Post 50

5 Disgusting Truths About Your Mattress

Horizontal female hand pulling bed sheet with mattress and box spring in background
Horizontal female hand pulling bed sheet with mattress and box spring in background


If you’re someone who loves to sleep, your bed might be the most important piece of furniture in your house. And even if you don't love to sleep, you spend over 2,000 hours a year in your bed. The irony is, you probably don’t do much to it in the way of cleaning and upkeep to your mattress, but you should. “If you take care of your mattress, it should last ten years or more,” says Michael Magnuson, founder of Goodbed, a mattress review web site. And with mattresses costing anywhere from a few hundred dollars to $5,000 or more, that's good incentive.

We asked Magnuson and cleaning expert Linda Cobb (aka The Queen of Clean) for their best advice when it comes to caring for your bed. The first rule of thumb: never let kids jump on it, which ruins the coils or foam. Read on for their other must-know bed-saving tips.

The truth about flipping
Jupiterimages via Getty Images
To flip or not to flip, that is the question? Or it used to be until about 15 years ago when mattress manufacturer Simmons realized that even though flipping helped the mattress wear more evenly, people didn’t like taking time to do it. So in response, Simmons created the no-flip mattress, and other manufacturers followed suit. Now, according to Magnuson, no mattresses need to be flipped. However, if your mattress is more than 15 years old, Cobb suggests flipping it every 6 months. And whether it’s a newer or older mattress, you should still rotate it end for end every 6 months to keep it from sagging in places.
Dust mites
Kyoungil Jeon
“Contrary to common myth, dust mites do not get into your mattress and double the mattress weight,” says Magnuson. It’s a wives tale that went viral a few years ago, he says. Dust mites are tiny bugs that the human eye can’t see and feed off dead skin cells. They won’t ruin your mattress, but they can cause sneezing, a runny nose, and asthma, according to the Mayo Clinic. The best way to get rid of them? “Vacuum your mattress every other month,” says Cobb. “After wiping the bottom of your vacuum with a damp paper towel and drying it, you can run it right over the mattress. Use the crevice tool to get the corded area.” Dust be gone!
Cleaning 101
tab1962 via Getty Images
“Never put water or cleaners on a mattress,” says Cobb. “Water and moisture break down the foam and other filling. It also can create mildew and odor.” The best way to keep your mattress clean: Put a protective cover over it.

“The biggest mistake people make is not getting a cover,” says Magnuson. The cover should be water-resistant and also be designed to protect against dust mites and bed bugs. A mattress cover also ensures that you don’t void your mattress warrantee. “If you spill something—anything—on your mattress and then have a problem with it later on, the warrantee is automatically voided,” says Magnuson. The smart thing to do: use a cover.

Care for your cover by washing it every other month or at the least every three months, says Cobb. "Then throw it in in the dryer with a couple of clean tennis balls or athletic shoes to fluff it up well," she says.
Getting odors out
moodboard via Getty Images
Musty, body odor smells can permeate a mattress. So can mildew smells. “You need an odor eliminator not a cover up, and something that can be used dry because anything wet will ruin the mattress,” says Cobb. She suggests Odorzout. 'It is used dry, is all-natural and you can sleep on the bed right away after using it—there is no 'air-out' time," she says.
A word about stains
Victoria Snowber via Getty Images
Whether you’ve spilled a glass of water, or your grandchild has had an accident, if there’s no protective cover on the mattress, do the following, according to Cobb:

1. Quickly blot the area with pads of paper towels to pick up any liquid. "The stain will still be there, but you can lessen it," she says.:

2. Stand up the mattress against the wall to stop any more progression of liquid downward into the coils. :

3. Blot with paper towels or old rags rung out in cold water. "Blot firmly to remove all moisture you can," Cobb says. "Then place a fan across from the mattress to blow on it to speed drying." :

4. If the stain has an odor to it, when the mattress is as dry as you can get it, lay it down, cover the spot with a paper towel and sprinkle on dry odor remover and let it do it’s job. Vacuum or lift off the paper towel and replace it with fresh odor remover every 24 hours and repeat until all odor is gone. Once it is dry, put on the plastic mattress pad immediately and keep it on.

Before You Go

Kitchen Drain

Where Are Germs Lurking In Your Kitchen

Popular in the Community