Few investments are more important than the investment you make in your bed. After all, the average person spends nearly a third of their life sleeping, and the quality of that sleep can impact your physical health and emotional well-being.

While investing in the right mattress is an important first step, protecting that investment is equally important. Not sure what you should keep in mind? Here are 5 things that could damage or outright ruin your mattress — and a few tips on how to better protect your bed.

 

Not adequately protecting your bed from liquids and fluids.

Anyone with children already knows that the likelihood of a few nighttime accidents is high. That said, it’s not just wetting the bed that can damage the upper layers of a mattress.

Perspiration and body oils can also make their way into the top layers of your mattress, causing an overgrowth of bacteria and even lingering odor if not dealt with early and often. The same goes for drinks — coffee, tea and even water spills are absorbed into deeper layers of foam, making them very difficult to clean.

How to protect your mattress:

If you tend to sweat through your sheets on a regular basis, you might want to consider investing in a cooling mattress or more breathable sheets — especially if overheating is impacting the quality of your sleep.

You can also protect your mattress from liquids and fluids with a mattress protector — or for even fuller 360 degree protection, a mattress encasement. Made with semipermeable yet moisture-repellent materials, mattress protectors allow air to move freely through the top layers of your mattress while keeping harmful fluids away.

 

 

Failing to account for dust mites (yuck).

Every house has dust mites, the microscopic bugs that feed on dead skin cells and tend to thrive in plush surfaces (like the top layers of your mattress). While they can’t be completely eliminated, there’s plenty you can do to reduce the number of dust mites that make their way into your bed.

How to protect your mattress:

You can keep dust mites under control by washing your bedding at least once a week in hot water. It’s also a good idea to vacuum carpet and furniture in your bedroom regularly, and to thoroughly clean your mattress every few months. Mattress protectors and mattress encasements can also keep dust mites away from the top layers of your mattress, where they might be harder to eliminate with cleaning alone.

 

Forgetting to provide proper airflow to your mattress.

Without proper airflow, stale odors and moisture to settle into your bedding and mattress. This is especially true if you immediately replace your sheets when changing them, since this doesn’t allow the top layers of your mattress to properly air out.

How to protect your mattress:

Every time you change your bedding, give your mattress about half an hour to air out before replacing the sheets. Open your bedroom doors and a few windows if you’re able, and make sure to vacuum the top layers of your mattress to get rid of any debris.

 

Forgetting to rotate your bed.

Most modern mattress no longer need flipping, but rotating your mattress on a regular basis is a great way to increase its lifespan. That’s because rotating your bed allows body weight to be more evenly distributed across your sleep surface — and can help reduce sagging over time.

How to protect your mattress:

Most experts (including Brooklyn Bedding) suggest rotating your mattress 180 degrees every six months. If you need help remembering when it’s time to rotate your bed, try scheduling it around daylight savings time. Every time you swap the clocks, swap the position of your mattress too!

 

Using the wrong foundation.

Whether your mattress is made entirely of foam or a combination of foam layers and an innerspring system, it needs proper support. Not having the right support for your bed can cause excessive sagging that leads to uncomfortable pressure points and poor spinal alignment during sleep.

How to protect your mattress:

When you buy a mattress, make sure you also have the right type of foundation. Most all-foam and hybrid mattresses need more durable support — usually a platform bed frame or slats no greater than 8 inches apart. This will help maintain the integrity of your mattress for even longer, and promote better spinal alignment when you sleep.

 


Not sure what type of foundation you need? Check out these helpful tips on choosing the right foundation for a foam mattress.


 

On average, a well cared for mattress lasts anywhere between 7 and 10 years — and investing in things like a mattress encasement or solid foundation can even help extend that lifespan even more.

No matter how well you care for your bed, you’ll eventually need to consider replacing or upgrading your mattress. If you think it’s time to replace your bed, talk to a Sleep Expert about what type of mattress is right for you.

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