A good night’s sleep often relies on a good mattress – and when you find that good mattress you may be reluctant to part with it…
Since discovering all the nasties that lurk in my bed sheets, I’ve made a point of stripping my bed around every 10 days. I’ve even spent an entire afternoon in the launderette washing and drying the duvet and the pillows, and then conceded that I needed to replace the lot. I’d therefore assume my hygiene standards are quite high.
But now I’ve read that the actual mattress can contain dubious levels of staphylococcus, enterococcus, norovirus and even MRSA, according to The Sleep Council, not to mention dead skin cells and body oils, I’m not so sure.
I got my mattress (a water and latex one, for the record) when I made the move from renting to home ownership about 14 years ago. Since then, I’ve turned it regularly (no mean feat, it’s heavy), and flipped it over from summer to winter use around every six months.
Remembering the dust that came out of my parents’ mattress when a vacuum cleaner salesman (how very 1980s!) demonstrated why they absolutely had to buy his product, I’ve also given it a quick once-over with my vac each time it’s flipped.
As for actually deep-cleaning it? Not so much. After all, I use a mattress protector, which goes in the washing machine, along with the rest of the linen.
And despite its age, I’d be loath to part with my mattress. Anyone who sleeps on it agrees that it’s the most comfortable thing they’ve ever travelled to the land of nod on. Besides, when I bought it, I was told it was guaranteed for something like 25 years and good mattresses don’t come cheap.
I’m not alone. A recent study of 1,000 adults, found that half would be reluctant to change their mattress any sooner than 10 years after buying it. And 20% even stated that they’d be reluctant to change it ‘ever’, unless it was completely unusable.
In our mattress tests we’ve found that many of our Best Buys can stand up to 10 years of use, rather than the recommended lifespan of seven years.
When it comes to cleanliness, the same study found that 17% said they clean their mattress every month, followed closely by 16%, who carry out the task every two to three months. Another 11% would leave it as long as six months before cleaning it, which, to my shame, is probably the category I fall into.
And while my mattress protector does protect from spillages and strains, it apparently doesn’t keep dust mites and other allergens at bay, suggesting I’m risking a build-up of all sorts.
How often do you replace your mattress?
Whenever it becomes uncomfortable (67%, 688 Votes)
Every 8-10 years, like the retailers recommend (18%, 189 Votes)
I've never replaced my mattress and wouldn't unless I really had to (15%, 155 Votes)
Total Voters: 1,032
Will I spend the bank holiday weekend keeping out of the promised sunshine and hot-footing it to the nearest bed shop to replace my clearly filthy mattress? Of course not. And I don’t see me doing that anytime soon. But I might just vacuum it, give it a good wipe and invest in some baking powder to sprinkle on it.
How old is your mattress? How often do you clean it?