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How to Protect Your Mattress & Extend its Life

December 4, 2020  ·  10 min read

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Knowing how to protect your mattress isn’t a skill that many of us are taught as we’re growing up. But considering how much time we spend on our mattress as well as how important sleep is to our overall health, taking care of your mattress could be considered just as important as maintaining your vehicle. 

Fortunately, knowing how to protect your mattress and knowing how to make your mattress last longer are one in the same skill sets. That means just by putting in a little extra effort, you’re protecting both your sleep hygiene and your investment. 

Here are our Texas Mattress Makers’s top tips for how to protect your mattress starting today.  

Our Top Tips for How to Protect Your Mattress 

1. Buy the right mattress for your body 

By finding the right mattress for your body type, you can actually start protecting your mattress (and your sleep) before you even take your mattress home from the shop. Think of it this way: certain mattresses are built to support some body types better than others; if someone whose body type doesn’t match what the mattress supports sleeps on said mattress night after night, that is good for neither the sleeper nor the mattress. 

In other words, sleeping on a mattress that wasn’t built to meet your sleeping needs can ruin that mattress as well as your good night’s sleep. 

One of the easiest ways to tell that you haven’t selected the right mattress for your body type is if your mattress starts getting “lumpy,” although a lumpy mattress shouldn’t be confused with a mattress that has formed natural body impressions (which are good). 

You can see our article on sagging mattresses vs. body impressions for more information. And if you’re not sure if the mattress you’re sleeping on is meeting your needs, we encourage you to check out our guides to understanding Bad Mattress Symptoms and How Often You Should Replace a Mattress. (Hint: It’s not every 8 years.) 

2. Use a box spring 

Our next tip for how to protect your mattress and how to make your mattress last longer is a no-brainer to some, but may be news to anyone who is truly investing in their mattress for the first time… and that is: Use a box spring! 

Box springs create a solid, even surface for your mattress to rest upon, keep your mattress elevated and help protect your mattress from getting bumps or waves. In fact, failing to put your mattress on an appropriate box spring or bed frame can void your warranty at Texas Mattress Makers and other mattress stores. 

It’s important to make sure that your box spring is in good condition. A bad box spring can ruin a mattress, not protect it.  If your box spring is broken from your kids jumping on the bed or is simply getting old, consider getting a new one. Our experts suggest replacing the box spring when replacing your mattress as well, unless your box spring is truly in pristine condition.

Texas Mattress Makers sells many types of box springs, from “low profile” box springs that minimize the height of your bed to acid reflux box springs for reducing the effects of nighttime GERD to adjustable foundations. We have a variety of box spring types guaranteed to meet your needs. Having a custom mattress made in Houston? We can make you a custom box spring to match. 

3. Use the right type of mattress protector 

When learning how to protect your mattress, you will inevitably ask yourself the questions: Do you need a mattress protector or cover? And if so, what is the best material for a mattress protector?

Yes, you absolutely should invest in a mattress protector. Mattress protectors help shield your mattress from stains, including body fluids like urine and sweat. They also help keep dust and particulates (including dead skin) from sinking into your mattress. All in all, they are a solid investment for protecting your mattress and helping it stay cleaner for longer. Additionally, many mattress businesses void their warranties if mattresses have liquid stains. 

In terms of what type of mattress protector to buy, we recommend making sure that the protector you purchase is made of 100% cotton (or something else that is breathable) so that whatever mattress technology is helping keep your mattress cool is not countered. For the same reason, a thin material is often better than a thick one. In fact, thick mattress protectors can alter the feel and comfort of your mattress. 

Finally, since many of Texas Mattress Makers’s mattresses are higher than your average mattress, we also recommend getting “deep-pocketed” mattress protectors. We recommend washing your mattress protector every other time you wash your sheets — or every time, if you tend to go a longer length of time in between changing out your bedding. Though we don’t carry mattress protectors in our inventory, feel free to call our showroom if you have questions. 

