Furniture Care and
Click the links below to jump to information and care recommendations for:
Rotating Your Mattress
The first thing to know about mattresses is that you should rotate them on a regular
basis - much like rotating your tires on your car. During the first month of usage,
it’s recommended to do this on a weekly basis to provide even wear to all
sides of the mattress. After that, monthly is recommended. Rotating means to make
a 1/2 turn of the mattress while it lies flat on the bed.
Foundations are made to work with your mattress to provide a comfortable sleep
environment. When you need a new mattress (at least every 10 years) you need
a new foundation. If you don't do that it would be like buying a new car body
and putting it on the old car chassis.... you'd be in for a pretty bumpy ride.
Due to the fact that most of us (like it or not) shed our skin, sweat in our
sleep, or bring to bed foreign objects (grains of sand) at times, it is also
a good idea to protect your mattress with a mattress pad. This will prevent
anything from working its way through your sheets and into your mattress, sometimes
causing friction that will break down the mattress.
Mattress Protection Plans
We currently offer our Guardmaster mattress pad and mattress protection warranty
plan to protect you in the event of any mishaps with your mattress. Please
visit our Warranty and Protection Plan section for more information on this
You will hear people talking about Comfort Levels. This refers to the firmness
of your mattress. Please see below for a brief description of each level.
• FIRM - (Also includes Cushion Firm) uses firmer padding, foam pads,
and a tighter quilting pattern on the ticking to give a harder feel to the bedding,
less conforming to the body, typically preferred by those people who sleep on
• PLUSH - uses more cotton/polyester blown fibers, convoluted (egg crate)foams,
cushy fabrics and looser quilting patterns to create a softer, more conforming-to-the-body
feel to the bedding, typically preferred by those who sleep primarily on their
• PILLOWTOP - uses and extra layer of body-conforming padding, usually
very soft feeling to the body (while still providing great support through the
coil system on the inside).
• EUROTOP - differs from the Pillowtop by having the extra layer of comfort
padding that is NOT pinched together on along its edges but is, rather, an extension
of the mattress top. It creates a mattress with a lot of extra depth and extra
comfort - right to the edge of the mattress top.However...this is sill in the
"pillowtop" comfort level.
Crib 28" x 52"
Twin 38" x 75"
Xtra-long Twin 38" x 80"
Full 53" x 75"
Queen 60" x 80"
King 76" x 80"
California King 72" x 84"
• Before you purchase a piece of upholstered furniture, consider:
1. How much and what kind of use will it receive?
2. How much care does it need and how much are you willing to give for its upkeep?
3. How long do you want it to last?
• Begin your evaluation of upholstered furniture by considering the
• Also consider quality, comfort, price, style and color.
Choosing upholstered furniture for your home can raise many questions and
cause confusion. Upholstery fabrics have a wide range of quality and price.
Be sure you know what you want from your upholstery before you buy.
Consider the amount and kind of use the piece of furniture will receive, the
amount and kind of care you are willing to give for its upkeep, and the length
of time you expect it to last.
Begin your evaluation with the fiber content. If the manufacturer's tag does
not show the fiber content, ask a salesperson to provide that information. Table
1 shows the properties of fibers used in upholstery fabrics.
Consumers generally assume that furniture will be durable and meet their expectations
about maintenance and appearance. Some types of upholstery fabric are better
suited to specific areas. Consider where and how a piece will be used. Furniture
in high use areas (family rooms, kitchens) must be durable and easy to maintain.
Elegant textiles with complex textures may be more suitable for low traffic
areas such as formal living rooms.
Choose upholstered furniture by evaluating the quality of furniture available
in your price range. Be aware of the performance requirements for your needs
and identify the criteria most important to you.
Health and Safety – Fire
Cigarettes are the most common cause of household fires. The Upholstered Furniture
Action Council (UFAC) is a voluntary program designed by furniture manufacturers
to promote guidelines and standards for flammability of upholstered furniture.
Member firms display a UFAC hang tag on furniture telling Consumers how their
upholstery fabrics have been classified in flammability tests.
Flame retardant finishes can be applied to cotton and rayon.
Wool Natural fiber from sheep, highly crimped Excellent hand, high resiliency,
attacked by moths, fair abrasion resistance, poor sunlight resistance, burns
slowly, self-extinguishes in flames, requires dry cleaning.
Cotton Natural plant fiber used for centuries Excellent absorbency, resistant
to moths, dyes well, wrinkles easily, moderate abrasion resistance, moderate
sunlight resistance, extremely flammable unless treated, easy to care for.
Rayon Manufactured fiber made from wood chips Inexpensive, good hand, may
shrink or stretch when wet, poor abrasion resistance, moderate sunlight resistance,
resistant to moths and mildew, extremely flammable unless treated with a flame
retardant finish, requires dry cleaning.
