We all know where to expect to find icky creepy crawlies in our homes. The spiders in the cupboard under the stairs and those pesky bathroom bugs that survive even Mr Muscle – but did you know that there’s a whole host of creatures living in your mattress?

Well considering the average person sweats an astonishing pint of sweat a night it’s little wonder that our mattresses are like heaven for bugs and microorganisms.  The dark, moist conditions of your mattress make it the perfect breeding ground for nasty creatures that go bump, or worse bite, in the night.

Bed bugs, who love our dingy mattresses, can bite up to a horrifying 500 times a night as they suck on our blood. No wonder they make our skin crawl. Even worse, they can survive for 3 months without feeding.

Man with AllergyBut bed bugs aren’t the only thing that lives in our mattresses. One of the most common creatures to afflict a good night’s sleep are dust mites. Now dust mites don’t actually bite us, rather they feed off all the dead skin cells that we shed. No, it’s the dust mite faeces that affects us. Dust mites, who can defecate around 20 times a day, have faeces that causes itchiness and even asthma in people. So if you find yourself woken up from itchiness during the night, there’s a very good chance you’ve got a dust mite infestation. Dust mite allergy can also make you feel like you have the cold when you don’t.

Scarily, it’s thought that if left to their own devices dust mites and their droppings will account for 10% of your pillow’s weight after two years.

So how do you tackle the creepy crawlies in your mattress? Well first thing, how old is your mattress? If your mattress is more than 8 years old then it’s could be at the end of its lifespan. Indeed, a mattress this old won’t be providing the support your body needs for a good night’s sleep, and that’s without the idea that your bed might be full of bugs. Pillows that are older than 1-2 years should also be replaced.

First off, dealing with bed bugs is much harder than with dust mites alone – it might even be easier to invest in a new mattress. If you do want to tackle them you might want to seek professional advice for chemicals needed to kill both the bugs and their eggs. It’s also very important to prevent the bed bugs from spreading from room to room.

Thankfully, dealing with dust mites is much more manageable on your own. If your mattress is still young then it’s easy enough to get rid of their toxic droppings with a good spring clean. Any bed linen should be washed at 60°C or higher to ensure that the mites, which can withstand high temperatures, are killed off.

You should keep your mattress and surrounding floors well vacuumed using a hoover with a HEPA filter. If your bedroom has carpets you should also consider replacing them with wooden flooring which is less habitable for dust mites.

You can also add an anti-allergen mattress protector to your bed. This will help stop your mattress from getting too full of moisture and help keep skin cells away. Getting fresh air into your bedroom by opening a window regularly will also keep moisture out the room.

Repeating these steps regularly will help keep your mattress dust mite free and your sleep uninterrupted. And if the above doesn't work, it's probably time to buy a new bed. We have a great range of Silentnight and Sealy beds online at bigbrandbeds.co.uk.