When it comes to bedding care, it's easy to overlook the mattress despite how prominent it is. Here, we look at what it takes to make your mattress last the maximum of its lifespan.
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A good mattress will last eight to ten years if you take care of it. Follow our tips on cleaning and care -- excerpted from "Martha Stewart's Homekeeping Handbook" -- and yours will last you for years to come.
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Do Rotate Your Mattress
Turn your mattress over four times a year, top to toe and side to side, to distribute the wear evenly. Keep track by attaching two tags to the mattress with safety pins. Mark "January" (right side up) and "April" (upside down) on one end, and "July" (right side up) and "October" (upside down) on the other. When the appropriate month rolls around, turn and/or flip the mattress so that the appropriate month's name is right side up at the foot of the bed.
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Do Get Help
Turning a big bed top to toe can seem like a daunting task, but try this method: Working with one person on each long side of the bed, grab onto the handles and turn the mattress perpendicular to the box spring. Then slide the mattress partially off one side, bringing the end that was at the foot of the bed up, and let the other end fall to the floor so the mattress is standing on one end. Then simply let it fall back onto the bed and turn it back into place, with the end that was the foot now at the head.
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Vacuum mattresses and box springs every three months (when you flip your mattress) using the upholstery attachment, and, if possible, haul both outside for a day of fresh air.
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Do Air It Out
Strip your bed whenever you go on vacation to air it out.
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Photography: Christopher Baker6 of 10
Don't Use It As a Chair
Avoid sitting on the edge of a mattress; doing so causes the sides to slope.
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Don't Let the Kids Do This
Never let children jump on the bed. Not only do they risk serious injury, but also the impact on the mattress can pop buttons, tear the stitching, and damage the filling.
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You shouldn't allow your mattress to get wet, which could cause some upholstery materials to compress.
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Use dry-cleaning fluid of any type to clean your mattress; chemicals can damage some of the construction materials.
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The board will interfere with the supporting function of the box spring -- and you may not get the proper support that the box spring is intended to give you. If you need extra support, you should consider buying a new mattress set.
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