Mattress care & maintenance

Getting the perfect nights sleep is more than just finding the perfect mattress.  Some relatively easy care and maintenance can ensure your bed stays in prime condition to keep offering you the perfect nights sleep.  Here we have all the details you need to ensure you care for your mattress as much as it cares for you!

Artisan Bespoke 002

Mattress maintenance

Many of our customers ask the question of how they should care and maintain their mattress.  Whilst many know to ‘turn’ (flip it over so the underside becomes the top side) your traditional sprung mattress ‘regularly’ there is little information on how regular this should be. In terms of memory and hybrid foams the rules change slightly, as you don’t need to turn them due to their construction method.  Here we have provided you with a guide for looking after and maintaining your new mattress.

Why do I need to maintain my mattress?

Just like a new car will over time get dirty and require washing and a service once a year, your new mattress requires a similar, if less expensive kind of maintenance.  Failure to look after your mattress will result in a reduced mattress lifespan.  A lack of maintenance may result in your mattress getting dirty, suffering from inconsistencies such as isolated compression (one specific area being lower than the other), or the rare case of the mouldy mattress!

How often should I turn a latex mattress?

If you have a solid core latex mattress like the fusion latex range, ie two sided, we recommend you turn and rotate these once a month for the first year and then every two months thereafter.  This helps even out wear and compression making your mattress last longer.

Rotating your mattress

The construction method of Memory foam means it does not need to be turned over.  It also means that you can’t usually turn it like a traditional mattress.   So rotating your mattress, spinning it around on the same side, once a month will allow you to distribute this wear more evenly. When we talk about rotating we mean spinning the mattress like the hands of a clock so the head end becomes the foot end and the foot end becomes the head end etc.

No turn mattresses

We have covered in this article how the no turn benefit is really just down to the construction method.  At John Ryan though we have crafted our beds to be either fully turnable in the case of the Fusion latex range, or partially turnable with our hybrid range.  This means that the topper layer can be turned, flipped and rotated as often as you like.  We recommend you do this once a month as well.  So you can rotate the base mattress but turn/flip the topper.  This again extends the life of your mattress and ensures consistency as it beds in and wears over time.

Ridges in the centre of your bed/mattress

Some customers, particularly with Super king size mattresses, have noted that a ridge can appear in the middle of the bed and are concerned this means the bed is sagging.  John explains this as the Virgin Mattress Syndrome.  This is where the centre of the bed receives little to no use so keeps its uncompressed state, whilst the two other sides compress slightly.  Human nature means we are creatures of habit and tend to sleep in the same position every night meaning this area get more wear and compression than the rest.  Regular turning and rotating can help with this.  It doesn’t mean the mattress has sagged or dipped as in failed, it is just nature when you have two people using the same parts night on night.  It is more of an aesthetic problem and not construction failure, if you have concerns please call us directly, though.

Mouldy mattresses

This has occurred in a few instances online.  This usually occurs when maintenance is neglected and moisture is allowed to sit on the mattress especially in high humidity areas.  Regular rotating and turning of the topper should prevent this.  See our post here for more details on this. This issue is rare but as always we provide some advice on it!

Mattress protectors

We can’t stress enough how valuable a mattress protector is. These can be purchased from most department and homeware shops.  They are a slightly padded usually fitted sheet that goes over your mattress and topper.  They are a cheap and easy way to prevent the 3 evils from damaging your mattress.  If you don’t have a mattress protector a duvet sheet in the size of your mattress can be used as an alternative.  The benefit is these can be removed washed or disposed of if necessary after periods of wear.  They keep your mattress secure from the 3 evils that will over time damage them.

Deep fitted sheets

Due to the depth of our full range of mattresses ranging from 18cm to 32cm in depth.  Standard fitted sheets probably won’t suffice to keep your bed adequately covered.  A number of high street shops sell deep and extra deep fitted sheets keeping your bed perfectly covered in whatever fabric, colour or design takes your fancy!  Please note Our depths are of the foam only and don’t include the covers.  The cover can add 1cm-2cm to the depth along with the quilted undulations.  We advise you double check once the mattress arrives before purchasing any specific depth fitted sheets.  We don’t include the cover as we find it misleading to quote the cover as part of the foam.

Spills and stains

If you do by accident spill or wet your mattress our guidance is to take off the sheets as soon as possible and strip the mattress back to its core. Clean up any liquids with towels and then allow the mattress to air dry.  Never use a heat source which could damage or warp the materials.  Once it is fully dry re-make your bed with clean dry bedding and allow ventilation to ensure any residual moisture in the room or the bed can escape through evaporation.  Stains maybe a slightly different problem, we advise against using cleaning chemicals on the mattress for stains which may compromise the foam.  This can lead to it becoming damaged or failing.  If your bed is covered with a protector and sheets usually these can be washed with stain removers or simply replaced if beyond cleaning.

Cuts or damage to the mattress

We can’t stress enough, especially when opening your mattress that cuts or damage caused to the foam will affect the condition of the foam and ultimately the mattress comfort depending on how severe.  Cuts and damage are not covered by our love it or return it guarantee.  We, therefore, recommend wrapping up Christmas presents, cutting ribbon or anything else is done away from the mattress.

