ConsumerAffairs Reveals The Dirty Truth About Your Mattress has released an interactive timeline revealing disgusting details about what happens to a mattress as it ages. Available exclusively online here, the free tool vividly illustrates the total number of dust mites, gallons of sweat and pounds of dead skin that accumulate inside of a mattress over a 14­-year span. The ConsumerAffairs Research team sourced information from The Sleep Council, archived medical articles, Medical Daily, and interviewed university researchers to compile the data.

Health experts and mattress manufacturers agree that a standard mattress should provide about seven to eight years of proper support and comfort. After that, studies show a decrease in sleep quality as a mattress ages. Most consumers wait to replace a mattress until visible signs of wear and tear begin to surface, but many are unaware of how quickly sweat, dead skin and dust mites can accumulate on the inside of a mattress.

“No one will argue that getting a good night’s sleep is important in maintaining a healthy lifestyle,” said Zac Carman, CEO of ConsumerAffairs. “But nobody's really talking about the health issues that can come from sleeping on a mattress full of dust mites.”

The presence of dust mites have been linked to asthma and rhinitis and around two­ thirds of people who suffer from allergies may be allergic to the type of dust mites that live indoors.

“There are more dust mites in a five-year-­old mattress than there are people in the city of Los Angeles,” said Carman. “My two­-year-­old weighs less than the amount of skin flakes you’d find in a 10-­year-­old mattress. It’s disgusting, but it’s reality, and I think consumers will be shocked by the information we’re sharing.”

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