Updated: Feb 3
Change the way you look at your mattress with these ten odd and fun factoids.
If you’re like most people, you probably don’t give your mattress much thought unless there’s a problem with it. But, that hunk of foam and springs in your bedroom may actually be harboring some interesting secrets.
Top Ten Most Interesting Mattress Facts You Never Knew
From amazing to creepy, read on to discover ten interesting mattress facts that will have you looking at your bed and sleep in a whole new light (UV perhaps…).
1. The Most Popular Type Is Least-Liked
Innerspring mattresses are sold the most, accounting for an estimated 80% of mattress sales. But, they also have the lowest overall satisfaction ratings according to SleepLikeTheDead.com.
They find that only 63% of innerspring mattress owners report being satisfied, compared to around 80% of memory foam and latex owners and 79% of waterbed owners.
Satisfaction rate trends have remained fairly stable for awhile, although specialty mattresses like memory foam and latex are seeing continual growth into the spring market share.
2. Creepy Critters Are Sharing Your Bed
Perhaps the grossest mattress fact is that a used mattress can conceal thousands of microscopic dust mites and their excrement within fabrics and empty spaces. Although the exact amount of dust mite proliferation is debated, they are almost certainly sharing your home with you.
Dust mites exist just about anywhere there are fabrics and carpet plus animals or people, especially in more humid environments. They feed on shed skin cells, and while they don’t bite or pose disease risks, they can exacerbate allergies and asthma.
Pillows are another favorite hangout for dust mites (and skin oils and saliva) so it is suggested to replace your pillow at least every year and a half, or every six months if you are prone to allergies.
The best way to minimize dust mites is to use allergen-resistant mattress and pillow covers and wash all bedding in hot water once a week.
3. It’s Illegal to Buy a Mattress on Sunday in Washington
Although weekends are prime time for mattress shopping, one state says no go. An old, quirky law in Washington state says that it is illegal to purchase or sell a mattress on Sundays. Also banned for Sunday shoppers are televisions and meat!
The origin of the law is unknown although it was cited by many sites. However, it doesn’t appear to be strictly enforced so you shouldn’t have an issue.
4. Your Mattress Can Be Recycled
Mattresses are big and bulky and many people are unsure what to do with them when they get a new one. You could send it to a landfill where it will take up space for centuries alongside millions of other old beds, or you could recycle it.
Recycling remains growing industry and many states and organizations are pushing the development of mattress recycling to reduce waste. California, Rhode Island and Conneticut have all passed laws that will now require mattress recycling.
The springs and metal can be repurposed, wood and fibers can become a fuel source, and foams and fabrics can be recycled for use in padding and other applications.
Check Earth911.org to see if there is a local recycling facility near you. Some facilities have community drop off points or will come pick up your bed for a small fee. You could also resell or donate a mattress that is still in decent shape.
5. Your Mattress is Go-To Spot for Thieves
We’ve all heard the adage of hiding money under the mattress, and so have burglars and thieves. One of the number one places that home robbers look for hidden money and prized possessions is under your mattress.
Not to mention, sleeping on piles of cash probably is bad for your back. Store valuables in less conspicuous places like a bank, or taped beneath shelves or behind heavy furnishings, buried outside or in potted plants, inside unvaluable storage boxes, inside clothes or coats, in an attic, etc.
6. Mattresses Used to Rest on Ropes
Before boxsprings and platform foundations came into vogue, mattresses used to be supported by cross-woven ropes stretched across wood frames.
In fact, the phrase “sleep tight” originated from this time period, when people would regularly have to tighten their bed’s ropes or risk saggy sleep. As for “don’t let the bedbugs bite”, well that one is unfortunately still applicable to today!
7. All Mattresses Must Be Flame-Proof
In 2007, it became federal law that all mattresses must meet flammability guidelines in order to be sold in the United States. Basically, beds must be able to withstand an open flame for 30 seconds (don’t try this at home though!).
The law was enacted to reduce mattress fires due to unattended cigarettes, candles and other dangers. The Consumer Products Safety Commission estimates that mattresses meeting these requirements can save up to 270 lives and 1330 injuries per year.
How manufacturers achieve flameproofing is not regulated, and there is some consumer concern about about less safe chemicals that could be in use. Some of the worst like PBDE’s and decaDBE have phased out or banned, but . More manufacturers are also turning to fabric barriers and other greener or safer measures also.
8. Mattress Dominoes is a Legitimate World Record Category
There is a thing called mattress dominoes, and it’s an actual record maintained by Guinness. Basically it involves lining mattresses and people up as you would dominoes, tipping one over and letting the fun begin.
The current record is 1001 mattresses and people, set by volunteers in Shanghai in 2012. Previously, the American record was also set by La Quinta volunteers in New Orleans which toppled 850 human mattress dominoes.
9. You Sweat & Shed All Over Your Bed at Night
Oh, yeah. In addition to all of the dust mites colonizing your mattress, it’s also packed with your shed skin cells and sweat and other fluids.
You shed millions of skin cells per day, and since you spend about ⅓ of each day on your mattress, a significant portion of them will wind up there. You also sweat while sleeping, with some sources estimating anywhere from a several milliliters to one liter nightly.
Do your mattress and your peace of mind of favor by using a protective mattress cover. These will protect your bed from absorbing shed skin, sweat and spills and can be washed regularly to keep your bed in pristine, healthy condition.
10. A Messy Bed May Be Healthier
You’re mom always told you that you better make your bed, and a tidy mattress does indeed make a room look better – however one Kingston University study found that an unmade bed might be a little healthier.
The idea is that when you make your bed and cover the mattress with the comforter, sweat and moisture is trapped within creating the ideal environment for dust mites. Leaving sheets exposed to the air and sunlight dries out the environment which can help kill of mites.
Have any other cool, creepy or weird mattress facts to share? Leave us a comment below!