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Mattress Care & Maintenance
Maximize the Lifespan of Your Bed

Last updated on August 19, 2020

Mattress maintenance is really very minimal, but it's important. What you do (or don't do) can shorten the usable years of your mattress and even void your warranty unintentionally.

Flipping and/or Rotating

If you have a two-sided mattress (meaning you can sleep on both sides), one way to increase its longevity is to flip and rotate it regularly. This is especially important in its first few years. Follow the manufacturers’ recommendation for how often to flip your two-sided mattress, but a good rule of thumb is to flip and rotate every 3 months during the first year and every 6 months thereafter. Note that flipping a full-sized or larger mattress is generally a two-person job! Also note that if your mattress has handles on the sides, they’re actually not made to support the flipping of a heavy mattress.  Get a good grip on the sides of the mattress to turn it over, rather than attempting to drag it by the handles.

Many mattresses sold today are no-flip beds. This means that only one side of the mattress is designed as a sleep surface, usually with layers of padding made from materials like memory foam and latex that are designed to provide comfort and resist compacting and forming body impressions. These mattresses can’t be flipped, but since partners are often of different weights and since the upper body generally weighs more than the lower body, no-flip mattresses should still be rotated head-to-toe in order to delay the onset of body impressions.

Keeping it Clean

Most mattress warranties stipulate that no dirty or stained mattresses will be accepted. Be aware that your idea of 'stained' and the company's idea of stained might be different. We've heard of inspectors who show up with a black light to find hidden stains on a bed and deny any warranty claim.

While you might consider your self a neat and tidy person, spills can happen in an instant. And if you have pets or kids, or incontinence issues, other accidents can happen in a flash.

That's why you should consider picking up a moisture-resistant or waterproof mattress protector and using it from day one. These are zip-on or pull-on covers that encase your  mattress to protect from moisture. Some of them also protect against bed bugs and help reduce dust mites. A queen size mattress protector costs $30 or $40.

Some cover the top and sides of the mattress much like a fitted sheet, while others encase the mattress completely and close with a zipper. We like the zippered kind; they don't cost much more than a pull-on protector, and they also give you some protection against dust mites and bed bugs in addition to moisture.

If your mattress comes with a removable and washable cover (fairly rare these days) follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for care and cleaning.

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