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How to Design the Perfect Bedtime Routine

Eight tips for maximizing your mattress’s life

Your mattress is an investment that you make for better sleep—and better physical and mental health. So of course you want to make it last! Depending on the type of mattress that you cozy up to every night, the rules of caring for it may have changed. Maximize your bed’s life with the following tips.

Rotate It. While manufacturers used to recommend both flipping and rotating your mattress regularly to help it wear more evenly, newer beds have just one “right side up.” For a brand new set, avoid lumps and bumps by rotating it end to end every two weeks for the first four months, and then every three months after that. And don’t forget your box spring! That should also be rotated (but not flipped) every six months. If you’re unsure, it’s never a bad idea to check your warranty or ask a manager at the store where you bought it.

Spread the Love. You may have a favorite seat at the table, a favorite spot on the couch, and even a designated side of the bed. But when it comes to sitting on the edge of your bed to get dressed or tie your shoes, sitting in the same spot every time can cause your mattress to lose its structure prematurely.

Don’t Monkey Around. Jumping on the bed may sound like fun, but whatever your age, it’s better to do your jumping elsewhere. Not only is it dangerous, but it can damage the coils and the fibers of your mattress.

One-up Your Sheets. While a fitted sheet can help to protect the mattress, you’ll keep it even safer from dirt—and stains—if you first cover it with a waterproof, washable mattress cover. Beyond that, some mattress covers provide extra padding for comfort, as well as protection from allergens and bedbugs.

Keep it Clean—and Dry. You might not think of taking a vacuum to your mattress, but you should. Regularly giving it a clean sweep helps to keep dust from becoming ground into the mattress. Spilled something? You can dab at it with warm soapy water, but avoid getting it any more wet than you have to since moisture creates a breeding ground for mold. Then, let it dry completely before making the bed.

Use Baking Soda to Nix Smells. Got something stinky going on? Try this to absorb odors without harming your mattress: Sprinkle it with baking soda and wait 20 minutes. Then use a vacuum to suck up the baking soda, and enjoy a fresher night’s rest.

Carry it Carefully. Your mattress may have straps on the side, but they’re actually not made for carrying it. Use those straps instead for help positioning your mattress (like when you rotate it). If you need to lift it completely, do so from underneath, and make sure to get several strong people to work together, lifting with their legs. And while you’re at it, ever see a car or truck with a mattress strapped to the top? Not a good idea. Instead, only transport your mattress when it’s fully supported.

Give It A Regular Check-up. Your mattress is only as good as the foundation that it’s placed on—ideally a good-quality frame that you purchased at the same time as your mattress. Keep it up by checking the legs and castors every six months to see if they need to be tightened.

Trade It In When It’s Time. Even with the best care, your mattress will eventually wear out, usually after eight to 10 years. It may show wear (like coils poking through or saggy edges) or it may not (kind of like a pair of sneakers that you wear only on the treadmill). But if you find that you’re waking up with an achy back or it’s simply not feeling as comfortable, it may be time to go shopping.