How to Clean a Mattress

Happy family lying in bed together

A good night’s sleep is priceless. And once you’ve chosen and invested in the best mattress for your needs, keeping it in shape should be a priority. Here’s how to clean a mattress and more.

First, read the manufacturer’s instructions on the mattress tag. Then you can move on to these tips.

Get good mattress and pillow protectors.
There are several types that provide protection against pollens, accidental spills, and dust mites. Padded and pillow-top styles are not only effective, but they also add extra comfort to your bed. Plastic and vinyl cases are often waterproof and good for those who are accident-prone, people with pets, and messy kiddos.

Control dust mites.
All homes have dust mites; it’s nothing to be upset about. And they love mattresses and bedding. To help control these little critters, do the following:

  • Use a mattress spray to get rid of scents. Sprays also encapsulate bacteria and dust mites, which can then be vacuumed away.
  • Change your linens regularly. Wash bed linens in the hottest water possible (at least 130°) to eliminate germs, bacteria, and dust mites. Launder pillows and blankets according to the manufacturer’s directions at least seasonally. Tossing pillows and blankets in a hot dryer once a month also can help eliminate some of the dust mites.

Happy one year old boy lying with many plush toys

  • Don’t forget children’s stuffed toys. Dust mites can live inside a favorite bunny or bear. Tumble stuffed toys in a hot dryer weekly and wash them periodically on your washer’s gentle cycle (placing the toy in a pillowcase and tying the end in a knot is a good way to make sure it doesn’t get too rough a treatment).

Spot-clean your mattress.
Use upholstery cleaner to spot-clean spills and stains. Avoid saturating the mattress with too much water, and be sure to let the area dry thoroughly before covering it with linens.

Rotate your mattress.
Spin your mattress head to toe and vice versa seasonally to avoid body impressions and sagging. Some older mattresses may be flipped over; most modern pillow tops cannot be flipped.

Girl jumping on bed

Don’t let kids jump on the bed.
They’re going to do it because they just can’t help it. But in addition to being unsafe, bouncing on the bed may also break down the mattress, box springs, and/or frame — reducing the life of your furniture.

Don’t sit on the edge of your bed.
Avoid sitting on the edge of your mattress to put your shoes on or scroll through your phone. This can also break down the framework of your bed.

Give it some air.
Strip your bed every now and then — for example, while you are away on vacation or a business trip. This will give the mattress a chance to breathe, as well as allow any lingering odors to escape.