Last week, while I was writing this post on how I went about designing my bed, I realized that in addition to the design aspect of the bed, there is a whole other element of bed care/maintenance that I needed to cover. From protective layers for your pillows to laundering bed linens and everything in between, there are plenty of bed and bedding care tips to share with you all today. What I love most about these tips is that they not only aid in keeping your bed clean and protected from allergens/irritants/mites (like bed bugs…yuck!), but these tips will also help to increase the longevity of your mattress and pillows. Let's face it, every aspect of the bed is an investment, so why not make sure that you are not only protecting that investment, but also getting the most bang for your buck when it comes to longevity.
Rotate your mattress every 3 months
This is a tip that I learned from (guess who) Martha Stewart and absolutely love it! Rotating your mattress every 3 months will prevent indentations from forming in certain places on your mattress as a result of nightly sleeping, ultimately increasing the longevity of your mattress. Simply take a safety pin and attach an index card with it to the bottom left corner of your bed with a card that reflects the month in which it was rotated, that way you will never lose track of when (and in which direction) you last rotated your mattress.
Use Pillow Protectors
I actually use 2 different types of pillow protectors on each of my standard sleeping pillows. The first cover I use to encase my pillow is a Sleep Safe Pillow Protector. This pillow case is an allergen barrier, bed bug/house mite protector and water proof to boot! Preventing oils, mites and liquids from entering your pillows helps to keep them in tact improve their lifespan significantly.
The next layer of my pillow is a basic linen pillow protector, which I can remove monthly to launder and provides a more comfortable layer of fabric over the heavy duty Sleep Safe pillow case. I know this sounds like I am going overboard but living in the city, paired with allergies and the crazy cost of purchasing a high quality pillow are all compelling reasons for taking the extra step to adequately protect myself and my pillow/investment.
Consider Mattress Protectors and Comforter Covers
In addition to pillows, protecting your mattress, duvet insert and even your feather bed are all extremely important. Two of the biggest threats to these items are bed bugs and liquids. So how have I outfitted my bed to combat these potential issues?
Starting with the foundation (aka my mattress), I have encased it in a breathable all-in-one mattress protector. This cover acts as a shield against bed bugs, house mites and various allergens. I have actually included my featherbed in this encasement (since the mattress cover can fit both, why not save a little money??), but if you are looking to have separate protective layers, I would recommend this feather bed protector. For a waterproof layer over your mattress, I would recommend this mattress pad (it's breathable, comfortable, functional and relatively inexpensive).
While your duvet insert has an external protective barrier (the duvet cover), it is still susceptible to moisture, body oils and infestations from various mites/bugs. I would recommend purchasing this duvet insert cover to not only aid in protecting your insert, but also to minimize the quantity of feathers that escape out of the blanket and into the room.
Properly laundering your bed linens is critical for maintaining proper bed hygiene and increasing the bedding longevity. In addition to laundering, I would also recommend having a second set of sheets on hand in order to decrease the frequency of replacing sheets. Here is a breakdown of how often I launder/clean each aspect of my bedding:
- Sheets and Pillow Cases: Every 1-2 Weeks
- Pillow Protectors: Monthly
- Duvet, Blanket and Blanket Cover/Coverlet: Monthly
- Quilt: Every 3 Months
- Pillow Shams: Every 6 Months
- Duvet Insert and Pillows: Every 6 Months
- Feather Bed: *Not necessary, but I do this-- steam every 6 months to kill any dust and/house mites that may be lurking*
A Few Additional Best Practices
Using protective coverings on the various components of your bed and regularly laundering your linens are the essentials for maintaining a healthy and long lasting bed. In addition to the items outlined above, here are a few additional suggestions/tips for keeping your bed in tip top shape!
Thanks to these bed and bedding care tips I can honestly say that my bed is most definitely my sanctuary. I love snuggling up in it after a long day at work and consistently wake up well rested. It really is worth it to take the time to not only put your bed together, but also properly care for it. If you have any bed care questions that were not covered in today's post please feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Sweet Dreams Everyone!