9 common mattress and bedding cleaning myths debunked – HouseBeautiful.com

From cleaning your mattress topper to washing inner cushion pads, are you aware of the common cleaning myths surrounding mattresses and bedding?

To help you uncover the dos and don'ts, the experts at MattressNextDay have debunked nine of the most common mattress and bedding cleaning myths to prolong the life of your mattress and help keep bed bugs at bay.

Take a look at some of the biggest myths you need to know about...

Mattress covers don't make the bed immune from dust mites and other allergens, so you will need to clean yours even if it has a cover. Despite common beliefs, it's important to clean your mattress and the cover every six months, using the change in seasons as a handy reminder.

Not sure how? Read our how-to guide on everything you need to know about cleaning your mattress.

This is true, as they only need to be cleaned every few months. 'Whilst mattress toppers and protectors are waterproof and can protect your mattress from stains, dust mites and bed bugs, whilst prolonging your mattress' life they still need to be cleaned to remain effective,' add MattressNextDay.

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When do you make your bed? With household dust mites loving the warmth of a bed, it's always important to let your sheets cool down before making yours (experts recommend waiting 30 minutes). As you pull back your covers, open your window to give your room a refreshing breeze.

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Cushions can collect dust and dirt, so they also need to be cleaned. 'Everything in your bed needs to be cleaned at some point, including the objects that you don't actually touch,' say MattressNextDay. 'You should aim to wash your inner pillows at least three times a year as they soak up all of your sweat, dust and skin.'

For optimum cleanliness, you should wash your sheets once a week. If you are unable to do this, there are some quick tricks that can help you to keep your sheets feeling fresh, including not allowing pets on the bed, using body products at least 30 minutes before you sleep, and keeping snacks downstairs.

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To kill germs, sweat, dander, dust or other nasties, you should be washing your bedding at 60 degrees. While it may be tempting to pop them on a colder cycle, lower temperatures may not kill all the bacteria or remove sweat as effectively. When washing yours, remember to add a dash of detergent to keep sheets extra soft.

This of course depends on how often you are wearing your pyjamas, but if you are changing straight out of them in the morning, the experts recommend you wash them every couple of days. Always pop them in the machine if you feel they are not looking (or smelling) their greatest.

'It's safe to wear underwear to bed, however, the NHS recommends that you wash your underwear at 60 degrees to prevent germs from spreading,' explain MattressNextDay. 'Used pants can contain microbes which can cause urinary tract infections, thrush and more. You don't want those kinds of microbes hanging around your beautiful bedding, do you?

Your pillowcases can harbour dirt, sweat and products such as body lotion so they should be cleaned more often than your duvet cover. In fact, the experts recommend you wash yours twice a week.

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PAINT A FAUX HEADBOARD

A great way to zone a space and create a faux headboard is with paint. To recreate this clever yet simple grey bedroom idea, simply mark out where the bed is going to go and outline with a pencil where you want the 'headboard' to be. Use masking tape to keep the paint from blurring, and just paint in the square. Continue the line down onto the skirting board for a designer finish.

Top Tip: To build up a tonal grey bedroom scheme, choose a paler grey on the rest of the walls.

Pictured: Ceiling: Slate II, Walls: Slate IV, Headboard: Sharkskin, all Pure Matt Emulsion, 51 for 2.5 ltrs, Paint & Paper Library

FROM THE GROUND UP

Introduce grey into your bedroom with carpet. Its a great base for so many colour schemes, either bold or subtle. This colour carpet is durable as it wont show the dirt and it has a textured look that adds another dimension it's soft underfoot and adds a cosy feel to the room.

'Grey has consistently been one of the most popular home decorating shades over the last decade, and it shows no sign of slowing down any time soon,' says Jemma Dayman, Carpets Buyer at Carpetright. 'Given that the bedroom is our sanctuary, a calm space where we retreat to for rest, recuperation and to recover, its no surprise that this soothing neutral hue is our go-to colour choice.'

Top tip: Dont forget to invest in good quality underlay, as this will not only increase insulation but also reduce wear over time and create an even softer feel underfoot.

Pictured: Super Sublime Saxony Carpet in Midnight Tonal, House Beautiful collection at Carpetright

PANEL GAME

Pale grey is such a great colour for cupboards as it's calming and softer than stark white. To recreate this grey bedroom idea, add patterned wallpaper in the panels to create interest and give the room a French boudoir look.

