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How To Clean Mattress Topper

How To Clean Mattress Topper

Washing your sheets every week isn’t enough; it’s also important to consider what goes under it. Mattress toppers sit on top of a mattress to provide an additional layer of cushioning and support. Though their benefits are numerous, it can be tougher to figure out how to clean mattress topper stains and odors.

Much like any other bedding, it’s essential to clean mattress toppers regularly. Even though they’re technically protected by your sheets, the truth is that mattress toppers can easily accumulate dust mites and other allergens unbeknownst to you. Not only can this be unhygienic, but a dirty mattress topper can also impact your sleep quality.

However, it can be challenging to figure out how to clean mattress toppers simply because tossing them in the washing machine without sparing a second thought can actually ruin them. In this comprehensive guide, we outline the steps you need to take to wash your topper safely at home.

Table of Contents

Can You Wash A Mattress Topper?

Mattress toppers are bound to get dirty, but can you actually wash a mattress topper? The answer depends on the material of your topper. Toppers are available in a range of materials, including memory foam, cotton, latex, polyester blend, wool, and feathers.

While some are machine washable, most mattress toppers aren’t. In particular, washing memory foam mattress toppers in the machine can ruin the structure of the foams, while most cotton toppers are machine washable.

The best way to determine if you can wash your mattress is to check the care label for instructions.

How Often Should You Wash A Mattress Topper?

How Often Should You Wash A Mattress Topper? | Puffy

Unlike sheets and pillowcases, you don’t have to wash your mattress topper every week. In fact, cleaning mattress toppers a bit too often can actually shorten their lifespan.

Ideally, you should only be cleaning your mattress topper once every three months, depending on how dirty it gets. To minimize the frequency of your washes between those months, it can be helpful to spot clean spills and stains as soon as they occur.

Signs Your Mattress Topper Needs To Be Cleaned

Since your sheets cover your mattress topper, it’s not always easy to discern when your mattress topper needs to be cleaned. Though the recommendation is every few months, you might want to clean it sooner if you’re struggling with allergies and think your topper is to blame.

Being on the lookout for these signs can help you understand when you need to clean your mattress topper.

1. Odor

If your mattress topper starts giving off a noticeable odor, then it’s time to give it a clean. Some scents, such as sweat, can easily be removed with a wash.

However, if your mattress starts smelling like mold or mildew, then it’s a sign that you may need to invest in a new mattress topper. Mold and mildew thrive in damp environments, and they also pose serious health risks. Sleeping on a topper that’s attracted either can cause coughing, headaches, joint pain, fatigue, and more.

2. Stains and spills

Even the most difficult stains can be treated by giving your mattress topper a deep clean every once in a while. In case you spill something on your topper, it’s crucial to attend to it as soon as you can so it doesn’t cause lasting damage. Stains, too, should be dealt with immediately to ensure you’re able to get it out easily.

3. Discoloration

If you’ve had your mattress topper for long enough, you might’ve noticed large patches of discoloration. The discoloration is typically caused by sweat, body oils, or even a spill. Unlike stains, they can be tougher to spot clean, which is why a deeper cleaning may be required so that your topper looks brand new again.

What You’ll Need

What You’ll Need | Puffy

Before you set out to clean your mattress topper, it’s essential to gather the right supplies. Here are the things you’ll need:

How To Clean Mattress Toppers: A Step-By-Step Guide

Some mattress toppers, such as memory foam mattress toppers, are unlikely to survive the force of a washing machine. Since different types of mattress toppers require varying levels of care, it’s important to practice caution and follow the manufacturer’s guidelines.

Though it might sound difficult, you can easily clean a memory foam mattress topper at home. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you clean your mattress topper.

Step 1: Vacuuming

Vacuuming is the safest way to get rid of dirt, debris, dust particles, and other allergens. But to ensure you don’t damage your topper, it’s important to pick the right kind of vacuum. A handheld vacuum cleaner with a soft brush attachment or water-based vacuum cleaners is the most effective at getting rid of dirt.

To get started with vacuuming, first, lay your mattress topper out on a flat surface. Then, vacuum the surface area of the entire mattress topper to get rid of dust particles and debris. Be sure to vacuum in small circles and focus on the crevices to get all the dirt and crumbs out. Once you’re done with one side, flip it over and vacuum it again.

If you use a water-based vacuum cleaner, your topper may take a few hours to dry. Check your topper to see if it’s completely dry before you put it back on your mattress.

Step 2: Spot cleaning

Stains and spills are inevitable, but it’s important to treat them as soon as you notice them to ensure they don’t leave a permanent mark. There are a few different ways to remove stains, depending on what it is and whether it has set.

Baking soda, in particular, is a popular ingredient for removing stains and acts as a natural deodorizer. To remove stains and spills, simply mix one part of baking soda with two parts of cold water. Using a dry cloth, gently rub the mixture over the stained area and let it sit for 30 minutes to an hour. Then, wipe off the solution with paper towels until the area looks clean. If your mattress topper continues to emit a strange odor, simply sprinkle baking soda all over it and let it sit overnight for best results. The next day, vacuum the topper to remove the baking soda particles.

Step 3: Air dry

Before you put your memory foam mattress topper back on top of your mattress, let it air dry. If you put the topper back before it’s completely dry, the excess moisture may attract mold and mildew.