Other forces of nature

We also need to stress that whilst it sometimes seen as a good idea to use a mattress as a toboggan down the stairs or a trampoline it will cause untold damages to the mattresses.  This too is not covered by our guarantee as our mattresses are only guaranteed to be slept on.  Whilst we agree it can be fun, we unfortunately can’t guarantee the mattress if they are used as an adventure playground!

Top 5 mattress maintenance tips

1.  Rotate your mattress monthly if one-sided.  If two-sided like our latex fusion range then turn monthly.  Turn and rotate the topper monthly.

2.  Always use a mattress protector, it’s the cheapest way to ensure your mattress stays in pristine condition

3.  Always take care when opening your foam rolled mattress, please follow our guidance here.  Always use scissors, never a knife to prevent accidental damage.  We advise you unwrap your mattress in the room you intend to keep it in. They are much easier to move when they are still in their packaging.

4.  Clean up spills as soon as possible and always allow a wet or soiled mattress to air dry once cleaned.  Never use a heat source!

5.  Deep fitted sheets will ensure all the lovely comfortable layers of your mattress are well covered and contained allowing you the perfect nights sleep!

Summary

There are a lot of tips in this article about ensuring your mattress stays in as good a shape as possible.  Monthly maintenance of turning and rotating is vital in ensuring that wear is evened out across the mattress and it goes without saying that any spills or liquids need to be cleaned as soon as to prevent damage to the internal components of your mattress.

Comments

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  • Lisa says:

    We’ve recently bought a Sealy Sotheby latex mattress which we thought was fantastic in the show room at first. We have noticed that the topper that’s stitched onto it is showing signs of uneven wear between me and my husband. We’ve also accidentally spilt tea on it. I know we can’t return the bed because of this but after 6 months should the topper be so uneven and lumpy? My husbands side is almost flat compared to mine!! What can you recommend to help resolve the dip situation and what would you recommend to get the stain out so we don’t damage the latex?! Lisa
    Hi Lisa. The isse your having is with settlement if your topper I’m afraid. The even worse news is that pillow too mattresses are stitched onto the core mattress so when you get such settlement you can’t turn them. It’s just a fancy one sided mattress. If the topper was removable you could turn rotate and even shake it to even out he initial settlement issue Lisa. There’s a detailed article we have written about the drawbacks of pillow top mattresses which you can read here.

    . It shouldn’t have dipped that quickly significantly though Lisa. Although there will be some
    Settlement to have one side completely flat like you say is unusual. Quality natural latex wouldn’t fail so quickly like this. The issue with sealys innergetic latex is they don’t state what blend or type of latex it is so I can’t comment on the quality any further. Also not knowing the full depth of latex makes it tricky. There are many blends of latex and our site has a number of articles discussing the types as qualities of natural latex used in mattresses.

    As for the tea stain again unfortunately you would usually be able to take the topper and cover off to wash t. All our John Ryan toppers and cores come with removable machine washable covers. Due to the fact your pillow top is permanently adhered makes cleaning tricky. I advise that if the mattress has been dried I would ignore the stain. If you really want to so something about it then I would spot clean it with a mild detergent and some warm water. Be careful not to soak the mattress top just sponge the stain. Then keep it uncovered and ventilated until it’s dried. Please don’t use any heat sources to dry it so it doesn’t warp. I hope that helps Lisa with your mattress concerns! If in doubt please give us a call. Lee

  • Rob says:

    Hi, great site with excellent information. Like a lot of readers, we are about to purchase a new mattress and base after a good 10+years on our current Kingsize Sealy posturepedic 1200 and sprung divan base which both have now seen better days. That was until I came across your site. I totally agree now with your argument for not requiring to ‘try’ out a mattress in store, based on how little knowledge the staff at the sheds generally have and how long you would actually ‘try’ it for – about 3mins if your lucky!

    I have done a bit of research and understand pocket sprung is much better than open coil. Memory foam is generally hotter etc. We had been looking at the J.Lewis natural range and deciding between the 5000 and 6000 when it occurred to me that for around the same price, you offer a 100% Latex Fusion 3 or 80/20 Fusion 2 .

    I am around 12st4 and a sound side sleeper but don’t like to be too hot. My wife is around 9st.8 and likes to be warm and toasty, we both prefer a medium to firm mattress and have in recent months, both been complaining of bad backs on waking and both putting it down to the long deterioration in our current mattress.

    So my 1st question would be are we better off with the latex than the traditional pocket sprung with a budget of around 1000gbp? or stick with pocket sprung with something like your Artisan Naturals?

    With a relatively small weight difference, would we get away with same tension or need a zip link type if the Artisan?

    I’m guessing, having read about your love of toppers that you may recommend we use one, would that be still the case with a Latex Fusion 2or3?

    Aesthetically, I would prefer a new bedstead than a new divan base, but with so much ‘stuff’ my missus stores in her 2 drawers, I don’t think she’d cope without the storage – would a sprung divan base be better or solid base divan? JL sales stated they could not guarantee their mattress for 10yrs, unless it was on a slatted base?

