How to Clean Mattress Topper

Written by Zulekha Nishad

Last Updated June 13, 2024

What do you do when your mattress topper or mattress pad starts to get all dirty and dusty? You can't just toss it in the washing machine! In this blog post, we will show you how to clean a mattress topper so that it looks and smells all new.

how to clean a mattress topper

Mattress toppers are a great way to improve the comfort of your mattress, and they're pretty affordable. However, since they sit on top of your bed and under the sheets, they can become exposed to spills, body oils, sweat, and other contaminants. So, if you want to keep your mattress topper fresh and in good condition for a long time, it is important to clean it regularly.

natural and organic latex mattress topper

Even though you may want to clean your mattress topper, it's important to use the right products. If you don't, you could end up damaging it. To avoid this, it's always a good idea to learn how to clean and preserve your mattress topper before you end up ruining it.

Can you wash a mattress topper?  

Yes, mattress toppers can be washed. In fact, washing your topper on a regular basis is a great way to keep it clean and free of dust mites and other allergens. However, not all mattress toppers are machine washable. They are much more fragile than other types of bedding, and using a washing machine can quickly wear them down. Therefore much of the work in cleaning a mattress topper lies in proper care and maintenance rather than direct washing.

Signs that show your mattress topper needs to be cleaned

Did you know that four out of five homes in the US have dust mites living in at least one bed? Yes, it's true; we aren't joking! According to research, a typical used mattress or topper may have up to 10 million dust mites inside. That's because beds are prime habitats for these tiny creatures, and they thrive in a warm, moist environment.

Over time, your mattress topper can become a breeding ground for a variety of things like dust mites - dead skin cells, sweat, mold or mildew, and whatnot! While it may not seem like a big deal, all of that buildup can negatively impact your sleep quality and health.

signs that shows your mattress topper needs to be cleaned

Have a look at some of the most obvious signs that show it's high time to clean your mattress topper:

  • If there's an unpleasant odor

Mattress toppers can start to develop an unpleasant smell, especially if they aren't regularly cleaned. If you notice a musty smell when you lie down, it's time to break out the cleaners.

  • If you see stains and spills

Accidents happen, but cleaning up spills on your mattress topper ASAP is important. Otherwise, they can lead to permanent stains and even odors.

  • If there's discoloration of the material

If you notice that your mattress topper is turning yellow or brownish, it's probably due to dirt and dust buildup. In addition to being unsightly, this can also be harmful to your health, as dust mites and other allergens can trigger respiratory problems. A good cleaning will help restore its original color.

  • If you experience sneezing and coughing as soon as you lie down

This is a sign that you may be allergic to dust mites or other allergens that have accumulated in your topper.

How to clean mattress toppers - Step by step

Although all serve the same purpose, not all mattress toppers are made equal. As a result, they can't all be washed in the same way. In fact, certain types of mattress toppers need more care and attention than others.

For example, natural latex and memory foam mattress toppers may require spot cleaning with a mild detergent, whereas down-filled toppers can be machine-washed on a gentle cycle.

Before you start cleaning any type of mattress topper, it's critical to follow the manufacturer's guidelines. Doing this will guarantee that you do not harm the topper and void any warranties.

However, regardless of the type of mattress topper you own, there are a few common steps you can follow in cleaning and taking care of it the right way. This includes:

Step 1

Vacuum clean the mattress topper with a soft brush attachment to remove any dust or debris

Step 2

Spot-clean any mattress topper stains with a mild detergent.


To spot clean your mattress topper, just mix one part of baking soda with two parts of cold water over the stained area. Now with the help of a damp cloth, gently rub the mixture over the stained area in circular motions. Let it sit for 30 minutes to an hour. Then, wipe off the solution using a cloth until the area looks clean.

If your mattress topper still gives off an odd scent, sprinkle it with baking soda and leave it overnight. Make sure to vacuum your mattress topper thoroughly to remove the baking soda.

Step 3

Allow the mattress topper to air-dry completely before using it again.


How to clean different types of mattress toppers?

Now that you know about the steps that come under basic mattress cleaning, it's time to go to the detailed part. Here's how to clean different types of mattress toppers:

1. Latex mattress topper

A latex mattress topper is a great investment for anyone looking for a natural, durable, and water-resistant option. They will last for many years if taken care of properly.

how to clean latex mattress toppers

Cleaning a latex mattress topper is pretty easy and not complicated when compared to other types. The most important thing to remember is to never use hot water or harsh chemicals on latex. Instead, spot clean with cold water and baking soda/vinegar/mild soap.

When it comes to cleaning dust, dirt, and debris off your latex mattress topper, vacuuming is a great solution. Cordless vacuum cleaners are of a convenient size, but there are many advantages of using a traditional corded vacuum cleaner over the cordless one. Even though a corded vacuum cleaner is bigger, it has more sucking power, which offers not only a mere surface clean but can dredge deep into the layers of your latex topper as well.

