Dust mites and sweat: what accumulates on a mattress when it is not cleaned

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When was the last time you showed your mattress some attention? And what builds up on that soft, plush surface when it’s not cleaned regularly? Dust mites, sweat and pet dander are just a few of the things you can expect. Even if you recently invested in the best mattress for your sleep, keeping it fresh from the start will help it last longer (and save you money).

As Yordan Yordanov, a Fantastic Services mattress cleaner tells us, “While most people tend to agree that buying a quality mattress is essential for a good night’s sleep, keeping it clean is equally important in order to prevent allergies and health problems. issues that arise, as well as getting high quality sleep.

“Some people almost never clean their mattress until it tears, which is not the right way to look at it,” says Yordanov. “We spend around a third of our lives sleeping, so it’s only right to make sure we get as much high-quality sleep as possible. Regular cleaning and maintenance is essential – there’s just no need to worry. another way around it.

Our article on how to clean a mattress walks you through the process, but for now, here’s an overview of what could build up on your mattress if you don’t clean it regularly. And to get an idea of ​​how well you’re sleeping on your soon-to-be-fresh and clean mattress, check out our guide to the best sleep trackers.

1. Layers of dust

Just as dust resides on our lampshades, mirrors, and just about every other surface in the home, the pesky allergen can also settle on our mattress. Yordanov explains, “Dust buildup is common on most mattresses, as dust is made up of dead skin cells, hair, dead insect parts, sand, and anything else that might be brought in from outside, through your open windows or on the shoes you bring inside.

“To reduce overall dust, you should regularly clean and dust your entire home, as well as invest in an air purifier, preferably with high-efficiency particulate filters.”

Mattress covered in stains

(Image credit: Getty/Ratchat)

2. Dead skin and body fluids

From sweat to saliva and urine to feces, if not cleaned regularly, a whole cocktail of bodily fluids will become embedded in your mattress. Gary Farron, Silent Mites Professional Cleaners, tells us, “Stains build up gradually over time, from various bodily fluids, sweat and saliva. In addition, dead skin cells will accumulate, as we can remove between 15 million and half a billion dead skin cells every day. This will make it perfect for bacteria, which will multiply.

3. Dust mites

This leads nicely to the point above. Unfortunately, once our skin has shed, it is the perfect playground for mites. Farron adds: “Further inside the mattress you can expect to find mites – microscopic relatives of the spider, feeding on our dead flakes of skin.

“It is estimated that a 10 year old mattress will contain over 10 pounds of dead skin flakes which is a food source for millions and millions of dust mites, the waste product of which is a very powerful protein that can trigger many allergies such as asthma, eczema, rhinitis, itchy skin, itchy red eyes and sneezing.

“A good mattress protector will help prevent stains and offer protection against the buildup of bacteria, fungi and dust mites. However, these will only take the brunt of the trouble, so regular washing is important sheets, pillows, pillowcases and protectors. Airing the mattress out when you wake up will also help. Letting natural sunlight reach the bed and allowing moisture to dry out of the mattress will all play a role in maintaining the coolness of the bed.

Ginger cat asleep on a bed

(Image credit: Getty/Chris Winsor)

4. Pet dander

At TechRadar, we love our pets beyond measure, but if you let your beloved furry friend have 40 winks in bed with you, as cozy and comforting as that is, you might just open the door. door to more than just a warm hug and a wet, whiskey kiss.

Melissa Homer, Head of Cleaning at MaidPro, explains, “Mattresses harbor remnants of everything that is regularly found there, including our food, our pets and us. If your furry friends join you in bed, their dander also adds to the fun, just like the bits of popcorn from the movie you watched in bed the other night.

5. Mold

If you’ve ever had mold in your home, whether it’s in your bathroom or bedroom, you’ll know how annoying it can be. Spores thrive in warm, humid conditions, and unfortunately for us, they can get into your mattress because they’re airborne.

Yordanov adds: “Mildew is another major hazard that can grow in areas with high humidity, especially if there is insufficient sunlight and ventilation. It is also very difficult to remove if left untreated for long periods of time, as it gets inside the mattress, making it hazardous to human health. Mold must be dealt with immediately as it has many adverse health effects, it grows quickly and is particularly dangerous for people with asthma.

This advice also applies to your mattress topper or mattress topper, so make sure you clean them regularly too. It’s especially important to quickly deal with any mold you spot on a bedding accessory before it spreads to your mattress.

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This article is part of TechRadar Sleep Week 2022 (from Sunday March 13th to Saturday March 19th), a week of celebration of all that sleeps. We’ll bring you proven techniques and tips to help you sleep better, and we’ve rounded up all the top-rated tech to transform your sleep.

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