Every night, our mattresses provide us comfort, rest, and allow our bodies to rejuvenate for the next day.
Come to think of it, it’s probably one of the most important pieces of furniture in our home.
But when it comes to caring for our mattress, most of us are in a “set it and forget it” mode. For example, when’s the last time you rotated your mattress?
Once you know what to do though, caring for your mattress is actually pretty easy. Some occasional TLC goes a long way towards preserving that mattress set you spent hundreds (or even thousands) of dollars on.
Below is a list of Do’s and Don’ts that will have you sleeping like a baby on your amazing mattress for years to come.
1) DO vacuum the mattress every 3 months. This is definitely a must-do if you have allergies as dust mites and dander can build up in your mattress over time. When vacuuming the mattress use the upholstery attachment of your vacuum cleaner. It’s recommended to do this every three months, but if your allergies are bad, you’ll benefit from vacuuming more frequently.
2) DO use a protective mattress pad. A washable, protective mattress pad is one of the best investments you can make to protect your mattress from dust, allergens, and stains. From what I’ve seen, most are made from either cotton or memory foam with each type having slightly different benefits. Both, however, provide additional comfort and create an additional barrier between you and the mattress. Water-resistant mattress pads are especially good if you have young children who are prone to bed-wetting. A mattress pad also helps reduce the need to vacuum the mattress as often.
3) DO rotate and flip your bed every six months. Some say to do this every 3 months, other say to do this every 9 months. We decided to go for the middle ground and do it every 6 months. If your mattress is brand new you’ll want to flip and rotate it more frequently during the first year since this is when most of the mattress settling occurs.
In case you’re not sure how, here’s a great video that shows you what to do:
Here are some other quick DOs:
4) DO keep bedskirts off the floor. Bed bugs can’t fly but they can crawl up bed skirts that are touching the floor. Doing this helps reduce the possibility of bed bugs getting into your mattress.
5) DO use upholstery shampoo for cleaning your mattress. Unless indicated otherwise by your mattress’ manufacturer, you should use upholstery shampoo to clean any stains or spills on your mattress. Use in accordance with the product’s directions.
6) DO strip down the bed when you leave for vacation. If you’re going to be away from your home for any length of time, allow your bed to fully air out by taking off the bed sheets. This allows your mattress to breathe and prevents any odors from lingering.
7) DO replace broken foundations. If the box spring, frame or support structure is broken, replace it to ensure that the mattress is supported. This will prevent bowing or breakage.
8) DON’T use the mattress handles to lift the full weight. The handles on the side of the mattress are only supposed to be used for shifting and adjusting the mattress once it’s in place. If you try to lift the full weight of the mattress using these handles, there’s a good chance they’ll tear.
9) DON’T eat, drink or smoke on your bed. No matter how careful you are, eating or drinking in bed can lead to spills. This can result in odors lingering and can lead to mold and other infestations. Besides being a fire hazard, the smoke from smoking leaves behind an odor that saturates into the mattress.
10) DON’T remove that tag. There’s this urban legend that it’s illegal to remove the law tag on mattresses. That’s not true – for consumers. It’s there mainly to reassure consumers that the mattress they’re getting is brand new and that the contents inside the mattress hasn’t been tampered with. Once you own the mattress it’s not illegal for you to cut that tag off, but before you do, just know that the information on that label will serve as a means of identification for any warranty claims so don’t remove it unless it’s really bothering you.
11) DON’T ever use dry cleaning chemicals. The chemicals in dry cleaning agents can be harmful to the materials in your mattress, and should never be used for it. Instead use an upholstery shampoo to clean and remove stains from your mattress.
12) DON’T put a board between the mattress and foundation. This may enhance the sense of support for a while, but this only delays the problem which will just get worse over time. When you find yourself contemplating putting a board underneath your mattress, it’s definitely time to get rid of it and buy a new one.
13) DON’T bend, fold, or drag your mattress. Unless a mattress or box spring is made entirely of soft material (like foam or cotton), or is specially built for folding, it probably has a border wire inside that is not meant to be bent. That means, do not bend your mattress or the corners when applying fitted sheets, going through doors, etc. It also means to avoid sitting on the edge or on the corners of your mattress.
And last but not least…
14) DON’T stand or jump on beds. I know, this is such a downer. I really didn’t want to add this in because it brings tons of joy to so many kids (and maybe some adults too). However, jumping or even estanding on your bed can put too much weight in one spot of your mattress – which would permanently damage it. Sorry to be a partypooper but that’s what the manufacturers recommend.
On a side note: I’ve never broken a mattress from jumping on it, nor have I ever seen it happen. But as always, the final choice is up to you.
Mattress Care Resources:
Scrubbi is a residential cleaning company that cleans homes in major cities throughout Canada including Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, and Winnipeg.