Everyone with a bed will tell you: mattresses are not cheap.
Even budget-friendly mattresses will run you an average of $450. If you want something a little more deluxe, expect to pay upwards of $2,500. The cost depends on several factors—size, type of mattress, method of delivery—but it’s safe to say that no matter which version you choose, you’ll shell out some cash.
Of course, mattresses are priced this way for a reason. They bring undeniable comfort for years on end; they’re the place we spend one-third of our lives! That’s why extending the life of a mattress is an important topic—because it extends the life of your wallet and your circadian rhythm.
Here, we talk about what it takes to maintain a mattress, mattress care tips that make the process easy, and more. Keep reading to learn everything there is to know about mattress care—because everyone deserves a good night’s sleep.
Start With the Foundation First: Your Bed
Your mattress supports you. But what supports your mattress?
Some mattresses require a more solid foundation—such as a board, or a slatted frame, which entails several back-to-back pieces of wood, metal, or other material, to act as a base for the four corners. Most mattresses work on this flat set-up, including both memory foam and innerspring.
Some innerspring mattress owners enjoy adding a box spring in lieu of this foundation, but most new mattresses have stopped using innerspring mattresses. Box springs are meant to give the mattress a little slack, or flexibility.
Next, Get a Mattress Protector for That Extra Prevention
Mattress protectors are always an option when considering the life of a mattress. They’re always a fantastic way to add a layer between you and the bed, and the bed and you.
Mattress protectors are removable and take the place of your fitted sheet. It’s easy to remove and wash them like you would any of your other bedding, and in fact, they’re made just as comfortable. Some top mattress brands sell protectors meant to be used specifically with their mattresses, fitting like a puzzle piece.
As an added bonus, they act preventatively on your behalf and the mattress’. Your natural oils, accidental drink spills, pets in the bed, and things of that nature all could limit the life of a mattress. A protector acts as a safeguard. On the flip side, it also offers you protection from bacteria, dust mites, you name it!
Rotate and Flip (It’s Like a Tire Rotation for Your Car)
If you want to extend the life of a mattress, you’ll hear this tip: rotate your bed 180° and maybe even flip it. But why? And when?
Like a tire rotation, rotating your mattress helps it wear down in an even manner. Just as one said becomes unbalanced, you move to the other—and on and on. This balance can help your mattress maintain its shape for longer.
When it comes to flipping your mattress, you might be surprised to hear that not every type requires it.
Flipping an innerspring mattress became a common practice because the entire mattress is built the same way, or two-sided: there’s no specific side you need to keep up or down. Most newer mattresses are built one-sided—in fact, some are specifically made in layers. In that case, a certain layer might need to remain on the top, and so you’d just rotate it.
Rotating your mattress every few months is a good rule of thumb. If you sleep alone—or weigh significantly different from a sleeping partner—then rotating it often prevents any imbalance. Only flip if you have an innerspring (or a two-sided memory foam).
Clean It—And Your Sheets—Regularly and As-Needed
Most experts will tell you the same thing: mattresses need twice-yearly cleaning at the minimum. Mattresses, like everything, can build up dirt, dust, and other materials like dead skin cells or pet dander.
Additionally, the sheets on top of your mattress are worth considering. There’s no point in a clean mattress with weeks-old sheets—or vise versa. So, when you clean your mattress, give it a refresher on the sheets, too (and clean those every week to two weeks).
If you have a mattress protector, this step is still important, but you may get away with a longer time between cleanings. But who doesn’t love crawling into a clean bed! If you’re ever unsure about when to clean your mattress, or how, each should come with its own caretaking instructions.
And of course, clean your mattress on an as-needed basis, too. If you accidentally spill your red wine, or orange Gatorade, or chocolate milk (you get the idea), don’t hesitate to take the sheets off right away and soak up the stain.
Mattress Pads: Worth It?
Finally, considering mattress pads (which, yes, are different from mattress protectors).
Mattress pads are similar to protectors, but thicker. They’re made for comfort about all else, whether that’s in the form of padding or cooling. Some individuals choose cooling pads, which help to maintain a cooler body temperature at night, while others are simply opting for an additional layer of bedding.
Are they worth it? For some, yes—but newer mattresses have newer technology, which translates to increased comfort for you. However, the cooling pad may be worth it for those who struggle with regulating their body temperature.
Extend the Life of a Mattress With These Tips
Your mattress—it’s something that brings you comfort and sleep at the end of a long day.
And not just any day—but every day. So why not give your mattress a long future, and why not give yourself the sleep you deserve? The better the life of a mattress, the better the life of whoever uses it.
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