The fourth entry in our five-part series aimed at helping identify when it’s time to get a new mattress is about your own personal sensitivities and how your bed may be impacting your health.
Previous posts in this series:
When is it Time to Replace Your Mattress? – Part I: It’s too Old!
When is it Time to Replace Your Mattress? – Part II: It’s too Hard to Move!
When is it Time to Replace Your Mattress? – Part III: Trust Your Eyes
Tip #4. You Have Allergies
As terrible as it is to think about, mattresses can become their own ecosystem, with everything in them plotting against you, your health, and your happiness. Well… maybe it’s not that bad, but still, a mattress can be host to a number of organisms that can cause irritation and problems in allergy sufferers, or be the allergy source themselves in some cases.
One of the most common issues with mattresses is dust mites. These microscopic organisms feed on the dead skin cells that make their way into the mattress. One of the mattress industry’s favorite “facts” is that mattresses can double in weight in a decade from the presence of dust mites. While this has never been scientifically supported, over time, the presence of dust mites can add up, and the more there are, the worse allergies can become. Mites don’t bite, but their waste and remains are irritants to humans when breathed, causing what we consider to be an allergic reaction. Stuffy or runny noses, itchy or watery eyes, and sneezing or coughing are all symptoms, but are hard to attribute to mites since they mirror those of the common cold. Mites can also exacerbate symptoms in asthma sufferers.
Moisture is another enemy of even the best mattress, which also makes it your enemy. Moisture can be a breeding ground for mold, mildew, and bacteria, none of which you want to breathe while you sleep. These irritants can come from something as innocuous as a spilled glass of water or an accident from a pet. Even the moisture generated from your body during the night can be enough to cause the growth of mildew over time. This is an even greater issue during the summer months, when the chances of perspiration during the night are greater and humidity in the air slows the drying process. An aerated, cool bed like latex can help people who sleep hot. Even collected dust can be an issue and many people have benefitted from knowing when to replace a mattress that was full of allergens. For individuals with severe allergy issues, hypoallergenic latex mattresses have proven to be helpful, and some varieties of memory foam are hypoallergenic as well.
Another consideration is the chance that you may be allergic to the materials used in the mattress itself. Allergies to cotton, wool, and synthetics are far from unheard of, but are also hard to pin down because symptoms are usually identical to those caused by more common allergens. Seeing a doctor to pinpoint your exact allergies is the only sure way to identify what is causing your issues, but being aware of them will also let you know what type of material your next mattress should be made of.
For the next post in our series, click here:
When is it Time to Replace Your Mattress? – Part V: You’re Uncomfortable