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How to care for your mattress

Last updated: November 2023

Care guide

Mattress maintenance plays an important role in extending the life of your mattress, as well as ensuring you get optimum comfort while sleeping. This guide looks at everything you need to consider, including when to replace your mattress, how to take care of your mattress, plus general maintenance tips to ensure it enables you to get a great night’s sleep for as long as possible.

Getting to know your new mattress

Once you’ve invested in a new mattress, you’ll want to make the most of it! Regular maintenance is the best way to ensure a good night’s sleep for years to come. At Dreams, our delivery teams will carry your mattress directly to your room of choice, so no set up is required but we do recommend routine care. Read on to find answers to frequently asked questions and what to do once your new mattress has arrived.

Can I store my mattress?

While it is OK to transport a mattress on its side, mattresses are not designed to rest on their sides for extended periods. Doing so could permanently damage your mattress’s structure, as its sides simply are not strong enough to support its weight. Be sure to lay your mattress flat as soon as possible after delivery.

Whether pocket spring or memory foam, natural or synthetic, the fillings and internal structure of any type of mattress can be damaged if it’s exposed to the elements in a garage or a garden shed. If you’re not planning on using your new bed or mattress immediately, you may want to reschedule your delivery date.

Your Dreams mattress may be heavy, so you’ll need two people to handle it. Take care when lifting your mattress, so you don’t injure yourself or damage your mattress. Remember, any handles on your mattress aren’t designed for carrying it over any considerable distance.

Can you sleep on a new mattress straight away?

When your mattress is delivered, make sure the room is well ventilated for a few hours before you dress your mattress and sleep on it. Mattresses with natural or foam fillings may have a slight odour, which is totally normal and completely harmless. If you regularly loosen your bedding to help air circulate, this odour should disappear after 14 days.

If you’ve purchased a rolled mattress, please allow up to 48 hours for the mattress to fully unroll and expand to its specified size.

What should my mattress measure?

Many of our mattresses are handmade, meaning they can vary a little in size – around +/- 2cm. This is regulated by BS1334:1996.

During their journey to your home, some mattresses may contract, but don’t worry. They’ll relax back to their natural state again after a short period of use.

For more information about mattress measurements check out our bed size guide.

How long does it take to get used to a new mattress?

Your new mattress may feel slightly different than the mattress you tried in store. This is mainly due to the fact that a number of people will have sat and laid down on the in-store model, which leads them to feel more worn-in compared to your brand-new mattress.

Any other differences you can feel may also be related to the difference in the base or bedframe platform. Was the mattress in store on solid slats, sprung slats or a platform base? What is your new mattress sat on? Is the base in good condition? For this reason, we do not recommend using a worn base with new mattress. Doing so may provide a reduced level of support, which could result in premature mattress wear and invalidate the guarantee.

Ultimately, a new mattress needs time to adjust to you. Please allow up to 30 nights for your body to adjust to your new mattress and for the fillings to settle. The fillings will compress in pressure point areas, and this simply means the mattress is doing its job – providing support where you need it the most.

In the unlikely event that you’re finding your new mattress uncomfortable, we offer a Sleep Guarantee because we want to help you find the mattress that’s right for you. This guarantee allows you to exchange your new mattress for another. Please refer to the sleep exchange terms and conditions for more information.

What does it mean if your new mattress is showing signs of settlement?

Most people tend to sleep in the same position on their mattress night after night. It is therefore natural for body impressions (sometimes referred to as settlement) to form in your mattress. The comfort fillings will settle in the area where you sleep, which can leave a ridge down the centre of the mattress. This can be more noticeable if you have a larger mattress or a pillow top mattress, but it does not affect the comfort or support provided by the mattress.

To manage this, regular rotating is essential to make sure the pressure is spread as evenly as possible across the mattress in its first few months of use.