Nylon First synthetic fiber, produced in 1928 Resilient, excellent abrasion
resistance, poor sunlight resistance, burns slowly with melting, easy care and
Polyester Synthetic fiber favored in blends to add dimensional stability Excellent
resilience, resistant to insects and mildew, good abrasion resistance, good
sunlight resistance, burns slowly with melting, resists waterborne stains.
Acrylic Synthetic fiber famous for wool-like feel Moderate resiliency, attractive
hand, moderate abrasion resistance, excellent sunlight resistance, burns with
melting, easy care.
Olefin One of the more recently developed synthetic fibers Inexpensive, extremely
heat sensitive, resistant to chemicals and insects, excellent abrasion resistance,
poor sunlight resistance, burns with melting, resists waterborne stains.
Leather Processed hides and skins from animals Excellent hand, durable, varies
in quality, requires special care in cleaning,self-extinguishes in flames.
- Appearance Retention
How well upholstered furniture will wear depends on the fiber, fabric, color
application, finish, color fastness and dimensional stability.
Fibers and their characteristics are summarized in Table 1. Complex or fancy
yarns of any fiber type may snag and break with abrasion.
Upholstery fabric must be firmly woven. If fabric samples are available, hold
the fabric up to the light. Is it compact? Closely woven? Examine the raw edges
of the fabric. Do they fray or ravel easily? If so, yarns will shift and pull
away at the seams, particularly in cushions and where upholstery fabric is attached
to a sofa or chair frame. Stretch the fabric diagonally. Does it stretch and
then completely recover? If it does, it will hold its shape without wrinkling.
A balanced weave, where all yarns are about the same size and strength, wears
better than one with heavy yarns in one direction and thin yarns in the other.
A twill weave resists wear and shows soil less than a plain weave of similar
Flat-surfaced fabrics like damask, brocade and satin show the effects of abrasion
because the long yarns on the surface are subject to wear.
Pile fabrics, like frieze, plush and velvet, withstand abrasion quite well
if they are made of firm yarns with deep and close pile and firmly held to the
ground cloth. A pile fabric with cut loops mats more easily than one with uncut
A latex backing often is applied to upholstery fabrics to help stabilize them.
The latex forms a coating that helps keep soil from sifting through. It prevents
seam slippage and makes precise cutting possible. Loosely woven fabrics should
have an applied backing to ensure stability and longer wear.
- Color Application
Pigment-printed fabrics may show color loss from abrasion. If you have a sample
of the fabric, rub it 20 to 30 times with an emery board. Does the color change
or rub off?
Easy care and stain-resistant finishes allow water-based stains to be easily
blotted up. Scotchgard® by the 3-M Company, Teflon® and Zepel® by
DuPont are examples of stain-resistant finishes.
Some finishes of this type, however, may retain oily soil. Ask for information
about the type of finish that the manufacturer has applied. Is the finish durable?
Is it covered in the warranty?
Colorfastness is the ability of fabrics to withstand color changes due to sunlight,
abrasion, chemicals and cleaning. Ultraviolet light can seriously damage textiles
by increasing fading and by causing deterioration of fibers. Don't put upholstered
furniture in intense sunlight for long periods. If this is not possible, choose
fibers that withstand sunlight and consider window treatments that filter light.
Test fabrics for color loss by applying any chemicals or cleaning agents in
an unobtrusive area before using them. Use a clean, white cloth so that you
can see if color is transferred.
- Dimensional Stability
Dimensional stability refers to a textile's ability to resist shrinking or sagging.
Loose weaves may become distorted or sag over time. Use appropriate care methods
to prevent shrinkage.
Cleanability codes are listed on furniture tags to assist
you in identifying the appropriate methods for caring for your furniture:
Cleanability Code W - Fabric Care: Spot clean, using the
foam only from a water-based cleaning agent, such as a mild detergent or non-solvent
upholstery shampoo product. Apply foam with a soft brush in a circular motion.
Vacuum when dry. Pretest a small area before proceeding. Call in a professional
furniture cleaner to treat an overall soiled condition.
Cleanability Code X - Fabric Care: Clean this fabric only
by vacuuming or light brushing to prevent accumulation of dust or grime. Water-based
foam or solvent-based cleaning agents of any kind may cause excessive shrinking,
fading or possible pile distortion.
Cleanability Code S - Fabric Care: Spot clean, using a mild,
water-free solvent or dry-cleaning product. Carefully follow instructions on
such products. Avoid any product that contains carbon tetrachloride, which is
highly toxic. Pretest a small area before proceeding. Call in a professional
furniture cleaner to treat an overall soiled condition.
Cleanability Code W-S - Fabric Care: Spot clean this fabric
either with a mild solvent or dry-cleaning product. Follow instructions carefully
and clean only in a well-ventilated room. Avoid any product that contains highly
toxic carbon tetrachloride. You may also use an upholstery shampoo product or
the foam from a mild detergent. With either method, pretest a small area before
proceeding. Call in a professional furniture cleaner to treat an overall soiled
Caution: For any cleanability code, never remove cushion
covers for separate dry cleaning or washing. Any cleaning method that requires
the removal of the covers from the cushions can destroy the backing, shrink,
or otherwise damage upholstery fabric.