Top Tip: An alternative to wallpapering in the panels, is to use a different coloured paint or stencil a design on them.

Pictured: Feather Fan wallpaper in Soft Olive, from Cole & Son. A similar paint colour is Inox from Little Greene.

COORDINATING GREYS

A coordinated, all-grey bedroom scheme can look elegant, cosy and cocooning. This works by focusing on neutral palettes and layering materials and textures (sumptuous velvet works great here) to ensure the bedroom remains inviting. Matching bedside tables and storage benches maintain a cohesive look.

Pictured: Neva Velvet Finish Upholstered Ottoman Bed Frame, Neva Bedside Table with USB, Neva Blanket Box, all from the House Beautiful collection at Dreams

PINK AND GREY

Soft grey and pink is a winning combination in the bedroom, creating a stylish space that is still calm and inviting. If you have the space, an ottoman like this at the end of the bed is so useful. It's great for storing spare bedding, cushions, or even your nightwear, and it doubles up as a bench, too.

Pictured: Grove Velvet Finish Upholstered Ottoman Bed Frame and Grove Grey Blanket Box, both from the House Beautiful collection at Dreams

BUILD UP YOUR COLOUR STORY

To introduce grey to a plain bedroom, start with the bed. A tall headboard has impact and immediately anchors the space. Then adding grey prints above create symmetry. Add a bold grey and white patterned curtain, grey cushions and throws, and a black pendant light for a complete look.

Top tip: Siting a bed between two windows gives it a frame and makes it easier to create your look.

Pictured: Lavender double divan, Button & Sprung

LEADING GREY

In a bedroom, go for a strong architectural grey, like Plummett, which offers an industrial, modern feel and intensifies in colour in smaller spaces. White bedding creates a crisp contrast, while yellow accents complements the grey perfectly.

Pictured: Plummett No.272, Farrow & Ball

GREEN AND GREY

Grey and green is a great combination to bring the colours of nature into the home. The chalky matte green walls contrasts perfectly with this soft grey bed frame. To elevate this grey bedroom idea, add a striking tall houseplant, which will also help to create a calm environment.

Pictured: Dorchester king size bed in Silk Grey, Noa and Nani

MAKE USE OF ALCOVES

Storage is so important in the bedroom and if you have alcoves like this, its the perfect place for wardrobes. These are fitted but if you have inherited some, why not paint them grey? It will add depth to your colour scheme. Then pick up the colour in the carpet. This also shows how well grey goes with sage green a hot colour trend this year.

'In the bedroom grey is a particularly versatile shade something that is especially important if you are investing in larger pieces of bedroom furniture like a bed frame or fitted furniture,' says Megan Baker, Head of Design at My Fitted Bedroom. 'From soft dove to charcoal to granite, grey provides a warming and more modern alternative to white or wood effect furniture.'

Pictured: Sophia fitted wardrobes in Pewter, My Fitted Bedroom

THINK ABOUT THE WINDOWS

Pale grey shutters look so elegant in this bedroom, filtering the light beautifully. They fit neatly into the recess leaving room for a small window seat. Leave the shutters open during the day and close them at night. For this grey bedroom idea, the pearl grey shade of the shutters sits perfectly with the blue and cream colour scheme in the rest of the room.

'Your bedroom is a space you want to feel calm and safe, and grey is a neutral shade which can offer this. Any window covering is an investment, especially shutters, so make the right decision with colour and how it complements your colour scheme,' says Victoria Walker, product manager at Hillarys. 'Grey is a timeless colour but there are many tones to choose from. Lighter shades offer a cooler, fresher space whereas darker greys and charcoal tones can do the opposite. Choosing the right shade also depends if you want your window covering to blend in or become a feature in the room.'

Pictured: Storm Grey full height shutters, House Beautiful collection at Hillarys

PERSONAL TOUCH

This is a great pink and grey bedroom idea, as it still looks stylish and doesn't overwhelm the space. In this predominantly pink room, splodges of dark grey have been painted onto the wall in a random pattern. Its easy to do and adds personality. Buy a grey stool to pull the scheme together.

Pictured: Hare (pink) and City Break (grey) matt emulsion, from Crown

IN THE FRAME

If you want a grey bedroom scheme but you think dark walls arent for you, why not paint the door and window frames to add a frame to the room and a backdrop to the furniture? Your eye is drawn to it as soon as you walk in the room. Then add plain grey curtains that seem to disappear when they are open, attached to a black pole.

