How to clean a mattress

It is important to care for your mattress so that it stays fresh and comfortable for years (or even decades) to come. It is not always clear how to clean a mattress, so we have prepared a quick and easy guide to assist you with the process. Ultimately, you should attend to any spills or stains as quickly as possible, and protect the surface with a mattress protector.

To safely clean and maintain your Sealy mattress, follow these 4 simple steps:

  1. Vacuum the surface
  2. Treat spills or stains
  3. Allow to dry
  4. Check mattress protector

1. Vacuum the surface

You can use a vacuum to regularly remove dust and debris on the surface of your mattress. This a good way to help freshen the fabric and may help alleviate symptoms of asthma or allergies. If your vacuum comes with attachments, use an upholstery attachment or nozzle so that you can get into any dips in the panel.

  • Remove any bedding, including mattress protectors and toppers
  • Use a vacuum on low suction across the entire surface
Vacuum to clean mattress

2. Treat spill or stains

It is important to treat spills and stains as quickly as possible. If you are performing a spot clean, test an inconspicuous area first to ensure there will be no damage or staining of the fabric. 

Avoid using detergents or dry cleaning chemicals of any kind, as these may cause damage to some of the construction materials.

  • Use a damp, non-abrasive white cloth and sponge the area gently
  • Do not use a stiff brush; avoid scouring or scrubbing at the fabric
  • Do not saturate the mattress with liquid
  • Do not use dry cleaning chemicals or detergents
How to clean a mattress

3. Allow to dry

Allow your mattress to dry as completely as possible after cleaning. It is good to air out your mattress, and we suggest ensuring your bed has adequate ventilation.

However, try to keep an uncovered mattress out of direct sunlight. The fabric may fade over time if positioned by a window for extended periods.

4. Check your mattress protector

Mattress protector

We suggest using a mattress protector to safeguard your mattress. If you are concerned about spills or stains, a waterproof protector may be ideal, especially for children’s beds.

There are a range of mattress protectors available. Some may offer more protection than others, so it is important to choose the right one for your needs. Warm sleepers often prefer a protector made from natural fibres, because synthetic fabrics tend to trap heat.

Check your current mattress protector for any holes or signs of deterioration. A poorly fitted or damaged protector may not offer the same resistance to spills or wear and tear.

Similarly, if you are wondering how to clean mattress toppers or mattress protectors, please check the label on your product. They often have care tips and cleaning instructions that vary depending on the material.

Maintain your mattress and base

There are some additional steps you can take to keep your mattress in good condition and prolong its lifespan. 

Rotate the mattress

A key step is to regularly rotate your mattress; doing so ensures an even amount of wear across the surface. This should be done every 2 weeks while the mattress is new (up to roughly 3 months), and then once every 3 months for the remainder of its lifespan. Sealy mattresses are single-side only, so they should not be flipped or used upside down.

Check your base

Every mattress requires a good foundation or bed base. If your base is damaged or poorly constructed, your mattress may not be level, reducing the comfort and support provided. Check your base to ensure there is no damage to the structure.

In the case of slat bases, the slats should be evenly spaced and wider than the gaps in between. A missing slat ought to be restored or replaced as soon as possible.

If you have an ensemble base, check the castors or legs and see whether they need tightening. This is typically required once every 3 months.

How to clean a mattress FAQs

What causes yellow stains on a mattress?

Yellow stains on a mattress are often caused by sweat and body oils. These are normal bodily functions, and are also the main reasons why pillows begin to turn yellow. Yellow stains can be avoided by using a high-quality mattress/pillow protector. 

Can I use a carpet cleaner on a mattress?

It is best not to use any cleaner or machine that may over saturate your mattress, as this could damage the construction and materials of your bed. In addition, soaking the fabric may cause mould and mildew. 

What's the best thing to clean a mattress with?

To clean your mattress, use a damp, non-abrasive white cloth and sponge gently at the affected area. It is better to only use warm water; do not use detergents or dry cleaning chemicals.

Mattress selector

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Mattress care guide

View the Sealy mattress care guide for more information and helpful tips