Mattresses take up a significant amount of landfill space with each mattress using up to 40 ft.². They don’t compact well and clog compacting machinery, making them an expensive addition to the landfill even before they’ve reached their final destination. While environmentally friendly and biodegradable mattresses have started to enter the market, many people are looking for ways to extend the life of their current mattress to reduce their overall carbon footprint. We’ve put together our best tips to keep your mattress in your home longer.
1. Waterproof/Resistant Mattress Pad
First off, a mattress pad may sound like a simple solution, but it can have a big impact on the life of your mattress. It protects the mattress from body fluids, oils, and dirt that can make its way through the fibers into the mattress’s comfort layers. It’s also far easier to clean a mattress pad than a mattress because they can be thrown into the washing machine.
2. Regularly Rotate the Mattress
At one time, mattress manufacturers recommended flipping the mattress from front to back every few months to prevent uneven wear. However, most mattresses today have a single sided design that makes flipping unnecessary. Instead, it’s recommended to rotate the mattress 180 degrees every two to three months for the first two years. After that, you can extend the rotation schedule to every six months to a year.
3. Vacuum the Mattress
Mattresses accumulate dead skin cells, dirt, and debris over time. A monthly vacuuming prevents these substances from working their way into the surface of the mattress. An upholstery attachment makes the job easier but you really just need a vacuum with a good sized hose to get the job done. For extra cleaning power, try sprinkling baking soda over the surface of the mattress before vacuuming to absorb odors and moisture.
4. Wash Your Bedding
Everyone knows they should regularly wash their bedding, but the question is how often. Experts recommend every two weeks, but it depends on how dirty your sheets get. Your bedding soaks up sweat, body fluids, and anything else that gets in your bed so some people may need to wash their sheets every week. Cleaner sheets mean a cleaner mattress cover, which in turn, means a cleaner mattress.
5. Keep Food Out of the Bed
Breakfast in bed may sound like a good idea but it opens the door for crumbs and potential bacteria to get into your bed. Crumbs make tasty snacks for all kinds of bugs we’d rather not mention. Drinks are particularly hazardous because one spill could permanently stain your mattress. Overall, it’s better to eat in another place.
6. Have Pets Sleep Somewhere Else
Pets bring a whole host of new bacteria into the bedroom. Pet dander and hair cling to almost every surface. Not to mention the fact that animals may bring extra outdoor dirt and debris onto the mattress. Your mattress will last longer if your pet has his own pet bed in the corner.
A mattress serves two purposes, which are sleep and sex.
So, when it’s properly cared for, it can continue to serve those purposes for well beyond the standard seven to eight-year mattress life. When you schedule regular mattress maintenance into your life, you’re protecting yourself and the environment.
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