Now, the news that will spare you from endless mite-themed dreams: With proper care and cleaning, you can get rid of most of the irritants in your mattress and extend its lifespan to the latter part of that five- to 10-year window.
Blazovsky says that the best way to do so is to get in the habit of washing your sheets and vacuuming your mattress regularly. Every one to two weeks, strip the bed and throw all your sheets, pillowcases, and duvet covers into the wash on high heat, at least 140 degrees Fahrenheit, to kill off mites and bacteria. Be sure to dry them completely on high heat before putting them back on the bed.
While the laundry is in, Blazovsky recommends running a HEPA-filter vacuum over the tops and sides of your mattress. This will help extract dead skin cells that have made their way into the mattress itself before they can become a food source for hungry dust mites. "Use a tool specifically for your mattress," she cautions. "Don't use the same one you use on your floor on your bed." Once you're done with your mattress, move on to your pillows and you're good to go.
In addition to this weekly spruce, covering your mattress with a protector that has antimicrobial properties and rotating it (so the spot where you put your head becomes the spot you put your feet) every six to 12 months will also help it stay fresh for longer. Finally, keeping the rest of your bedroom clean will keep dust and other irritants from infiltrating your sleep sanctuary.