Can you wash a mattress topper? We ask cleaning experts how to keep this bedding item clean

Looking to give your bed a refresh but uncertain whether your topper will survive a trip in the washing machine? We've got all the answers

 picture of white thick mattress topper
(Image credit: Getty Images)

With all the different layers of bedding, it can be all too easy to chuck the whole lot in the wash and call it a day. However, cleaning your mattress topper will differ from your regular washing routine.

Unlike your sheets and mattress protector, tackling one of the best mattress toppers is a completely different story because a mattress protector va mattress topper is characteristically thicker and will have more absorbent materials such as foam or wool contents. 

Plus, similar to washing a duvet, most are typically too large for the average washing machine. Even if it fits in the washer can you simply throw it in or is more consideration needed? 

We asked cleaning experts for their opinion on the best way to clean a mattress topper and here's what they said. 

Can you wash a mattress topper?

The good news is that yes, you can indeed wash your mattress topper. There are however some conditions you'll have to know before doing so and of course, the type of cleaning will depend on how you can clean it. 

"Mattress toppers should have a care label attached, and it’s essential to follow these instructions. Generally, some smaller, thinner toppers made of materials like cotton, polyester, or memory foam may be machine-washable," says cleaning expert Claire Helen, who partnered with Get Laid Beds. 

If you've got a feather mattress topper you can also wash this with cold water. Claire does warn, "However, larger or thicker toppers may not fit well in a standard home washing machine and could require professional cleaning.” The Woolroom deluxe mattress topper review is a fine example of this bedding staple that is dry-clean only.

So even if you're looking for ways to clean your room fast, always make sure you check the cleaning instructions first.  

Which detergent should you use to wash mattress toppers? 

picture of modern style washing machine

(Image credit: Getty Images)

When it comes to the type of detergent you should use, you may not want to use the same type as you would to clean your best sheets

Olivia Young, cleaning expert at Astonish, says, "Use a mild, non-bleach detergent which is specifically designed to clean and disinfect without damaging the fabric. Avoid harsh chemicals and bleach, as these can degrade the materials over time." The same principles to cleaning a mattress,

Similar also to how you should avoid harsh cleaning products when it comes to how to clean a fabric headboard, once you've damaged the materials it can significantly affect the overall quality. 

Ecover Concentrated Non-Bio Zero Laundry Detergent: £7 at Amazon 

Ecover Concentrated Non-Bio Zero Laundry Detergent: £7 at Amazon 

If you're looking for a gentle yet effective detergent this non-bio one from Ecover is ideal. It's designed to be powerful even for cold washes and has zero fragrance so it's great for those with sensitive skin. 

How to clean a mattress topper in the washing machine

If you're looking for expert cleaning tips, here is the recommended method for cleaning your mattress topper in the washing machine. 

"After you have ensured that your mattress topper can be machine washed, pre-treat any stains with a bleach-free stain remover. Next, place it in your machine on a gentle cycle at a low temperature (30°C or below) with the appropriate detergent," explains Smol's cleaning expert, Catherine Green. 

Then, she says try to include two to three tennis or laundry balls to maintain the shape of the topper. Once the cycle is done make sure the detergent has been rinsed out. Leave to air-dry completely before putting it back onto your bed. 


How often should you wash a mattress topper?

Similar to how often you wash your mattress protector, cleaning your mattress topper isn't a weekly task. But it is important to keep on top of it, especially through the sweaty summer months when you're looking for ways to keep your bed cool

"It depends on usage and personal preference, but a good rule of thumb is to wash your mattress topper every 3-6 months. More frequent washing may be necessary if you have allergies or if the topper is used on a guest bed," says Claire.

There are some more conditions you'll need to consider explains Catherine, she points out, "Those with allergies or respiratory issues may need to clean it monthly to get rid of any debris that could exacerbate existing problems. In case of spills or stains, I recommend cleaning the topper immediately to prevent permanent damage or odours." 

zoomed in image of thick mattress topper

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Should your topper come out of the first cycle still soapy then Olivia recommends rinsing the topper with cold water. This should quickly remove all the detergent residue and allow you to get on with drying. 

Always allow your topper to dry thoroughly before placing it back on the mattress. Speaking of which, master how to keep your mattress topper from sliding to ensure your bed is fresh and ready to be slept in. 

Emily Smith
Digital lifestyle writer

Emily joined woman&home as a staff writer after finishing her MA in Magazine Journalism from City University in 2023. After writing various health and news content, she now specialises in lifestyle and home writing where she covers all things cleaning, interiors and homeowning.