Memory foam mattresses are all the rage these days. Although they can be considerably more expensive than typical mattresses, their supporters claim that they are more comfortable and supportive, better for your back and posture, better at regulating temperature (i.e., they keep you from getting too warm at night), and several other advantages. The term “memory” foam comes from the fact that these mattresses often adapt to your body shape and sleeping position, thereby providing superior support while you sleep.
If you have invested the time and money into buying a memory foam mattress, you should protect your investment by learning how to care for it. This will ensure that your memory foam mattress remains in top shape and lasts a long time. A well-cared-for memory foam mattress usually has about the same lifespan as any other mattress—that is, eight or ten years, although some manufacturers claim as many as twenty years (and will provide a warranty for that long!). Read on for some steps you can take to ensure that your mattress is not only around for many years, but also remains in top shape throughout its lifetime.
- 1. Do Not Remove the Tags on Your Memory Foam Mattress
- 2. Let Your Memory Foam Mattress Breathe
- 3. Make Sure Your Bed Frame and the Foundation for Your Mattress Are Supportive and Sturdy
- 4. Keep Your Bed and Mattress Clean By Using a Washable Mattress Pad and Mattress Protector
- 5. Rotate Your Memory Foam Mattress Regularly
1. Do Not Remove the Tags on Your Memory Foam Mattress
Your mattress will likely arrive with tags including warranty and care information. Do not remove them. You may damage the mattress in trying to remove them. Worse yet, removing them may invalidate your warranty. Read the instructions manual and tags carefully, and make sure you follow any directions from the manufacturer regarding how to care and protect your memory foam mattress.
2. Let Your Memory Foam Mattress Breathe
The first thing you should do when you receive your mattress is stripoff of all wrappings and covers and allow it to breathe for several hours before you sleep or throw sheets on it. Allowing your mattress to breathe will ensure that any gases that may have become trapped in the wrapping are released, thereby reducing any unpleasant chemical odors.
3. Make Sure Your Bed Frame and the Foundation for Your Mattress Are Supportive and Sturdy
More so than regular spring mattresses, a memory foam mattress requires a firm, strong, and solid foundation. Your bed frame must provide sturdy support to your mattress, including support along the center. If your frame has slats, make sure the slats are no more than three inches apart each. This will ensure that your memory foam mattress retains its shape throughout its life. When you put your mattress on your bed frame, all parts of it should be supported equally, and there should be no sagging. This may sound like common sense, but you should make sure your bed frame is the appropriate size for your mattress (aka, don’t buy a Queen-size mattress for a full-size bed!).
4. Keep Your Bed and Mattress Clean By Using a Washable Mattress Pad and Mattress Protector
The best way to keep your memory foam mattress clean is to cover it with a washable, hypoallergenic mattress pad and mattress protector. Make sure to wash the pad and protector regularly, and let them dry completely before you put them back on the mattress. Your pillows should also have protectors, to make sure that they don’t transfer odors or dirt to your mattress. Most memory foam mattresses are anti-microbial and resistant to dust mites, but they can still accumulate dirt, stains, and liquids.
If your memory foam mattress does get dirty, you may use a vacuum to clean it, along with your bed frame and foundation. You may also spot clean your mattress, but make sure to let it dry out completely, and never soak your mattress in water. A memory foam mattress will absorb the water and retain the dampness for years, developing odors and unhealthy mold.
5. Rotate Your Memory Foam Mattress Regularly
You should turn your mattress around regularly—perhaps once a month or every few months—this ensures that any wear and tear is distributed evenly rather than concentrated on one part of the mattress. Some memory foam mattresses are double-sided (although these types are usually more expensive). If your mattress is double-sided, try flipping it once or twice a year to delay the regular wear on any one side of the mattress. This will maximize the amount of time that you get to sleep on a mattress in top shape.