When was the last time your mattress showed some TLC? And what builds up on that soft, pillow-strewn surface when it isn’t cleaned regularly? Dust mites, sweat, and pet dander are just a few of the things you can expect. Even if you’ve recently invested in the best mattress for your sleep, keeping it fresh from the start will help it last longer (and save you money).
Like Yordan Yordanov, a mattress cleaner from Fantastic Services (Opens in a new tab)He tells us, “While most people tend to agree that buying a quality mattress is essential to a good night’s sleep, keeping it clean is just as important as preventing allergies and health-related issues from arising, as well as getting quality sleep.”
“Some people almost never clean their mattress until it pops, which is the wrong way to look at it,” says Yordanov. “We spend nearly a third of our lives sleeping, so it is right to make sure we get as much quality sleep as possible. Regular cleaning and maintenance is key – there is simply no other way to get around.”
Our How to Clean Your Mattress feature walks you through the process, but for now, here’s a look at what can build up on your mattress if you don’t clean it regularly. And to get an idea of how well you sleep on your soon-to-be new and clean mattress, take a look at our guide to the best sleep trackers.
1. Dust layers
Just like the dust on lampshades, mirrors and almost every other surface in the home – that irritating allergen can also settle on our mattress. “Dust buildup is common on most mattresses, as dust consists of dead skin cells, hair, dead bug bits, sand, and anything else that can be brought in from outside, through open windows, or shoes you bring indoors,” explains Yordanov.
“To reduce overall dust, you should clean and clean your entire house regularly, as well as invest in an air purifier, preferably with high-efficiency air filters.”
2. Dead skin and body fluids
From sweat to saliva and urine to feces, if it’s not brushed regularly, a whole host of bodily fluids will permeate your mattress. Gary Farron, Silent Mites Professional Cleaners (Opens in a new tab)He tells us, “The spots will build up gradually over time, from different body fluids, sweat and saliva. Dead skin cells will also collect as we can get rid of 15 million to half a billion dead skin cells every day. This will make it ideal for bacteria that will multiply.”
3. Dust mites
This performs well from the point above. Unfortunately, once our skin is shed, it makes an ideal feeding ground for dust mites. Varron adds: “Under the mattress, you can expect to find dust mites – microscopic relatives of the spider, feeding on our dead skin scales.
“It is estimated that a 10-year-old mattress will contain over 10 pounds of dead scales which are a food source for millions and millions of dust mites, whose waste is an extremely potent protein that can lead to many allergies such as asthma, eczema, rhinitis, itchy skin and redness. Eye and sneezing.
“A good mattress protector will help prevent stains and provide protection against a buildup of bacteria, fungi, and dust mites. However, this will bear the brunt of the problems, so it is important to wash bed sheets, pillows, pillowcases, and protectors regularly. It will also help to air your mattress when you wake up. Natural sun reaching the bed and allowing moisture to dry from the mattress will play a role in keeping the bed fresh.”
4. Pet dander
At TechRadar, we love our pets immeasurably, but if you allow your cuddly furry friend to be 40 blinks with you in bed, as cozy and comfortable, you might open the door to more than just a warm hug and a wet kiss.
Melissa Homer, Cleaning Director at MaidPro (Opens in a new tab)he explains: “Mattresses are home to the leftovers of everything that is regularly on them, including our food, our pets, and us. If your furry friends join you in bed, their dander also adds to the party, as do stray bits of popcorn from the movie you watched in bed. Last night “.
If you have mold in your home — whether it’s your bathroom or bedroom — you’ll know how much pain it can cause. Spores thrive in warm, humid conditions, and unfortunately for us, they can get onto your mattress because they are polluted with air.
Yordanov adds: “Mold is another major risk that may develop in areas with high humidity, especially if there is poor sunlight and ventilation. It is also very difficult to remove if left untreated for long periods, as it gets inside the mattress, making it dangerous to Human health. Mold needs to be treated immediately because it has many adverse health effects, it also grows rapidly and is particularly dangerous for people with asthma.”
This tip applies to your topper or pad as well, so be sure to clean it regularly. It is especially important to quickly deal with any mold you find on a bedding accessory before it spreads to your mattress.
This article is part of TechRadar’s Sleep Awareness Week 2022 (running from Sunday 13 to Saturday 19 March), a week-long celebration of all things hibernation. We’ll give you proven techniques and tips to help you sleep better, and we’ve rounded up all the highly-rated techniques to transform your sleep.