A mattress is a big investment and rightly so: the quality of your sleep has a profound effect on the quality of your life and how well you function. Since we spend about a third of our lives sleeping, it's worth it to take a few moments to keep it functioning at its best. Try out these tips every few months to keep your mattress in tip-top shape!
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- Strip your mattress down: Inspect the mattress for surface soil and stains. Spot clean using an upholstery shampoo or a tiny bit of diluted mild soap and let dry before you make up the bed again. Let dry thoroughly.
- Flip or rotate it every season: Turn the foot of the mattress so it becomes the head. Next season, flip it over. Rotate it the following season and flip it the season after that. If your mattress is a pillowtop, you won't be able to flip it over so just keep rotating it head to foot and foot to head. The result of these mattress acrobatics is that your mattress will wear evenly, free of the sags that come from constantly sleeping in the same spot. Even doing this every six months helps.
- Place it in the sun: We're not suggesting you drag it outside, but placing it in direct sunlight can naturally disinfect your mattress. If you've spot cleaned your mattress, do this step before you flip it over.
- Vacuum it: Even if you keep it covered with a mattress covere, it's a good idea to vacuum it to keep the dust mites at bay. After you've flipped and stripped your mattress, sprinkle it with a few handfuls of lavender (If you live near a Trader Joe's, try their lavender drying bags) before you place it in the sun. Not only will the lavender keep it fresh smelling but the scent is said to enhance sleep. No lavender? Try baking soda. Vacuum up the lavender or the baking soda.
- Now cover it with a mattress cover: A mattress cover protects your mattress and it's easier to wash a mattress cover if you spill something in bed (your morning coffee perhaps?) than a whole mattress. Try one that's made to keep dust mites at bay.
- Change your sheets regularly: Simply changing your sheets on a regular basis (once a week in most cases), can help keep dirt from collecting on your mattress and becoming a breeding ground for dust mites.
- Final trick: I like to tuck a used dryer sheet or sachet (all natural, of course) under our sheets when we make up our bed. They absorb odors and impart a pleasant scent.