Just how clean is your mattress? If you sleep around eight hours a night, you’ll spend about a third of your life in bed, making it important to ensure your mattress is fresh and clean.

On average, a good mattress will last for about 10 years of use. You can extend this by taking great care of your mattress and regularly cleaning it to prevent dust mites and other unwanted pests from moving in.

Just like caring for your clothes will keep the fabric soft and the fit perfect, caring for your mattress will help it stay comfortable as it ages and ensure it’s a clean, hygienic place for you to sleep.

Mattress maintenance is surprisingly straightforward and easy, requiring relatively little active work. Apply the seven tips in this guide to keep your mattress as clean, fresh and comfortable as possible while extending its functional lifespan.

Rotate your mattress four times a year, unless recommended otherwise

Unless your manufacturer recommends not to, it’s a good idea to turn your mattress every three months. Rotate your mattress 180° four times annually so that it wears evenly, without one side becoming more worn than the other.

This is particularly important if you share your mattress with a partner who isn’t the same weight as you. Over time, the difference in pressure can result in one side of the mattress receiving significantly more wear.

If your mattress manufacturer recommends turning your mattress on a different schedule, following their instructions. Likewise, if the manufacturer recommends flipping your mattress, it’s always a good idea to do so.

Since turning your mattress requires you to strip away sheets and covers, it’s a good time to do some light cleaning. Vacuum your mattress to remove dust and pick away any dirt that’s accumulated in the mattress as you rotate it.

Avoid letting the children treat your mattress like a trampoline

As fun as it might be for the children to jump on your mattress, doing so could result in the springs or foam inside the mattress becoming damaged, compressed and less able to comfortably support you while you sleep. Jumping on a mattress can also result in damage to your bed frame. Although kids are light, the impact force of someone jumping up and down on a mattress is more than enough to cause damage to bolts and joints in a wooden bed frame. If your children love to bounce up and down and practice gymnastics, encourage them to practice on a trampoline – not on your mattress.

Vacuum your mattress to remove dirt, dust and other particles

Even though your mattress is protected by sheets and covers, dirt and dust can still accumulate over time. Likewise, dead skin and sweat from your body can easily get into the creases and stitching of your mattress over months of sleep. The easiest way to remove dirt, dust and other nasty particles from your mattress is with a vacuum cleaner. Use the upholstery attachment (it’s the one that looks like a styling brush) and lightly vacuum your mattress every two to three months. Make sure you use a light setting on your vacuum cleaner, as applying more power than you need can damage the fabric of your mattress. A good time to vacuum your mattress is when you strip away the sheets and turn it seasonally.

Remove stains as quickly as possible using light upholstery shampoo

The longer you let wine, juice, soft drinks and other beverages soak into a mattress, the more damage they’ll cause. Removing liquid from your mattress quickly stops stains from developing while helping your mattress stay dry and mould-free. If you spill water on your mattress, use a towel to soak up as much water as possible as quickly as you can. For drinks such as juice or wine, use a towel with a little water to soak up the surface of the mattress before applying upholstery shampoo. For serious stains, use upholstery shampoo and a sponge. You need to be careful not to wet the foam padding inside your mattress when you clean, as it can take several days to fully dry if water soaks inside.

Keep your bedroom clean to stop dust entering into your mattress

The key to a clean mattress is a clean bedroom. If the air in your bedroom is dusty and humid, a surprisingly large amount of this dust and moisture will find its way past your sheets and into your mattress. Over time, this can result in dust mites living in your mattress, as well as dusty air that can irritate people with allergies. Dust mites love humid weather, so stripping away the moisture in your bedroom’s air is a great way to defeat them. If you sleep with the air conditioner switched on, make sure the filter is replaced every few months. If you live in a humid area, use a dehumidifier to ensure your bedroom isn’t a haven for dust mites. Finally, vacuum your bedroom’s floor frequently to prevent dust from building up underneath your chest of drawers, bed and other furniture. The less dust there is in your bedroom, the lower the risk of your mattress developing dust mites.

Use a vinyl mattress cover to make your bed water and dust-proof

One of the easiest ways to lengthen the life of your mattress, improve its comfort and protect it against liquids, dust and other common hazards is to install a vinyl mattress cover.

Protective covers stop moisture and dust from penetrating your mattress, keeping your mattress and bed in great condition even if your room is a dusty and humid environment.

Vinyl covers also prevent moisture from damaging a mattress, making them a good choice for young children. Like most other bedding items, they can be removed and washed to keep your bed safe, clean and hygienic.

Keep pets off your bed, as they’ll transfer dirt onto the mattress

As much as you might love your pets, it’s best to keep them off your bed if you’re interested in preserving your mattress. Even the cleanest of pets have lots of dirt, dust and bacteria on their paws, making them a bad match for a clean bed.

Likewise, many pets shed fur during the night, creating a health hazard that could cause problems for people with allergies. Create a comfortable place outside your bedroom for your pets to sleep and they – and you – will rarely have a bad night.

How clean is your mattress?

When did you last rotate or vacuum your mattress? One of the easiest ways to keep your mattress clean and hygienic is to set a three-month cleaning schedule – once at the end of March, June, September and December.

Is your mattress as clean as it could be? If you’d like a cleaner night’s sleep, strip off your bed’s sheets and covers and give your mattress a thorough cleaning to ensure you get the best night’s sleep possible.