How often should you wash a mattress topper?

How often should you wash a mattress topper?
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Published Michael Goodwin ⋅ Review Editor
April 27, 2022

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4.3/5 - (20 votes)

Knowing when to wash your mattress topper is essential to keep it fresh and clean. Depending on the type of topper, you may need to wash it as often as every few months or as little as once a year.

Clean your mattress topper every 3-6 months

The general rule of thumb is to wash your mattress topper every 3-6 months. If you sleep on it every night, wash it at least once every 6 months. If you only use it occasionally, wash it at least once a year. Additionally, if you have pets or children, consider washing the mattress topper more frequently than the recommended schedule. This will help prevent dirt and other particles from settling on your mattress for longer periods.

If you have pets or children, you may need to wash them more often

If you have young children or pets, you may need to wash your mattress topper more often. Pets shed more and can track in dirt from the outdoors. Kids may soil the mattress topper with bodily fluids like sweat and diarrhoea. Additionally, allergens and dust mites can accumulate in the fibres of your mattress topper over time.  If you spend a lot of time on your bed, you should wash it every few months if you don’t share a bed with anyone else and every few weeks if you do share a bed with someone else. You should add two washes per year if you have kids or pets who sleep on your bed because they can introduce allergens and dust mites into the fibres of the mattress pad.

How often should you wash a mattress topper?
Photo: DH Asia

You can spot-clean it as needed in between washes

Using a clean, damp cloth and mild soap, gently dab soapy water onto the spot. Once you have cleaned it as well as you can, rinse your cloth with clean water and use it to remove the soap from the mattress. Now that you have removed the stain, lay down some paper towels or an old washcloth in the area and put a book on top to absorb any excess moisture. This will usually take at least 24 hours but may take longer, depending on how wet your mattress got during cleaning. Allow your mattress topper to air dry before using it again.

Be sure to follow the care instructions on your topper’s label

Be sure to follow the care instructions on your mattress topper’s label. If you don’t have the label, look up the manufacturer’s website for specific instructions.

Here are some general guidelines:

  • Memory foam toppers can be washed but shouldn’t be washed too often (once every three months). Hand washing is recommended to prevent damage.
  • Latex and feather-down toppers should be machine-washed or dry-cleaned.
  • Depending on their thickness and fibre type, wool mattress pads can be either dry-cleaned or hand-washed.

Wash your topper in cool or warm water on a gentle cycle – You may wash your topper in cool or warm water on a gentle cycle. You may use a light detergent, such as Woolite®, and add fabric softener if desired. Do not use hot water! You must remove the topper from the washing machine as soon as the cycle has finished so it does not sit wet for an extended period. Hang or lay flat to air dry (do not put in dryer). Ensure your topper is completely dry before placing it back on your mattress.

Use mild detergent and avoid bleach – While laundering your topper, use mild detergent, avoiding bleach at all costs. Don’t use fabric softener, either. It’s unsafe for memory foam and will probably void the warranty on your mattress topper. Instead of fabric softener, opt for a mild detergent that doesn’t have additives like fragrances or dyes—even if it’s unscented. Use a detergent safe for delicate fabrics (like wool, silk, or cashmere).

Line dry or tumble dry on low heat – if you’ve washed your mattress topper, you will probably want to use the dryer, though line drying is also an option. Choose a low heat setting over a high or medium when using a dryer. After placing your mattress topper into the drum, check it every 10 minutes to remove it from the machine before thoroughly drying it. As mentioned above, you must shake out and re-fluff your mattress topper after removing it from the machine. You may also want to add some clean tennis balls into the mix when drying to help distribute fibres and maintain shape. If you are line-drying, hang over a clothesline with clothespins or use a tension rod in a tented space such as a garage (allowing for airflow). It will take several days for your mattress pad to dry completely—but don’t worry if you have somewhere important to be! You can always throw it back in the dryer once most of the water has been removed.

Do not iron or dry clean your topper – Don’t iron or dry clean your topper. Please don’t use any bleach on it at all. You’ll want to wash it gently with cold or warm water and use a mild detergent. And if your mattress topper has a removable cover (some do), be sure to wash that separately from the pad. You can line-dry or tumble-dry your mattress topper on low heat.

Fluff your topper after washing to help it keep its shape – Once fully dry, please take a few minutes to fluff it up. This will help the topper keep its shape and prevent it from clumping or getting a permanent crease in one place. Simply grab the corners of the topper on both sides and shake it up into the air. Then lay your topper flat on your mattress again so you don’t add any extra wrinkles when you put everything back together.

Store your topper in a cool, dry place when not in use.

  • Do not store your topper in a place subject to high heat.
  • Do not store your topper in a place subject to high humidity.

This is because moisture and heat are the two ingredients for mould, mildew and dust mites to thrive.

If your topper has a removable cover, wash it separately – Remove your topper and wash the two parts separately if it has a removable cover. Because of the different materials involved, you may want to wash both in cold water. Wash the cover by itself so that if there’s any dye bleeding, it won’t get onto your topper. If you don’t have a cover or want to be extra careful, put a pillowcase over your topper before washing. Use the exact cleaning instructions for your mattress topper when washing its cover—you don’t want to shrink it while trying to clean it accidentally!

You may need to wash your mattress topper more often if you have allergies or asthma – Because mattress toppers absorb and trap dust and pet dander, they can also provide a breeding ground for dust mites. And while you may be able to vacuum up and wash away the visible signs of dust mites, that doesn’t mean the microscopic creatures have gone away. So if you or anyone in your household suffers from allergies or asthma, you should consider washing your mattress topper more often than twice a year—maybe even after every season. Again, check manufacturer recommendations before tossing it in the laundry to avoid voiding warranties.

If you have any questions about how to care for your topper, don’t hesitate to contact the manufacturer –  This information will be on the label. If it has worn off or you cannot read it, you can usually find this information online on the brand’s website.

Washing your mattress topper is important to keep it clean and fresh. But with a few simple tips, you can keep your topper clean and fresh without washing it too often. Just be sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations regarding cleaning and care.

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