How often do you wash mattress/pillow protectors?
After lurking on many a ‘how often do you wash your sheets/towels’ thread, I’ve been a little concerned as to whether I should be regularly washing mattress covers/pillow protectors. They are infinitely more difficult to dry, especially in winter. I never used to use them, but 4dds have demonstrated to me that they are a necessity if you don’t want to be regularly buying new mattresses and pillows. I’ve been washing mattress protectors when beds get wet. For each child that averages at about once a month/six weeks. Is this disgusting? They aren’t turning yellow or anything, which is probably a good indicator of needing to be washed. Please come and tell me I am doing the right thing!
Personally i wash protectors every other chNge of bedding. Does this help?
when needed – as you are doing. Or grab a sunny day opportunity.
I wash pillow and mattress protectors on every change of bedding – once every one to two weeks. Bedding goes in tumble to dry, pillow protectors on radiators and mattress protector over dining chairs and dries overnight (I have two).
Eeeps.I work more on the theory that without a mattress protector, it would just be the sheets being changed/washed and the poor mattress would getting grubby with occasional vacuums and maybe the odd wipe down. The protector just saves the mattress a bit so while I change sheets every week or occasionally every other week the poor protector an every two or three month thing. Now I’m thinking I’m a total sluttern I should be changing it once a month.
annually when they look like they need a clea and the weather is fine, or if there have been any bodily fluid incidents.
Hmmm, so it’s split pretty evenly into doing what I do, and washing them all the time. T those that wash them all the time, are you using the plastic backed ones that take forever to dry?
You Hoover mattresses? I have never hoovered a mattress in my life!
I wash mine only when there is room in the washing machine for them in the load I’m doing, so probably ever couple of months or so.
About every 3 or 4 months for mattress protectors, possibly slightly more frequently for the pillow ones on our bed. I don’t have a tumble dryer, or a spare set so it has to be a day when it is sunny, or there is no other washing and I can get it washed and dried within the day.
My dc never wet their beds (just sheer good fortune on my part) so I wash their mattress protectors a couple of times a year. I guess that makes me skanky but, hey!
Pillow protectors every couple of bed changes. Mattress protector every couple of months. No kids so no little accidents. No tumble drier but find the type I have dry fairly quickly.
Imip I wouldn’t worry on the vacuuming of the matress since mattress protectors are supposed to lessen the need to vacuum the mattress itself. I’m not sure it does that much good anyway. Apparently 95% of dust mites will survive the mattress being vacuumed.
I think a mattress protector and sheets washed at 60 degrees C or above is enough to keep the dust mites down. Not sure why I bother about it so much given the amount of dust under the bed. I’m terrible at getting the Hoover right under.
I vacuum the sofa too although only about once a month though.
yes hoovering is a good idea for all mattresses as it helps keep dust and dust mites at bay, also good to turn the mattress over a few times a year. i wash my brolly sheets mattress protector s every month, as its also waterproof that does also keep the dust mites etc out a bit
I do it as a sort of Spring clean thing. probably twice a year for the mattress cover, but a bit more often for pillow covers. And also, if we ever have bodily fluid issues (rare). I am looking forward to better weather so that they dry.
Seems to work for us!
Hmmm, I am feeling much better now. Except of course with regard to hoovering the bed. My Hoover is actually really filthy. Lots of hoovering kid’s food mess off the ground etc. I wouldn’t want to put it on my bed. Banking on the mattress protector to keep the mattress clean!
How often Should You Replace Your Mattress Protector
How often should you replace your mattress protector? Mattress protectors are used by people of all ages for many reasons.
From protecting the mattress from stains and spills to being a barrier for allergens. Some protectors usually have one side that is material while the other has a lining to act as a barrier to protect the mattress.
Others may be material with a special waterproof covering. Proper care of both can help lengthen the life of the protector.
How often should you replace your mattress protector depends solely on personal use it does not matter what the manufacturer suggest as you will read below.
However, for the most traditional mattress protector brands that would destroy the lining and material due to the harsh chemicals that would be used. If the label does not say dry clean avoid the dry cleaners.
