How to Clean a Mattress Topper

How to Clean a Mattress Topper

The scenario that is perfect for a mattress topper is that if your current mattress is getting old or too firm, and you start to feel pain in the back or lower back waking up, you might be thinking of having something softer instead.

But of course, we understand that a mattress costs a lot for something softer.

This is usually the scenario that people think of toppers, and indeed, a flexible topper could be used at a lot of places, such as RVs, on the floor for kids and guests, sofa beds, etc.

A mattress topper can add extra comfort to a firm mattress or a mattress that’s getting a little old. With that said, your mattress topper will bear the brunt of spills, leaks, and stains as it lies atop your bed. Life happens, and it’s not uncommon for hot drinks, urine or blood to come into contact with your mattress topper. Here’s how to clean your memory foam mattress topper, without damaging the internal foams.

Signs your mattress topper needs to be cleaned

Since your topper is covered by bed sheets, you need signs to understand whether it should be cleaned and it is easily forgotten between day-to-day chores. We will sort out some signs that you need to pay attention to as the following:

1. Odor

Mattress topper absorbs large amounts of sweat and scents from the human body, and it will start to give off a scent after a while. Mold and mildew pose serious health issues, and they thrive in damp environments, if your topper has stuff like these, it will cause you a headache, coughing, joint pain, etc.

2. Stains and spills

The method of dealing with stains is essentially depending on how quickly you deal with it. And plus with a once in a while deep cleaning, stains, and spills should not pose a serious threat.

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

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

  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Laundry detergent
  • Empty spray bottle
  • Baking soda
  • Distilled white vinegar
  • A clean cloth
  • Cold water

How to clean mattress toppers

Normally for memory foam materials, a washing machine is not a good option. Since it depends on the materials of the topper, you need to double check with the manufacturer to see what's the proper method of cleaning. 

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you clean your mattress topper.

Step 1: Vacuuming

Vacuum is the simplest way to get rid of dirt, debris, particles, and other allergens. Just remember to pick the right vacuum. A handheld one with a soft brush attachment or water based one is the right choice.

The first step, lay your mattress topper on a flat surface, then vacuum the surface to get rid of the small particles and dust. Once you are done with one side, flip it over and do the other side again.

If you use a water-based cleaner, your topper needs a few hours to dry. Check its dryness when it is put back.

Step 2: Spot cleaning

If you forgot to clean a stain as soon as it happened, and it left a solid mark on the topper, there are a few ways to try to get rid of them. 

Baking soda is a popular ingredient for removing stains and deodorizing. Simply mix one part of baking soda with two parts of cold water, then use a dry cloth to gently rub the mixture over the affected area, let it rest for 30 to 60 mins. 

Then wipe everything off with a paper towel to keep the spot clean. If the topper continues to emit a strange odor, sprinkle baking soda over it and leave it for a full night. Vacuum everything off the next day. 

Step 3: Air dry

Before using the topper again, make sure to air dry it and extract all moisture out of it. Otherwise, moisture will attract mold and mildew. 

The best way to dry a topper is to leave it out in direct sunlight until it’s fully dry. We have covered the topic of  How to Clean Your Mattress Under the Sun for your reference. We recommend not leaving the topper directly under big sunlight, otherwise, it might cause melting because the memory foam topper is highly temperature-sensitive. 

Try leaving your mattress topper in a well-ventilated room, or somewhere outside in a dry, shaded area, to ensure it maintains structural integrity.

Alternatively, you could also use a dryer with low heat and tumble setting, but it’s worth practicing caution here because the dryer can damage some mattress pads.

Topper cleaning mistakes

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.

1. Use washing machines to clean your topper

Generally, do not consider washing machines because the cycle inside could easily damage the inner structure of your topper in an irreversible way, therefore make sure to check instructions before you do anything. Normally, cotton toppers are washable.

Some mattress topper covers are usually machine washable, do remember to wash them once a month or two. 

2. Use hydrogen peroxide for stubborn stains

Though hydrogen peroxide is useful for stains, we do not recommend using it on any kind of foam. The reason is that it is damaging to the surface of toppers and mattresses, and can destroy the color or texture of the foam. 

The best alternative is to use enzyme-based cleaner.

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

If you do have the patience to wait out the drying process, you risk mold and mildew growing on your topper. We advise you to leave the topper out for a full day to ensure it has been properly dried. 

How to keep your mattress topper fresh 

We know that deep cleaning or the above sounds like quite some work to be reminded of, so we suggest a couple of simple ways for you to give the topper a regular clean from time to time. 

  • Spot-clean new stains to prevent them from setting.
  • Flip the topper after each clean to distribute wear evenly.
  • Air out your mattress topper once in a while to prevent it from collecting odor.
  • Use paper towels to soak up the excess liquid in case of spills.


Mattress toppers can be a great addition to your sleep setup. Whether you’re looking to freshen things up or upgrade on comfort, knowing how to keep these fresh and cozy helps you make the most of your money. 

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

Recent articles