    We recently bought our 6yr old daughter a new JL basic Memory single mattress which I now realise after reading your advice rather than the well meaning, but ultimately unknowledgeable reviews on the JL website, was probably a poor choice, especially on a cheap fixed slatted base (which I shall now be sure to board out with 4mm mdf, Thanks to your advice!)

    Ok, firstly, wow what a fantastic detailed question. You have been ding your research which is fantastic. Now let’s see if I can help give you point by point answers on the areas you’ve covered.

    Tensions – At 12 and 9 stone you are slight sleepers. For your weights I would recommend a medium tension mattress, anything firmer will be over kill and will lead to uncomfortable nights for you both. I would use the same tension for both of you, I don’t think the minor weight difference would warrant split tensions Rob.

    Latex or pocket sprung? – Latex is fantastic for pressure relieving and being responsive, this is where is trumps a pocket sprung mattress in that that it accommodates pressure ie hips, shoulders slightly faster than a pocket sprung. It springs back and allows for all sorts of variations in pressure. That said it is hotter than a traditional mattress. So for your wife latex maybe fantastic but less so maybe for you. Rather than a solid core mattress I would advise that a topper on a traditional mattress maybe better. This is because the thinner layer of latex won’t keep the heat in as much as a solid core. It all depends just on how hot you find latex, which is nearly impossible to guess! It is far cooler than memory foam though as a comparator.

    Mattress Bases, to Divan or not to Divan? – The difference between a sprung edged and platform top divan is relatively straight forward. The sprung edged divan will slightly soften the over all feel of the mattress Rob. As if the entire bed is on suspension of sorts. The platform top will keep the mattress at its stand alone tension meaning the mattress does all the work. The sprung edge is more advanced in that it allows the base to also take some strain and soften every so slightly the sensation of the mattress. The storage options available are 2-4 drawers and the bases we offer come in a number of fabric colours and textures. We also offer matching headboards. If you choose a non divan we would advise you look for something with a consistent surface, i.e. no slats.

    Slatted bases – Slatted mattress bases are usually the elephant in the room. For foam and contemporary beds, like your daughters, we don’t recommend them as the foam conforms to them and you get lumps and bumps. You can use them for traditional beds but as you have read, your putting a expensive quality mattress on slats which over time may impact the mattress in terms of settlement and dips. Our advice is either board them over or go for a consistent base like a divan. Its not worth the risk to the mattress As for the JL advice about guarantee I can’t for one minute think why they would guarantee one with their mattress over a divan!

    Which beds the best for you? – Based on your query I would advice you maybe think about pairing up a traditional mattress like the Artisan naturals with a latex topper Rob. Especially if you like the idea of latex but are concerned about heat. It will get you the soft pressure relief you want without unnecessary heat which you’ve raised concerns about but also a turnable high quality mattress which is suitable for both your weights.

    I know there’s a lot of advice here so please call us once you have digested it. Many thanks and hope that helps – Lee

  • Sarah says:

    Hello – annoying I came across your site after 2 bad broken mattresses and now onto my third!! – Anyway we did have memory foam mattress – then sprung + memory foam – both failed badly and sent back to the company

    we then went into a shop and tried out various mattresses and went for a 1800 pocket sprung one – have had it about 2.5weeks now and we used your technique for placing boards and a single duvet under it – as we have a sprung slatted bedstead

    Now over weekend whilst changing sheets + turning it I noticed that instead of the sag in the middle we have a hump in the middle? any ideas what that could be from? After almost 2 years of suffering with chronic back ache first thing due to the bed – I am at my wits end 😀

    Any advice or suggestions that you are able to offer would be sincerely appreciated

    Do we try sleeping on floor with mattress – or new frame (john lewis bed about 8 years ish old) – different mattress – give up!?

    Thank you for reading 🙂

    Sarah

    Hi Sarah, What you’re describing is actually perfectly normal when two people share a bed, which can also apply when only one person is in the bed though usually to a lesser degree. Usually human habit means we sleep in roughly the same area of the bed each night, even if we turn over its not that normal for people to use the entire surface of the bed. What happens is a slight ridge can form in the middle of the bed that doesn’t get much if any wear. John calls this ‘virgin mattress’ as its never really been slept on! This is natural, what you can do is make sure you rotate and turn the mattress to minimise it. Also sometimes giving the top layers of the mattress a good shake and rub can help reduce it as can maybe trying to sleep further over if you wish. It doesn’t mean the mattress has failed and its usually more prominent on kingsize and super-kingsize mattresses. I hope that helps Sarah. -Lee

  • Jim says:

    How to safely clean urine off the mattress?

    Hi Jim, We always advise that a mattress protector is used to protect mattresses from such stains as these can be removed washed or even replaced if need be.

    If you have a stain then our advice would be to use a warm soapy water solution and to sponge the area. Ensuring it doesn’t get wet just damp. You then need to leave the mattress to air our naturally, please don’t use a hair dryer or direct heat source as this can warp the materials inside the mattress.

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