How to clean a mattress topper: your step-by-step guide

Not sure how to clean a mattress topper? Follow these steps for the best results

How to clean a mattress topper, cleaning tips
(Image credit: Simba)

The best mattress toppers are designed to extend the lifespan of your mattress and give a cosier feel to your sleep set-up. Even if you have the best mattress, a mattress topper can up its comfort and support levels, so it’s important to keep your topper in good shape by giving it a thorough clean regularly.

As mattress toppers sit between your mattress and the best sheets, they come into contact with sweat, dirt and bacteria on a daily basis. However, it can be difficult knowing where to start, especially if you haven't attempted it before. So, if you’re not sure how to, we’ve put together this step-by-step guide on how to clean your mattress topper, including how often and general FAQs.

P.S. If you’re doing a full clean on your bed, check out our cleaning guides on how to clean your mattress and how to clean your mattress protector. For bedding specific tips, we’ve also got how to clean your duvet and how to clean your pillow.

Things to remember when cleaning a mattress topper

Before you start cleaning your mattress topper, there are a few key things to keep in mind. First, mattress toppers come in many different materials, including memory foam, springs, down, wool and synthetic stuffings. Depending on the make-up of the topper, you should stick to the cleaning guidelines for that material so you don’t damage it. Make sure you check the label and follow the instructions from the manufacturer so it lasts for longer and stays in the best condition.

Some mattress toppers can be machine washed, typically the cover of the mattress topper which can be removed and put in the best washing machine. In general, the mattress topper will need to be hand washed but if your topper can be put in a machine, follow the label and put it on a wash on its own so you don’t overwork the machine.

Mattress toppers

(Image credit: Emma)

How to clean your mattress topper

As mattress toppers come into contact with your bedding, mattress and body, they catch stains like sweat or urine which can lead them to smell or stain. Below is a step-by-step guide on how to hand clean your mattress topper.

1. Strip the bed

First, strip your bed by removing the sheets and putting them on a wash. There’s no point cleaning your mattress topper if you’re going to put dirty sheets back on it! After you’ve removed the bedding, remove the topper from the mattress. This makes it easier to clean and means you can clean your mattress at the same time for extra freshness. Give your mattress topper a once over for any obvious dirt or debris before you start the next step.

2. Spot clean or remove big stains

Now, wash your mattress topper by spot cleaning it or removing bigger stains. Dab the stains with your mixture of choice (you can use laundry detergent mixed with equal parts water or prepare a vinegar solution) to remove the odour and mark. You can also spray the whole mattress topper with your cleaning solution and let it sit for a while before gently blotting out any residual liquid. For more specific cleaning solutions, Sleep Foundation has found a few you can make at home to tackle tricky stains.

3. Sprinkle with bicarbonate of soda

Next, generously sprinkle your mattress topper with bicarbonate of soda or baking soda and let it sit for several hours so it dries. This is a popular mattress trick as bicarbonate of soda is a natural way to freshen and deodorise your mattress, and soak up any excess moisture.

4. Vacuum it thoroughly

Go over your mattress topper with your vacuum to remove any lingering dirt and debris. This step can be done before you spot clean but it’s something you definitely want to do after letting the mattress dry with the bicarbonate of soda on. Finish this step by giving your topper a good shake.

5. Rotate or flip your mattress topper

Before you place it back on the mattress and cover it with sheets, rotate or flip your mattress topper. This helps prolong its lifespan and keeps it even for longer so you don’t have any dips or sagging as you sleep on it.

Mattress topper cleaning tips

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How often should I clean my mattress topper?

To keep your mattress topper in top condition, hygienic and smelling fresh, you should clean it every two months or quarterly. While it doesn’t need to be cleaned as often as your bedding, try to clean your mattress topper at the same time as your mattress, so every few months you have a completely new and fresh bed. If any stains or spills happen to your mattress topper, clean it immediately as not only is it uncomfortable to sleep in any kind of wetness, this can damage your topper and stain it permanently.

How often should I replace my mattress topper?

The average lifespan of your mattress topper is around 3-5 years. As long as you’re taking care of your mattress topper, you should be able to use it for as long as possible but if you notice any wear and tear, you should replace it. For example, if it loses its support, shape or comfort, it’s time to get a new mattress topper.

Bethan Girdler-Maslen
Home Editor

Beth is Home Editor for T3, looking after style, living and wellness. From the comfiest mattresses to what strange things you can cook in an air fryer, Beth covers sleep, yoga, smart home, coffee machines, grooming tools, fragrances, gardening and much more. If it's something that goes in your house, chances are Beth knows about it and has the latest reviews and recommendations! She's also in the know about the latest deals and discount codes from top brands and retailers.

Having always been passionate about writing, she’s written for websites, newspapers and magazines on a variety of topics, from jewellery and culture, to food and telecoms. You can find her work across numerous sites, including Wedding Ideas Magazine, Health & Wellbeing, The Bristol Post, Fashion & Style Directory, TechRadar, CreativeBloq and more. In her spare time, Beth enjoys running, reading, baking and attempting craft projects that will probably end in disaster!