4. Don’t flip or rotate your mattress (unless you buy a double-sided mattress)

It used to be common practice to flip (i.e. turn your mattress over so that the top is now the bottom) and/or rotate (i.e. shift your mattress so that the top left corner is now the bottom right) mattresses regularly. The thinking behind this was that sleepers could then rest on an “unused” part of the mattress 

These days, however the vast majority of mattresses made around the world are no longer supposed to be flipped. (Although if you like having the option to flip your mattress, Texas Mattress Makers does make double-sided/flippable mattresses.) Instead, they are made so that the bottom layers provide support, while the top layers adjust for comfort. For that reason, flipping your mattress would be not only bad for the mattress, but for your sleep. 

In terms of rotating your mattress, this practice may work out for single sleepers, but in general it’s better to sleep on your same side of the bed regularly. Many good mattresses form body impressions that help provide you with a better night’s sleep; when you rotate your mattress, you lose “access” to these body impressions.  

5. Don’t bother with mattress toppers 

When looking into options for how to protect your mattress, you may run into suggestions for mattress toppers. However, at Texas Mattress Makers, we do not sell or promote mattress toppers. In terms of mattress hygiene, mattress toppers do not offer anywhere near the same level of protection as mattress protectors. And in terms of making your mattress more comfortable, mattress toppers can only temporarily mask the issue of a bad mattress.  

Want to hear Texas Mattress Maker founder and owner discuss how to extend the life of your mattress? Check out the following Snooze News: 

Additional tips for how to protect your mattress for specific situations

1. How to protect your mattress when moving 

Moving can quickly add wear and tear to your mattress. One of the best ways to protect your mattress during a move is to use a mattress bag. If you don’t have one of these, you can call our showroom to see if we have an extra one handy. 

Whether or not you have a mattress bag — but especially if you don’t — you will also want to try and transport your mattress inside of a vehicle. Not only is the method much safer for others on the road, but it guarantees that your mattress won’t get soaked by one of Houston’s sporadic storms. 

2. How to protect your mattress from pets

One of the best ways to protect your mattress from your pets is to invest in a separate mattress for pets (a pet bed, in other words). But if you are unable or unwilling to kick your pooch or kitty out from under the covers permanently, make sure to invest in a mattress protector. You may also want to consider purchasing a slightly bigger mattress than what you alone might need, so that your pets have a designated place to sleep. 

3. How to protect your mattress from bed bugs 

Bed bugs are a horrifying nuisance. If you already have bed bugs, we highly recommend seeking the help of a professional exterminator. However, if you simply want to protect your mattress from potential bed bugs, there are several things you can do: 

  • Vacuum your bed and the area around it regularly. 
  • When traveling, check for bed bugs before getting into the bed. 
  • When traveling, don’t put your bag on your bed; put it on the designated rack or leave it on the floor. When you get home, do not unpack your suitcase on your bed. 
  • Vacuum the inside of your bag after you get home from traveling. 
  • If you know that you have recently been in contact with someone who may struggle with bed bugs, wash your clothes immediately when you get home. (And wash them separately from other clothes). 
  • Check the seams of clothes you purchase from second hand stores before purchasing them. 
  • Check the crevices of second hand furniture before you purchase it. 
  • Avoid purchasing used mattresses, especially from individuals whom you do not know well. 

4. How to protect your mattress on an adjustable foundation 

Adjustable foundations are wonderful for personalizing your sleeping position and for individuals who like to watch TV, read, or work in bed. However, not all mattresses are made to work well on adjustable foundations. Putting the wrong type of mattress on an adjustable foundation can quickly ruin that mattress. 

Open coil mattresses aren’t ideal for adjustable mattresses, and neither are mattresses with coil-on-coil components, such as Texas Mattress Makers’s River Oaks mattress. 

If you plan on using an adjustable foundation, make sure to chat with our experts to make sure that your mattress will work well with your new foundation. 

For a Longer-Lasting Mattress, Buy the Right Mattress for Your Body Type at Texas Mattress Makers 

At Texas Mattress Makers, we are committed to helping our customers keep their mattresses in good condition for longer. However, as we said before, the best tip for how to protect your mattress is to buy the right type of mattress for body type in the first place. If you think it’s time to invest in a new sleeping surface, let our mattress experts help find you the best mattress for your sleeping needs. 

Simply visit any of our convenient Houston-area locations to try out mattresses in-person or shop online by selecting your preferred comfort level, mattress type, mattress size, or budget.

Questions? Contact us to chat with a mattress expert today! 

More Beducation by Texas Mattress Makers:

Mattress 101

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