Mattress care tips are a dime a dozen. Everyone’s got their homemade protocols for ensuring the longevity of mattresses, but without the right technical knowledge, there’s a good chance you could end up doing more harm than good.

So, before we get into the tried and tested tips for mattress care, let us have a look at some common myths that are widely prevalent in households across the country.

Please remember to never try these at home.

Myth #1: Flip it to save it While this tip might have been useful in the 20th century, most modern mattresses are built for one-sided use only, and so you actually might be permanently damaging the internal support and foam layers of your mattress with that age-old remedy. However, it is recommended to rotate (not flip) your mattress by 180 degrees once every 2-6 months, so as to minimize wear and tear on a particular set of springs or a part of the foam.

Myth #2: If it looks clean, it is clean
Most people just think about dust mites and common mattress stains, but did you know that the average person sheds 454 grams of dead skin cells a year, and about 285 ml of sweat and oil every single night? Yes, these are all the invisible monsters that aren’t under your bed, but quite literally on them, and routine cleaning of your mattress is essential for not just its long life, but also a good night’s sleep.

Myth #3: Homemade cleaning solutions are the solution Using a shampoo-water mixture or any generic cleaning agent to wipe out a stain is a bad idea, as excessive water can encourage the growth of bacteria and mold, while harsh chemicals in shampoos and cleaning liquids can damage the mattress foam irreparably.

Right then, now that we have debunked some of the common myths, let us look at 7 tips that can help ensure the longevity of your mattress and keep you comfortable for a long, long time.

• Ensure proper support for your mattress

Just like our bones and muscles provide the right foundational support for our internal organs, structural support systems such as box springs, foundations or platform beds are essential towards keeping the internal layers of your mattress in good shape.

While box springs are generally paired with spring mattresses, latex and memory foam-based mattresses are best paired with solid support structures such as slats. In addition, it is widely recommended that queen/king-sized mattresses ought to have strong central support frames, in order to prevent the central portion of the large mattress from caving in.

Avoid roughhousing at all costs It’s quite natural for children, and quite unnatural for adults, to jump and play on the mattress, but this is something that has to be avoided to protect the inner layers of your mattress. Roughhousing can damage internal springs, memory foams, latex layers and other support layers of the mattress for good and will certainly force your hand at buying a whole new mattress.

The only suggestion/tip we can give you here is to be gentle with your mattress at all times and perhaps invest in a mattress protector, or indeed a trampoline or playhouse for the kids.

• Use mattress protectors from day one

A mattress protector is an extra layer of bedding that is placed on top of a mattress, so as to protect the mattress from wear and tear, dust particles, and stains. Some mattress protectors are made of allergen-free materials that can protect you from dust-allergies or allergens from the mattress layers.

Mattress protectors come in different sizes and are made of different materials, starting from thin quilted sheets to toppers made from memory foam and spacer fabrics. In addition, if you have an infant at home, you could also look at investing in a waterproof mattress protector – which is made up of thin layers of latex and are used to protect the underlying mattress from moisture and staining.

• Believe in routine cleansing

This might sound cliched, but a regularly cleaned mattress equates to a long-lasting mattress. Periodic vacuuming of the mattress and regular washing of the linens will ensure that dead skin cells and dust particles do not percolate into the mattress, and also prevent the growth of mold and bacteria. Also, if you’re the kind that likes to bathe before a good night’s sleep, you’re certainly going on the right track towards keeping your mattress clean but do remember to dry yourself completely before getting some shut eye!

As far as spots and stains are concerned, it’s always a good idea to consult your local expert cleaners – the ones who are always equipped with the right tools to get your mattress sparkling again. Also, always check the maintenance manual that came with your mattress, so that you can understand what is best suited for it, and perhaps convey the information to your local expert too.

• Give your mattress some fresh air

Keeping your mattress out in the sunshine cannot just help in getting rid of dust mites, but also getting rid of bodily odours from them. Remember to keep the mattress out during periods of intense sunshine alone, as damp weather could seriously harm your mattress. Also, it’s a good idea to vacuum whenever you plan to air out your mattress.

Plus, if you’re looking to deodorize your mattress, you could do so by sprinkling some baking soda across it. Baking soda helps absorb foul odours and can be easily vacuumed and dusted from your mattress without causing any harm to it.

• Be vigilant during and after your travels Traveling to new places often means staying in new hotels, which in-turn means sleeping on beds which could potentially be host to many dust mites and bed bugs. You should know that even the cleanest and most prestigious hotels can be home to these invisible agents of chaos. Moreover, they are extremely good travellers themselves, and can easily cling on to your clothing or baggage and then take the return trip home with you.

Stay vigilant and move out of a room if you feel there are bed bugs there. Read up on the identification of bed bug attacks and how you can avoid them.

Prevention is definitely better than cure in this case, quite simply because they are a nightmare to get rid of. Just ask any hotel and they’ll tell you some harrowing stories about their public enemy number one!

• Moving the mattress? Handle with care!

Whether you’re shifting homes or shifting rooms, it’s always a good idea to carefully transport your mattress. Remember that carrying your mattress horizontally is a big no-no, since the mattress tends to sag in the center – which could potentially damage its internal layers. The right way to move your mattress involves keeping them upright on their sides and minimizing any bending while lifting or transporting them. Furthermore, it’s always a wise move to use a mattress cover if you’re transporting them over long distances, so as to avoid any stains or damage to the top fabric.

Longevity and sustained comfort are what any mattress owner wishes for, and since they are essentially long-term investments that become an integral part of our daily lives, it becomes quite necessary to maintain them. However, taking care of a mattress isn’t hectic by any means, and all it requires is some routine maintenance procedures – just like you would do with any appliance or vehicle. It must also be said that the benefits of doing so are immense too, as you get to sleep on an allergen/dustfree mattress that provides long-lasting support to your posture. Having said that, following these 7 maintenance procedures can help you go a long way towards getting a good night’s sleep time and again