CLEANING AND CARING FOR YOUR MATTRESS
Americans sleep an average of 7.7 hours a day, according the U.S. Bureau of Labor. That’s a lot of mattress time. And the caliber of that sleep depends a lot on your mattress — mainly its quality and how well you take care of it. Once you’ve bought the right mattress, you’ll want to know how to properly maintain it. “Taking proper care of your mattress will help you to protect your investment and promote better sleep,” says Lin Enilk, a r...epresentative of the American Sleep Association. Here’s what experts say about cleaning and caring for your mattress.
1. Read your warranty. “Before you do anything to your mattress, be sure you read the warranty and understand what the limits are,” says Mary Helen Uusimaki, vice president of marketing and communications for The Better Sleep Council, adding that some manufacturers stipulate specific cleaning instructions. Understanding how your actions may affect your warranty will save headaches and possibly money in the future.
2. Get some protection. The most important part of caring for your mattress is having preventative layers that create barriers against moisture, dust and dirt. “There are a ton of covers and pads and encasements that help protect your mattress, particularly for those who might have allergies to dust or dust mites,” Uusimaki says.
Covers don’t necessarily just go on top of the mattress; they can zipper tightly closed, completely encasing it. These come in a variety of prices and materials, such as cotton and cotton blends, often with polyurethane backing. Covers serve different purposes, from protecting against dust and dust mites to creating waterproof barriers — great not just for potty-training kids but also for people who tend to sweat in their sleep — to warding off bacteria. There are also scented encasements.
Yet another option: mattress covers designed to prevent bedbugs. “Another destroyer of your sleep investment,” says Lin Enilk of the American Sleep Association.
3. Tackling spills. For mattresses without protective barriers, Uusimaki recommends treating spots, stains and spills with a damp cloth and warm water. It’s important to note the difference between a damp cloth and one that’s soaking-wet. “You don’t want to saturate your mattress,” Uusimaki says. “It’s just like your sofa. You wouldn’t pour water on your sofa.” Avoid steam cleaning as well.