How to Deep Clean Your Mattress at Home

You may already keep your mattress in good condition, but every so often it's beneficial to give your mattress a deep clean. We spend around a third of our lives sleeping and giving your mattress a thorough clean will help to keep your sleeping environment fresh and hygienic, so why not give it a try?

In this easy to follow guide, we'll explain in 11 steps how to deep clean a mattress at home. We'll cover everything from vacuuming your mattress, deodorising and removing stains. Read on to find out how you can deep clean your mattress - and make it feel brand-new!

Person removing stains from a mattress
Sometimes your mattress needs a deeper clean, so we're here to help!

Step 1. Check the care guide

Before starting to clean your mattress, you should always check the care guide first to see what the manufacturer recommends. This is because different types of mattresses require different cleaning methods, so you should see if there are any 'dos and don'ts' you need to take into consideration.

You should also check to see if your mattress is double or single-sided as this will determine if you can deep clean both sides or just the top.

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Step 2. Gather your cleaning supplies

There are some things you'll need before starting to deep clean your mattress. Below is a list of cleaning supplies we recommend:

  • Vacuum cleaner (with upholstery attachment if possible)
  • Mild laundry detergent or dish soap
  • Baking soda
  • A cloth or sponge
  • Cold and lukewarm water

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Step 3. Wash your bedding and pillows

Remove all your bedding and put them on a hot wash. If you can, also tumble-dry at a high temperature. This is important because this will kill any germs and bacteria that may be on your sheets. When you put them back onto your mattress your sleeping environment will be cleaner and healthier.

Check the care instructions to see if you can machine wash your pillows or if they have a removable cover you can wash. Cleaning your pillows will add an extra touch of freshness to your sleeping experience.

Woman putting bedding in a washing machine
Washing your sheets at a high temperature will kill bacteria and germs

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Step 4. Air out your mattress

Once you've removed all your bedding, open your bedroom windows to ventilate your bedroom. This will help freshen up your mattress by allowing it to breathe and will start to eliminate any odours.

Woman opening windows
Letting your mattress breathe helps to get rid of any odours

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Step 5. Vacuum your mattress

We recommend using small circular motions over the entire mattress to make sure you lift all of the dust, dirt, hair and dead skin. If you have one, you can also use an upholstery attachment to make vacuuming a little easier, but it's not essential. You'll want to make sure you're thorough as you'll need a clean surface for the following steps.

If your mattress doesn't have any stains, you can sprinkle a small amount of baking soda onto the surface of your mattress. This helps to get rid of any odours that may have soaked into your mattress.

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Step 6. Tackle any mattress stains

You should always try to tackle any stains as soon as they occur, but sometimes this isn't always possible.

How to remove stains from your mattress

The best way to remove mattress stains is to use a gentle laundry detergent or dish soap mixed with lukewarm water. Gently dab - don't rub! - the stain with a cloth or sponge to lift the stain as much as possible.

An important note to remember when you're deep cleaning your mattress at home is that you shouldn't use any harsh chemicals or get it too wet as this can damage the integrity of the mattress.

After removing any stains or getting your mattress wet in any way, you should let your mattress completely air dry before moving onto the next steps or putting your sheets back on.

If you're dealing with a specific type of stain, take a look at our guidance below to find out how to remove it from your mattress.

How to remove sweat stains from mattress

These kinds of stains are common and quite easy to remove.

  1. Mix light laundry detergent or dish soap and lukewarm water together
  2. Dab the mixture onto the stain with a cloth or sponge until it fades

How to remove urine stains from mattress

If you have young children, you might want to find out how to deep clean a mattress with urine stains. Don't worry, we're here to help!

  1. Mix together gentle laundry detergent or dish soap and lukewarm water
  2. We recommend using wet paper towels to press into the stain and replacing the paper towel every few minutes for hygiene
  3. Keep dabbing at the stain until it's gone. As this is a stronger stain, it will take longer to lift
Gloves, brush and stain remover on a mattress
Always try to remove stains as soon as they happen

How to remove blood stains from mattress

The most important thing to remember when you remove blood from a mattress is to always use cold water. This is because it breaks down the proteins in the blood more quickly than warm water.

Also, try not to use too much water when removing blood stains from mattresses - especially memory foam mattresses. This is because it can damage the foam and fillings inside. Instead, make sure that your cloth, towel or sponge is only damp, not dripping wet. Once you’ve removed the stain, leave your mattress to dry completely.

