Sorry to be revolting so early in the morning (or over dinner if you are reading this later in the day) but the team at Vorwerk have asked me to take part in their campaign for National Bed Month, designed to help the nation reclaim its mattresses for a happy, healthy night’s sleep. Which means I need to write it down and then share it with you. Think of this as a ying and yan thing, National Pie Week last week and then National Bed month starting next week.
And this means that I need to share some fairly gross stats with you first of all so that you have all the facts to then see if there is anything you can do to make things a bit more, savoury shall we say.
Did you know for instance, that it’s thought the average mattress can double in weight every eight years thanks to a less-than-lovely combination of human debris, sweat and dust mites?
This means that, over time, we can end up sharing our bed with residents that we’d much rather weren’t there.
Well, not anymore! March is National Bed Month and between 13th – 26th March, Vorwerk has launched a dedicated campaign to help you #ReclaimYourMattress.
More stats you might not know about your mattress:
- We lose half a pint of fluid (sometimes more!) every night – most of which ends up in our mattresses
- We lose a pound of skin (sometimes more!) when asleep every year – making our beds a favourite breeding ground for the common dust mite
- It’s rumoured that the average mattress can double in weight every 8 years thanks to a combination of human debris and dust mites
- A poll* suggests that more than half a million brits only wash their sheets three times a year (*Sheila’ Wheels, Feb 2010)
- Around 10million bugs and dust mites can set up home in your mattress in one year
- More than a quarter of us would be embarrassed for other people to see the state of our mattress* (Sleep Council ‘Toxic Sleep’ survey 2011)
- Beds as little as six years old could offer significantly less support and comfort due to factors including a build-up of debris such as skin and hair* (*Research by the Furniture Industry Association 2011)
Sorry but I did warn you that some of this would be revolting. When I first read all of this I wanted to go upstairs and drag my mattress outside and burn it. But then I remembered that it is a super king and I can’t even lift it. Which means I need to do something a little less drastic. Like just clean it, maybe?
Six top tips for cleaning your mattress:
Treat it like a carpet
The easiest way to keep your mattresses on top form is to make cleaning them part of your routine. Just like you vacuum your carpets regularly, you should also take time to vacuum your mattresses and at the very least, remove all the surface dirt. It needn’t be a chore; simply remove any mattress protectors or toppers and use your regular vacuum cleaner to roll backwards and forwards over the mattress for one minute. Something I have never even thought about doing before but when you think about it, makes so much sense and isn’t exactly difficult.
Even better, dry clean it
Whilst vacuuming your mattress will remove surface dirt effectively, dry cleaning it will ensure that you achieve a thorough, deep clean and leave each one sanitised and hygienic. Research shows that the average household mattress contains large amounts of dead skin cells, mould spores, sweat and droppings from millions of dust mites; all of which build up over the years! Consider investing in a specialist mattress cleaning kit, such as that featured as part of the Vorwerk VK200 vacuum cleaner. It uses specially designed cleaning powder and two cleaning heads; the MP440 that massages the cleaning powder into your mattress, and the MR440 that vibrates to loosen the dirt from the mattress surface, sucking away allergy-causing micro particles and leaving the mattress clean and sanitised.
Rotate and flip it
You should rotate and flip your mattress at least every quarter whilst cleaning it. This may sound like a tedious job (and for us is a two person job due to the size of the thing), but doing so will ensure your mattress is as clean as can be. Plus, by evening out the wear, you’ll help to prolong the life of your mattresses and you won’t have to replace it as frequently!
Avoid using water
Avoid getting your mattress wet, even when cleaning it. Not only are they extremely tricky to dry out, but a moist mattress is also a breeding ground for mould and mildew and a sure fire way to receive complaints from family and friends staying over! If you do need to use water to remove a stain, use as little as possible and then use a fan to ensure that the mattress is completely dry before re-covering it. At the end of the day (or night!), dry cleaning is always the best method.
Take time to deodorise it
With the average person sweating out approximately half a pint of perspiration every night, deodorising your mattress regularly to keep it smelling fresh is essential. A clever way to do this is to sift baking soda over the mattress, leave it for thirty minutes and then vacuum away using your regular vac.
Use a mattress protector
If you love to host guests, then mattress protectors are one of the best investments you can make. Not only do they offer an additional layer of protection against spills and stains, but they also help prevent perspiration, oils from our skin and dead skin cells penetrating the mattress. Take them off and throw them in the washing machine once a month to ensure that they stay clean and stain free. I actually do this every time I wash the sheets, the mattress protector comes off too.
Which leads me on to another point. This one:
Is that really true?! Really? Is it? I cannot believe it is. Surely.
If one of those people is you I am giving you a really really hard stare right now
And then sending you upstairs to sort it out. Immediately.