You’ve done your homework, shopped around, and finally decided on the mattress set that fits your sleep comfort needs. You’re ready to make your purchase and get to the best part of mattress shopping; a good night’ sleep. That’s when the sales rep begins asking questions you may not have considered in your shopping. Words like “mattress encasements”and “mattress padding” begin to bombard your budget and the temptation to wave off the salesman’s suggestions for additional products and options to protect your mattress is at an all time high. But, before you say “no” to all of those additional costs, there are a few things you may need to know.
One of the most expensive component of any bedroom set is a high quality set of mattresses. Most studies tell us the life of an average set of mattresses is 7 to 10 years before natural wear-and-tear permanently reduces the positive effects of your new mattresses. Taking extra precautions to protect a big ticket investment like that is anything but frivolous. While most of us wouldn’t think twice about purchasing additional products, features, or even insurance to protect other big-ticket investments like a vehicle or our homes, few people think of mattresses in that same category.
But, with just a little care and proper application of a few “extras”, you can extend the life of that new mattress set well past the average expiration date. For example:
A mattress pad is an additional layer of material designed to add comfort and protection for the surface of your mattress. There are many mattress pad types and materials to choose from depending on your needs or personal preference. Pads can come in cotton, wool, polyester, organic fabric, silk, foam, down features, or synthetic down materials. They also come in many different styles, for example:
More like a very thick fitted sheet, this type of pad usually has a layer of quilted material for additional comfort and protection of the sleeping surface. Elastic corners insure the fitted pad stays put.
The primary difference with this type of pad is the way it attaches to the mattress. Rather than elastic sewn into the fitted corners of the pad, the anchor pad has elastic bands that wrap around the mattress corners. This type of pad is easier to remove for cleaning purposes.
Memory Foam Pads
This type of pad is quite popular for its space-age materials. As the name suggests, this type of pad adds extra cushion to the sleeping surface that conforms to the curves of your body and retains that form for additional comfort and support. Since it is a pad and not a permanent part of the mattress, an additional benefit is protection of the mattress surface thereby extending the life of your mattress.
Egg Crate Pads
This foam material comes in the form of an “egg crate” and adds additional cushion and support for you and protection for the mattress surface. The difference between this pad and the memory foam is the egg crate does not retain any specific form.
Maybe you’ve seen a mattress with a zippered cloth or plastic cover and wondered why someone would shrink-wrap their bed. The reason for this added step is simple; fully covering the mattress means full protection. While a mattress pad may protect the top of the mattress and the addition of a dust ruffle may help keep dust from accumulating underneath the bed, only a mattress encasement fully covers the mattress and/or box spring. If you suffer from chronic allergies or are simply trying to extend the life of your mattress, a mattress encasement is ideal.
So before you make your final decision on these seemingly frivolous extras, keep these suggestions in mind and remember, the quality of your sleep is largely dependent on the quality of your mattress. The best advice you can receive during your mattress shopping is be sure to include “mattress protection” in your budget. Not just to protect what you’re investing in a new set of mattresses, but in the greatest investment you will ever have; your health and well being.