You probably don’t think much about your mattress. Why would you? It’s usually hidden beneath layers of sheets and bedding. But since a mattress is a big-ticket item—and since we spend about a third of our lives in bed—taking proper care of it is in our best interests. I’ve already detailed how to clean and deodorize your mattress here, so in this guide, I cover exactly what you should and shouldn’t do to keep your mattress in good working order for a good long time.

Do: Use a Mattress Protector

This is crucial! It’s a no brainer: It’s way easier to slip off a mattress protector and throw it in the wash—or even in the trash (if you did something really bad on it!)—than it is to have to fiddle around with your actual mattress. Trust me, in my house, my mattress protector has taken a beating, but my mattress looks brand new. Also, it’s important to note that mattress manufacturers recommend a protector because any staining can actually void your warranty. Here are some great options:

Don’t: Get It Wet

Mattresses and moisture don’t mix. While boxsprings don’t like water, memory foam models can’t handle it at all. Liquids get trapped inside their cellular structure and then have nowhere to go. So if you ever need to spot clean, be very stingy with the stain remover and water and blot like a madman or woman.

Do: Speed Up Drying

Should your mattress ever come in contact with water, get it super dry at super speed. You can use an electric fan or even multiple fans. If you have access to a wet-dry vacuum, you can also soak up any excess moisture (using a clean attachment, of course). Don’t even think about sleeping on a mattress until it is completely dry.

Don’t: Try to Do It Yourself

No matter how handy you are or how many successful DIY projects you have under your toolbelt, some tasks are best left to the experts. When it comes to the heavy-duty jobs, like bed bug removal and steam cleaning, you definitely want to call in a pro. Bed bugs are a super time-sensitive issue, as they spread like nobody’s business, so I’ll add that you should call that professional pronto. Have them treat your mattress, bedroom and any other areas affected in the house immediately. 

Do: Flip and Turn It Seasonally

Different parts of our body weigh on a mattress differently—and different people weigh on it differently, too. (My and Chad’s weight varies by about 100 pounds, for example.) To ensure even wear and tear over time, alternate between flipping and rotating your mattress once a season. Flip your mattress over in spring, then rotate it 180 degrees in summer, and so on.

Do you have any coveted mattress care tips? I’d love to hear them! Please share them below.

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  1. Yes! You’re so right Melissa. We often forget to take care of our mattress even though we use them daily. It is important to take care of our mattress for our good health and clean habitat.

  2. So in 2016 I read an article from Good Housekeeping about the grossest things in your home… it has haunted me ever since because of this single factoid:
    Your 8 year old mattress has about 10 POUNDS of DEAD. SKIN. CELLS.

    So gross!! Why did I read that article?! I’m sorry, but I just had to share that.

    Also Melissa, I adore you! Thank you for what you do!


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