A proper mattress is no small investment, and maintaining one requires a bit more diligence than most of us realize. While the basics of cleaning bed linens may be relatively well-known, ask the average person about the art of mattress maintenance and you’ll likely meet a blank stare.
A modern mattress has the potential to last anywhere from 7 to 15 years, depending on how it’s made and how well you take care of it, so read on for simple tips on how to care for your mattress and extend the life of the most important furnishing in your home.
Mattress Maintenance 101
First things first: to keep stains and stress at bay, invest in foundational support and surface protection. This means making sure you have a solid bed frame with horizontal slats and/or a center beam to ease the tension created each time the mattress supports your weight, a box spring to absorb the remaining tension, and a mattress pad to protect the surface and keep it cleaner, longer.
To ensure even wear on both sides, It’s important to flip most mattresses over every three months or so. If your mattress doesn’t have a designated header and footer, rotate it each time you flip it as well. So, the part of the mattress that was resting just beneath your head last night will now be at your feet, facing downward, and vice-versa. If your mattress does have a specific set of directions about which end goes where and/or a series of care instructions, follow those to the letter to extend the life of your bed. Otherwise, these simple rules of thumb should apply.
Expert Tips for Mattress Care
Now that you’ve got the basics down, it’s time to step up your mattress care routine. You’re likely changing and laundering your linens about once every week or so, which is ideal. Even wiser is the act of letting the mattress breathe for the entire day while it’s in-between sheet sets. Moisture can build up in a mattress just like it does in blankets and clothing, and allowing a full 8 hours or so each week to air it out is always a good idea.
Remove your sheets when you get out of bed in the morning, open a window to encourage air circulation if possible, and don’t replace your linens until it’s time for bed in the evening.
While you can (and should!) certainly wash your linens, you clearly can’t put your mattress in the wash alongside them, but you can employ a timeless trick to keep it fresh and clean. On laundry day, sprinkle half a box of baking soda evenly across the surface of the exposed mattress, gently work it into the outer mattress fibers with a soft-bristle brush, and leave it there for several hours or even the whole day.
Before making the bed with a clean set of sheets, use a hand-held vacuum or a vacuum cleaner extension arm to remove the baking soda. Et voila: you’ve eradicated those lingering dust particles, odors, germs, and other unmentionables.
How to Remove Mattress Stains
This is real life, of course, and accidents happen, so at some point in the life of your mattress, a stain or two will probably occur. The best way to tackle the issue is to take care of it immediately, and a simple solution can go a long way.
For blood stains, make a paste of ¼ cup hydrogen peroxide, a spoonful of table salt, and a dash of liquid dish soap; apply it to the stain and let dry, then remove gently and dab any remaining discoloration with a dish towel dipped in hydrogen peroxide.
For other liquid stains, use a mixture of ½ cup hydrogen peroxide, 1 to 2 tablespoons of baking soda, and just a drop of liquid dish soap. Once mixed together, spread it gently over the stain without using so much that it sinks into the mattress, and let dry. For older stains, this process may take a bit of repeating, but tenacity and patience should pay off (as should a stain-resistant, machine-washable mattress pad).
Few things in life are more restorative than the perfect night’s sleep in the bed of your dreams. Now that you’ve got proper mattress care tips in hand, indulge in a full hotel bed experience with elements of the iconic Westin Heavenly Bed, a signature Marriott linen set, or sumptuous bedding curated by JW in the comfort your own home.