Is there a better feeling than getting settled at the end of the day? Wrapped up in your duvet, a cosy set of pyjamas and ready to let your body relax with the help of your mattress.

You might love your mattress, but do you show it the love it deserves by keeping it clean?

Below, we'll walk you through how to clean a mattress, the importance of doing so, and show you some of the supplies you’ll need to do it to the best of your ability.

Ready for the best (and cleanest) night's sleep of your life? Let's take a look!

The importance of cleaning your mattress

We understand that cleaning your mattress may be pretty low on your list of priorities. After all, you've got a bed sheet, maybe even a mattress topper; surely that keeps everything fresh, right?

Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. You'll still need to give it a good clean every once in a while to ensure it stays comfortable.

Here are some key reasons to get those rubber gloves out:

  1. Improved sleep quality

Psychologically, you'll be able to sleep safe in the knowledge that your space is clean and healthy, unhindered by the thought of nasties such as dust mites crawling around in your bed, potentially causing rashes and irritation. 

According to chartered psychologist and neuroscientist Dr Lindsay Browning, removing any lumps, bumps, and dead skin and then cleansing your bed of any lingering sweaty odours will make it far easier to drift off to sleep by ensuring you climb under the covers feeling “relaxed, comfy and happy”. 

  1. Healthier living space

A healthier bedroom means one that is clean from bacteria, allergens, bed bugs and potential fungi. Improved sleep quality has also been shown to help promote better health outside of the bedroom by reducing stress levels, lowering blood pressure and improving mood.

  1. Increased mattress life

Like with anything, if you care for it, it'll care for you back! Frequent care for your mattress will prevent dirt and debris from building up, which are known causes of wear and tear on the bed. Save yourself the cost of getting a new mattress by showing your current one some TLC.

  1. Optimum comfort

We all know how good it feels to climb into a bed with freshly washed sheets. It truly is one of life’s simple pleasures. But why stop at the bedding? 

Take your nighttime comfort to the next level by ensuring your mattress is just as clean as your sheets, removing any lumps or bumps that could keep you tossing and turning and giving your entire sleeping space that dreamy, straight-out-of-the-wash aroma.

Want to find out more about the art of slumber? Read our expert guide on How To Sleep Better.

Essential items for cleaning your mattress

Before we get started, there are a few things you will need to achieve a thorough clean. Don't worry; these items will likely be floating around your house already, but if not, they are all inexpensive from your local supermarket.

  • An upholstery cleaner or enzyme cleaner
  • Baking soda
  • Vacuum cleaner with an upholstery attachment
  • Mild detergent
  • Cold water
  • Clean cloth or sponge

Top tip: Invest in a mattress protector or mattress topper. These offer extra protection for your mattress, meaning it'll stay cleaner for longer. Better yet, some protectors are machine washable, meaning you can just throw it in with your duvet cover and bed sheets on laundry day.

Now we know what we need, let's hop into the guide.

How to clean a mattress: a step-by-step guide

We've organised our key points into steps to make this as stress-free as possible.

Oh, and if you’re wondering how to care for a memory foam mattress, don’t stress. These simple steps apply to both regular and memory foam mattresses.

If you're interested in learning more about cleaning your mattress and sleeping in general, take a look at our other blogs written by sleep experts.

  1. Remove the bedding

You're going to need to strip your pillowcases, duvet cover and bed sheets from the mattress to get full coverage. While you’re at it, throw all the used bedding into the wash!

  1. Hoover the surface

Paying close attention to divots in the mattress, like stitching areas, and hoovering the whole surface of the bed will remove dust, dirt and other loose debris from the mattress. If you want to do a thorough clean, flip the mattress and vacuum the underside as well. Do both sides for a thorough clean.

  1. Spot clean any dirty areas

Cover any stains with a cleaning solution or non-toxic stain remover. An enzyme cleaner will work best for biological mattress stains, such as sweat and oils from your skin or hair. Upholstery cleaners can be a great solution for other stains like food and dirt.

