You spend a third of your life in bed. It’s the embodiment of relief after a long, stressful day. You love your bed, and paid quite a bit for it…so why aren’t you protecting your bed better?
1. Dust Mites
Dust mites are microscopic bugs that live off of dead skin cells and animal dander. During their 2-week life span, a dust mite can lay 60-80 eggs. They often nest in mattresses and feed off of the skin that we shed — over 1/3 an ounce per week, on average.
The main issue caused by dust mites are their microscopic fecal matter, which exacerbates asthma and allergy symptoms. Since a single mattress can be home to over 10 million mites, this can be a serious problem for many people. Cleaning your sheets and vacuuming the surface of your mattress isn’t going to help; you’ll need a box spring encasement and a mattress protector to reduce their population. Be sure to wash the encasements with your sheets to kill the mites and remove their feces.
2. Fluid Stains
A single wine spill or child’s nighttime accident can ruin an unprotected mattress (and void its warranty). With the cost of mattresses, a family should expect theirs to serve for years. Unfortunately, a family is also a series of spills waiting to happen. Children, pets, incontinence, drinks, and even ceiling leaks — fluid damage is unavoidable unless you take the right precautions.
A quality mattress protector is waterproof and spill-proof, and is easily cleaned in the event of a spill (unlike your mattress): simply remove the protector and throw it in the washing machine with a detergent that doesn’t contain bleach. Tumble-dry on low heat, and it’s ready to get back to its post.
3. Bed Bugs
Bed bugs are exploding in population all over the country. They quickly spread in populated areas, so if your neighbor gets them, odds are good you will too. They love climbing into bed with you to drink your blood while you sleep, and they’ll multiply into the thousands in a matter of months. Bed bugs are resistant to most modern insecticides, so the most effective way to keep them from biting you is to keep them off of your bed in the first place.
Start by placing interceptors under the feet of your bed frame. Bed bugs can’t fly or jump, so they have to crawl up the legs of your bed to get to you. With interceptors in place, they’ll climb up the sides and fall into the trap, and they won’t be able to climb the talcum-lined inner walls. For added protection, invest in protectors for your box spring and mattress.
Mold spores wander into the bedroom through open windows, doors, ducts, air conditioners, or by clinging onto pets and clothes. If the spores land on your bed, they will begin eating any food and moisture the mattress provides, and will grow and multiply into mold.
To keep your bed free of mold and other bio-contaminants, encase your mattress with a gas-impermeable protector. This will prevent water vapor from absorbing into the fibers. Consider lowering the room temperature at night and keeping humidity levels under 50 percent. For added protection, keep house plants away from the area around your bed, as they are very effective mold breeders.
Everyone sweats to some degree while they sleep — it’s part of our natural cooling system. Under normal conditions, the human body produces about 16 to 24 ounces of sweat per night, but some disorders can result in twice as much sweat loss.
Sweat contains a lot of salt, minerals, and bodily waste. Letting it soak into your mattress is a great way to cause permanent stains and even break down the material over time. You need a quality, waterproof protector to keep your mattress clean and fresh. It’s the best single investment to make your mattress stay good as new for years.