4 Ways to Care for Your Latex Mattress
With a little care and attention, an all-natural latex mattress can last for 15 to 20 years or even longer. However, if you don't properly set up and maintain your latex bed, you can shorten its lifespan significantly. Latex FAQ: Is there anything you need to do to maintain a latex mattress? Here are a few tips for keeping your foam latex mattress at its best for years to come.
1. Pick an appropriate mattress foundation.
Latex foam mattresses work best when paired with a specifically designed foam mattress foundation. The foundation is the "box spring" of foam mattress technology, designed to provide full support while promoting proper air circulation to keep you warm in cold temperatures and cool in warm temperatures. The right air circulation also keeps your mattress free of moisture.
When a latex mattress is placed on a traditional box spring, it can sag into the spaces between the springs. When the same mattress is placed on classic wooden bed slats, which are much wider than the slats in a foam mattress foundation, the result is a compression of the latex between your body and the slats. Both the compression caused by slats and the sagging caused by box springs can stress the lofty structure of a foam mattress and reduce its lifespan.
2. Check your mattress for moisture.
All-natural latex mattresses are moisture resistant; the open cell structure of the latex maximizes airflow and keeps your mattress dry inside and out. This drying capacity, combined with latex's innate antimicrobial nature, means that 100% natural latex mattresses are highly resistant to mold and mildew.
If you live in tropical climates, sweat heavily, have a "do it yourself" latex mattress comprised of multiple layers of latex, or you have purchased a blended or hybrid latex mattress, it can be particularly important to check your mattress for moisture to prevent mold and mildew.
If any of these conditions apply to you, start by checking for moisture every three or four days, and extend the period between checks until you establish a regular maintenance routine that suits your situation. Run your hand over the top and bottom of your mattress, inside the mattress cover. Run your hand and arm between each layer of a "do it yourself" mattress. Perform a visual inspection of every surface for mold and mildew.
Even if you use your mattress under normal conditions where excess moisture isn't a concern, it's good practice to check for moisture every six weeks. These regular maintenance checks can help catch moisture, mold, or mildew before it becomes a major concern.
In the event that you find wet spots, allow the mattress to dry in open air. If you find patches of mold or mildew, contact the manufacturer for guidance on cleaning your mattress properly.
3. Maintain a reasonable temperature.
Latex isn't as susceptible to changes as memory foam. With a memory foam mattress, a cold bedroom can affect its softness and a warm sleeping environment (or your warm body temperature) can actually cause it to soften to the point that it no longer supports you properly. Latex maintains the same resilient support whether your bedroom is cold or hot.
Still, to prolong the life of your mattress, it's recommended that you not use an electric blanket on a high setting. Keep your mattress out of direct, bright sunlight. Synthetic latex foams are more susceptible to color changes based on temperature and UV exposure, but even natural botanical latex can exhibit these changes with overexposure.
4. Turn or don't as recommended by the manufacturer.
Many all-natural latex beds don't need to be rotated and shouldn't be turned, since the firmest latex layer may be at the base and the softest, meant to be used as the sleep surface, will be on top. However, some synthetic latex, blended latex, or hybrid latex mattresses may need to be rotated or turned to extend their lifespan. Pay attention to your manufacturer's instructions and stick to the recommended maintenance schedule, and your quality of sleep will thank you.
The Final Word
If you care for your mattress, it will care for you. You'll reap the benefits of a soft, supportive, and pressure-relieving latex sleep surface for years, ensuring that you get a significant return on your investment.
Whether your mattress is all-natural latex, blended latex, or a hybrid mix of latex and other bedding materials, the proper maintenance can extend the life of your mattress to the point that it begins to feel like an old friend.