It doesn't matter if you sleep on a fancy mattress or some old thing that you've been meaning to replace for years. Your mattress needs to be cleaned and aired out. Doing this on a regular basis will significantly prolong the life of your mattress and is actually healthier for you. You may sweat out a fair amount of moisture each night, which goes straight into your bed linen and mattress. Using a mattress protector will prevent a large amount of this moisture from making its way into your mattress, but it won't stop it entirely. Your mattress still needs to be periodically cleaned and aired out. There's no golden rule as to how often this should happen, but the temperature plays a role. So if you live a warmer climate, or you sleep in a heated bedroom, you're going to sweat more. This means you need to be even more prudent when it comes to airing out your mattress. But how exactly do you do this?
Outside with Sunshine
It's straightforward enough to air out your mattress if you have a clean outside area where it can be safely deposited. You simply need to drag the mattress outside and let it sit in the sun all day, taking care to turn it over halfway through the cycle. Be sure to keep a careful eye on the weather! If you're stressed out for whatever reason, airing your mattress out can be a great way to let it all out. Beat your mattress to expel any dead skin, household dust, or dust mites that might be on the mattress. You can use your hands, or something large and flat, like a cricket bat. Don't use anything with sharp edges as you might tear the upholstery. But what about if you live in a flat with no outside area?
Inside with Sunshine
If you're in a flat with no backyard (or no balcony), you simply need to drag your mattress to the closest large window and leave it in the sun. The sun is great when it comes to killing bacteria, and it will also kill dust mites (which can cause respiratory discomfort). Don't beat your mattress, as you will simply be redistributing the dead skin and dust back into your room. You might wish to vacuum your mattress though. It can be necessary to move the mattress several times depending on which window is the sunniest, taking care that both sides of the mattress have time to bask in the sun.
Inside with a Wet/Dry Vacuum Cleaner
Using a wet/dry vacuum cleaner is a quick and easy way to clean your mattress, and it will air out as it dries. You need to lean your mattress against the wall and clean one side using the wet/dry vacuum cleaner. Do not use any detergent as you simply want to slightly dampen the mattress before sucking the water out, which is different to a deeper clean with detergent. Allow the mattress to dry before turning it over and repeating the process. Wet/dry vacuum cleaners can be rented from most supermarkets, and smaller handheld models can be obtained cheaply from any appliance shop. They will still be effective, although it will take a little longer to clean the mattress. Feel free to use a specially designed deodorizing spray on the mattress before you leave it to dry, but this is generally not necessary unless the mattress is particularly old. Ensure that everything has dried before you put your mattress back on its base.
Airing out your mattress will make it last longer, and without all that dust (and those dust mites), you might even find yourself sleeping better.