Bed sweat -- half an answer

Dear Cecil,

The answer to how much one sweats at night was only one part of the question. You didn’t address the issue of needing a new mattress every few years. How much sweat does a mattress need? When should it be replaced? What’s the difference if it’s made of springs or foam? How and how often should it be aired out? Please finish the job…


P.S. forgot the link:

You should flip your mattress over when it starts sagging and doesn’t support you well anymore. Once the flipside sags you should get a new mattress. Just like everything else, you should get a new one once it’s worn down to the point where you’re no longer happy with its performance.

As for the night sweating question, this is one of those issues that’s easier to test than it is to write in to a newspaper column for an answer. Do you wake up over 2 pounds lighter in the morning than when you went to sleep? No? Well, then.

Mattresses here have a “summer side” and a “winter side”, so presumably you should be flipping every six months. Naturally, mattress makers will want you to buy replacements regularly and if your sleep habits change you can “blame the mattress”. If you’re a princess, you might “need” a new mattress every night. Some people sleep under the bridge on a piece of cardboard. What is a reasonable life expectation for comfort and health from the different types of mattresses – innerspring, foam, latex, waterbeds, etc.?

Modern foam mattresses don’t have sides. They are designed with an up side and a down side and you should never flip them. They have 20 year warranties as well, so they are designed to last much longer despite not needing flipping.

They cost more, of course. But they also last much longer.

The mattress world is far too complex to handle in a column. I doubt you could list the types of mattresses in a column. They range from cheap crap to impossibly expensive luxury.

However, I wouldn’t ever recommend buying a type of mattress you have to flip. That’s obsolete technology.