With mattresses costing over $1000 without even counting other accessories, you can't afford to ruin that prized possession before its lifespan is all spent. Most expensive mattresses have a lifespan of up to a decade, but manufacturers average it to eight years. Can you extend the life of a mattress? Sure you can! However, it depends on several factors like your age, weight, and more.
Keeping all factors constant, you can extend the lifespan of a mattress by taking good care of it every day. By being conscious whenever you interact with it to ensure you're not causing any potential harm. Don't just focus on its lifespan, keep in mind your health too. The condition of your mattress will directly affect your health and safety. Let's see how, as we discuss a few tips for extending your mattress lifespan by a few more years.
Avoid jumping on your mattress
Kids love this. Heck, even adults enjoy this at times and it's fun. However, jumping on your mattress will damage its internal structure, materials, and springs. This will cause mattress sagging and affect the comfort and support it offers you while you sleep. Over time, it will also lead to permanent indentations which are difficult to fix. The firmness of the mattress will deteriorate and end up soft.
A different firmness level doesn't only mean fast wear and tear, it also means that you'll have higher chances of experiencing back pain, neck pain, and sleepless nights due to the uncomfortable nature of the mattress.
Jumping on your mattress also pauses a threat to your bed frame. If your bed is made of wood they can break piercing through the mattress potentially hurting you. If its a box spring - or even if your mattress is an innerspring mattress - then the springs might get damaged leaving your good mattress vulnerable to wear and tear and affecting your sleep quality.
So if you want your mattress to last long, keep the jumping to a minimum or avoid it altogether.
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Don't eat in bed
Speaking of activities in bed, eating should also fall under the no-zone list. We get it, you're exhausted after a long day and just want to relax in bed with some food. But resist the temptation! Eating in bed will attract crumbs, spills, and stains which are difficult to clean and will damage the fabric of your mattress. Not to mention the unhygienic environment it creates for you to sleep in.
If you absolutely must eat in bed, make sure to do so carefully and always clean up any mess immediately. You can also use a tray to place your plate and glass while eating. This way, all the droppings, and spills fall on the tray and not on the bed. But accidents happen, so it's better to have your meals on the dining table.
Aside from spills staining and ruining your fabric, they can also attract rodents, bed bugs, cockroaches, and carpet beetles, which can cause holes in your mattress. It's hard to get rid of bed bugs and dust mites once they perforate into your mattress. This is very unhygienic and disturbs a good night's sleep. Read more about what causes holes in a mattress and how you can protect your bed against rodents and pests.
Wash your sheets regularly
This one's a no-brainer but we'll say it anyway because it's that important. Always keep your sheets clean, and on, to protect your mattress from sweat, urine, vomit smell, spills, and other dirt. Fabrics like cotton are highly absorbent and need to be washed frequently. Depending on how often you sleep on them, once or twice a week should do the trick. If you have kids or pets that sleep on the bed with you, then increase the frequency. It's also a good idea to have more than one set of sheets so you can rotate them and use the others while the first set is being washed. To learn more about how you can wash your sheets and keep them clean, you can go through our quick guide on how to disinfect a used mattress.
Vacuum your mattress regularly
This helps extend the life of your mattress by getting rid of any dirt, dust, or hair that may be stuck in it. Use the vacuum's hose attachment to reach all the nooks and crannies of your mattress. Do this about twice a month, or more if you have pets that sleep on the bed with you.
In addition to vacuuming your mattress, you can also use baking soda to deodorize. Spill a handful around the whole mattress to kill off any strong odor caused by food spills or body oils. Baking soda also helps remove stains.
Spot clean spills immediately
If there are any spills, no matter how small, it's important to spot clean them immediately. This will prevent the spill from seeping into the mattress and staining or damaging it. Use a clean, damp cloth to dab at the spill until it's completely gone. Then, use a dry towel to soak up any remaining moisture. Check out our post on how to clean a mattress for further guidance on how you can keep your sleep surface clean and well-maintained.
Invest in a mattress protector
This is one of the most effective ways to extend the lifespan of a mattress. A mattress protector is a thin layer of fabric that acts as a barrier between you and the mattress, protecting it from any damaging external factors. It's easy to remove, wash and replace, and it's a lot cheaper than buying a new mattress. Make sure to get one that's comfortable and breathable so you don't end up sweating at night.
When buying a mattress protector, go for a waterproof one. If you have your sheets spread above the protector and spill a glass of water, the water will be soaked by the sheets and the protector will prevent it from going through to the mattress. If you get a white protector, you'll be able to easily bleach stains away.
However, please note that each mattress protector might come with specific cleaning instructions, so follow through to keep it serving you for longer.
