All mattresses have a shelf life: memory foam mattresses last up to 15 years, innerspring mattresses up to 10 years, and hybrid mattresses last between 10 to 15 years. Unfortunately, not everyone will get the full potential out of their mattress — they wear out too soon!
But is there a way to prolong a mattress's lifespan or use it for its entirety? Yes, and yes! You can take steps to get the most out of it, make your mattress last longer, and keep your sleep undisturbed!
1. Keep it Clean
The first step to make your mattress last longer is regular cleaning, which will make it last longer and keep your sleep environment healthier. So, at least twice a year, vacuum the top and sides of your mattress (pay extra attention to the seams!) to reduce the buildup of dust mites and other potential allergens. But if you already have stains, you will need an appropriate mixture (or mattress-safe cleaner) to address them.
- Use a mixture of lemon juice and salt to address stains, rub it on the stain, then let it sit for an hour before wiping it off with a towel (be careful, lemon will bleach darker dyes!).
- Create a mixture of hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and dish soap for deeper stains. If the stain is new, spray the mix, then blot with a clean rag. But for more recent stains, spray the mattress and wait until it's dried, then vacuum away the dried baking soda.
- To deodorize your mattress, sprinkle baking soda over the surface, leave it for at least 24 hours (plan ahead of time), and vacuum it up.
Pro Tip: Always check the tag on your mattress to check the recommended cleaning protocol from your particular mattress brand first!
2. Use a Mattress Protector
Another way to protect your mattress is with a mattress protector! Using a protector as soon as you get your mattress helps protect against spills and accidents from the get-go and prevents bodily oils and skin flakes from building up. And they're an excellent way of keeping your mattress warranty valid!
You'll need a mattress protector with a snug fit and waterproofing to create a sufficient barrier (also double-check that' it's washable!). There are two types of protectors, fitted and encased. A fitted mattress protector goes on your mattress like a fitted sheet, so it's easy to put on and remove. An encased mattress protector covers the entire mattress (including the bottom!), which helps prevent bed bugs.
3. Proper Support
One thing you might not think is vital for your mattress's longevity is the proper support. Whether this means a box spring, foundation, or platform bed, make sure the mattress has enough support system to ensure it's not sagging in any part. Sagging mattresses are more likely to wear out faster!
- Innerspring mattresses usually require a box spring.
- Memory foam mattresses need a solid platform base or a solid foundation.
- Hybrid mattresses do best on a solid base, bunkie board, or narrow slats.
- King and queen mattresses need center support bars in the foundations for adequate support.
Inspect your foundation or box spring every couple of years to ensure they're not saggy or worn out. And don't let your kids (or you) jump on the bed — it puts unnecessary stress and pressure on your mattress and foundation!
Pro Tip: For more flexibility in your mattress and increased benefits like reduced snoring and better circulation, look for an adjustable foundation!
4. Rotate/Flip Regularly
Let's face it — we all have our favorite spots to sleep in. But this doesn't do your mattress much good because it starts to wear and tear in one section sooner than the rest — that's why you need to rotate your mattress! Flipping and rotating your mattress helps make it last longer, and it will evenly distribute pressure points on all parts of the bed so that no particular area will be affected more than others.
So, at the beginning of each season, rotate your mattress 180 degrees; but don't forget to double-check manufacturer instructions! While some newer mattresses might not require flipping or rotating, the occasional rotation will still help!
Pro Tip: Avoid sleeping on the same side of the bed every night as it can cause uneven sleep, pain in the neck, shoulders, and hips, and lead to circulatory system issues!
5. Let in the Sun
As the mattress is used, moisture and humidity can build up over time — so make sure to let in natural light on your bare or covered-by-mattress-protector bed. The natural sunlight makes it easier to spot any stains or messes that need cleaning and prevents excess moisture from building up. Essentially, the sunlight dries out your mattress and keeps dust mites to a minimum!
6. Wash the Bedding
Along with keeping your mattress clean, you also need to keep your bedding clean. As you sleep, you shed hair and skin cells and smear body oils and sweat, which will accumulate in your bedding. And if you eat in your bed or let your pets sleep with you, there's no telling what's hiding in your sheets!
So, wash your bed sheets and blankets every one to two weeks, and don't forget to wash your mattress protector (follow the washing instructions!). You should also consider getting your pets their own separate bed to avoid any parasites and bacteria they track in. And avoid eating in bed to prevent crumbs that attract ants and cockroaches (or wash your bedding more regularly if you must eat in bed).
7. Prevent Bed Bugs
Bed bugs are the worst for several reasons, but one of the main reasons is that they make your mattress icky. As they nest in your bed, they leave dark spots in the corners of your mattress from shed eggs, blood, and other things. But don't worry; you can keep them out by doing a few routine measures.
- Use a mattress protector as a barrier so they can't infiltrate your mattress (we recommend encasement protectors!).
- Keep your room clean and organized to remove hiding places for them.
- Always double-check the mattresses you stay in when traveling overnight, and never put your luggage on the bed or floor!
- Be careful of second-hand furniture! Bed bugs can stay dormant for up to six months, so it might not be obvious the furniture is infested!
Is it time to replace it?
If you haven't taken these steps from the beginning, it might be too late to prolong your mattress's lifespan — it might be time to replace it! But what are the signs you should look for?
- Waking up with muscle and joint stiffness every day.
- Seeing visible signs of wear and tear, like noticeable sags and damage in certain areas.
- Worsening allergies (that's from the buildup of dust mites!).
- Your mattress is over eight years old (especially if you haven't taken any precautionary measures).
- The mattress makes more noise than usual whenever you move (especially in mattresses with spring construction).
If you see one or more of these signs, it's time to replace your mattress! But don't worry; our mattress selection at Crane's Mattress will have what you need to keep you dreaming sweet for years to come! And if you have any questions, give us a call!