You have heard the expression “Replace your mattress every 8 years,” but do you know why? In today’s blog we are going to discuss why that statement is a half truth, and the real reasons (and solutions) to getting the best life out of your mattresses.
In order for us to truly understand why you should replace every eight we need to make like Magic School Bus, shrink down to a microscopic level, and take a bus ride along the information highway made of cotton blended materials and polyurethane treated foams. Follow me kids!
Call me Mr. Frizzle. Not as grasping as the beginning of Moby Dick, but it will do. So, why exactly should we replace our mattress every eight? You might say because it’s old, and yes that would be true but it is only the tip of the iceberg. There are, in fact, several reasons why you should replace your mattress and we will discuss those right now.
Sweat is made up of water, lactic acid, urea, and other trace amounts of minerals. We sweat every night. It is our bodies way of maintaining homeostasis and removing toxins as we sleep or exercise. If your mattress cover has moisture wicking technology in it, then some of that sweat is being wicked away from the foams in that mattress. Unfortunately, the moisture wicking fabric that came with your bed doesn’t do the best job of keeping stuff out of your mattress. This is why I suggest purchasing a mattress protector with each new bed you buy, and I will get to protectors later.
Imagine you have 1 cup of water (a measuring cup.) Now I want you to imagine pouring that 1 cup of water all over your bare mattress. If you have a significant other, pour another cup on their side. How does this make you feel? If you said gross, you would be right. It is gross. Now, imagine doing that for the next seven days. Your mattress would be soaked. Not only soaked, but squishy and uncomfortable. Do you see where I am going with this? We lose 1 cup of sweat every night, and if we have a partner they lose 1 cup of sweat every night. Now some of that sweat is soaked up by our pajamas, some it is wicked away by the mattress cover, but most of it soaks up into the foams of our mattress. The lactic acid and urea from the sweat help to break down those foams in your mattress, causing the feel of your mattress to change overtime. Moving on.
2. Dead Skin.
If you thought sweat was gross, just wait. We are constantly losing dead skin. 70% of dust in our home is dead skin cells, and if it can collect on our ceiling fans you best believe it can collect in our mattresses. We lose 30,000 to 40,000 dead skin cells every HOUR. So at the minimum we lose 720,000 skin cells in 24 hours. That’s a lot of dead skin. Now let us assume you sleep 8 of those 24 hours which means that 240,000 dead skin cells are getting pushed into your mattress every single time you sleep. So, let’s be realistic, you say “Mr. Frizzle, how can I sleep knowing I’m sleeping on all this dead skin!” The reality is, you never feel it. Those dead skin cells are being pushed and packed down into the foam and fabrics of the mattress. The only time you are going to witness this is when you get rid of your 8-10 year old mattress. The mattress has magically doubled in weight! That is what our dead skin does to a mattress; it doubles it in weight. Lunch break!
3. Dust Mites/Dust.
Before you run away screaming. Dust mites can’t hurt you (unless you are actually allergic to dust mites), because the only feed off dust. Also, we are safe within the confines of our school bus. But, since dust is 70% dead skin cells, please keep your hands and feet in the bus at all times. I was going to post a picture of them here, but I couldn’t continue to look at them for long so you can look them up yourselves. Dust can accumulate anywhere i.e. the ceiling fan. Wherever there is dust there are dust mites. These little guys can live in your dusty mattress and reproduce at an alarming rate. There are only two ways to get rid of them 1) do a huge deep clean of your house and throw away your old mattress, or 2) do huge deep clean of your house and purchase a good mattress protector from me when you buy your new bed. Again, at the end of our adventure, I will discuss the importance of a good mattress protector and where to find them.
4. Dust Mite Excrement.
And when you thought it was safe. If you would look out of the left side of the school bus, you will see Excrement hill, where our little friends go to the bathroom. In real life there isn’t really a hill, but there is dust mite excrement. Really the only thing to say about this particular subject is that the excrement from dust mites are a major cause of allergy and allergen flare ups. So, if you are experiencing allergy symptoms this could be one of the reasons.
Well class, this is the end of our adventure for today. The above reasons are why consumer reports say we have to replace every eight. I also told you at the beginning of this post, that was a half truth and it is. Our solution to protecting ourselves from sweat, dust mites, and dust lies in a good mattress protector. A good mattress protector will extend the life of your mattress significantly, and you will not have to replace every eight as suggested. Unless, of course, you have a horrible mattress then you will have to replace sooner than eight. Protectors come in all shapes and sizes, and you can purchase great protectors from my store. What you want to look for is a protector that is waterproof. You want a protector that protects against dust and allergens, because this type of protector will keep all that sweat and dust out of your mattress which means less allergy flare ups and a better night’s rest. At Sleep Outfitters in Cullman we have one of the best brands for protection which is Protect-A-Bed. You should come by when you have time, and we can talk all about it! Until next time friends…