When using the traditional mattress protectors, you will be able to wash and dry the protectors without worries in your own home.
It is recommended that you wash the protector before placing it on your mattress. This will remove any odor or germs that it had come into contact with before you purchased it.
In addition, it will help with the flexibility and softness of the protector. You can use cold or medium water temperature with your regular detergent.
The bleach will destroy the lining and weaken the material in the protector. The mattress protector may be washed with other items such as sheets, towels, and clothing.
Drying the mattress protector also has its tricks. You must use low heat. The higher heat settings will cause the protectors’ lining to blister and you will have to discontinue using it.
The blister will eventually split and cause leakage in those spots. Also, the blisters can cause an uncomfortable feeling while lying on those spots.
You should not use a fabric softener or a dryer sheet on protectors that have no additional backing, for instance a plastic backing.
You should never use an iron on the mattress protectors. The heat from the iron could cause the blisters. Heat from the dryer and iron can not only damage your mattress protectors but could destroy it.
So how often should you replace your mattress protector? While it is recommended that sheets be removed and washed weekly, it is recommended that mattress protectors be washed bi-weekly or monthly depending on how soiled they are.
If your child is beginning potty training you should consider a waterproof mattress protector to prevent any accidents from reaching the mattress.
Once a year you should replace your mattress protector. If it is being washed heavily then it is recommended that you replace it every 4 to 6 months. Correctly caring for your mattress protectors will benefit you greatly!
Do I Need a Mattress Protector?
A mattress protector might be the most important accessory to have for your mattress. There seems to be a lot of confusion about what a mattress protector does. Often, when I bring up a mattress protector when selling a mattress, I get an immediate “no” as soon as I start talking, the customer fearing being “upsold.” Other times, the customer laughs and proclaims proudly that they don’t “pee the bed,” not realizing all of the other fluids that the human body produces. It baffles me that so many people sleep on mattress without a mattress protector. So what does a mattress protector do?
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What does a mattress protector do?
A mattress protector accomplishes four things:
- Keeps the mattress clean.Human bodies are pretty gross. We all perspire at night. We all produce oil from our skins. Some of us wear makeup. We all also shed dead skin cells. There are other activities that can produce a “wet spot” on the bed. All of this can soak through your sheets and into the mattress. Once a little gets into your mattress, it’s almost impossible to get it out of your mattress. A mattress protector prevents any of that from getting into the mattress and can be taken off and washed.
- Keeps the mattress feeling in “like new” condition for longer.Perspiration (or any moisture, like spilling a drink) will wear down the foams in the mattress, shortening the comfort life. It’s a similar effect to a kitchen sponge after too many uses. Even if only a little moisture gets through, after years of every night use that adds up. You will need to replace your mattress more quickly without the protector.
- Helps prevent dust mite allergies from acting up.Dust mite allergies are very common and can lead to issues such as sneezing, runny nose, wheezing, and shortness of breath. Dust mites eat dead skin cells, and there will be dead skin cells in your mattress if you don’t use a protector.
- Helps protect the warranty.As I mentioned in my warranty post, a stain will void the warranty. Even if the stain has nothing to do with the warranty issue, it still voids the warranty.
For all those reasons, everybody needs a mattress protector.
A mattress protector is different than a mattress pad. Mattress pads generally add some level of padding to the mattress (hence the name,) and is not generally waterproof. Mattress protectors are thin, won’t change the feel of the mattress, and are waterproof. If you buy the correct mattress, you won’t need any extra padding on the mattress, and you get to use the thin, waterproof mattress protector instead.
There are also mattress toppers, which are even thicker than mattress pads. If you use a foam topper, I’d recommend using the mattress protector over the topper, such that it covers both the topper and the mattress.
Types of mattress protectors
There are a few types of mattress protectors. The best protectors will have some sort of performance fabric on the top to wick away heat and moisture from the body. These tend to be the most expensive, but are great for people who sweat a lot at night. These are both waterproof and breathable. An example of this is the Bedgear Dri-Tec protector. This is the one I use.
