Sleeping well is important to health, and your mattress will play a big part in how much rest you get each night. There are many types of mattresses available today and these suit different kinds of people. Some prefer firmer mattresses, while others require pressure-relief mattresses for bad backs.
The Sleep Foundation recommends that mattresses are replaced every 6 to 8 years, or earlier if they are no longer providing the comfort and support that they should.
Many experts also recommend that you rotate your mattress to help it last longer. This helps the mattress avoid taking wear and tear in the same areas constantly, and helps reduce the chances of sagging.
But, apart from aging and sagging mattresses, could your bed be causing you health issues other than back ache?
Can your mattress make you sick?
During sleep, you will sweat, and you will shed skin and hair also. Over time, your mattress will absorb dust, grime, sweat, and more making it a potent ground for bacteria production.
It is very common for mattresses to be vacuumed when sheets are changed, and there is no harm in this. However, professional mattress cleaners recommend a deep cleaning to avoid potential health risks.
You might spend 8 hours a night in bed if you get the recommended amount of sleep. This is a long time to be in one environment if it is unhealthy. And the bacteria and other compounds that can build up in a mattress can impact your health during your sleep time and your lifestyle choices can contribute too.
For example, breakfast in bed sounds like a lovely idea at times. Yet, spills and crumbs can lead to mold and bacterial growth, and shorten the life of a mattress. Mold can grow out of moisture, and induce health issues in adults and children.
Sleeping naked has health benefits, but it means that the mattress will absorb more sweat than if you were in pajamas. This leads a mattress to become dirtier quicker.
What problems can dirty mattresses cause?
Several health problems can occur from not having a clean mattress. Unfortunately, dust mites are one of them and they are virtually impossible to totally eradicate. Professional mattress cleaning though will help reduce their numbers.
Dust mites and allergies
One of the more regular health issues in a home comes from dust mites. They are harmless in many ways, but they can contribute to asthmatic symptoms, and cause allergic reactions.
Research has shown that a mattress can contain up to 10 million dust mites. The waste dropped by dust mites can cause the following symptoms through allergic reactions:
- Breathing difficulties
- Red eyes
- Runny nose
- Chest tightness
While many allergic reactions to these pests can be mild, dust mites trigger asthma attacks in many people too.
Poor sleep patterns
Older and dirty mattresses can impact sleep patterns greatly. Sagging mattresses can cause back and muscle pains and dirty mattresses can affect your sleep too.
Once again, dust mites can be the cause of a bad night’s sleep. Constant exposure to the waste that dust mites leave will reduce the quality of your sleep. This can lead to physical health issues including high blood pressure and obesity. It can also impact mental well-being, and make it hard to concentrate or focus.
Pet dander and children
If you have wondered why your child is showing symptoms of allergies, it could be because of pet dander. Many cat and dog owners like to share their beds with pets, and children can be especially inclined to do so.
Unfortunately, dogs and cats shed hair and skin, and this can bring out allergies in children, and adults.
Bacterial and fungal growth
The last thing you would want to associate your cozy bed with is a fungus, but an old mattress will be full of bacteria. One test showed an older mattress had 16,000,000 colony-forming units of bacteria in every square inch. The bacteria you may have in your mattress can range from some mold to staphylococcus which can be potentially deadly.
It should be pointed out that cleanliness has nothing to do with bed bugs, but high-temperature mattress steam cleaning can have the added benefit of killing bed bugs and their eggs.
Toxic chemicals in cleaning products
If you try to clean your mattress yourself with cleaning products you might be unwittingly putting your health at risk. The residue left behind from harsh chemicals in some cleaning products will be breathed in by you as you sleep.
The Better Sleep Council recommends avoiding any use of chemical cleaners on mattresses. And Crown Cleaners is one of many services offering mattress cleaning without the use of chemicals.
How do you clean a mattress properly?
The first stage is to vacuum the mattress. But, as the mattress can absorb dirt, grease, sweat, and other moisture, you will need to clean it a little deeper.
You can carry out spot cleaning if you wish, but many people will prefer to avoid chemicals here. You can use dish soap on stains and marks, and use a mixture of water and vinegar for cleaning all over the mattress.
Baking soda is favored by many for mattress cleaning too. Once your mattress is dry, you can put baking soda all over one side. Ideally, this will be done in direct sunlight as this helps to remove any moisture and kill mold and bacteria. Leave for several hours, rotate, and repeat.
However, for a proper deep clean, you would employ steam cleaning as this gets below the upper layers and can penetrate further. You can hire steam cleaning equipment, or instead just use a professional cleaning service.
Millions of people love nothing more than a good night’s rest, or a catnap in the middle of the day. Yet, that mattress that seems so inviting at times could actually be harming your health.
Allergens such as pet dander can bring about allergic reactions, and dust mites can even cause asthma attacks. An unclean mattress can also affect your sleeping patterns which in turn can impact your mental health as well as increase the risk of certain ailments.
It is recommended that mattresses are cleaned every 6 months. This isn’t a huge commitment, but it could improve how you feel physically, and mentally.
Also read: Is It Worth It Getting Carpets Professionally Cleaned?