Old box springs jeopardize support and comfort

Dear Heloise: This may seem like a silly question, but do you have to replace a BOX SPRING when replacing a mattress? They usually are sold as a set, but if there is nothing wrong with the box spring, why buy a new one? — Janice L., via email

Janice, this is not a silly question! The answer is yes, you SHOULD replace both the mattress and the box spring when buying new bedding. The Better Sleep Council (www.bettersleep .org) tells us that the box spring is what provides the foundation to the mattress. They suggest not putting a new mattress on an old box spring. This is especially important to note if the box spring is VERY old! It may affect the support of the bedding, making the entire bed not as comfortable or supportive. Plus, the “foundation,” or box spring, is not too expensive. Why risk years of bad sleep? — Heloise

P.S. It’s hogwash, I say, that you can tell how old a mattress is by how much it weighs. Really? Show me the science!

Dear Heloise: After a brief, unsuccessful foray into yoga, I found that the lovely, inexpensive yoga mat I purchased could be turned into a myriad household helpers. I cut the mat into place mats and coasters, mats for holding wet or dirty shoes, and as a mat for under the litter box. Best of all, it’s easy to cut and use as long-lasting drawer, cabinet and shelf liners! I find that rolls of lining material are flimsy at best, and expensive. Yoga mats come in great colors/patterns and can be found for as little as $5 at big-box stores. — Michelle B. in Houston

Dear Heloise: My upright vacuum cleaner has an upper hook and a lower hook for wrapping the cord around. I never realized I could turn that upper hook to the side and down, thereby dumping the entire cord out in one motion. It’s faster than unwrapping all that cord. Maybe there are others out there who didn’t know this. — Vance B., via email

I did a Heloise survey with my three upright vacuums. Two of them do have that turnable hook. On the third, the cord is wrapped around the handle and a lower handle. My readers and I thank you! — Heloise

Dear Heloise: I wear a lot of different types of earrings, some of which come with little plastic slides on the backs. These plastic slides are perfect to place on a pin or brooch to help secure them when wearing. It adds enough thickness to hold the pin or brooch firmly against any material. And you still can clasp the pin on the other side so you will not lose it. — Abby T. in Connecticut

Dear Heloise: I was at the gas-station pump, and the receipt did not print. I took a picture with my cellphone — problem solved! When I travel for business, I do the same with my receipts, and don’t worry about losing one. — Jerry D.

in New Hampshire