If you’re concerned about your bedding being all organic, Naturepedic sells organic mattress protectors here.
Another type of protector will also be waterproof and breathable, but won’t have the performance fabric on the top. This tends to be more moderately priced, but has most of the function of the most expensive ones. An example of this is the Protect-A-Bed Premium.
The cheapest type of protector are the ones that feel more like plastic. These tends to be less breathable, and some are less durable but these are less expensive. At the bare minimum, everybody needs at least something like the SafeRest protector, which gets very high reviews on Amazon.
Everybody needs some type of mattress protector on their mattress. Having a mattress without a protector is like having an expensive smartphone without a case. If you don’t have one, get one, even if it’s the cheap one for $30. It’s more sanitary and it could protect your investment, which may have been $1000 or more.
10 Ways You Can Make Your Mattress Last Longer
By Rosie Osmun
Last Updated On February 24th, 2020
From cleaning to prevention, a little care and maintenance can go a long way in keeping your mattress in good shape for years to come. Enjoy 30% OFF any Amerisleep…
From cleaning to prevention, a little care and maintenance can go a long way in keeping your mattress in good shape for years to come.
Enjoy30% OFFany Amerisleep Mattress
Once you’ve invested in the best mattress, chances are you expect it to provide comfortable sleep on it for many years. The average mattress is designed to last anywhere from five to ten years or more, though how it is maintained can shorten or lengthen your bed’s lifespan.
Being aware of environmental factors and knowing the best ways to care for a bed can help you keep your mattress clean, healthy and providing comfortable sleep as long as possible.
How to Keep Your Mattress in Good Shape Longer
We’ve put together ten of the best ways to protect your investment by caring for the mattress and preventing disasters before they occur.
1. Make sure your mattress is properly supported.
While you may not always need to purchase the matching box spring or foundation with a new mattress, it is essential to make sure your mattress does have the right kind of support. This helps preserve the integrity of materials and prevent early wear.
Check with the manufacturer or look at the warranty policy for recommendations. Box springs are generally used only with spring mattresses, while memory foam mattresses and other specialty mattresses usually require firm, solid support.
Beds that use a frame should be designed to support the weight of sleepers and the mattress, and queen and king beds should have center support bars. Platform beds with wide slats may need extra support depending on mattress type and weight.
It’s a smart idea to check on your bed’s support every year or so to make sure there are no broken slats or springs that could affect your mattress.
2. Use a mattress protector from the beginning.
We’ve covered the benefits of mattress protectors before, and they are one of the best and simplest ways to protect your bed’s longevity.
A good, quality mattress protector offers waterproof protection to guard against spills and accidents, and they also reduce the amount of dust, debris and dirt that make it into your bed.
This helps protect the materials inside your bed from damage, keeps skin oils and sweat off the bed and reduces build up of allergens like mold and dust mites. A protector also makes cleanups a snap when accidents do happen, and many newer types feel just as comfortable as a fitted sheet.
3. Wash bed linens regularly.
When you sleep, you shed sweat, oils, hair and skin cells. Eating in bed also leaves behind crumbs, and pets can track in all sorts of things. In addition to getting yucky, all of this can get into mattress layers, breeding bacteria and encouraging dust mites.
Bed sheets and blankets should ideally be washed every week to every two weeks according to most cleaning experts. Even when using a mattress protector, it’s still important to keep linens clean. The mattress protector should also be washed occasionally according to a manufacturer’s directions.
4. Get pets separate beds to snuggle in.
Speaking of stuff in your sheets, it is better to give pets their own designated beds rather than letting them cuddle up on your mattress.
Even well groomed pets walk outside, drool and shed hair and cells just like people, and all that winds up in your bed. Pets also can have the occasional accident, which can all but ruin an otherwise good mattress.
5. Rotate the mattress regularly.
Every type of mattress benefits from being rotated regularly, no matter the material or the size. Some manufacturers say it is not necessary, but rotating helps promote more even wear, while not rotating makes depressions and softening more likely.
