A comfortable bed doesn’t necessarily mean that you are getting the quality sleep you need; the most important item for a good sleep experience is your mattress.
It has been shown that we spend approximately a 1/3 of our lives sleeping, so it is fair to say it is a valuable part of our lives. It is the only time our body gets to repair and recharge itself for the next day’s activities, making it vital to choose the right mattress to feel rejuvenated and not lethargic when
“Investing in a good quality mattress that is perfect for you is significant as it could be quite costly, but if done right, be a valuable investment for years to come. With all the choices available, it could become quite overwhelming, so arm yourself with knowledge before purchasing, do not be afraid to test and to ask what you need to know” notes Tihara Baker, Relationship Manager for Engel & Völkers Southern Africa.
If you’re in the market for a new mattress, here is a list of things you should keep in mind when buying:
Each mattress is unique and can last for as long as it is cared for. If you treat your mattress properly it could easily last up to 7 - 10 years, however this is merely dependent on its maintenance and use.
Best brands for longest lifespan: It’s impossible to give a generic answer as to what brand of mattress will have the longest lifespan and be the best for you. It is very much based on the type of mattress you prefer or require due to health reasons, and your own personal comfort preference. Well-known brands include Simmons, Cloud Nine and Sealy.
Best type for longest lifespan: Any mattress that is used more frequently will have a shorter lifespan. So for example in your spare room you can maybe buy a cheaper mattress as it will be used less. For the main bedroom, buy a good quality as it needs to last longer. As a basic rule of thumb, air and innerspring have the shortest, memory foam offer mid length, whilst latex types are known to last the longest. However, you need to keep in mind that it will still need to be taken care of and cleaned regularly to ensure optimal a longer lifespan.
Read the instructions: Most manufacturers provide specific information on how to care for your mattress. It is always best to follow their guidelines and to understand what the limits are for optimal results and to save you from spending extra money in the future.
Protect your mattress: Mattress protectors are the best way to keep your mattress free from dust mites, bacteria, bed bugs and to create waterproof barriers. These covers are great especially when potty-training kids, and for people who tend to sweat in their sleep, toward off bacteria getting through to the mattress as they are simple to remove and wash.
Beds are not trampolines: If you or your kids want to use your bed as a trampoline, this will seriously damage your mattress. Jumping on the mattress can do a lot of damage to its coil unit, comfort layers and foundation. The mattress will become too soft and compressed in no time at all and will leave you with a creaky and sagging surface.
Know where to sit: Avoid repeatedly sitting in the same spot for prolonged periods of time. For example don’t sit on the same edge of your bed to get dressed or tie your shoes, as doing so may eventually cause sagging or a weakened edge your mattress could lose it structure prematurely.
The Base: A base provides the best foundation for your mattress and ensures that it stays supportive and comfortable for years to come. Most manufacturers recommend buying a base and a mattress as a unit to ensure optimal performance.
Rotation: While most new mattress models offer a no-flip design, it’s a good idea to give your mattress a clockwise turn every 3 months to ensure even wear and avoid lumps and bump. Rotating it should be preventive maintenance, not something you try to do later to fix an already uncomfortable mattress.
Cleaning: Launder your sheets and mattress protection weekly in hot water to remove irritants like pollen and dust mites. Stains or spills should always be treated with caution - use slightly soapy water and a soft wash cloth to gently blot, never rub the affected area. Avoid harsh chemicals, as they may damage the foams and fibres.
The most reassuring thing about buying a bed or mattress from a reputable retailer is the guarantee and warranty that comes with it. It is great to be comfortable in the knowledge that your investment is protected.
For example, if you have bought a bed with a 10 year manufacturer's warranty, the first 2 years (depending on the manufacturer’s terms), you will be reimbursed in full for any defective workmanship, this is known as a guarantee. The guarantee covers poor workmanship and/or material defects only. The manufacturer will either replace or repair your bed in accordance with their guarantee policy.
Tihara explains that your warranty comes into effect as soon as your bed's guarantee period has elapsed. After this time period, you will be asked to pay a pro-rata cost for any repairs for the remaining 8 years, this is called a warranty. Warranty periods differ between all manufacturers, anywhere from between 1 to 25 years.
Rotating and flipping your mattress is not the only important thing it needs to last its full lifespan. Mattresses are home to bacteria, germs, mould and mildew, that can slowly eat away at the mattress materials and could later also start causing allergies. “It is advisable to have it cleaned professionally from time to time, though cleaning it yourself now and again is better than not at all ”Tihara added. It’s very important when you clean your mattress to do it with proper cleaning products that it can withstand:
Vacuum all the overlapping, narrow paths and the sides of your mattress, to get rid of any dirt namely pet hair and dust that’s accumulated over time.
Mattresses typically acquire 3 types of stains: blood, urine, and any other fluids.
Step 3: Deodorize it
Over time sweat can build up. To rid your mattress of foul odours, sprinkle it well with baking soda and gently rub it in with a scrub brush, so it gets into the mattress fabric. Let the baking soda sit for at least 10 min, and then sprinkle another light layer of baking soda over the entire surface and let it sit for a couple of hours. It will absorb any excess odour or liquid from the stain removal process, and leave your mattress smelling fresh and clean. Vacuum the area thoroughly.
Step 4: Flip mattress and repeat steps 1-3