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There’s no denying it, buying a mattress is a serious investment. It’s almost as important as choosing your next car. Indeed, you’ll spend more time on your new mattress than you will in your new car! Which is why it’s so important for you to really look after it. In fact, the more you look after it, the longer your mattress will last – a well-looked after mattress has the potential to last from 8 to 10 years. All you need to do is follow these tips to keep it in the best shape:

1: Get a mattress protector

In order to keep your mattress fresh and clean for longer you should really get a mattress protector for your bed. Especially if you’re the kind of person who likes to snack in bed. A protector will help save your mattress from all those crumbs and tea stains. And, best of all, it can be removed and washed if an accident does occur.

2: Rotate and air your mattress

Even if your mattress doesn’t say you need to rotate it, it’s still a good idea to rotate your mattress every month or so to keep it fresh. Airing your mattress is also very important. Just think, you sleep on it every night and our bodies can sweat a lot. Then straight away in the morning we cover it with heavy duvets and bed linen. No wonder they can get a bit stinky. Try to leave the cover off your bed for at least 20 minutes a day, this will get some fresh air into it and keep it in good condition.

3: Clean your mattress

A lot of people don’t actually realise that you should regularly clean your mattress. Around once a month you should give your mattress a vacuum when you’re changing your sheets. This helps get rid of skin debris that builds up on your mattress and can become the food for the nasty bugs that can live within your bed. However proceed with caution if you have a mattresses filled to the brim with natural fillings. Typically think Hypnos, Relyon and Vi-Spring. If this is the case we suggest a dust pan and brush to avoid any excess settlement in the fillings.

You can even sprinkle your mattress with some baking soda to help remove odours before you hoover it.

4: Bedding should be changed regularly

Opinion varies a lot on just how often you should change the sheets on your bed but, as a rule of thumb, as a minimum, you should really change them every 2 weeks. Just think, your bed sheets are full of perspiration, skin cells and moisture. When you think about it that way would you really want to keep it on any longer?

You should also wash your bed sheets on a high heat if possible. This will kill off any nasty creatures that might be lurking and keep you from itching.

5: Try to keep pets out

It might be comforting to have your pet sleep in your bed, but cat hair or dog hair can get everywhere in your bed. And let’s not forget that animals slobber and are prone to accidents – all bad news for your mattress. Instead get your pets a brand new bed for them to enjoy too.

6: Keep your mattress supported

It’s all very well having a lovely new mattress, but it might be getting ruined by a non-supportive divan base or bed frame! Just like your mattress supports you, your divan or bed frame needs to support it so you should inspect your bed frame to ensure it is in good condition. If your sprung base is weak and sagging or the wooden slats are too far apart you should probably be thinking about replacing your bed. Afterall, any fault in a sprung base will only be mirrored in the mattress, rendering it faulty in no time at all.

Cartoon Image by Jonathan Edwards. Published in the Guardian 2.12.11