Move your mattress with caution
When you need to move your mattress around, be extra careful. Bending or folding it can damage the internal springs and foam. Try to carry it horizontally as much as possible. If you need to go up or down the stairs, ask for help from a friend or family member. Let's say you're shifting apartments and are moving with your mattress, wrap it up and ensure you've completely covered it.
You can use a PVC plastic wrapper or insert it in a mattress bag. The former is a better option because it'll prevent your mattress from liquid spills during the move. The wrapper will also prevent the mattress from getting dirty or dusty while carrying it. Just make sure to carefully cut it out so that you don't tear through your mattress cover.
Additionally, don't place the mattress near any sharp objects that can pierce through the PVC or bag. It's also a good way to store your mattress when you need to.
To carry the mattress on your van or car, use ratchet straps. They will keep it safe from sliding throughout your journey.
It goes without saying, that a moving company is a better option for safely moving your mattress. However, they can be quite costly. Therefore, in case you're looking to save some cash, or are not moving so far away, or you just prefer to do it yourself, then the mentioned tools and tips will suffice.
Habitually Aerate Your Mattress
This will help extend the life of your mattress by preventing the build-up of moisture and mold. Moisture encourages the growth of mold, which can damage your mattress beyond repair. When aerating, open up all the windows in the room to get rid of any musty smells. If possible, place your mattress outside in the sun for a few hours. This will help get rid of any mold or mildew that may be growing on it. Do this at least once a month, or more if you live in a humid climate.
That sort of dampness can also encourage infestation by the silverfish. These particular pests are a nuisance. Unlike bed bugs that may only feed on your blood, silverfish will make holes in your mattress. They like to damage even bedsheets and books, and they enjoy a damp place. Because you may sweat in your sleep, or spill fluids on your mattress, aeration is a necessity.
Take note that even opening your windows wide every day and letting the sun in will make a huge difference. You can sometimes set aside all your beddings, leave your mattress bare and open your windows for fresh air and dryness.
Purchase a mattress according to your body weight
This is arguably the most important factor of them all. A mattress that's too soft will sag over time, while a mattress that's too firm will become uncomfortable. If you're on the heavier side, go for a firmer mattress. This will prevent any permanent indentations from forming. If you're on the lighter side, a softer mattress will be more comfortable and won't sag as easily. If heavier sleepers use soft memory foam mattresses or even soft hybrid mattresses, these mattresses begin to wear and sag faster than it should. It'll also be very uncomfortable for the plus-size sleeper because of the little support it'll offer their body.
To make it easier to carry the mattress on your van or car, use some ratchet straps. They will keep the mattress in place throughout your journey.
Side note: your sleeping position will also affect how your mattress wears. If you're a side sleeper, chances are that your mattress will wear on the shoulders and hips where more pressure is exuded. This is why you should get a zoned mattress that offers pressure relief in those areas. They work by being firmer where more pressure is experienced, as mentioned.
Buy a solid foundation for your bed
Your mattress lifespan depends also on the foundation you get for the mattress. A solid foundation will provide adequate support for your mattress so that it doesn't sag in the middle. There are a few different types of foundations you can choose from, such as a box spring, platform beds, and adjustable bases. Each has its pros and cons, so it's important to do your research before making a purchase.
Box springs are the most popular type of foundation. They're made up of coils that provide support and absorb shock. Platform beds, on the other hand, have a solid base with slats or boards that provide support. Adjustable bases are similar to platform beds but have an adjustable frame that allows you to raise or lower the head and foot of the bed.
No matter which type of foundation you choose, make sure it's made from high-quality materials to ensure your mattress lasts. In case you buy a mattress that's slightly bigger than your foundation, you can resize the mattress instead of buying a new one.
Is It Time to Replace your Mattress?
There are a few signs that hint it's time to get a new bed and replace your old mattress. Without frequent mattress maintenance, you'll need replacement faster than usual. Some of the signs may include:
- You have an old mattress that you've used for more than 8 years
- Your mattress feels saggy, lumpy and way too soft
- You wake up with aches and pains
- You can feel the springs of your hybrid mattress through the fabric
- Adding a mattress topper doesn't seem to help much with firmness restoration
- There's a lot of noise coming from your mattress
- Your once-cool mattress is heating up hard
- You're suddenly getting frequent allergies
- Anyone else's mattress sleeps better than yours
If you identify with any of these signs, then it's probably time to get a new mattress. Don't wait too long to replace a bad mattress as it can be hazardous.
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By following these mattress maintenance tips, you can extend your mattress lifespan and enjoy a good night's sleep for many years to come. Taking care of your mattress is important not only for financial reasons but also for health reasons; both psychological and physical. Keep in mind that the materials used to make the mattress also play a big role in its durability. Natural latex foam is the most durable material but others like memory foam and any high density foam do well too.