If you’ve neglected your mattress, it’s not too late to switch gears for the new year
Want to sleep better? Before you overhaul your coffee and social-media-bedtime habits, show your mattress some love – which might be the perfect way to start 2024. Mattress purchases represent a significant investment for our households but after the initial purchase, caring for them becomes a distant afterthought. To help your mattress help you sleep better, give it the continued care and attention it deserves. Ensure its longevity – and comfort life – with these resolutions around maintenance, cleaning and buying…
Repeat after me, “In 2024, I promise…. “
8 mattress resolutions guaranteed to help you sleep better
1. I will protect my mattress with a good-quality mattress protector
“If you have kids or pets, it should be a waterproof one,” suggests Darla DeMorrow, a certified professional organizer, based in Wayne, PA. “It is well worth the money for a good mattress pad and costs usually somewhere between $50 to $100.” She recommends washing it once every couple of months.
2. I will wash my sheets weekly
Isn’t it lovely to crawl between freshly laundered sheets? To keep your bedsheets smelling fresh and germ-free, throw them in the wash once a week. Use the warm-water setting on your machine to thoroughly eliminate dust, sweat and other icky stuff. (Hot water may shrink the fibers of your sheets.) Prevent your printed or brightly colored pillowcases from fading by laundering them inside out. Many Americans strip the bed every 10 to 14 days with some waiting as long as 3-4 weeks. Just don’t!
3. I vow to rotate my mattress seasonally (approx. 4 times per year)
“Many modern mattresses are made not to flip, but they can be rotated,” says DeMorrow.” Some mattresses are designed with zones for each part of your body so check the specs before you flip or rotate.” The goal is to help your mattress wear more evenly, which reduce lumpy body impressions that can be created over time – especially important if you’re sleeping single or your partner is heavier than you.
4. I won’t procrastinate washing my pillows and comforters
If your washing machine has a large enough capacity, launder your comforters and pillows regularly. After you wash pillows (twice a year is fine) and it’s time to dry them, DeMorrow recommends tennis balls into your dryer to help maintain fluffiness. Protect your pillows with covers to stop oil from your hair absorbing into the stuffing. Always check the manufacturer’s care label.
5. I will not neglect to treat any stains on my mattress and pretend they don’t exist
The longer you leave an untreated stain on your mattress, the more difficult it will be to remove. Address it soon as you can to prevent it from setting.
- Blot any liquids. If you’ve spilled liquid on your mattress, quickly blot up as much as you can with a clean cloth or towel.
- Clean with diluted dish detergent. Dilute dish detergent in a 50/50 mix with cold water in a spray bottle, then spray it on your mattress sparingly. Let it sit for several minutes before scrubbing.
- Repeat. Sometimes, one, two, or three rounds of gentle cleaning isn’t enough for stubborn stains, so keep at it. Just remember not to use too much water or you’ll saturate your mattress.
- Use hydrogen peroxide or laundry detergent for bodily fluids. Bodily fluids can be more difficult to remove, so try hydrogen peroxide first, blotting it with a clean cloth. Next, try a small amount of laundry detergent with a brush to break up the stain. Use cold water to gently remove the cleaner from your mattress.
6. I will not wait until my mattress starts to smell funky before I clean it
A mattress pad is always your best line of defense to keeping your mattress clean of dust, debris and bed bugs, but if you’re resistant to that idea, you’ll have to clean your mattress a couple of times a year. Start by vacuuming the mattress thoroughly using a bristled upholstery brush attachment to get into all the nooks and crannies. Then clean your mattress with vinegar: Dip a cloth in white vinegar and scrub any stains. Blot with paper towels to remove excess moisture. Let your mattress air dry before covering your mattress with sheets. If you don’t allow it to air dry completely, you risk creating the perfect moist environment for mold. Finally, sprinkle baking soda to your dry, bare mattress to soak up any odors. Let it sit overnight, then vacuum. Repeat on the flip side.
7. I will stop eating and drinking in bed
Don’t treat it like a second living room. Keep the crackers and cheese, snacks, toast and jam, tea and coffee out of your sleeping space. Breakfast in bed might sound like a novel idea, but it won’t do your sheets or mattress any favors. In a survey for Made.com, respondents said that they ate at least once meal a week between the sheets.
8. I will intervene and not allow my mattress to die a slow agonizing death
I will replace it when it’s time. The Better Sleep Council says that you should replace your mattress every 7 to 10 years, depending on how nicely you treat it. Know the signs indicating that your mattress is ready for retirement. They include: waking up with neck or back pain, feeling or spotting a dent or lumpiness in your bed, an increase of allergy symptoms (an indication of an allergen accumulation), sleeping better elsewhere, plus tossing and turning. Research shows that consumers tend to ditch their mattresses around the 10-year mark, which might be well past its shelf life. Experts say you should assess the health of your mattress and its impact on your sleep quality once you’ve owned it for 5 to 7 years.
Rest well & wake up ready to go!
Better sleep gives rise to better mornings, bringing your goals into focus and dreams within reach. Hungry for more sleep info? Dig into these posts:
- Health-boosting new year’s resolutions
- 10 simple ways to get a better night’s sleep
- The essential guide to creating a bed(room) you’ll love sleeping in