Every cleaning product is different, so be sure to follow the instructions on each bottle of solution you use. If you know you’re allergic to certain cleaning products or washing powders, check the list of ingredients before applying one to your mattress.

  1. Deodorise the mattress

This is the most satisfying step of all! Using baking soda, sprinkle it evenly over the surface of the entire mattress. The qualities within the baking soda mean that it will freshen the mattress, removing any stale smells. Good as new!

You need to leave the soda on the mattress for at least 8 hours for it to work its magic, but we recommend leaving it overnight if possible.

We understand that many people won't have the space to have their bed out of action for a whole evening, so we'd recommend getting up nice and early to ensure a thorough clean.

  1. Hoover again

You'll need to get all of the baking soda off the mattress once it has done its thing. Be sure to go over the mattress with the upholstery attachment several times to get the best clean possible.

  1. Touch up any remaining stains

There could still be some lingering marks that need some extra help. You can usually treat them effectively with some detergent and cold water. For tougher stains, leave to soak for 15-20 minutes and then rub away in circular motions with a damp cloth.

While you're at it, give the bed frame a wipe-down, too. Bedrooms are notoriously dusty!

  1. Air dry

After all that scrubbing, your mattress will need time to relax, dry and air out. Crack some windows open, let the fresh air work its magic and leave the mattress until fully dry. 

If your bed frame has a solid base (i.e. it doesn’t have metal or wooden slats with gaps in between), you might want to remove the mattress from the base and stand it up against your bedroom wall so that air can circulate freely around it.

  1. Re-bed and go

You'll be glad to know you're just about ready to get cosy. You’ve completed your first session of proper mattress care! Now, all you need to do is re-bed your mattress with your duvet and bedsheets, plump up those pillows, and you’re good to go.

It doesn’t have to stop here, though! Take a look at the Sleepseeker blog to read more expert guides on the relationship between sleep and wellbeing.

Get the best night's sleep possible with help from Sleepseeker

At Sleepseeker, the perfect night's sleep is a few clicks away.

We all know the value of a good, restorative sleep, but it's not as simple as shutting your eyes and hoping for the best. You need great products to drift off into a near-magical world of rest! 

Whether you’re a side sleeper, a front sleeper, a light sleeper or an out-for-the-count sleeper, you’ll find everything you need for an incredible night’s rest here. Explore mattress toppers for additional comfort and targeted pressure relief, and discover the perfect pillow to ensure you never wake up with a stiff neck.

There’s a huge range of sleeping products available online, and we understand that it can be hard to find exactly what you’re looking for. With this in mind, our team of sleep specialists are on hand to help. Get in touch if you have any questions regarding the wonderful world of sleep, and say goodbye to counting sheep.


How often should I clean my mattress?

We recommend you thoroughly clean your mattress every six months or every season. This should be enough to help eliminate dirt and dead skin cells and prevent the build-up of dust mites. However, cleaning your mattress more frequently might be wise if you suffer from allergies, especially dust allergies.

Is baking soda enough to clean a mattress?

Baking or bicarbonate of soda is a simple and effective cleaning agent for mattresses needing a little freshening. Sprinkle enough baking soda evenly over the mattress to get the full effect. Leave the baking soda to work for an hour or so for minor odours. You may need to leave it for up to 12 hours for more potent odours. The longer the baking soda is left, the more it absorbs moisture and odour-causing particles.

What household items can you use to clean a mattress?

A lot of the items you need to achieve a great clean will be waiting in a kitchen cupboard or dotted around your home! Let's take a look at some of the things you'll need.

  • A vacuum cleaner (ideally with a nozzle attachment)
  • Mild laundry detergent or dish soap
  • Bicarbonate of soda
  • A cloth or sponge
  • Water
  • Stain remover (available from all large supermarkets)

What is an upholstery attachment?

An upholstery attachment is a small, flat, rectangular brush around 4 to 5 inches long. It usually has a removable row of short bristles. The tool is used on furniture for dislodging crumbs, dirt and debris from upholstery so that the hoover can then suck it up.