how to clean a mattress cover

A good night’s sleep is essential for health and well-being. However, our mattresses and bedding can quickly become a hotbed for germs, allergens, and dust mites if not cared for properly. Cleaning your mattress cover regularly ensures you sleep in a fresh, hygienic environment every night.

In this comprehensive guide, we will discuss the best practices for how to clean a mattress cover, including various types of mattress covers and materials. From removable covers to strapped-on protectors, we’ve covered you on the proper cleaning methods to banish grime and bacteria from your bed.

Why It’s Important to Wash Mattress Covers Regularly

Mattress covers are the first line of defense against the invasion of allergens, germs, and pests that can thrive in beds. A buildup of these can cause allergic reactions and illnesses. Here are some key reasons to clean mattress covers often:

  • Prevent the buildup of germs and allergens: Dead skin cells, sweat, oil, and dirt that accumulate can become a feeding ground for dust mites and a hotbed of germs.
  • Remove stains: Bodily fluids, food, and dirt can leave unsightly marks on your mattress cover over time. Regular washing keeps it looking fresh.
  • Extend mattress life: Soiling accelerates the deterioration of the mattress itself. A clean cover prevents premature damage.
  • Improve sleep hygiene: Clean bedding creates a more comfortable and relaxing sleep environment.
  • Prevent bug infestations: Dirt buildup can attract bed bugs, lice, and other pests. Regular laundering helps keep them away.

Follow our best practice on how to clean a mattress cover. Cleaning tips to keep your mattress cover fresh for a rejuvenating night’s rest.

How to Clean Specific Types of Mattress Covers

Mattress covers come in different materials and designs. Follow our tailored guides to clean some of the most common mattress cover types properly.

clean a mattress cover

Washing Machine-Washable Removable Covers

Many premium mattresses like Tempur-Pedic and Purple have removable, machine-washable outer covers. Follow these steps to clean them safely:

  • Check the label: Confirm washing instructions. Most can be machine-washed warm and tumble-dried. Avoid bleach.
  • Pretreat stains: Use detergent or spot cleaner to lift stains like sweat and oils before washing.
  • Wash gentle cycle: Use a mild detergent and wash on a soft or delicate setting. Skip the dryer sheet for an irritant-free wash.
  • Air dry when possible: Line dry or tumble dry low to minimize heat exposure, which can break down materials like spandex.
  • Spot clean between washes: For light soil, spot clean stains when needed with a damp cloth and mild detergent.

Mattress Protectors and Encasements

Encasements and mattress Protectors straps onto the mattress usually require a different approach.

  • Check labels: See if the protector can be removed and machine washed. If not, spot clean only.
  • Spot treat stains: Make a solution of warm water and mild detergent. Lightly sponge stain and let air dry.
  • Vacuum frequently: Regularly use an upholstery attachment to vacuum dust and allergens off the surface.
  • Disinfect monthly: Wipe down with a disinfectant spray containing peroxide or ethyl alcohol monthly. Avoid harsh bleach.
  • Replace every two years: Plan to replace mattress protectors every 24 months for optimal cleanliness and protection.

Mattress Pads and Toppers

Foam or fiber mattress pads and toppers should be washed regularly. Check labels for washing guidance. In general:

  • Machine washable: Most mattress pads can be washed in warm water and tumble-dried low. Avoid bleach.
  • Hand wash delicate pads: Some fibers, like wool, should only be hand cleaned gently with mild detergent. Reshape and line dry.
  • Clean stains quickly: Pretreat any stains before washing them with detergent or upholstery cleaner. Rinse thoroughly.
  • Disinfect with hydrogen peroxide: Mix 1 cup of hydrogen peroxide in 1 gallon of water and use it to wipe down occasionally. Let dry fully.
  • Replace torn or degraded pads: Just like your mattress, pads and toppers wear out over 2-3 years. Replace if degraded or badly stained.

How Often Should You Wash Bedding?

To keep your bed fresh and allergen-free, experts recommend:

  • Weekly: Wash sheets, pillowcases, and other linens weekly. Strive for at least every other week.
  • Every 1-3 Months: Wash mattress covers, protectors, and pads every 1-3 months, depending on use and soiling. Monitor condition.
  • Every 6 Months: Wash heavy blankets like comforters and duvets every six months or twice a year. Special laundering may be needed.
  • When Soiled: Wash and disinfect mattress covers immediately if soiled by bodily fluids or infested with bed bugs.

Regular washing according to these schedules will minimize allergens and keep bedding fresh. Adapt frequency based on whether you or your pets sleep in the bed.

Pro Tips for Washing Mattress Covers

Follow these pro tips for safely laundering mattress covers and bedding:

  • Read all labels: Follow the manufacturer’s washing guidance for each material.MACHINE.
  • Pretreat stains: Lift stains by pretreating with a bit of laundry detergent or spot cleaner before washing.
  • Gentle wash and dry settings: Use gentle cycles and tumble dry low to protect fabrics and materials.
  • Alternative drying options: Line or air dry mattress covers instead of the dryer when possible to minimize wear.
  • Disinfect occasionally: In addition to washing, disinfect covers occasionally by wiping them down with hydrogen peroxide or ethyl alcohol solutions.
  • Mattress cover protection: Use mattress covers and pads to safeguard the mattress from soiling and degradation.
  • Promptly wash accidents: Wash and sanitize any bedding soiled by bodily fluids immediately to prevent germs and contain odours.

Cleaning a mattress cover with Proper techniques and washing schedules allows you to easily maintain a fresh, allergen-free sleep environment by keeping mattress covers and bedding hygienic. Follow our guides to keep your bed healthy, clean, and comfy. Sweet dreams!


Can you wash a mattress cover in the washing machine?

Most removable mattress covers can be washed in the washing machine. Be sure to check the care label. Wash on a gentle cycle in cold or warm water. Do not use bleach.

How do you clean a mattress cover that can’t be removed?

For mattress covers that can’t be removed, spot-clean any stained areas with a damp cloth and mild detergent. Don’t soak the mattress. Allow to air dry fully. Vacuum occasionally with an upholstery attachment.

Why does my mattress cover have yellow stains?

Yellow stains on a mattress cover usually come from sweat and body oils accumulating over time. Launder the cover with an enzymatic cleaner or detergent that helps break down organic stains and odours.

How do you get odours out of a mattress cover?

Wash with an enzyme-based laundry detergent to remove odours from a mattress cover. Baking soda and white vinegar can also help deodorize in the wash. Air dry in sunlight when possible.

How do you disinfect a mattress cover?

To disinfect, first wash the cover with detergent and hot water. Then, dilute a 1 cup hydrogen peroxide solution in 1 gallon of water. Wipe the cover with the solution and allow it to fully dry before putting the sheets on.

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