Air Circulation - Will my mattress get moldy?
What Causes a Mattress to Become Moldy?
The average person loses about a pint of moisture every night during sleep. This moisture gets absorbed into the top layers of your mattress, sheets, clothing. As the mattress ages, (specially non-flip mattresses) the moisture in the mattress or futon migrates into the other layers of the mattress. If this moisture hits the base of the mattress and there is no air flow, the mattress holds on to the moisture like a sponge and can cause mold, as the moisture has nowhere to dissipate.
Our bodies warm up our beds, but solid surfaces, such as floors or solid plywood do not warm up at the same rate, which results in accumulation of condensation that cannot fully dry out. This not only leads to compression and mattress sag, shortening the life of your mattress, but also to the possibility of mold and mildew growth. A futon mattress, or any mattress, can grow mold if there is a lack of air circulation. Your mattress is like a large sponge and over time if this moisture is not released through regular flipping and airing, it will begin to grow mold. There are sites that recommend how to clean a moldy mattress, but it can be very difficult to completely remove moisture and mold spores within the mattress. You can clean the surface with bleach and sunlight, but little can be done to remove the mold from inside of the mattress once it begins to grow. The healthiest option is to replace your mattress once you notice mold.
How To Prevent Mold Growth on a Mattress
There are many steps you can take to avoid mold growth on your mattress. The first step is to find a mattress that contains ingredients that are resistant to mold growth. The main ingredients are Wool and Natural Latex, both of which resist mold growth by being able to dissipate moisture. A breathable moisture barrier will also help. Regular flipping (if possible), rotating, and placing your mattress in sunlight is also another way of releasing moisture from your mattress. The mattress however, is not the only item to consider. The type of foundation you use can be key in preventing moisture buildup. A slatted base allows for proper air flow, as well as an airflow layer, such as a bed rug. Try to avoid solid wood foundations if possible.
All mattresses with natural fibers should be kept on a slatted frame or foundation that provides a proper ventilating surface such as coconut fiber. Slatted frames, foundations, and coconut coir fiber allows for proper ventilation, creating air flow underneath the mattress, evaporating moisture, and avoiding condensation. Using coconut fiber bed rug at the base level or underneath any futon or mattress help give the mattress proper airflow, eliminating fear of mold and mildew when a mattress or futon is being used on a flat surface.
See a list of coconut mattresses.
Read more about Do I Need A Boxspring For My Platform Bed?.
Read more about tufted vs. untufted mattresses.