Every two to six months rotate the mattress 180 degrees from head to foot. This is particularly important the first couple of years as you are breaking in the mattress.
6. No jumping on the bed!
Your mother always told you not to jump on the bed, and she wasn’t wrong. Spring, water and air beds may be most prone to damage with rough wear, but foundations, frames and even foams can all wear down more quickly if you are hard on the mattress.
7. Take care when moving your mattress.
When you move, protect your mattress from damage by encasing it in plastic and avoiding bending or folding. Moving and box stores often carry heavy-duty mattress bags that can be secured with tape to keep dirt and water off the bed, and these also prevent scuffs and scratches.
Generally when moving a mattress, it’s also best to keep them upright on their sides so they don’t crease or sag in transit. For covers with handles, manufacturers typically suggest not using them to move or drag the mattress.
8. Don’t bring home unwanted hitchhikers.
Bedbugs are one of the fastest ways to ruin a mattress, as they can be difficult to get rid of once they infiltrate.
When sleeping away from home, always inspect the bed from signs of bed bugs and try to keep luggage off the floor. If you suspect bedbugs, Texas A&M University has a few tips for preventing bringing them back home.
In apartments or areas of the country where these critters are common, consider using a bedbug-proof mattress encasement. These differ from mattress protectors as they have impenetrable zippers and cover the bed on all sides to prevent bugs from making their home in your mattress.
9. Let the light in occasionally.
Every month or two when you have a sunny and dry day, strip your mattress and let the sunlight in to air out the bed for several hours (though if bedbugs are possible, leave the cover on).
This helps prevent excess moisture both from sleepers and humidity, and may also help keep dust mite populations in check according to Kingston University study.
10. Follow manufacturer cleaning directions.
Every type of mattress should be cleaned regularly to keep your sleep environment clean and keep your mattress healthy.
Many manufacturers will include directions for stain removal and general cleaning, but most beds should be vacuumed with a hose attachment to remove surface dust.
Stains can be spot treated with a mild water and soap solution, but allow them to completely dry before making the bed. Avoid using harsh chemical cleaners on foams as they can break down foam integrity.
Depending on dust levels, allergies, or personal preference, vacuuming should be done every 1 to 3 months and stains spot-treated as necessary.
Although different types and brands of mattresses can differ somewhat in care and maintenance, the basics are the same. Essentially, keep the bed clean, protect it from accidents and damage, ensure it’s supported, and rotate for even wear.
Mattress lifespan depends on many factors, but following these best practices can help ensure that you enjoy years of healthy sleep and that your investment lasts as long as possible. Whether you are looking at more traditional brick-and-mortar stores, or a new bed in a box mattress companies, know that a 10-year warranty on your mattress is considered an industry standard.
Do you have any great mattress care tips to share? Has your mattress kept in great condition since you purchased it?
This article is for informational purposes and should not replace advice from your doctor or other medical professional.
About the author
Rosie Osmun regularly contributes to the Amerisleep blog writing about topics including, reducing back pain while sleeping, the best dinners for better sleep, and improving productivity to make the most of your mornings. She finds the science of sleep fascinating and loves researching and writing about beds. Rosie is also passionate about traveling, languages, and history.
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8 Easy Ways to Make Your Mattress Last Longer
The average person spends anywhere from $500 to $3000 or more on a new mattress. Since it is one of the larger purchases for most households, many people expect beds to last for several years. But, not taking good care of a mattress can dramatically reduce it’s life span, and leave you in need of a new bed sooner than you anticipated.
A mattress typically lasts somewhere between five to ten years, according to the Better Sleep Council, National Sleep Foundation, and Consumer Reports. But how long your mattress will last depends on several factors, including quality of materials, sleeper size and usage. Care and maintenance can also play a big role in the lifespan of bed.
How to Extend the Life of Your Mattress
We’ve collected the top undercover ways to keep your bed in top shape. By following these sweet and simple steps, you can help protect your investment andmake your mattress last longer.
Rule 1: Use a Mattress Protector
Perhaps the single most important thing anyone can do to make a mattress last longer is to use a water resistant or waterproof mattress protector. Even if you’re a healthy adult who hasn’t wet the bed in decades, spills and other unforeseen accidents can ruin an otherwise good bed.