While a little settlement is no cause for concern, there are ways you can minimise any further compression:

  • Allow your mattress to air out daily by leaving the bedding pulled back for a while after you get up. This encourages any moisture to disperse and allows the fillings and layers to rise back up.
  • Make sure you follow the recommended rotate and/or turn instructions as labelled on your mattress. Regular rotating and/or turning encourages the fillings to level out. Watch our video on how to turn/rotate your mattress.

Should a new mattress smell?

Most mattresses, especially memory foam mattresses, release a slight odour when they’re first unwrapped. This is because of a very normal chemical reaction known as off-gassing. The smell is not harmful and does not linger. To minimise this, allow the mattress to air out in a well-ventilated room a few hours before making the bed for the first time. If you regularly loosen your bedding to help air circulate, this odour should disappear fully after 14 days.

Can you use a hot water bottle or electric blanket?

Using a hot water bottle or electric blanket is safe with all our mattresses, however they can affect the feel or performance of your mattress. Prolonged heat can soften the fillings, especially with mattresses containing memory foam, making them feel temporarily softer. We don’t recommend placing electric blankets directly on the mattress surface without a sheet, as this can cause the fillings to overheat and void the mattress warranty. Please follow the guidelines provided with the product.

Maintaining your mattress

Mattress care starts the moment your new mattress is delivered to your home. We’ve put together our key mattress care information for you below.

How often should you rotate and turn your mattress?

Your mattress may be heavy, so you’ll need two people to handle it. Take care when lifting your mattress, so you don’t injure yourself or damage your mattress. Get help to turn and rotate the mattress, but remember if the mattress has handles, they aren’t designed for carrying the mattress any distance.

All our mattresses are either single-sided or double-sided. Depending on which one you choose, there are different instructions on rotating and turning over.

If you have a single-sided mattress, there will be a ‘Rotate Regularly / Single-Sided’ symbol on the label. For the first 3 months, we recommend rotating your mattress from head to toe once a week. After that, rotate it just once a month.

If you have a double-sided mattress, there will be a ‘Turn Over Regularly / Double-Sided’ symbol on the label. For the first 3 months, we recommend that you turn it over once a week. After that, turn it over just once a month.

Following these steps will prolong the life of your mattress and ensure even settlement of the fillings. When turning or rotating your mattress, make sure it doesn’t fall against the side of the bed as this may damage the fillings. We recommend that two people move the mattress together if possible. For more information, watch our turn and rotate video below.

How do you take care of a mattress?

To keep your mattress in tip-top condition and prolong its life, we advise the following:

  • Do not bend, roll, or fold your mattress, as this can damage the internal spring unit and affect the overall strength and durability of the mattress.
  • Avoid jumping/standing on your mattress, as this can damage the mattress and base.
  • Do not sit on the edge of your mattress for prolonged periods, as this can damage the spring retention frame.
  • Do not remove the mattress fire resistance labels or base labels as these identify your mattress for the guarantee.
  • Wash your bed linen every 1-2 weeks.
  • Use a mattress protector to shield against stains.
  • Let your mattress breathe by pulling the bedding back and allowing it to air for a while every day.
  • Depending on the guidance provided with your mattress, rotate and/or turn over regularly
  • Clean your mattress as soon as possible after any spills. Use a damp cloth with cool water and a mild detergent. Avoid soaking the mattress or using a strong detergent as this could cause the fillings to deteriorate.

And remember:

  • Your mattress has been specifically designed to support weight evenly across the entire surface during sleep.
  • All Dreams Bed Factory packaging is 100% recyclable. We will take away all packaging at point of delivery. If you do not want us to do this, please check with your local recycling centre on the best recycling method.

Why use a mattress protector?

Although a mattress protector may seem like an unnecessary accessory for a brand-new mattress, it’s a great investment to keep it in tip-top condition. A protector will shield your mattress from moisture and spills, plus save you money in the long run as you won’t have to buy a new mattress prematurely.

We know accidents happen, but just mop up any spills as soon as possible to avoid lasting damage. For more information, see our guide on how to clean a mattress.

View our digital guides for more information about your mattress.