Our mattresses are often seen as an investment since they cost so much money and we spend about a third of our day in them. When the mattress starts to deteriorate, so does our quality of life. Here are a few tips on how to protect your mattress from various problems.
The best way to protect a mattress from stains is with a waterproof mattress protector that also lets the mattress breathe. Then you can clean up the stains before they seep into the mattress, breed bacteria and create a health hazard you sleep on top of. If that isn’t an option, having sheets and several other layers on top of the mattress helps protect it. Don’t eat or drink in bed, either, if you want to minimize the risk of stains.
A proper bed frame is the best solution for preventing the mattress from sagging. This isn’t just putting the mattress on a box spring or foundation but on a metal bed frame. If you have a platform bed, make sure it has a center leg to support the middle of the mattress, and that you flip it down to touch the ground.If you have children, you can prevent further sagging of the mattress by punishing them if they jump on the bed. However, putting a board between the mattress and foundation doesn’t really prevent sagging; it can actually make wear worse because the mattress isn’t working as designed with the foundation underneath.
Double sided mattresses are hard to come by, so flipping over a mattress to correct for its sagging is rarely a solution. Another option you can do is turn the mattress around head-to-toe. This evens out the wear pattern, extending its life and reducing the sagging.
Sagging, particularly on the edges, is worsened when you sit on the side of the mattress. The solution is just not sitting there. A practical solution is putting a chair by the bed and sitting there when you get dressed instead of on the side of the bed. If your mattress has a foam casing, it won’t sag as much as a traditional box spring; you may or may not be able to get a replacement for the foam casing if it starts to sag. However, if it is a memory foam mattress, this isn’t much of an issue.
Furthermore, avoid sitting in the middle of the bed. This essentially creates a pressure point in the middle of a mattress designed to accept a distributed load. If you expect to sit a lot in bed, consider an adjustable bed and mattress literally made to support you in these cases.
Dust mites feed on the shed pieces of human skin. That, in and of itself, only makes the average person feel disgusted. The real problem is the fact that many of us are allergic to dust mites. If you wake up each morning with a runny nose or itchy eyes or your child’s asthma seems to only flare up when they sleep in their own bed, they may have dust mites.
A solid plastic mattress protector that seals up the mattress is the best protection from dust mites. Washing your bedding in hot water regularly helps control dust mites, as does vacuuming your floor around and under the bed.
One way to prevent bed bugs is to never bring in a mattress from the street corner, and never buy a used mattress. Check the recent reviews for hotels and don’t stay in one that has recently dealt with bed bugs.Putting an air tight plastic cover all the way around the mattress is a stop-gap measure, since this doesn’t prevent bed bugs from living in the bed frame or taking shelter in the floor.
However, if you have bed bugs, the best solution is to contact a pest control company since sealing your mattress doesn’t kill bed bugs living in the bed frame, walls and floor.
Other Insects in Bed
You can end up with a whole host of other insects in your bed aside from dust mites and bed bugs. You should have your bed surface vacuumed, both at the surface and the seams, once a month. This pulls up dead skin cells and food crumbs that could attract ants, mites and other insects that may even attract predatory spiders that live in your mattress and are as willing to bite you as anything else.
Don’t let your pets sleep in bed with you, since any ticks and fleas on them will just as readily bite you. Putting a bed cover on the bed can help prevent these pests taking root in the mattress, but that isn’t enough since they can move over to your comforter or pillow. If your bed is infested with fleas, wash all of the bedding, have the pets treated for fleas, and thoroughly vacuum the floors.
Don’t forget to wash the pet’s bedding and favorite sleeping spots, since killing fleas in your bed doesn’t prevent the dog from picking them back up from its bed and re-infecting yours. If fleas and other blood sucking insects are a problem in your home, seek help from a pest control company.
Mold and Mildew
Mold and mildew often forms in a mattress if it has been peed on or you’ve spilled water on it. When the water seeps into the mattress, it finds a perfect place to breed. One way to protect the mattress is never to eat or drink in bed. Another is to ensure that the bed is on a bed frame instead of letting the mattress rest on the floor.
If your child is toilet training and you don’t want to put a plastic bed cover on the bed, you can put large training pads on the bed instead to absorb the urine. Remember to wash blankets that have pee on them each morning.
Note that you should let the mattress “air out” periodically even if in a cover but especially if it isn’t covered. Take off the sheets and let the mattress dry out so it can release the moisture it absorbed from the air and your sweat. One way to reduce this problem in general is to sleep with sheets on the bed so you aren’t in direct contact with the mattress and not wrapping in so many blankets you sweat a lot in bed.
One common cause of mold and mildew in beds is the improper washing of mattress covers. For example, someone may wash the mattress cover and set it up to air dry but not give it enough time to fully dry. If you wash the bed cover, dry it thoroughly. If you cannot run it through a clothes dryer, have a fan blow air on it to speed up the process.