Could Your Mattress Be Making You Sick?

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Dylan Foster
Photo credit: Antonio Caverzan

Fact: You spend one-third of your life asleep, but how much thought do you put into the thing you sleep on? A good mattress isn’t just comfortable, it’s an important part of maintaining your physical and mental health. The wrong mattress can disrupt sleep patterns and worsen the overall quality of rest. Furthermore, an old mattress that isn’t supportive can lead to back and neck pain. And if your mattress isn’t properly cleaned and maintained, it becomes home to dust mites, bacteria, and other microorganisms that could be making you sick.

How Long Does a Mattress Last? 

A mattress is a pretty important investment. You put a lot of time and research into finding the right one and most of us don’t want to repeat that process year after year — we want to hold on to what works for as long as we can. You may have heard somewhere that you should get rid of your mattress after eight years, but it really depends on whether the mattress still works for you. The rule of thumb, however, is that a mattress should be replaced after seven to 10 years.

If it’s been years since you’ve replaced your crash pad and you notice you’re waking up tired with aches and pains, that’s a good sign it needs to be replaced. Or, perhaps you notice you’re catching more colds in the winter and your morning allergies are terrible in the spring. These are signs that your mattress is home to contaminants that are making you sick and it’s time for a fresh start. Even if you clean your house regularly and sanitize your mattress throughout the year, at some point, you can’t fight off the dust mites, skin cells, and dirt particles. 

Picking out a New Mattress

So, you’ve decided you want a new mattress — what next? You may be surprised to find out you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg on your mattress. According to, you can purchase a mattress for less than $200. With that being said, your mattress is definitely nothing to scrimp on — remember, you spend one-third of your day on top of this thing, so it’s not wrong to put some cash toward it in the name of quality. 

The most important thing to consider when picking out a new mattress is the comfort. Here are a few questions you should ask when looking at possibilities: 

  • How does it feel when you lie down? 
  • Is it firm enough to support your preferred sleep position? 
  • Is it made of materials that are breathable for hot climates or insulated for the cold? 

What you support your bed with can also be just as important. These days, you no longer need box springs for your bed; instead, you can purchase a platform bed if you opt for a higher-quality mattress. A platform bed can not only help you get a good night’s sleep, it adds a more “modern” touch to your bedroom.

Maintaining Your New Mattress

Once you’ve found the perfect crashpad, you want to keep it clean and maintained to extend its life. One of the best investments you can make to ensure its longevity is a mattress protector. No to be confused with mattress toppers, protectors fit over your mattress and under your fitted sheet. They help repel liquids as well as dust, dirt, and other allergens that would otherwise sink into your mattress. Mattress protectors can be removed and washed with linens weekly and can extend the life of your new mattress for several years.  

About four times a year — or, rather, at the beginning of each season — you want to strip your bed completely and deep clean your mattress. Fortunately, it’s not a difficult process. If you invest in a mattress protector, you likely won’t have stains that need removing, and you can get by with a quick cleaning using baking soda, essential oils, and your vacuum. 

Your mattress has a huge impact on your physical and mental health. If you notice aches and pains or you’re catching colds more often and your mattress is older, it’s time to consider a new one. The most important thing is finding a mattress that is comfortable and supportive. Once you’ve found the perfect one, take extra care to maintain and clean it. 

2020-02-25T11:43:34-08:00 Tags: , |

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