When you spot clean or deep clean your mattress topper, it's important to make sure it is completely dry before putting it back on your bed. Any lingering dampness can become a breeding ground for mold and mildew, which can have a negative effect on your health. It is best to air out the topper in a well-ventilated area.

One of the most common ways people damage their latex mattress toppers is by exposing them directly to the sun. This is when people set their topper in the sun to air dry, thinking that the heat will kill any bacteria. However, what actually happens is that the heat breaks down the latex, causing it to fall apart. Rather than risking damage to your latex mattress topper, it's better to leave it to dry in the shade or inside your house.

Another important part of maintaining and taking care of your mattress topper is to rotate it regularly - at least once every time you wash your sheets. For traditional mattress toppers, this helps even out lumps, though natural latex toppers do not have this problem as they are made of solid latex foam. The biggest benefit of rotating your topper is that the dirt and sweat that sink in are instead spread around, making them easier to clean and preventing premature wear and tear. Also, rotated toppers will last longer since they will be subject to less stress.

latex mattress

2. Memory foam mattress toppers

Just like latex, a memory foam mattress topper cannot be tossed in the washing machine and instead needs to be vacuumed, spot cleaned, and air dried.

how to clean memory foam mattress toppers

Follow the regular vacuuming steps to remove any kind of dust, dirt, or debris from your memory foam mattress toppers. Vacuum in small circles and slowly go over every nook and corner of the mattress topper, removing dust and grime. To keep your topper in good condition, vacuum it regularly.

If you happen to see any kind of stains on your memory foam mattress topper, spot clean it using a mild detergent, baking soda, or distilled white vinegar. We've explained how to spot clean a mattress topper using baking soda in the beginning section. Here's how to spot clean using mild laundry detergent and white vinegar:


Simply mix equal parts water and mild laundry detergent, then use a white cotton cloth to rub it into the stain. Wait for 30 minutes, then rub it off using a damp cloth. Do a final rub-down to remove any left-off residue in your memory foam mattress topper.

Make sure you don't use low-quality laundry detergent or the ones made with harsh chemicals as they destroy the mattress material and even discolor it.


Mix equal parts of water and white vinegar to prepare a solution. With the help of soft white cotton cloth, apply the solution to the stain. Rub it in circular motions, slowly moving toward the center to prevent the stain from spreading. Repeating this process until the stain is gone, then wiping off the area in your memory foam mattress topper with a damp cloth to remove any vinegar residue will leave the area clean. Finally, daub the area using a dry cloth.

Air dry your memory foam mattress topper completely before you put it back on your bed. Make sure you do not expose your memory foam topper under direct sunlight (especially during noon and evening) because the high heat can damage the structure of the memory foam.

3. Egg crate mattress toppers

Egg crate toppers are designed with raised bumps in order to provide additional support and comfort. However, their unique structure can also trap debris such as lint, dust, or fuzz. As a result, it's important to clean them on a regular basis so that they last longer.

how to clean egg crate toppers

The best way to clean an egg crate topper is to vacuum it regularly. First, vacuum the top side of your egg crate topper to remove any surface debris. Then flip it over and vacuum the underside in order to remove any debris that may be trapped in between the bumps.

Just like any foam topper, an egg crate mattress topper cannot be machine washed. If you see any stains on your egg crate topper, spot clean it with the help of a mild detergent or baking soda. Once you are done with spot cleaning, make sure you air dry your topper completely before putting it back inside.

4. Wool mattress toppers

Wool is a natural fiber that is prized for its durability and ability to regulate temperature. While foam mattress toppers are relatively easy to care for and can be spot-cleaned, wool toppers require special care. This is because wool fibers can be easily damaged by frequent washing and thus strips the fibers of lanolin, removing some of the most beneficial properties of wool.

how to clean wool toppers

Wool can be difficult to clean, so any stains should be dealt with as soon as possible.

To remove a mild stain from a wool topper, start by soaking up as much of the stain as possible with a dry white cotton cloth (preferably). After that, dampen a cloth with cold water and press it onto the stain. Rubbing might damage the wool, so don't do it; instead, just press.

And to remove stubborn stains, combine a little water with salt and baking soda to make a mild cleaning solution. Gently spread the mixture over the stain and allow it to dry. Then carefully brush away any excess liquid, leaving the wool topper to air dry fully.

5. Feather mattress toppers

Feather mattress toppers are not that easy to take care of. The feathers can start to clump together and lose their fluffiness over time. Also, the feathers can also start to poke through the fabric if they are not cared for properly. To avoid these problems, it is important to regularly fluff and shake your feather mattress topper.

how to clean feather toppers

If you spill something on your feather mattress topper, it is best to spot clean it up right away. Move the feathers away from the spill so that you can focus just on the fabric. If the spill has seeped in and absorbed by the feathers, or if the spill is stubborn, take it for dry cleaning.

