7 Tips for Caring for a Mattress
1. Use a Mattress Protector
The one thing that will help prolong the life of your mattress more than anything is using a mattress protector. A good one is both waterproof and breathable and will prevent dust mites and bed bugs, as well as mold and mildew.
The reason why you want to use a waterproof protector is because most mattresses are layered with polyurethane foam on the surface. Foam will lose its resiliency from two main things, weight and moisture, and you can think of moisture as an “accelerant” for wear and tear. Humans perspire at night, and your mattress is like a giant sponge which soaks up any kind of moisture and it’s that moisture which accelerates the breakdown of the top layers of the mattress. By keeping your mattress protected and dry, you help preserve those top comfort layers which helps your mattress retain its shape longer.
2. Use a Proper Bed Frame
Most people underestimate the importance of the bed frame they use. I’m not talking about the box spring or foundation, I’m talking about the metal bed frame that everything sits on. Think of the bed frame as like the foundation of the house. You want to have your mattress built on a strong foundation, because the frame helps everything else. Make sure it has a center support, as most mattress companies require that for their warranties. The center support helps prevent the mattress from “bowing” in the middle.
If you don’t use a bed frame and instead have a platform bed, make sure it has a center support leg that reaches the ground. Be sure to protect your mattress with a protector.
3. Rotate Your Mattress Head-To-Toe
Almost all mattresses made today are no-flip mattresses. The major brands stopped making double sided mattresses around 10 years ago. So, now all you have to do is rotate the mattress every so often, around 4 or 5 times per year. This helps the mattress wear evenly. Your mattress will wear out eventually, might as well have it wear evenly.
If you happen to have a double sided mattress, flip the mattress over 2 – 3 times per year.
Exception: If you have a memory foam mattress. Most memory foam mattresses are maintenance free.
4. Try Not To Sit On The Edge Of The Mattress
I know this is a hard one, because most people do this when putting their shoes on, but try to avoid sitting on the edge if you can. If your mattress is foam encased, it has extra protection, but even with foam encasement the sides can still wear out. When the side of your mattress becomes weakened, it can travel to the center of the mattress.
Exception: If you have a memory foam mattress you don’t have to worry about this.
5. Try Not To Sit In Bed In General
Yeah, I realize this is a difficult one as well. One of my favorite things to do is to sit up in bed against a couple pillows and work on my laptop. Here’s the problem: very bad for a mattress. And I had to learn that the hard way. Mattresses are not designed to be “sat” on, they’re designed to support the body lying down. When you’re sitting up in bed against your headboard, you’re focusing all of your weight into a very small area which can cause it to wear unevenly. Try to keep your bed for sleeping and extracurricular activities only.
Exception: The only real exception to this rule would be if you’re using an adjustable base. By articulating the bed into more of a lounging, sitting type position (or zero gravity) your weight is evenly distributed throughout the mattress.
6. Let Your Mattress “Air Out” Whenever Possible
Mattresses do tend to collect a lot of moisture, even from humidity in the air, so airing them out once in a while is a good idea. Strip off all the sheets to let the mattress “breathe” for an hour or so.
7. Don’t Use a Board Between the Mattress and the Box Spring
This is an old trick that doesn’t really do anything helpful. People used to place a board between their mattress and box spring to “firm up” an old mattress. You’re better off replacing your mattress if you feel the need to do this. A board just interferes with how the box spring or foundation is supposed to work with the mattress.