How to clean a mattress, and why it can improve your health

It might not seem like an obvious chore, but cleaning your mattress needs to start becoming a priority, asap.

Most of us know that we should change our bed sheets every two weeks. And though it might not seem like an obvious chore, cleaning your mattress also needs to start becoming a priority, asap. But why do you need to know how to clean a mattress?

Well it turns out, our mattress could be a hotbed for dust mites, dirt and mould, which in time could lead to viruses, infections and skin issues.

Neil Robinson, Chief Sleep Officer at Sealy UK explains why and how to clean a mattress:

‘Dirt and dead skin cells are a haven for dust mites, which leave nasty bites, can cause allergic reactions, and can in some cases exacerbate Asthma for sufferers resulting in difficulty breathing, chest tightness, or even trouble sleeping caused by shortness of breath.’

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Neil adds: ‘Over time, mattresses also absorb moisture, and without regular cleaning and airing this can lead to a build up of mould which can cause allergies to flare up, resulting in coughing, itchy eyes and skin conditions such as eczema.’

In other serious cases, a dirty mattress can lead to nasty skin infections, serious viruses and urinary tract infections though a build up of pathogenic bacteria and fungi such as enterococcus, staphylococcus, norovirus and even MRSA.

Horrified? We were too, but cleaning your mattress isn’t the laborious task you might think it is, it’s actually a simple case of dragging out the vacuum cleaner.

How to clean a mattress

Neil explains: ‘Use a vacuum cleaner on both sides of the mattress to remove dirt, hair and crumbs from the mattress.’ He adds, ‘there’s also an old wives’ tale that suggests that sprinkling baking soda onto the mattress, leaving it to air for a few hours, and then vacuuming it off, can help to air it out.’

how to clean a mattress

However, Neil does explain that not all mattresses are suitable for the baking soda clean. ‘Many modern mattresses, such as those that feature Purotex, naturally create a clean and healthy sleeping environment by releasing friendly bacteria into the mattress, meaning one less cleaning job on your to do list!’

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How to clean mattress stains

Neil recommends calling in the professional for any stains that can’t be removed by sponging. ‘If you have some stubborn stains that you’re struggling to get out, having your mattress steam cleaned [by a professional] can help to get it sparkling clean again’.

How to keep your mattress clean

To keep your mattress clean, try to keep pets well away. The fur on dogs and cats can be a magnet for pollen, dust and other allergens.

how to clean a mattress

Invest in a mattress protector too to keep your mattress hygienic and stain free. Shockingly, our bodies can lose up to 500ml of water each night whilst we sleep so a mattress protector provides an extra layer to shield the mattress from bed bugs and dust mites.

Another easy tip is to ensure your bed is aired every morning. ‘Throw back the covers and remove the pillows from your bed for at least 20 minutes to allow moisture to evaporate and get the air circulating, which will help to prevent dust mites,’ says Neil.

How often should you clean your mattress?

Although there’s no set rule on how frequently you should be cleaning your mattress, once every six months will help prevent dust mites, dead skin and dirt accumulating. But, this will vary, particularly if you are an allergy sufferer. In this instance, it’s ideal to clean your mattress more frequently.

How often should you replace your mattress?

Although a regular mattress clean is essential, it’s worth nothing that mattresses aren’t a lifelong companion. Aim to replace your mattress every eight years to help maintain a supportive and hygienic sleep environment.