Caring for your mattress, old and new

If you’ve just purchased a new mattress, congratulations!  A mattress is a real investment in your health and the quality of your life, and it is important that you know exactly how to care for it in order to protect it for the full length of its useful life.  It is also important that when you’re about to put the new mattress in place, you know how to get rid of your old one.  Here is some helpful advice for disposing of your old mattress. Though many people tend to hold onto old mattresses for other family members to use, this is not always a good idea. Though it may be fine if you have replaced a mattress because you decided to purchase a new size or type, and the older mattress is still within its useful life, in most cases people simply don’t throw old mattresses away. This means that their family members end up sleeping on mattresses that may be past their prime and are not providing them with the support and comfort that they need. If you have a mattress that you are replacing because you’ve decided it is no longer up to par, don’t put somebody else in your family through the same discomfort you were experiencing. There are a couple of easy ways to dispose of an old mattress.
  • Most mattress retailers will provide pick up of your old mattress at the same time that they deliver your new one, and do not charge for this service. Others may charge a minimal fee for this, but it is worth it. Mattress delivery services are trained in how to carry these heavy pieces of furniture, and may have arrangements established with recyclers so that your bed won’t just end up in a landfill.
  • Your township or trash collector may provide a special pickup for over-sized items such as mattresses and box springs. Though they are not going to come into your home to remove these items, this service does eliminate the worry of how to transport the unwanted bed.
Here are a number of tips that can help you get the most out of your mattress and box spring.
  • Make sure that it is installed properly. This may sound like a no-brainer, but many people actually end up damaging their brand new mattresses when they attempt to transport them themselves. It is usually a good idea to have the outfit where you purchased your new bed do the heavy lifting for you – after all, we’ve all seen those mattresses lying in the middle of the highway, and we don’t want to be the ones trying to figure out how to strap it back onto the roof of the car as other vehicles whiz by.
  • Rotate your mattress. Though memory foam mattresses don’t need to be flipped, almost all mattresses will have a longer life if they are rotated on occasion. This allows for a more even distribution of weight through the mattress’ life and prevents early compression or indentation problems.
  • Buy yourself a protective mattress pad or a topper. There are a number of good reasons for having one of these, including protecting you from allergens and bed bugs, adding an additional layer of fire retardance or providing you with additional comfort. At the very least, a mattress topper gives you an extra layer of protection from spills and stains that can have a negative impact on the appearance and integrity of your mattress.
  • Off-gassing is a problem that has been reported in many new mattresses, particularly those that are made of memory foam. Though there is rarely any health risk to off-gassing it is a good idea to allow your mattress to breathe for a while before covering it up with a mattress pad or a fitted sheet. Opening a window will speed up the process of allowing any ‘new mattress’ smell to dissipate.
  • Make sure you have a good frame. No matter how good your mattress is, it needs to be adequately supported in order to ensure that the integrity of its construction remains solid. This is particularly important for larger sizes such as king and queen-sized beds. Most bed frames will include a center support that is designed to prevent a mattress from sagging in the middle.
  • Be careful of cleaning.  Though many people feel the need to clean a mattress, especially if it ends up getting a spill or stain, it is important to know the dos and don’ts in order to protect your investment. Most mattress manufacturers recommend nothing more than vacuuming a mattress to get out dust or dead skin. Never use a dry cleaning chemical or any kind of spot remover, as it may have a negative chemical reaction with the components of the mattress. Stains can be lightly treated with a mild soap and water mixture, but the best advice when it comes to mattress stains is to prevent them from happening by investing in a mattress pad.
  • Never remove your mattress tag. Though many people make fun of the law-breaking warning that comes attached to mattresses, box springs and pillows, those warnings are meant for sellers rather than buyers. Still, the tag contains valuable information that you will want to have if you ever experience a warranty issue.
  • Your bed is not for bouncing. Even though mattress commercials may show gleeful children bouncing on their parents’ bed in a moment of perfect family harmony, this is a terrible thing to do to your mattress and can damage it beyond repair. Beds are for lying on, not for jumping.
  • Never put a board between your mattress and box spring. This practice may have been popular decades ago as a method of providing additional support, but it actually weakens the bed and makes the situation worse.
With the proper care your mattress will provide you with years of comfort.