Tips for caring for your bedding and mattress

If you want a good night's sleep, keep your bedding clean; spring for a good-quality mattress and take good care of it. After all, we do spend about a third of our lives in bed.

Tips for caring for your bedding and mattress

Blankets, pillows and sheets

Clean, well-aired-out bedding makes good sanitary sense and will help ensure a good night's sleep.

  • Air out and shake your bedding. This distributes the filling evenly and combats dust mites and other small creatures that like warm, dark places.
  • Hang down comforters and pillows on a clothesline when the air outside is fresh and dry, but not in intense sunlight, which can make the feathers brittle and porous. Dry your bedding indoors during damp weather.
  • Wash bedding in a washing machine only if the washing drum is big enough to handle it — otherwise have it cleaned commercially.
  • >Wash down either in down detergent or hair shampoo, then throw it in the dryer at a low temperature with a clean tennis ball or sneaker.
  • Do not vacuum down or feather blankets; you risk thinning out the filling.
  • Wash your bedding more frequently and use pillows and blankets made from synthetic materials or rayon instead of feathers if you have allergies

Mattresses

A good mattress should support your body, especially your spinal column. Replace it every 10 years, or you risk developing back problems due to your saggy mattress.

  • Prevent lumps from forming in your mattress by turning it every three months and flipping it twice a year.
  • Air out and clean your mattress. Take it out of the bedroom and let it breathe. To clean it, place a damp sheet on the mattress, then beat it. The cloth will pick up the dust from the mattress.
  • Dust your mattress using the upholstery nozzle on your vacuum cleaner — it's best to vacuum whenever you change your sheets.
  • Buy a special mattress cover. It is worth the price if you have severe dust mite allergies; it will protect your mattress from mites and can be washed at high temperature.
  • Consider mattress covers made of molton fabric or terry cloth. They are easy to remove and launder and protect your mattress against stains.
  • Rub off fresh bloodstains with water, then treat with a mixture of 200 millilitres (seven ounces) of cold water, 45 millilitres (three tablespoons) of vinegar and 25 millilitres (two tablespoons) of powdered laundry detergent. Dab with water and dry with a blow-dryer.
  • Remove stains that are still wet by standing the mattress up and catching the drips with a towel.
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