As a child, you may have been taught to make your bed every day as part of a productive morning routine.
But new advice suggests that making your bed as soon as you get up isn’t a good thing to do if you want to boost your health, wellbeing and longevity of a mattress.
This is because you need to allow the mattress to air and to avoid unhealthy moisture being trapped in the bed, especially in the summer.
Making your bed as soon as you get up isn’t necessarily a healthy thing to do as it is important to let the mattress air
Sleep experts at The Sleep Council and mattress retailer And So To Bed says the average adult loses 285ml of fluid each night as part of the sleeping process.
It means that if you make your bed every morning, the moisture is trapped to fester during the day, ready to be slept on again that evening.
The experts recommend pulling back the bed linen to give the mattress the chance to breathe and for moisture to evaporate.
The moisture can get trapped between the mattress and the linen causing discolouration and odours.
The experts go on to explain that pulling back the bed linen is particularly important when temperatures are higher during the summer months.
Taking this step can help to make a mattress last longer and help to promote a greater sense of wellbeing.
Martin Gill, of And So To Bed, said: ‘If you want to ensure the longevity of your mattress, a really good habit to get into is to resist the urge to make the bed when you get up.
‘As we approach the summer months, and warmer weather, we will likely be sweating more in bed while we sleep.
‘By making our beds in the morning we are trapping in that moisture, not allowing it to evaporate, which could lead to issues within the mattress fibres.
‘Instead pull back the linen and the mattress protector, open the windows and give your mattress some much needed ventilation.
‘If you don’t have one already, it’s a good idea to invest in a mattress protector to help wick moisture away from your mattress to help it last longer.
‘The summer months are a great time to service your sleep space, turn, rotate and even flip your mattress in line with the manufacturers care guidelines.
‘It is also the time to change to some natural linen alongside variable and interchangeable duvets to ensure that you get the best quality sleep by helping keep your body temperature regulated when temperatures rise.’
We take a look at some of the more common questions about to look after your mattress.
For the first three months of having your double-sided mattress, it is recommended that you turn it over once a week, and after that, turn it over just once a month
Should you flip your mattress and if so, how often?
Whether you need to flip your mattress or not is dependent on the type of mattress you have.
Double-sided mattresses can be flipped and should come with the instruction to turn over regularly.
For the first three months of having your mattress, it is recommended that you turn it over once a week. After that, turn it over just once a month.
This will ensure that the filling is evenly placed and stop dips from forming.
Single-sided mattresses – such as those with memory foam on top – can not be flipped but should still be rotated 180 degrees.
Like with the double-sided mattress, for the first three months it is recommended that you rotate your mattress from head to toe once a week. After that, rotate it just once a month.
For natural fiber mattresses, it is recommended that you turn your mattress at least twice a week for the first three months and once a season after that.
This is to encourage even settlement of the mattress fillings and subsequently to extend its life.
How to clean a mattress?
Cleaning a mattress is no easy task, and in severe cases best left to a professional.
However, there are some smaller mattress cleaning tips that will help prolong the life of a mattress:
Don’t use a vacuum
It seems tempting to vacuum dust and fluff from your mattress but the powerful suction of a vacuum cleaner can cause the filling to become dislodged – which can lead to bumps and dips.
Instead, use a soft brush to remove the debris onto the floor, which can then be vacuumed.
Mattress protections are like taking out travel insurance on holiday because you hope it isn’t needed but you will be glad you have it if the worst happens
Blot don’t scrub
Stains should be immediately tackled by blotting with a clean cloth.
If your mattress is filled with natural fibers this should be a dry cloth, ‘wet cleaning’ could damage the upholstery.
Other mattresses may be able to withstand warm soapy water on a rung out clean cloth, but always check the manufacturer’s advice before cleaning.
Hacks such as bicarbonate of soda and various harsh chemicals are not recommended.
Protect to prevent, rather than clean
The Sleep Council suggests that mattress protections are ‘like taking out travel insurance on holiday’ because you hope it isn’t needed but you ‘will be glad you have it if the worst happens’.
It points out that mattresses are not easy to clean, which is why taking preventative measures through investing in a mattress protector is the best course of action to protect it.
These are washable so should a spill happen the protector can be removed, and easily washed in the washing machine, leaving your mattress unscathed.
However, it warns heavily against using any plastic between the mattress and linen as this can encourage condensation – which could damage the mattress. Cotton, bamboo or tencel is likely a better option.
Regularly wash your bedding and mattress protector
Wash your bed linen every one to two weeks and your mattress protector once a month.
Regularly cleaning these will stop any dirt seeping through the mattress, keeping it cleaner for longer.
In the summer, you may have to clean your linen and protector more regularly due to sweat.