Blot up stains as quickly as possible. Do not rub. Prompt attention
to stains increases success in removing them. Even stain-resistant finishes
offer only temporary protection. For all farbic upholstery purchases, you have
the option of purchasing a Bernie & Phyl's Fabric Stain Protection Kit with
a limited 5 year stain warranty. Click
here for more information on this program,
Read all labels. Note and compare prices. Price alone is not a true guide to
quality. A less expensive fabric might serve your purpose as well or better
than a more costly one. Study the hang tags, labels and information imprinted
on fabric selvages, if samples are available. Labels should specify whether
a fabric is colorfast to light, cleaning or abrasion.
The label may have a number or letter that indicates fabric classification.
The less expensive fabrics usually are labeled with low numbers or the first
letters of the alphabet. For example, "11" would indicate a more expensive
fabric than "4" and "K" a more expensive fabric than "D."
Indicators of quality for upholstered furniture also include:
• strong, stable frames that cannot be felt from the outside;
• straight application of fabric on grain;
• matched patterns;
• straight strong seams;
• secure buttons;
• joints closely fitted, dowelled, screwed, and glued;
• arms reinforced with metal where they meet the seat frame;
• closely-woven internal webbing, securely tacked;
• double coil springs, tied securely; and
• firm rolls of padding on sharp areas of frame.
Make sure to find out if your leather is a fully protected, semi- protected or
DOES HAVE PROTECTION:
If it does have protection, just wipe up
spills with a dry cloth. You can also use our Leather Cleaner on a tougher spot
that is included when you purchase the Leather Care Warranty.
DOES NOT HAVE PROTECTION:
If it doesn't have protection spills
WILL become a part of your furniture. Hair and body oils WILL work their way into
the leather. All of this really adds to the well-worn beauty of an old baseball
glove or a favorite bomber jacket. All of this adds to the beauty, charm and uniqueness
of unprotected, naked leathers.
Please remember that leather is a natural product and, thus, breathes and
can dry out or fade in the heat or sun. It is important with protected leathers
to restore the moisture at least twice a year with a leather conditioner. We
also recommend that you not leave leather pieces in direct sunlight, as this
may cause them to fade. If your leather piece is in a high sun or heat area,
it is recommended to use a leather conditioner more often.
Bernie & Phyl’s Leather Care Warranty Kit
We offer a Leather Care System that includes a 5 year warranty. Click
here for more information on this program.
Spilled liquids should be wiped from the surface immediately with a soft, slightly
damp cloth, in the direction of the wood grain. The best general rule to follow
is that wood and liquids don’t mix.
Heat, Sunlight, and Moisture
Fine wood furniture should not be exposed to extreme heat or humid conditions,
such as placing it near a heat outlet or an open window. Try to avoid direct
sunlight which may cause certain finishes to fade.
Placing Objects On Wood Furniture
Do not place plastic, rubber or hot objects directly on a wood finish. Chemicals
in plastic and some rubber may soften or discolor the finish if left in contact
with the furniture for a long period of time. To avoid these markings, place
a strip of felt, leather or cork under accessories.
Remove household dust with a soft, clean cloth, dusting with the grain. The
cloth may be dampened with a cream furniture polish may be used. Follow the
manufacturer’s directions on the product. Avoid products that leave an
oily film on the furniture since they may cause a clouding of the finish and
have a tendency to collect dust.
Occasional polishing with a high quality, non-silicone furniture polish will
enhance the beauty of the fine Bernhardt finish. Avoid using oily polishes or
Every six months or so, there may be a need or desire for more thorough cleaning
of wood furniture than routine dusting. The furniture may be washed with a mild
soap intended for that purpose or a furniture cleaning product available in
most grocery stores. Following the directions on the product, use a soft cloth
and wipe with the grain. A furniture polish may be applied if a little more
shine is desired.
Over time, scratches from normal use may be noticed on furniture. These can
be touched up with a scratch remover or special touch-up pens or sticks available
at your furniture dealer or at many paint stores.
Bernie & Phyl’s Wood Care Warranty Kit
We offer a Wood Care System that includes a 5 year warranty. Click
here for more information on this program.
Make sure to find out if your brass product has a protective coating on it.
IF IT DOES: If it does, just use a dry cloth to wipe it down. Do NOT use any abrasives
or harsh cleaning products, as it will remove the protective coating.
IF IT DOES NOT: If it does NOT have a coating, you will have to get a good
brass polish. There are many products out in today's marketplace that are easier
to use than what our Grandmothers had to deal with. With a little polish and
a little elbow grease will get your piece shining like new!