The best way to dry a topper is to leave it out in direct sunlight until it’s fully dry. Alternatively, you could also use a dryer with low heat and tumble setting, but it’s worth practicing caution here. The dryer can damage some mattress pads, so heed the manufacturer’s care instructions to stay on the safe side.

Topper Cleaning Mistakes: What To Avoid

Topper Cleaning Mistakes: What To Avoid | Puffy

Being cautious about how you approach regular cleaning of your mattress topper will help keep it fresh without wearing it down. Certain techniques can actually damage your topper completely. Here are the top mistakes you should avoid when cleaning your mattress topper cover:

1. Use washing machines to clean your topper

A cycle in your washing machine can damage the structural integrity of your mattress topper permanently. When you first purchase your mattress topper, checking it’s care instructions can help prevent you from damaging it further.

The Puffy Mattress Topper cover is machine washable, making it simpler to look after and keep fresh.

2. Air dry your topper under direct sunlight

For foam mattress toppers, air-drying your topper under direct sunlight can cause melting. Most foam mattress toppers are heat sensitive, which is why it is not recommended to use a machine dryer after washing either.

For the best results, leaving your mattress topper in a well ventilated room, or somewhere outside in a dry, shaded area, will ensure it maintains structural integrity.

3. Use hydrogen peroxide for stubborn stains

Though hydrogen peroxide can be useful for certain kinds of stubborn stains, it is not recommended to be used on any kind of foam. The reason for this is hydrogen peroxide can actually be damaging to the surface of a mattress topper, and can destroy the color and texture of the foam you’re sleeping on top of.

If you’re dealing with a difficult stain, the best solution is to use an enzyme-based cleaner, which will help keep your topper safely cleaned.

4. Use your mattress topper when it’s half-dry

When you use your mattress topper before it’s completely dry, you risk mold and mildew growth in the process. When air drying a mattress topper, it’s advisable to leave it out for a full day to ensure it’s been properly dried before placing it back on top of your bed.

If you notice any damp patches even after drying, using a hair dryer on the lowest setting can prevent damage and do the job.

How To Keep Your Mattress Topper Fresh Between Washes

With regular cleaning, you can prolong the freshness of your mattress topper for a good amount of time. It doesn’t have to be a full wash every time - here are a couple of simple ways you can keep your mattress topper fresh in the meantime:

When Should You Replace Your Mattress Topper?

When Should You Replace Your Mattress Topper? | Puffy

Knowing how to tell the difference between when your mattress topper needs to be cleaned and when you need to replace your topper completely is important. There are quite a few visual cues that let you know when it’s time to switch out your mattress topper. Here’s what you should look out for:

1. Irreparable wear and tear

While some wear and tear can be expected, especially for foam mattress toppers, if you notice more than a few holes or rips in the fabric, then it’s important you try to get it replaced.

2. Thinned out material

Foam toppers tend to flatten with use over time, which can take away from the overall comfort of your bed.

This is why it is especially important to invest in high quality foam mattress toppers, which often come with more structural integrity and better warranties than cheaper models.

The Puffy Mattress topper comes with a lifetime warranty, and two comfort options that let you customize the comfort of your mattress till it’s just right.

3. Lasting odor

If your mattress topper has a strange odor despite regular cleaning, it is a possible sign of mold or mildew. Sleeping on a mattress topper that has mold in it is harmful for your health. Be sure to replace any topper that has a stubborn odor as soon as you can.

4. Resistance to regular cleaning

Finally, if your mattress topper doesn’t seem to be responding well to regular amounts of cleaning, it’s time to invest in something new. If you’re using natural materials to clean your topper, try switching to something a little more concentrated to see if that has a positive result.

If your topper completely stops reacting to being washed, it’s a sign the stains on its surface are too deep set to have any additional work done to them.

Learn more about the difference between mattress pad vs mattress topper.

Check out Puffy mattress reviews from real customers and see how we compare with other brands.


Is it safe to put my memory foam topper in a machine washer?

Different toppers will come with different instructions on how to care for them, but generally speaking, it is not advisable to put them in a washer. This is not because it is unsafe to do so, but rather, because it can damage the structural integrity of your foam topper.

Are gel mattress toppers better than memory foam mattress toppers?

Gel mattress toppers tend to be slightly pricier than memory foam mattress toppers, but they can be a good option for sleepers who need much cooler sleep. If you’re looking for something to add more comfort and protect your mattress, you can’t go wrong with memory foam.

Can I use baking soda to clean my mattress topper?

Yes, you can use baking soda to clean your mattress topper. Not only are mattress toppers great stain removers, they’re also an odor neutralizer. If you want to use baking soda to clean your topper, mix one part soda with two parts cold water to remove any residue.

Do I need a mattress topper or a mattress pad?

The main difference between mattress toppers and pads is that the latter are a thin, almost sheet-like layer used to protect mattresses from stains or soften feel. Mattress toppers tend to be thicker, and used to add comfort to a mattress.

Check out our mattress pad vs mattress topper comparison.


Mattress toppers can be a great addition to your sleep set-up. Whether you’re looking to switch things up or upgrade on comfort, knowing how to keep these fresh and cozy helps you make the most of your money. With these tips, learning how to clean mattress toppers properly stay simple, leaving you to focus on what’s important: a great night’s sleep.

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