4 clever tips for choosing and maintaining your mattress

Are you in the market for a new mattress? Here are four clever tips for finding the perfect mattress and maintaining it for years to come.

4 clever tips for choosing and maintaining your mattress

1. Test the mattress at the store

When the side of the mattress where you sleep begins to sag and the box-spring seems uneven, it's time to replace your sleepset. Insert a piece of 1.25 centimetre (1⁄2 inch) plywood between the mattress and boxspring as a temporary solution while you shop.

  • In the store, test a mattress by lying on it, using your normal sleep posture, for at least five minutes. Turn once or twice.
  • If there are two of you, do the test together. Then consider the support system inside.

2. Types of mattresses you should know

  • Foam: Foam matresses are filled with resilient polyurethane or latex foam instead of coil springs. For good support, the foam density should be at least one kilogram (two pounds) per cubic 1/3 metre (one foot). Some foam mattresses are filled with a special contour-conforming material. The best foam mattresses can rival innerspring mattresses in comfort, but inexpensive foam mattresses may sag fairly soon.
  • Innerspring: Innerspring mattresses have coil springs that contour around your body. These mattresses come in a variety of configurations. More important to quality, however, is the number of coils and the number of directions in which they are tied — the more the better. A queen-sized mattress, for example, should have at least 300 springs, and some premium models have as many as 900 springs. The most luxurious innersprings are tied in eight directions and have extra padding to enhance comfort, but they do require extra-deep fitted sheets.
  • Waterbeds: Waterbeds today have interior baffles or separate water-filled chambers to minimize the wave action that gave earlier models a bad reputation. Waterbeds look like conventional innerspring mattresses outside but they require a special frame and heater. Standard sheets will fit them.
  • Air mattresses: Air mattresses are built with air-filled chambers, padded with a layer of foam and ticking. They are lightweight and easy to move. Some allow you to regulate firmness separately on each side of the bed. An air mattress must be set on a box spring for full comfort.

3. Mattress sizes and measurements

Make sure you know the exact size of mattress you need. Here are some measurements to keep in mind.

  • Twin: 99 by 190 centimetres (39 by 75 inches).
  • Extra-long twin: 96.5 by 203 centimetres (38 by 80 inches).
  • Full: 137 by 190 centimetres (54 by 75 inches).
  • Queen: 152 by 203 centimetres (60 by 80 inches).
  • King: 193 by 203 centimetres (76 by 80 inches).
  • Western or California king: 183 by 213 centimetres (72 by 84 inches).

4. Simple mattress maintenance

  • Use a quilted mattress cover beneath your fitted sheet to protect the mattress from soil and light stains.
  • Clean mattress stains as you would any fabric stains.
  • About every three months, turn over the mattress, flipping it from head to foot one time and side to side the next. The side handles are an aid in turning and positioning the mattress, not in transporting.
  • Vacuum the mattress and wash the cover regularly to remove dust and dust mites.
  • To freshen it, sprinkle on baking soda, leave it for several hours, then vacuum.

Buying a new mattress doesn't have to be difficult. Find the mattress that will fit you (and your partner) perfectly and get a good night's sleep with these tips!

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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