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Do you know what’s lurking in your mattress?

Adults lose 285ml of fluid a night and shed up to 454g of dead skin cells a year

An old or poorly looked-after mattress could not only be the cause of nightmares, but could potentially jeopardise your health. A build-up of bacteria over time can cause your mattress to contain worrying levels of staphylococcus, enterococcus, norovirus and even MRSA, according to The Sleep Council.

Despite these alarming health warnings, 11% of Brits would leave their mattress as long as six months before cleaning it, according to new research by Furniture123. It also found that one in five of the 1,000 people it surveyed wouldn’t replace their mattress, duvet and pillows unless they were unusable.

If you’re looking to find a durable mattress that will provide the same level of support throughout its lifespan, see our round-up of the top five mattresses for 2017.

How unhygienic is your mattress?

Each night adults typically lose 285ml of fluid, much of which will soak into their mattress, duvet and pillows. Also hiding in your bedding will be some of the 454g of dead skin cells we shed each year – not a sleep-inducing thought.

But this obviously doesn’t worry the 50% of Brits who wouldn’t replace their mattress before 10 years have passed.

However, not all of us are so lax about our bedding. 17% of people said they would clean their mattress once a month, while 16% said they would do it every two to three months. 34% of Brits also said they are willing to ditch pillows and duvets after less than 10 years.

If you’re looking to replace your duvet and pillows, take a look at which are the best pillow and best duvet brands, based on ratings from hundreds of Which? members.

Getting a cleaner and more durable mattress

To help minimise problems with bacteria, when we test mattresses we check to see how well they deal with moisture. The best mattresses will easily allow sweat to escape, therefore staying drier and cleaner.

Our rigorous testing also reveals the mattresses that will support your body for many years to come. We carefully assess each mattress on how well it supports your body, measuring tester’s spines in 36 places when standing up and then when lying on the mattress, to make sure it stays in the same shape.

We also simulate 10 years of use, running heavy barrels back and forth across each mattress thousands of times. A good mattress will stay in a similar condition to when you first bought it. Which? mattress expert Ben Slater says: ‘Many of our Best Buys will continue to perform well up to 10 years later, well beyond their recommended lifespan of seven years.’

To make sure your mattress lasts, it is essential that you look after it properly. Read our advice guide on looking after your mattress for all you need to know.

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