Purchasing a mattress can be quite the commitment. After all, the average consumer spends anywhere from $1000 - $4,000 on a king-sized mattress. With that kind of price tag, it’s no wonder we expect our beds to provide us with comfortable sleep for at least a decade. While it is possible to keep a mattress for that long, how you maintain it will be one of the leading factors that determines your bed’s lifespan.
One of the first things you should do after purchasing a mattress is fit it with a quality mattress protector. This will prevent numerous issues that inevitably arise throughout the life of your bed. Unforeseen accidents are bound to occur, but fortunately for you, standard protectors are usually waterproof which will keep your mattress stain-free. This is especially important for foam mattresses, as liquids and natural body oils have been proven to degrade foams, increase the chances of mold and mildew production, and can leave a long-lasting odor. In addition to this, you will be preventing dust mites and other allergens that may build up over time.
One of the first things you should do before making a mattress purchase is determine what type of support it needs to rest on. Placing your bed on the correct foundation helps prevent any sagging and will increase your overall sleep experience. It also increases its life expectancy, as a strong foundation will absorb much of the force and movement that occurs during sleep. While it is recommended that spring mattresses be placed on box springs, foam mattresses can be placed on a multitude of surfaces including adjustable bases, steel foundations, slatted frames, and even the floor.
The average person sleeps 8 hours a day in bed, a time that accounts for one-third of their entire life. Unfortunately for you, natural processes in your body continue to occur during this time. The average human has roughly 1.6 TRILLION skin cells – and every hour you can expect to shed 30,000 – 40,000 of them! Besides that, you can expect to have many other contaminants on your mattress, including body oils, sweat, and sometimes pet hair. While sleeping, these skin cells accumulate on your bed, providing the perfect breeding ground for dust mites, bacteria, and fungus. This can become a serious health risk, with significant bacteria buildup occurring in as little as a week. Because of this, it is recommended that you plan a weekly bedding wash.
Haven’t been convinced yet? Then I encourage you to take a look at the potential bed intruders up close and personal!
Something most people don’t realize is that spot cleaning and washing your sheets is not enough to keep a mattress in top shape. If you were to look at your mattress under a microscope, you would likely find dust particles made up of fingernail filings, food crumbs, human hair, insect fragments, and dead skin. Many of these dust particles are as hard as glass and are actually capable of cutting through the fabric material, which can permanently damage your bed.
To prevent the buildup of these particles it is recommended that you perform a deep clean every few months by removing all of the bedding sheets and vacuuming the surface of the bed. Make sure to pay extra attention to the seams of the bed, where the dust particles tend to build up over time. As a final touch, throw your mattress cover in the wash if it is removable and wash-safe.
Our parents always told us to stop jumping on the bed – and believe it or not, there were on to something. Any extreme and frequent pressure in a targeted area of the bed will cause damage over time, and will also stress your box springs and frames. So, for the sake of your mattress, let’s save the acrobatics for the gym, shall we?
Ok. Ok. I get it. There’s nothing like waking up on a Saturday morning with Buddy fast asleep at the foot of the bed. Unfortunately for you, Buddy has brought some of his friends to tag along for the slumber party. Pets can bring with them bugs, parasites, and harmful bacteria that could make your bed their new home. You are also exposing your mattress to sweat, animal hair, dander, and urine – things that can cause some serious health concerns.
For those who can’t bear to kick their pet to the curb, try adding a waterproof mattress cover and a blanket at the foot of the bed to minimize any of the harmful effects mentioned.
It’s pretty straightforward - going to bed clean means your bed stays clean longer. Throughout the day, your body is constantly exposed to a slew of dirt, grime and sand particles. Showering before bed will rid your body of these particles and particles that would have eventually drifted into your bed.
Showering before bed also has many other benefits. New research has shown that showering at night aids in overall sleep quality. Body temperature is a vital component of regulating circadian rhythm, the process in the body that controls when you feel tired. For our body, cooling down is a message that we are ready to hit the hay, so taking a cold shower right before bed is a way to cool off and trigger this sleep urge.
A common way to increase the comfort and support of an older mattress is to add a quality mattress pad. While this is definitely a useful method, you should also consider using one on a new mattress. The purpose of a mattress pad may be for increasing the quality and comfort of your sleep, but it also acts as an insurance policy. As already mentioned, accidents are inevitable, and over the course of a decade your bed is bound to soak up something unwanted. Mattress pads act as a first line of defense and will often prevent a spill from reaching your bed. While an accident could potentially ruin it, replacing the topper shouldn’t take too much out of your wallet, as they are significantly cheaper than a bed.
Before purchasing a mattress, it is highly recommended that you take a look at the warranty policy. You should know how long it is covered for and exactly what it covers. There are often many exceptions to a warranty, so it is important to read through everything thoroughly.
You can also learn a lot about a company based upon the warranty they provide. A brand that offers a lifetime warranty is clearly confident that their product is built to last and will almost certainly remain problem free over the years.
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