How to Clean a Memory Foam Mattress Topper
A memory foam mattress topper can alter the firmness of your bed, cradle your body, and relieve pain points, leading to a more comfortable night of sleep. However, if you own a topper made from this man-made viscoelastic material, you may be wondering how to clean it or if it can even get wet.
In this post, we’re sharing steps on how to clean a memory foam topper, including the best way to remove stains and odors. We’re also offering up tips for prolonging the life of your topper so you can enjoy its benefits for as long as possible.
1. Take the Mattress Topper Off of the Bed
First, strip the bedding and remove the mattress topper. Place the mattress topper on a stable, flat surface, such as a table or a clean floor. Ideally, you should do this in a well-ventilated area.
You can also take this opportunity to clean your mattress after cleaning your topper.
2. Remove Topper’s Cover and Vacuum Its Surface
Next, unzip and remove the topper’s cover. Then, using a handheld vacuum cleaner with a soft brush or upholstery attachment, vacuum the mattress topper and remove any loose debris. While vacuuming, work in small circular motions to dislodge any dirt and dust mites.
If the cover is machine-washable, such as the cotton fabric that encases many a cooling mattress topper, then follow the care label’s instructions.
3. Treat Set-In Stains
Many things—like body oils, sweat, spills, and accidents—can create stains on a mattress topper. Regardless of the stain’s source, it’s always a good idea to treat stains as soon as you notice them; if they sit for too long, they may become permanent. Spot treat stains using either laundry detergent or baking soda:
- Gentle liquid laundry detergent: Mix equal parts gentle liquid laundry detergent with water. Dampen a washcloth in the solution and gently rub the stain, working in circular motions. Let rest for 30 minutes before using another damp cloth to rub the stain and remove the detergent. Blot with a clean cloth to remove any moisture.
- Baking soda: You can also use baking soda to remove tough stains as well. Mix one part baking soda with two parts cold water, and apply to the stain. Let sit for 30 minutes. Then, using a cloth dampened with clean water, remove the solution. Blot with a dry cloth.
4. Deodorize the Foam to Remove Odors
In addition to stains, odors, from sweat and accidents, can build up in your mattress topper over time.
Follow these easy steps to remove any lingering smells and freshen up your topper:
- Sprinkle baking soda across the surface of your topper
- Let rest for at least eight hours (or overnight).
- Vacuum the topper to remove all residual baking soda.
4. Clean the Surface
After stains and odors have been removed, you can clean the entire surface of the mattress topper in a few short steps.
You will need a spray bottle, a mild detergent, and warm water.
- Mix one part detergent (preferably a high-quality one) with two parts warm water
- Fill a spray bottle with the mixture and lightly spray the entire mattress
- Spray from a distance and keep the bottle moving as you do; cover the surface of the mattress evenly
- Don’t soak the topper with excess water, this can prolong the drying process and damage the foam
5. Let the Topper Air Dry
After spraying the surface of your mattress topper, let it completely dry for 24 hours by placing it in a well-ventilated space with good airflow. It’s okay to set it outside as long as it’s not in direct sunlight, as heat can shrink some foams.
6. Rotate Your Topper Before Returning it to Your Mattress
When your memory foam mattress topper is fully dry, replace its cover. To ensure even wear and prevent any soft spots from developing, rotate your topper 180 degrees and place it back on top of your mattress.
Rotating your topper prevents overly soft, sagging spots from developing from lying in the same general area night after night.
7. Prolonging the Life of Your Memory Foam Mattress Topper
Along with regular maintenance and cleaning, there are many other things you can do to keep your mattress topper in its best shape. We recommend protectors, regular rotation, breathable sleepwear and sheets, along with other measures.
Use a protector
Most mattress toppers come with a cover to shield it from dirt, but you can protect your topper from spills and other damage by covering it with a protector. They’re also very easy to remove and can be washed in a home washing machine.
Rotating your mattress topper 180 degrees (head to foot) every six months ensures even wear and helps to prevent sagging and any soft spots from forming.
Limit night sweats and overheating
Moisture, like sweat, can break down foam, lead to mold, and ruin a topper. Prevent this from happening by sleeping in breathable clothing and keeping your room at a cool, comfortable temperature.
Switch out sheets often, especially during the summer
Airy bedding that wicks away moisture can also help keep you dry. During summer, switch to light, breathable bedding like cotton or linen.
Avoid direct sunlight exposure
Memory foam is sensitive to heat, and hot temperatures can damage the foam. If drying outside, place the topper in a shaded area.
Refer to the topper’s care label
It’s always a good idea to first refer to your mattress topper’s care label before cleaning or spot-treating it. A care label can tell you how to wash your mattress topper’s cover and fill.
Can you wash foam in the washing machine?
You should never put memory foam in the washing machine because it can easily damage and rip the material, and doing so may even cause damage to your washer. Hand-washing and air drying are the best ways to clean memory foam and prevent ruining it.
How long does it take for memory foam to dry?
Memory foam can take quite a while to dry—anywhere between 10 and 24 hours—because it’s such dense material. The thicker the topper, the longer it will take to dry. It’s important though, to let your mattress topper dry completely before re-covering it or placing it back on your bed. If you replace it while it’s still damp or wet, the moisture can lead to mold and mildew.
The best way to dry your topper is to let it air dry somewhere with good airflow. Avoid placing it in direct sunlight which can damage the topper. You can also use a hairdryer at a distance with settings on low. High heat can damage the memory foam’s cells and structure. Wringing, squeezing, or tumble drying it in a dryer will also ruin the topper and you should never do this.
How do you remove odors from memory foam?
To remove any lingering unpleasant odors from memory foam, sprinkle the surface with baking soda. Allow it to sit for up to 24 hours before using a powerful handheld vacuum to clean it up. If the odor still persists, flip the mattress and topper over and repeat on the other side.
Can you remove stains from a memory foam mattress topper?
Always check your topper’s label for care instructions first. However, most toppers respond well to common methods used to remove stubborn stains from memory foam.
Mix equal parts gentle liquid laundry detergent with water and use a light-colored washcloth to rub the stain with the mixture. Let sit for 30 minutes before using a damp cloth to blot up the solution. Use a clean, dry towel to blot dry. You can use the same method with baking soda as well, mixing equal parts with water.
How do I protect my mattress from spills?
Investing in a mattress protector is a great way to protect your mattress from spills and accidents. These covers are breathable and offer both stain protection and protection against allergens and irritants.
A mattress protector fits similar to a fitted sheet. While they don’t cover the entire mattress, they usually do a good job of keeping liquids away from your mattress. They’re also easy to remove to wash and fairly affordable.
To cover your mattress completely, an encasement provides maximum protection. They are typically more expensive, however, they offer 360-degree protection and can even keep bed bugs out.
Memory foam mattress toppers offer many benefits to enhance comfort, and when taken care of properly, they can last for years. Knowing how to clean the unique material may seem tricky, but with a little bit of time and some common household products, it’s easy to keep the topper in great shape. Additionally, taking simple precautions, like using a mattress protector, rotating regularly, and referring to the care label will prolong its lifespan. A topper well cared for can save you money in the long run and provide continuous comfort for quality sleep.