Liquids and bodily fluids can degrade foams, leave nasty odors, and produce mold and mildew within mattress layers. Cleanup can be very difficult once a spill soaks below the surface, whereas a mattress protector makes clean up swift and easy.
You also sweat a significant amount each night, which is absorbed into your bed along with shed skin cells, dust mites, and dust mite detritus. Keeping this out of your mattress reduces allergen buildup and keeps your sleep environment healthier.
Rule 2: Clean Your Bedding Regularly
People’s preferences for frequency of washing sheets and bedding can vary widely, but most experts suggest washing sheets at least every two weeks or so. Bedding soaks in sweat, skin cells and lots of other things you’d probably rather not sleep with, so remind yourself to keep sheets clean. If you have dust allergies or skin irritations, consider washing sheets even more frequently.
Rule 3: Clean Your Mattress Regularly
Did you know you should clean your actual mattress, too? Every month or so, it’s a good idea to strip your bed and vacuum the surface and seams to reduce dust and debris (even if you use a protector). Some cleaning experts recommend sprinkling baking soda on the mattress surface before vacuuming to absorb excess moisture and odors.
If your mattress cover is removable and washable, wash it as well. This is also a good time to inspect your mattress for any issues.
Rule 4: Regularly Rotate Your Bed
Rotate your bed regularly, especially the first couple of years. Every 2-3 months should be often enough to promote even wear and reduce impressions. Rotate your mattress even if the manufacturer says it’s not necessary, as it will help extend your bed’s lifespan.
Rule 5: Don’t Eat In Bed
It’s tempting to grab breakfast in bed or snack while watching movies, but it’s really a good idea to keep food off the bed. Crumbs can find their way into sheets and mattress layers, attracting nasties, while liquids can spill and cause problems as well.
Rule 6: Get Pets Their Own Beds
It may be comforting to have Fido to snuggle, but pets bring a whole new set of problems with them to bed. For one, they sweat, slobber, and shed hair and dander, all of which you’ll be sleeping with. Pets are also prone to accidents, which can ruin a good mattress.
Animals that go outdoors can track bugs and mites indoors as well, so it’s better for everyone if they have their own designated beds to snuggle up in.
Rule 7: Be Aware of Bed Bugs
Bed bugs can immediately turn a decent bed into a hazard zone. Be vigilant when you go to hotels or sleep away from home, as bed bugs are prolific hitchhikers and they can easily become your problem.
If you live in a bed bug prone area, consider using a bed bug-proof mattress encasement. These zippered covers fully encase the bed and prevent bugs from getting inside.
Rule 8: Ensure Your Mattress is Supported
Your mattress is designed to support you, but it also needs to be supported to provide long lasting comfort. Inspect your bed frame and foundation/boxsprings every couple of years to make sure they are in good shape and providing a solid foundation for your mattress.
Boxsprings that are saggy and worn out, wood slats that are weak or too far apart, or a broken frame can all contribute to quicker wear and reduce your comfort.
Pay Attention to Warranties
Finally, always read the terms of your warranty when you buy a new mattress. The manufacturer should spell out what they cover, how to file claims, and many also provide helpful tips for mattress care.
Several brands require beds to be stain-free, well-supported, and have tags attached. Not following these conditions can void your warranty, which may mean the manufacturer won’t provide support if a problem pops up.
Making Your Mattress Last a Long Time
By keeping your bed protected from allergens and accidents, regularly cleaning, and reading the fine print, you can help extend the life of a mattress as long as possible.
Starting with a good-quality mattress is also important to getting several years of good sleep, as lower-quality materials will break down sooner regardless of care. Check out our guides on mattress shopping, memory foam beds, and latex mattresses to learn how to shop and compare specifications.
While no mattress will last forever, taking good care of your bed could add a couple of years to a quality mattress, adding value and making it well worth your time.
Share: Let us know your tips for making a mattress last longer and getting the most out of your bed!