is one of the ways you can make sure that it lasts as long as possible. Whether you're protecting a child's mattress during toilet training or protecting your own mattress against wear and tear, it's worth investing in a little extra protection.
There are many mattress and pillow protection products on the market. Some of these are for protecting the mattress and some are for protecting you:
If you want to protect your mattress from stains and other external damage, invest in a mattress topper. Often padded for extra comfort, and easy to wash, they slip over the top of your mattress, giving you an extra layer of protection and comfort, helping to prolong the life of your mattres
Offering greater protection than toppers, mattress protectors are designed to lengthen the life of your mattress. From waterproof protectors through to those that prevent dust and mites, a protector is highly recommended. Read on for more information:
Waterproof toppers and protectors
Waterproof covers are essential for children who are toilet training, or are having bed-wetting problems. A good child's waterproof cover protects the mattress against the wetness and the odour and can be easily cleaned, making the process as hassle-free as possible.
A wide range of waterproof covers is also available for adults who need to protect their mattresses because of light or heavy incontinence. They’re also useful if you’re likely to have drinks in your bedroom too as accidents can happen!
Failing to protect your mattress in this way could lead to problems with the mattress ticking and filling and shorten the life of your mattress. Specialist suppliers are happy to discuss your needs and recommend the best product for you.
Allergy protectors and toppers
Dust mites live in mattresses and pillows, feeding on the moisture and dead skin we leave behind us when we sleep. It's the enzymes released by dust mite droppings that can increase the likelihood of an allergic reaction.
Whilst a specially-treated allergy cover cannot combat the dust mite problem by itself, it can help to reduce the quantity of allergens that are released into the air we breathe every time we turn over in bed or move around our room.
Available for all sizes of beds, including cots, and also available for pillows, an anti-allergen cover may be the first step to improving your health.