Composed of super-absorbent polyurethane foam (also called “synthetic viscoelastic foam”), memory foam mattresses provide soft support that feels like sleeping on a cloud. That makes sense, considering memory foam was first developed by NASA for space shuttles. Since memory foam’s debut in the mattress industry, sleepers have raved about the out-of-this-world comfort this type of bed delivers. But how should you take care of a memory foam mattress?
Fret not. Our experts have compiled a list of 7 tips to safeguard the comfort and durability of your memory foam mattress.
1. Use a Mattress Protector
Mattress protectors are a game changer. Engineered to prevent messes and spills from soaking through the mattress, a mattress protector should fit snug like a fitted sheet. In addition to fitted types, there are also encasement protectors that cover all six sides (bottom included) and are typically zipped up the side. Encasement protectors are ideal for sleepers who are trying to avoid allergens or bedbugs from penetrating the mattress.
It should be noted that in addition to food messes and liquids, bodily oils and skin flakes can negatively impact your mattress’s hygiene, so we think a mattress protector is a must regardless of whether you eat in bed.
2. Lay a Proper Foundation
While a memory foam mattress does not require a foundation to enhance your bed’s performance, using one can elevate your bed to a desired height. For memory foam mattresses, it is best to make sure that your base is firm, even, and has no major gaps. If you go with a slatted foundation, the slats should be no further than 2.75 inches apart, as larger gaps will contribute to the deterioration of the mattress over time due to uneven support. If the slats are any further apart, you'll need to buy extra slats or use a plywood board to create a more stable surface.
3. Ward Off Pets and Jumping Kids
This tip is pretty intuitive. Allowing pets to roam and rest on the bed means inviting potential germs, bugs, and bacteria to fester where you slumber. Best-case scenario: You get a sweet and snuggly sleeping companion. Worst-case scenario: Parasite eggs getting ready to hatch right next to you.
When it comes to young children, we suggest setting a hard and fast rule to never jump on the bed. Bouncing on the bed is not only unsafe but it is also not doing the mattress any favors. The fervent up-and-down motions put unnecessary pressure on the memory foam and will do little to prolong its lifespan.
4. Rotate Your Mattress Regularly
We’re sure you heard of this tip — but have you ever applied it? Now’s as good a time as any to start rotating your memory foam mattress 180 degrees every season. The idea behind this practice is that sleeping on the same spot every night can distress that area on the mattress, ultimately causing most wear and tear to be concentrated in one section. It should be noted that select premium brands manufacture mattresses that do not need to be flipped.
5. Vacuum Your Mattress
Vacuuming your mattress at least twice a year can prevent buildup of sweat, dust mites, and allergens from setting in. First, sprinkle your stripped mattress with baking soda — the longer the baking soda sits on the mattress, the better. As an optional measure, you may add a drop or two of an essential oil. At some point, whip out the vacuum, and using the upholstery attachment, suck up all the baking soda. Pay extra attention to the seams, tufts, and in between the mattress and foundation, as these are havens for dust mites.
6. Treat Stains Immediately
Accidents happen. So, instead of letting spills and splotches dry, we suggest undressing your mattress, throwing the bedding and any protectors or toppers into the washer. If the stain is apparent on the mattress, vacuum and spot clean it immediately. In terms of a cleaner, you can fashion a coarse paste out of lemon juice and salt (and let it sit on the mattress for 30 to 60 minutes). Alternatively, you can combine natural liquid dish soap, baking soda, a few drops of hydrogen peroxide, and water in a spray bottle. Spritz on the stain and blot away with a clean rag.
7. Don’t Make Your Bed
Yes, you read that correctly. While it’s a move that feels like you’re breaking rules, we recommend waiting to make your bed. Holding off on making your bed makes it so your memory foam mattress and bedding can breathe, giving any moisture created in the night a chance to be evaporated.
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