Blood stains can be tough to remove, but below we’ve explained the three best methods for removing blood from your mattress.

Dish soap method

If you’ve noticed the blood-stained mattress quickly, the following method may work best for you.

  1. Mix dish soap or light laundry detergent with cold water
  2. Dampen a cloth or sponge with this mixture
  3. Gently press into the affected area until the stain lifts

For a dried blood stain, it may be a little more difficult to remove, but we have two methods to help.

Baking soda method

If you have baking soda to hand, this method is quick and simple for removing dried blood stains from your mattress.

  1. Rinse a cloth with a cold water
  2. Dab the stain with the cloth
  3. Sprinkle baking soda over the stain
  4. Leave it for 30 minutes
  5. Rinse a cloth with cold water again
  6. Dab the stain until it lifts
  7. Repeat this process as many times as necessary and leave it to dry
  8. Once dry, vacuum the surface of the mattress to get rid of the baking soda

Vanish method

You may be wondering, ‘will vanish remove blood stains from my mattress’? The answer is yes, using Vanish can help to remove tougher blood stains from your mattress.

  1. Rinse a cloth or sponge with cold water
  2. Press the cloth into the affected area
  3. Spray the Vanish solution onto the stain or sprinkle the cleaning powder over the stain
  4. Leave this to bubble for a few minutes
  5. When the solution stops bubbling, dab the stain with a cold damp cloth until it lifts
  6. Leave to dry and vacuum the area 

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Step 7. Deodorise with baking soda and vacuum again

When the surface is completely clean and dry, lightly sprinkle a layer of baking soda over your entire mattress. This will help to eliminate any odour that may still be lingering. If possible, the baking soda should be left for at least a few hours to get the best results.

Once your mattress is smelling clean and fresh, vacuum off all of the remaining baking soda. This ensures your mattress surface is completely clean before you put your bedding back on.

Man vacuuming a mattress
Vacuum your mattress to remove all baking soda

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Step 8. Spray your own mix of essential oils and baking soda

To keep your mattress smelling fresher for longer you could mix a small amount of baking soda, water and essential oils in a spray bottle and lightly spray the mattress. You could use chamomile or lavender essential oils for a relaxing scent to help soothe you to sleep.

If you don't have any essential oils or if you don't want a DIY mix, a mattress or room spray will provide the same results. Be careful not to get the mattress too damp while you spray.

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Step 9. Flip and repeat these steps

Check your care booklet to see if your mattress is double or single sided. If your mattress is double-sided, flip and repeat steps 5 to 8 to make sure that both sides of your mattress get a deep clean. If you have a single-sided mattress, then all you need to do is vacuum the underside to get rid of any dust, dirt or hair.

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Step 10. Clean the bed frame

Whenever you deep clean your mattress, it's a good idea to also clean your bed frame or divan base. Dust and vacuum your bed frame or divan to get rid of all the dirt and dust that might be on it. Pay extra attention to the slats and where the mattress sits. If your bed frame isn't upholstered, use a damp cloth to wipe down the rest of the frame.

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Step 11. Put the clean bedding and sheets back on

The final step! Now you know how to deep clean a mattress at home, all you need to do is put your clean bedding and sheet back on the mattress for a super fresh feel. Is there really anything better than falling asleep with clean, cosy bedding?

Woman putting sheets on a mattress
The cleaner your bedding is the fresher your sleeping experience will be

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How often should I deep clean my mattress?

Ideally, you should deep clean your mattress every 6 months if your mattress is dirty. This is also a good opportunity to flip or rotate your mattress, too.

If your mattress isn't dirty, it isn't essential to deep clean it every 6 months. However, you should still keep up with your regular mattress cleaning. You can easily do this by airing out your mattress and vacuuming the surface every time you change your sheets.

You should keep on top of cleaning your mattress topper, if you use one with your mattress.

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Why should I deep clean my mattress?

Deep cleaning your mattress is important for your health and to maintain good hygiene. Every night you lose dead skin, hair and around a pint of fluid while you sleep. So, deep cleaning your mattress helps keep your sleeping environment clean and healthy.

