What one piece of furniture do you spend 1/3 of your life on? Here’s a hint – everyone has one and you often spend hours and hours on it – without moving. You put a cover on it and keep that clean – but often don’t do much else. Give up? Your mattress! Well, if you’re spending that much time on a piece of furniture, what are some ways you can best take care of it so that it lasts as long as possible? Glad you asked!
First, be aware that most mattresses are good for about 8-10 years. And that is not guaranteed unless you take care of it along the way. Sleep is very important for your health. Our bodies rejuvenate themselves – heal “within” – especially at night. Yet a mattress can feel somewhat comfortable long after it has lost its ability to provide your body with the proper support and comfort it needs. What are some signs that you may need a new mattress? You wake up with stiffness, numbness, aches and pains. You sleep better somewhere other than your own bed (vacation, family trips, hotels, etc). Your mattress has visible signs of aging (it sags, has ruts and dips). You’re tired after a full night’s sleep.
How do you best care for a mattress?
The number one rule is to rotate and/or flip you mattress every one to two months. Remember there are just coils, springs and filling/stuffing underneath you. If you lay on the same spot 240 to 480 hours (8 hours x 1-2 months) straight, it’s bound to start sagging well “before its time”. Use a good bed frame (with a support in the middle if it’s a king size). And last, don’t let the grandkids use it for a trampoline!
How do you choose a new mattress? First, determine your budget. A good rule is – “Buy the best you can afford”. Second, choose a store that you can trust. An article in Consumers Report seemed to indicate that homeowners were especially satisfied with mattresses that they bought at Macy’s or Sears versus discount stores. I would also recommend “Factory Direct Bedding” in Atlantic City. Tell Ron or Phil that I sent you there. Third, plan to spend some time “test driving” mattress choices. It can easily take 10 to 15 minutes to truly get the feel of a mattress. Just ask the salesperson to give you some time. Fourth, if you’re unsure between two, choose the firmer one. More coils usually means a better mattress. And last, remember that as you age you lose some dexterity. Be careful how high your mattress and box spring is combined. It can be difficult to literally jump up on a high bed. Ask instead for a “low profile” box spring – which is about 4 inches shorter.
Hope this helps get you a good night’s sleep!