How to clean a mattress

A good night's sleep is often determined by the quality of your mattress. Keep your mattress clean and fresh with these tips and strategies!


how to clean mattresses: red pillow on white mattress with blue slippers and bedsheet on wooden floor

How to Clean a Mattress – 3 Key Steps

  1. Cover up: A mattress protector is the best investment you can make to keep your mattress clean. They help to prevent stains from becoming deeply embedded in your mattress and can be easily cleaned in the washing machine. There are a variety available, including hypo-allergenic and waterproof ones.
  2. Flip it: Turn your mattress seasonally so it wears evenly on both sides. This will help the mattress to last longer. Be sure to make this a team effort as mattresses can be heavy and awkward to lift.
  3. Fan it: Speed up the drying time after cleaning by using fans. Do not replace bedding or sleep on the mattress until it is completely dry. This will prevent any mould from growing.  

In order to get the best night’s sleep, you should regularly clean your mattress. Read on to find out the best ways to clean a mattress - and don't forget to check out our articles on how to wash duvets and how to clean pillows to keep all your bedding fresh!

We spend around a third of our lives in bed, which means your mattress has to put up with a lot! Mattresses can harbour hair, dust, stains, dirt, and even dust mites. A mattress is something you invest in for the long-term, so to prevent it from deteriorating and becoming a health hazard you need to know how to clean a mattress. Be sure to check the wash care label before using any mattress cleaning products, and to follow any directions on the labels. Read our article on cleaning pillow top mattresses for specific advice for this type of mattress.

If possible, it’s a good idea to air out your mattress in the sun every six months. Bring your mattress outside and let it sit under the sun for about six hours. However tricky it may be to get your mattress downstairs, it will be worth it – the sun can kill off any bacteria living in your mattress leaving you with a fresh, germ-free bed!

How Do You Clean a Mattress?


Hoovering your mattress on a monthly basis will help to remove dust, dead skin cells and other debris that accumulates over time. It’s important to use a clean hoover attachment, otherwise you will only transfer dirt back onto your bed. If your mattress instructions advise against hoovering, instead wipe away any debris with a damp cloth and leave to dry.


With all the sweat, dust and other nasty stuff mattresses get left with they can start to smell. To maintain a fresh, clean mattress, sift baking soda over the surface, leave for 30 minutes, and then hoover up. Baking soda is a natural deodoriser so it will help to neutralize any odours. If you favour the smell of essential oils like lavender, try adding five drops to the baking soda before you sift. You’ll be left with a lovely smelling bed for a great night’s sleep.

Want to ensure your mattress is clean? Watch this video to see how it’s done:

Do you use powder, capsules or liquid to wash your clothes?

Cleaning and stain removal

The best way to clean a mattress is to remove the stains that build up over time. Mattresses have to put up with a lot of liquid abuse such as vomit, urine, blood, and sweat. These aren’t nice to clean, but it’s better to remove them straight away before they become embedded in the mattress.

To clean a mattress effectively blot any liquid stains with a cool, wet cloth as soon as possible. Only use cold water as heat sets these kind of protein stains. Blot using a pressing motion to avoid rubbing the stain in any further. You can also apply a small amount of laundry detergent to the stain and gently blot it with a clean, damp cloth. Remember not to get the mattress too wet, as it is difficult to dry!


Originally published