Lightly cleaning your mattress every so often is a good habit to get into to keep on top of dirt and hair. However, it also needs a deep clean every 6 months too. This will ensure that you're killing all the germs and bacteria that inevitably get into every mattress over time.

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8 tips for keeping your mattress clean

To save you from having to clean your mattress as often, we've made a table of some simple things you can do to keep your mattress clean and prevent it from getting dirty.

1. Spot clean stainsSpot clean stains as soon as they happen. If left to soak they could damage the mattress
2. VacuumGets rid of any dirt and hair from your mattress
3. Air out your mattressAllows moisture to evaporate and keeps your mattress smelling fresh
4. Wash your bedding every weekKeeps your sleeping environment fresh and hygienic
5. Buy a waterproof mattress protectorHelps prevent spills and accidents soaking into your mattress
6. Don't eat or drink in bedThis helps prevent spills and crumbs!
7. Don't let pets on the bedStops any dirt and fur from getting into your mattress
8. Keep your bedroom coolDust mites and bacteria prefer warmer environments, so a cooler bedroom will help

Shop our waterproof mattress protectors

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How to get rid of bedbugs in a mattress

Unfortunately, some of us may experience having bedbugs in our mattresses. Bedbugs are very small insects that can cause itchy bites. They like to live in furniture and upholstery, like your bed and mattress.

Here at Mattress Online, we always advise following NHS guidance on bedbugs and getting in touch with a professional pest control company.

A man holding up a magnifying glass to a mattress, showing little icons of bed bugs.
Bed bugs can be quite tricky to get rid of, so always consult with a professional before trying any cleaning methods

How to check for bedbugs

If you suspect that you do have bedbugs, then you should be on the lookout for: 

  • Bedbugs themselves - they are about the size of an apple seed
  • Small blood spots
  • Bedbug droppings
  • White bedbug eggs
  • Shed skin - this will be about the same size as the bedbugs

Here’s how we recommend checking for bedbugs on your mattress. At each stage, you should thoroughly check your bedding, mattress and bed frame using a bright torch:

  1. Slowly remove each piece of bedding from your mattress, keeping an eye out for bed bugs, blood spots, droppings, eggs or shed skin
  2. Check the surface of your mattress
  3. Check the sides of your mattress
  4. Lift each corner of your mattress and check underneath
  5. Flip your mattress over and check the underside
  6. Move your mattress off of your bed frame
  7. Check the frame of your bed
  8. Check the slats or base of your bed
  9. If you can, check underneath your bed

Whether or not you see signs of bedbugs, you should still call a professional pest control company to help you. The earlier you catch the problem, the easier it will be for professionals to remove them.

Where do bedbugs come from?

If this is your first time experiencing a bedbug infestation, then they have entered your home either on your clothes or on a new piece of furniture.

If you have recently stayed in another house or a hotel, you should immediately wash any clothes, coats, jackets or shoes that you believe may have come into contact with the bedbugs. You should wash all items of clothing on a hot wash to kill any bedbugs that could potentially be living on them. 

If you think that they may have entered your house on a piece of furniture, you should thoroughly deep clean the furniture, following its care instructions.

We recommend that you do this cleaning outside, to avoid spreading the bedbugs to other areas of your house, if possible.

We also highly recommend getting in touch with a pest control company to advise you or deal with the problem for you.

How to get rid of bedbugs

The best way to get rid of bedbugs is to use a pest control company or exterminator to eliminate the problem for you.

In the meantime, there are some steps you can take to try and get rid of them yourself such as:

  • Machine washing all of your bedding, pyjamas and clothes at a high temperature
  • Vacuum your bed, mattress and your bedroom floor regularly
  • Deep clean your mattress using the steps above
  • Keeping your mattress clean and fresh

The NHS offers more advice on what you should and shouldn’t do when it comes to dealing with bedbugs.

Will buying a new mattress get rid of bedbugs?

Unfortunately, no. Once bedbugs have found an environment they like, they can be quite difficult to get rid of without professional help. 

Even if you swap your mattress, there is a chance that they could still be living on your bed frame or in your bedding.

The only way to ensure that bedbugs are fully removed from your home is to contact an expert.

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Now you know how to deep clean your mattress at home!

If you have any more questions about cleaning your mattress, don't hesitate to get in touch and we'll be happy to help.

Check out our other cleaning guides to help keep your sleeping environment nice and fresh: