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21 Lesser-Known Facts About Mattresses

October 6, 2023

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

Mattresses play an integral role as one of the most essential and frequently used household items in our lives. The truth is most people don’t give them a whole lot of thought, but there are some important mattress facts that people should know. We thought we would take a different approach and share some of the lesser-known important facts about mattresses that we are certain most people are not aware of.

Top 10 Least Known Things About Mattresses:

A bed with a mattress

1. Mattress Lifespan:

We often think of mattresses lasting for 10 -20 years or more. Families and friends have handed them down for years. While most people know that mattresses have a limited lifespan, they might not be aware that the average mattress should be replaced every 7-10 years. This can vary depending on the type of mattress and its quality. While this may seem a bit extreme, it’s important to note that most people don’t hand down their used underclothes and unlike an 8-year-old mattress, underclothes get washed after being worn after being used one time.

2. Mattress Weight Gain:

Just like most of us over time we pack on the pounds. Over time, mattresses accumulate dust mites, dead skin cells, and other debris. This can add weight to your mattress, with some estimates suggesting that a decade-old mattress can be 10% heavier than when it was new. Isn’t that just plain gross? Does anyone want a hand-me-down mattress now?

3. Flippable Mattresses:

In the past, many mattresses were designed with 2 sides to be flipped regularly to extend their lifespan. However, modern mattresses, particularly memory foam, air, latex, and pillow-top models, are often designed for one-sided use and should not be flipped. Has anyone ever tried to flip a waterbed? Not recommended!

4. Mattress Odor:

Most new mattresses can emit a chemical smell known as off-gassing. This odor is the result of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These can be released from the materials used to build the mattress like fiber, fabric, polyurethane foam, etc. It typically dissipates within a few days, but some people may be sensitive to it, and everyone is affected by it.

5. Mattress Materials:

Mattresses can be made from a variety of materials, including memory foam, latex, innerspring, hybrid combinations, and more. Each material has unique properties, and the choice of mattress can greatly affect sleep quality. Every mattress material is not ideal for everybody. Do your research to determine what material best supports, comforts and keeps you at the ideal sleeping temperature.

6. Customizable Mattresses:

Some high-end mattress brands offer customization options, allowing customers to choose the firmness level for each side of the mattress. This is particularly beneficial for couples with different sleep preferences. These are ideal for sleepers who do not agree on comfort levels or perhaps require more or less support.

7. Mattress Warranty:

Mattresses often come with warranties, but it’s important to read the fine print. These warranties can vary significantly in terms of coverage, length, and what they consider “normal wear and tear.” Warranty is not an indication of the mattress’s projected lifespan.

8. Bed-In-A-Box:

The bed-in-a-box concept has gained popularity in recent years. Mattresses are compressed and rolled into a compact box for shipping, making them easier to transport and set up. They expand to their full size once unpacked. This saves manufacturers money and arguably shortens mattress lifespan.

9. Mattress Hygiene:

It’s a fact that many people don’t clean their mattresses regularly. Vacuuming the surface and using upholstery cleaners can help remove dust, allergens, and stains. Additionally, regular care for bedding like mattress protectors and sheets can help to keep your mattress set as neat as a pin.

10. Mattress Recycling:

Old mattresses are difficult to dispose of in an eco-friendly way. However, recycling programs are gaining popularity. Some states and local communities are working to reclaim certain mattress components, like metal springs and foam, that can be repurposed.

11. Mattress Selection One Size Does Not Fit All:

Remember that choosing the right mattress is a personal decision, and what works for one person may not work for another. When selecting a mattress, it’s important to consider factors such as sleep position, comfort preferences, and any specific health concerns.

12. Edge Support:

Not all mattresses have the same level of edge support. If you frequently sit or sleep near the edge of your bed, it’s important to choose a mattress with good edge support to prevent you from sliding off the edge of the bed during simple actions like getting in or out of bed and putting on your shoes.

13. Adjustable Beds:

While many of you know about the availability of adjustable beds, most people are not aware that you should use a special mattress built specifically and designed to be used with adjustable bed frames. These mattresses can bend and flex and bend to accommodate different sleeping positions and preferences without damaging the inner workings of the bed. These materials include fibers, fabric, foam, and steel coils.

14. Temperature Regulation:

Some mattresses are engineered with materials designed to regulate temperature. For example, gel-infused memory foam is known for its cooling properties, claiming to make it suitable for hot sleepers. Other mattresses like latex are known for their temperature neutrality, while soft-sided waterbeds offer digital thermostats to regulate mattress temperatures individually for each sleeper.

15. Mattress Toppers:

If you’re not ready to invest in a new mattress but want to improve comfort, mattress toppers can be an affordable option. They come in various materials like memory foam, latex, down, and more. Not only can the material affect the feel, but so can thicknesses by adding cushioning to your existing mattress. Thin options tend to shift out of place and buckle.2-3 inches for most people is ideal.

16. Trial Periods:

Numerous mattress companies provide trial periods that allow you to test the mattress in your own home. The duration of these trial periods varies from company to company but usually falls within the range of 30 to 90 days. During this period, you are typically permitted one exchange, although certain restrictions may apply. Some companies even offer the option to return the mattress for a refund if you’re not satisfied. This can be a valuable option, especially when purchasing a mattress online; we strongly recommend thoroughly reviewing the exchange or return policy to ensure that it aligns with your expectations before making a decision.

17. Natural And Organic Mattresses:

For those concerned about the environment and harmful chemical exposure, natural and organic mattresses are made with environmentally friendly materials and are free from toxic chemicals and flame retardants.

18. Mattress Care:

Rotating your mattress regularly from head to toe can help extend its lifespan and prevent uneven wear. Traditional mattresses that have 2 useable sides should be frequently flipped over and rotated. Check the manufacturer’s recommendations for specific care instructions.

19. Mattress Firmness And Health:

The firmness of your mattress can impact your health. While a mattress that’s too soft may not provide enough support, one that’s too firm can lead to discomfort and pressure points that cause frequent tossing and turning.

20. International Mattress Standards:

An interesting and important fact about mattresses is that different countries may have unique sizing standards. So if you move or travel internationally, be aware that you might encounter different mattress sizes that may not work with your existing inventory of bedding.

21. Investment Mattress:

Investing in a high-quality mattress pays the best interest. While low-cost, low-quality mattresses may seem like a money-saving choice initially, they often require frequent replacements, which can end up costing more in the long run. Opting for a more expensive mattress can be a cost-effective decision over time.

Choosing A Mattress Based On These Facts

Remember that the right mattress is a highly individual choice, and factors like body weight, sleeping position, and personal preferences play a significant role in determining which mattress is best for you. It’s always a good idea to try out mattresses in person when possible and to research and read reviews before making a purchase decision.

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