Everyone has seen those commercials the ones that feature a chirpy spokesperson from your local mattress superstore, telling you that your mattress can double in weight in ten years so you clearly need a new one. But does this really happen?
The idea behind the claim is true. Mattresses gain weight over time as they absorb dead skin , colonies of dust mites (which feed on dead skin ), oil and moisture. But surely if a mattress is gaining weight at a rapid 10 percent per year, someone would have studied the heft? Or mattresses would start breaking bed frames with their bulk? Apparently not.
According to materials published by Kingston University, a typical used mattress may have 100,000 to 10 million mites inside. Ten per cent of the weight of a two-year-old pillow can be composed of dead mites and their droppings. Mites prefer warm, moist surroundings such as the inside of a mattress when someone is on it. One of their favourite foods is dead skin, and people shed about one-fifth of an ounce of the stuff every week, some of which surely ends up flaking into your mattress. (Also gross: About 80 per cent of the material seen floating in a sunbeam is, in fact, flakes of dead skin.)
So with all those mites and dead skin, the mattress is bound to be heavier than a new one but doubling in weight is probably ridiculous.
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