Pictured: Farrah Palm Leaf Ceiling Fitting Gold, Matilda Dove Grey Bed, Amazonia Toile Duvet Cover Set, Farrah Palm Leaf Touch Table Lamp, Hannah Mini Oyster Chest, Medallion Cotton Rug, Grey Isla Chair, all Dunelm

METALLIC ACCENTS

Looking for a luxe grey bedroom idea? Keep it dark and moody with patterned wallpaper, sumptuous velvets, and metallic accents. The wood flooring brings warmth to this bedroom scheme.

Pictured: Cat-titude 'Savage Shade' wallpaper, Divine Savages

MAKE A STATEMENT

There has been a huge trend in wall murals in recent years and its easy to see why they make such an impact in a space. This beautiful design features map references, jungle leaves and peacocks, so there is always something to look at, and the greys blend well with natural and taupe colours.

Top tip: You can wrap a room in a mural, but having it on just one wall makes more of a statement.

Pictured: Peacocks Clan 4 mural, Wallsauce.com

JUST ONE WALL

If you feel grey will dominate your bedroom, just paint one wall and choose a soft, warm charcoal that has a touch of pink in it. Set it off with white painted window frames and a trio of prints, then bring in more grey and pattern with the bedding.

Pictured: Arctic Seal shade with Perspective on the left wall, both flat emulsion, from Benjamin Moore

ADD A RUG

Rather than having everything too matchy matchy, introduce grey as a pale neutral in a bedroom with pink bedlinen. A rug like this one will add texture and warmth just where you need it, and makes getting out of bed a bit more bearable!

Top Tip: If you are laying a rug on bare boards, make sure you put an anti-slip rug gripper underneath it to stop it moving.

Pictured: Wilder bedside rug in grey, Loaf

FAUX PANELLING

Wall panelling is trending right now and adds an interesting element to a room, giving character to plain walls. If you dont have panelling, fake it with wallpaper like this lovely design.

Pictured: Old Gloucester Street Tome, woodwork and floor both painted in French Grey mid 162, Intelligent Eggshell, Intelligent Floor Paint, all from Little Greene

MADE TO MEASURE

Fitted wardrobes arent to everyones taste but they do make the best use of the space available as they are custom-made to fit. They work particularly well in awkward rooms with lots of angles, such as lofts, and offer a huge amount of storage, which can be tailored to individual needs. This design has a simple Shaker look in a soft grey, adding a timeless quality to the bedroom.

Top tip: Grey and pink work particularly well together creating a peaceful haven.

Pictured: Ascot wardrobes in Slate Grey, Sharps

ADD PATTERN

Wallpaper is a great way to add grey to a bedroom, and there are some fantastic designs around. The contrasting lines and colour variations in this geo pattern give an extra dimension to the design, making it look like an optical illusion. It also has a subtle shine which reflects the light. It makes a great backdrop to the bed, and the fur throw and cushions look SO luxurious.

Pictured: Unite 80602 Oculaire wallcovering, Arte

INVEST IN NEW SOFT FURNISHINGS

If you want to introduce grey into your bedroom, why not buy some new accessories? This sumptuous throw and Hummingbird cushions work perfectly with the French-style furniture as they both have a faded, vintage look. And they work perfectly with plain white bedlinen too.

Pictured: Hummingbird boudoir cushion, Peachskin quilted bedspread in French Grey, both from The French Bedroom Company

GALLERY WALL

Use artwork to introduce grey into your bedroom. Use black and white images and place the frames together in a grid above the bed, choose different sizes and you could even mix up the frames black, white and natural for an eclectic look. Then build on the look with a grey chunky throw, rug and black and cream cushions.

Top Tip: Make sure the spacing between the frames is even and not too far apart, 4-5cm is a good gap.

Pictured: Walkworth bed, Furniture & Choice. Find prints and frames at Desenio.

LIGHTING MATTERS

Why not use grey lighting as your starting point? Sophisticated grey glass globes add subtle colour in a bedroom and are a classic design. Match the ceiling pendant to a table lamp, then your bedlinen can follow suit.

Pictured: The Montpelier Ceiling pendant, 80 and Bishopston table lamp, 30, Mabel Home and Lighting

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