A memory foam mattress can be an ideal investment for comfort, health and a great night’s sleep. But buying a quality memory foam mattress often means spending a bit of money. You’ll probably want to take steps to protect your investment and ensure your mattress lasts as long as possible. This guide provides tips for keeping your memory foam mattress clean, comfortable and functional for the long haul.
HOW LONG DOES A MEMORY FOAM MATTRESS LAST?
The life of your memory foam mattress depends on a variety of factors, including the quality of mattress you purchase, how you use it and how you care for it. The average lifespan of a good-quality memory foam mattress tends to be around 10 years, though some companies warranty their mattresses for 15 or even 20 years. Lower-quality memory foam mattresses may have a lifespan of only four to six years on average.
One benefit of a memory foam mattress is that a good quality model typically lasts longer than a traditional coil spring mattress. Often, memory foam mattresses contain antimicrobial materials or other agents that help reduce the dirt, dust and other debris that can filter through the layers. This is one reason they don’t have to be replaced as often.
GETTING THE LONGEST LIFE FROM YOUR MEMORY FOAM MATTRESS
Proper care can lengthen the life of your memory foam mattress to or beyond the warranty date. Here are some tips for making your mattress last.
1. PRACTICE GOOD CARE AND CLEANING OF YOUR MATTRESS
One of the best ways to keep your mattress around longer is to take good care of it. That includes cleaning it regularly. Memory foam mattresses don’t tend to soak up spills quite as quickly as a quilted pillow-top mattress might, which does make them easier to keep clean. You should always read the manufacturer’s instructions for the care and cleaning of your memory foam mattress, as different brands may require unique care. You can also use some general tips for cleaning a memory foam mattress of any type.
It’s also important to keep dirt and debris from filtering through the layers of your mattress. Small particles that find their way inside the mattress rub and grind against the fibers, slowly eroding them over time. A good handheld vacuum and regular attention to keeping the top layer of your mattress clean can help prevent this problem.
2. INVEST IN A MATTRESS PROTECTOR
Another way to protect your mattress from the very beginning is to cover it with a mattress protector. These come in a variety of types, including quilted, padded or simple fabric. Mattress protectors help keep out dust and debris, but they also provide a layer that blocks sweat, spills and other things that can negatively impact the life of your mattress.
3. PAIR THE MATTRESS WITH AN APPROPRIATE SUPPORT LAYER
Memory foam mattresses must rest upon an appropriate foundation layer to ensure optimal comfort and reduce dips or pressure points that could cause the mattress to wear earlier than normal. That doesn’t mean you need to buy the exact box spring that’s branded to pair with your mattress of choice. However, you should take some effort in researching recommended foundation layers when you buy your mattress.
Find out whether your mattress needs a foundation layer at all, and consider where you plan to place it. If you’re using a metal or slatted bed frame, you probably need to add a box spring or foundation board. If you’re placing the mattress on a flat platform bed surface, then a separate foundation layer may not be necessary.
4. ROTATE YOUR MATTRESS ON A CONSISTENT SCHEDULE
Other than environmental hazards, the biggest danger to a memory foam mattress is degradation. The mattress layers will break down over time, but you can delay that process by rotating your mattress regularly. Most memory foam mattresses can’t be flipped because there’s a single comfort layer on one side, but if you do have a mattress that can be used on both sides, flip it when you rotate it.
Rotating mattresses moves the “hot spots.” These are the spots where the most pressure exists as you lay or sleep. For example, where your hips rest is likely one of these spots, because this is often the place where your body puts the most pressure on the mattress. This increased pressure causes that area of the mattress to break down at a faster rate. Since people tend to sleep in similar locations and positions each night, rotating your mattress moves those spots so one area isn’t taking the full brunt of that increased pressure over time.
5. KEEP EXTERNAL PESTS AND DEBRIS OUT OF YOUR MATTRESS
Bed bugs, dust mites and other infestations can spell death for any type of mattress. While you may be able to get professionals to treat your mattress for such pests, these methods don’t always work 100%. That’s especially true with bed bugs.
To protect your mattress, take precautions against these pests — especially if you live in an area that’s prone to them. Some tips to reduce the likelihood of infestations include:
- Not allowing other people to sleep in your bed
- Using a mattress protector as an additional barrier
- Washing clothing well after you’ve traveled
- Avoiding laying your suitcase or items that have been in hotel rooms on your bed
- Washing your bedding regularly in hot water to kill small mites and bugs
6. DON’T EAT IN BED
Spills are an obvious risk when you eat or drink in bed, but you can also see and address them immediately after they happen. Crumbs are a more insidious problem that can come from snacking in the sheets.
The first problem with crumbs is that they can act like any other particles that get caught in your mattress. Over time, they work their way through the layers of your mattress, causing damage and wear. The second problem with crumbs is that they attract other things into your bed — including some of the pests we warned about in the previous section.
The best course of action is to simply to keep food out of bed. But if you love your late-night cracker or cookie habit too much to quit it, take precautions against crumbs. Eat over a plate, clean up immediately and vacuum your bed regularly.
7. DON’T LET PETS SLEEP WITH YOU
Pets come with a lot more than cuddles when they climb into your bed. For one thing, our furry friends come with claws that can wear and tear your bedding or mattress. They may also bring in shed hair, dander, drool, debris and pollen from outside that can all make its way into your mattress. Keeping pets out of your bed can lengthen the life of your mattress and the rest of your bedding.
No mattress will last forever, but if you make protective choices and take a little time to clean and care for your memory foam mattress, you can get the most out of your investment.