You can machine wash lightweight feather mattress toppers with some cleaning agents. You need to use down soap and follow the instructions, so you don't ruin the feathers. Make sure you use a soap that will rinse out completely without any residue. Wash your feather mattress topper using cold water. Be patient with your washing machine: more than one cycle is recommended.

After washing, make sure to shake out the topper and let the feathers dry separately. This will help prevent clumping. You should also check the topper for any strange odors, which can be a sign of dampness. If you find any damp spots, be sure to dry them completely before using the topper again.

6. Bamboo mattress toppers

Coming to the last type of mattress topper on our list - the natural, durable, antibacterial, and sustainable bamboo mattress topper. Toppers made of this material are a great way to increase the comfort of your bed. They're also machine-washable, which makes them easy to care for.

When machine washing a bamboo mattress topper, be careful of the type of cleaner you use. Only use cold water and make sure the detergent doesn't have bleach or whiteners in it. Do not put the detergent directly on the mattress topper. Add the detergent to the water before dunking the topper in. After you wash your mattress topper, shake it out and put it in the dryer on a low-heat or no-heat cycle. Try to use as little heat as possible because too much heat can make the bamboo fibers weak.

How to take care of your mattress topper in between the washing/cleaning cycle?

Although mattress toppers don't need to be cleaned as often as your sheets, they should still be taken care of on a regular basis to prevent them from becoming stained or odorous.

In between washes, there are a few simple things you can do to keep your topper fresh, such as spot-cleaning new stains, flipping it after each cleaning to distribute wear evenly, and airing it out every so often. If there's ever a spill, be sure to soak up the excess liquid with paper towels to prevent it from soaking into the topper and causing a permanent stain.

how to take care of your mattress topper in between washes

When should you replace your mattress topper instead of cleaning it?

Like any piece of bedding, your mattress topper needs to be replaced someday. So how do you know when it's time for a new one? Here are a few signs to look for:

  • Long-lasting odor despite regular cleaning

If you have tried cleaning your mattress topper, but the odor persists, it may be time for a new one.

  • Irreparable wear and tear

If your mattress topper is ripped, torn, or otherwise damaged, it will not be able to provide the same level of support and comfort.

  • Thinned out material

Over time, the material in your mattress topper can become visibly thinner and less supportive. If you notice that your topper is not as thick as it used to be, it's time for a replacement.

  • Resistance to regular cleaning

If your mattress topper is resistant to regular cleaning, it may be time for a new one. Over time, dirt and dust can build up, making it difficult to clean. If you've tried washing it in the machine or spot-cleaning it with no luck, it's probably time to replace it.

Trying to clean an old damaged topper is usually ineffective and a waste of time. It's always better to invest in a new mattress topper that will provide years of comfortable sleep.

Avoid these mistakes when cleaning mattress toppers

Cleaning your mattress topper is important for two reasons: to keep it in good condition and to protect your health. However, many people make common mistakes that can damage their mattress toppers or even put their health at risk.

To avoid making common mattress topper cleaning mistakes, make sure you follow these tips:

  • Don't use harsh chemicals or bleach on your mattress topper, as this can damage the fabric. If you need to spot clean, use a mild detergent and cool water.
  • Never put your mattress topper back on the bed before it's fully dried. If possible, air dry it in a well-ventilated area away from direct sunlight.
  • Always follow the manufacturer's guidelines when cleaning your mattress topper. Some materials require different care instructions, so it's important to know what you're dealing with before you start cleaning.

Although you may take great care in trying to keep your mattress clean, spills and stains are inevitable. Coffee, wine, soda, and even bodily sweat can all leave permanent damage and an unpleasant odor on your mattress topper. So, to protect your investment, we recommend you use a high-quality mattress topper cover. You can also use a mattress protector on top of your mattress topper. The best part is that mattress protectors and covers are simpler to clean and can be easily tossed into a washing machine! Woah!

natural and organic pillows

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Now that you know how to clean a mattress topper the right way, there's no excuse not to give your bed a little tender loving care every now and then. Whether your old mattress topper is starting to smell a bit weird or you just want to give it a good deep clean before storing it away, we hope this detailed guide has helped to make the process pretty easy and straightforward.

Got any other tricks up your sleeve for cleaning a mattress topper? Share them in the comments below – we'd love to hear from you!

Disclaimer: What is said in this article has been referenced from multiple sources and is intended only for educational and informational purposes. Please note that no content in this article is a substitute for professional advice from a qualified doctor or healthcare provider. Always consult an experienced doctor with any concerns you may have regarding a health condition or treatment, and never disregard any medical suggestions or delay in seeking treatment because of something you read here.