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Blog Lux Comfort

Mattress Smells Musty: A Guide to Freshening Up Your Sleep Space

From the Puffy Editorial Team | 4 min read.
Mattress Smells Musty: A Guide to Freshening Up Your Sleep Space

A musty smell in a mattress is a common issue that many face. It can be unpleasant and may even lead to discomfort or allergies. Understanding why your mattress smells musty and how to effectively address the issue is key to ensuring a fresh and healthy sleep environment.

Why Does My Mattress Smell Musty?

Identifying the root causes of a musty mattress is the first step in addressing the problem:

  • Moisture and Humidity: High humidity levels or moisture trapped in the mattress can lead to mildew or mold growth, causing a musty smell.
  • Lack of Ventilation: Poor air circulation around and under the mattress can create an environment conducive to mustiness.
  • Old Age and Wear: Over time, mattresses can accumulate sweat, oils, and other bodily fluids, contributing to a musty odor.

How to Get Musty Smell Out of Mattress

Effectively removing a musty smell from a mattress requires a multifaceted approach:

  1. Air Out the Mattress:

    • Place the mattress in a well-ventilated area or outdoors in fresh air and sunlight. Sunlight has natural sanitizing properties, and fresh air can help dissipate the musty odor.
  2. Baking Soda Treatment:

    • Liberally sprinkle baking soda over the entire surface of the mattress. Baking soda is a natural odor absorber.
    • Leave the baking soda on for several hours, preferably overnight, to absorb the musty smell.
    • Vacuum the mattress thoroughly to remove the baking soda.
  3. Vinegar Solution Spray:

    • Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Lightly mist the solution over the mattress surface. Avoid saturating the mattress.
    • Vinegar is a natural deodorizer and can help neutralize musty odors.
    • Allow the mattress to air dry completely after this treatment.
  4. Essential Oils:

    • Consider adding a few drops of essential oils like lavender or eucalyptus to the vinegar solution for a pleasant scent and additional antibacterial properties.

For a long-term solution, consider a Puffy Lux Mattress which is designed with advanced materials to resist moisture buildup and prevent musty odors from developing.

Interested in how Puffy stacks up against other brands? Check out our mattress comparisons: Puffy vs Purple, Puffy vs Nectar, Puffy vs Casper, Puffy vs Leesa, Puffy vs Saatva, Puffy vs DreamCloud, and Puffy vs Tuft and Needle.

How to Clean a Musty Mattress

Deep cleaning a musty mattress can help eliminate both the odor and its underlying causes:

  1. Vacuuming:Β Begin by vacuuming the mattress with an upholstery attachment to remove dust, dirt, and potential mold spores.

  2. Steam Cleaning:Β Use a steam cleaner to deep clean the mattress. The heat from steam can kill mold spores and bacteria that contribute to the musty smell.

  3. Enzyme-Based Cleaner:Β For organic stains that might be causing odors, apply an enzyme-based cleaner as directed. These cleaners break down organic matter and can help eliminate residual smells.

  4. Drying Thoroughly:Β Ensure the mattress is completely dry before using it again. Dampness can contribute to the recurrence of musty odors.

How to Freshen Up a Musty Mattress

Regular maintenance can prevent your mattress from developing a musty smell:

  • Regular Vacuuming: Incorporate vacuuming into your regular cleaning routine to remove potential mold spores and allergens.
  • Mattress Protectors: Use a breathable, waterproof mattress protector to shield against moisture and prevent mold growth.
  • Rotate or Flip the Mattress: Regularly rotating or flipping the mattress can prevent moisture accumulation and ensure even wear.
  • Humidity Control: Keep the humidity in your bedroom under control. Use dehumidifiers if necessary, especially in damp or humid climates.

Opting for a Puffy Cloud Mattress can also simplify maintenance, as its innovative design promotes air circulation and reduces the risk of moisture-related odors.

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

Preventing Musty Smells in the Future

Taking proactive steps can prevent your mattress from becoming musty:

  • Maintain Low Humidity: Use dehumidifiers in damp environments to keep humidity levels in check.
  • Ensure Proper Bed Base: A slatted bed base or a bed frame that allows for air circulation can prevent moisture buildup.
  • Regular Air Outs: Periodically air out your mattress, especially after cleaning or during humid seasons.

When to Consider a Mattress Replacement

  • Persistent Odor and Stains: If the musty smell persists despite thorough cleaning, it might be time to consider replacing the mattress.
  • Health Considerations: For those with allergies or respiratory issues, sleeping on a musty mattress can aggravate symptoms.

Use our store locator to find the closest furniture or mattress store near you and feel the cloudlike comfort of our Puffy Mattress in person.


A musty mattress can be a source of discomfort, but with the right cleaning methods and regular maintenance, you can effectively eliminate odors and ensure a fresh, healthy sleep environment. Remember, sometimes the best solution is to upgrade to a mattress that offers better breathability and moisture resistance.

Make the Puffy
Lux Hybrid Mattress yours.

Relax into award-winning comfort with:

  • 6 layers of cloudlike luxury.
  • Medium-plush feel.
  • 101-night sleep trial.