How to Clean a Memory Foam Mattress (in 4 Easy Steps)

Memory foam has had a revolutionary effect on the mattress industry. Compared to traditional materials, memory foam does a fantastic job of contouring to your body to relieve pressure and eliminate neck and back pain. Memory foam is quickly becoming the go-to material for anyone who is looking to find the best mattress possible.

It’s essential to keep in mind that memory foam is a petroleum-based material, and as such, cleaning it is different from cleaning other mattress materials. Proper care is essential to ensuring your new mattress maintains its plush and responsive feel.

Keeping your bed clean is the best way to protect your investment and ensure that it will provide you with years of restful sleep. Today, we’re going to examine what you’ll need to do to keep your mattress in excellent condition throughout its lifespan.

1. Vacuum the Entire Mattress

The first thing you’ll need to do when cleaning memory foam mattresses is to strip your bed and thoroughly vacuum the entire surface of the bed. A handheld vacuum cleaner works best for this purpose, but a standard vac will do the trick as well.

Since most memory foam mattresses have elaborately stitched covers that can become magnets for lint, dirt, and debris, you should be vacuuming all those nooks and crannies when cleaning your mattress.

The small brush attachment tends to work quite well for this purpose. You may also want to use the crevice tool or upholstery attachment to get into hard to reach areas, like the sides of the mattress.

2. Make a Mattress Cleaning Solution

Now that your bed is free of any hair, debris, and other detritus; we’re ready to make some cleaning solutions.

For most stains, a diluted fabric cleaner, dishwashing liquid, or mild detergent is all you’ll need to remove them. Pick the cleaner of your choice, dilute it in a 2:1 ratio with two parts of warm water for every one part of the cleaner, and add it to a spray bottle.

For tough stains, make a solution with ¾ cup of water and ¼ cup of white vinegar. For urine stains and severe discoloration, you’ll also want to have baking soda handy, too. For traditional mattresses, a hydrogen peroxide solution can be used, but you’ll want to avoid using it on memory foam as may discolor the cover or affect the foam underneath.

3. Spot Clean the Mattress

Next, identify any stains you have on the mattress and prepare to spot clean them. For light stains, the fabric cleaner solution will work best.

Lightly spray the solution onto the stain, being careful not to apply too much liquid. If you overspray the stain, the bed will absorb the solution, which can create other issues like mold or mildew.

Once the spray is on the stain, take a rag or a clean sponge and clean the mattress with a small circular motion. Next, wipe the stained area again with a clean cloth and allow it to dry.

For more persistent stains, follow the same cleaning process for removing them. But, use the vinegar solution instead of the fabric cleaner solution. Once clean, follow up by wiping the area with a clean, damp cloth.

For more severe stains, like pet urine or vomit, use a liberal amount of vinegar solution. Next, pat the area dry with paper towels, and cover it in baking soda. The baking soda will absorb the liquid, deodorize, and also help to pull the stain to the surface. After about eight hours, vacuum all the baking soda off the mattress.

4. Dry the Mattress

Since memory foam has a propensity for absorbing liquid, the drying process is a critically important step. If you have a blow dryer at your disposal, now is a great time to break it out.

Hold the dryer about 4-6 inches above the surface of the mattress and move the dryer in a circular pattern until the wet spot is dry to the touch. Avoid using the hottest setting, as too much heat may damage the mattress.

If you don’t have a hairdryer available, that’s okay too. You can use a fan instead. Position the fan over the damp areas of the mattress, put it on its highest setting, and let it do its thing for a few hours.

Once your bed is fully dry, you can replace your sheets and get ready to enjoy a great night’s sleep on your newly cleaned mattress.

Benefits of Cleaning Your Memory Foam Mattress

Not only does regular cleaning keep your mattress looking it’s best; several other benefits aren’t quite as obvious.

Regularly cleaning your mattress will:

  • Help extend the useful life of your mattress
  • Reduce dust mites and other allergens which can compromise sleep quality
  • Provide you with a cleaner overall surface to sleep on (no dead skin cells or dust mites)
  • Remediate any mold or mildew that may be growing on or in the mattress
  • Improve the air quality of the room

Caring For Your Memory Foam Mattress

Caring for your memory foam mattress is simple; just follow these easy steps:

  • Make sure the mattress foundation or box spring provides adequate support
  • Vacuum the surface of your mattress each time you change the sheets
  • Rotate your mattress twice a year
  • Bathe your mattress in direct sunlight when possible
  • Never use bleach or harsh chemicals to clean your mattress
  • Consider using a waterproof mattress protector or memory foam mattress topper to protect your mattress
  • Always default to the manufacturer’s instructions when cleaning your mattress

Frequently Asked Questions

When it comes to how to clean a memory foam mattress, here are some typical questions that people often have.

How Often Should I Clean My Mattress?

Each time you change your sheets, you should vacuum the top and sides of your mattress to help remove dead skin, dust mites, hair, and debris that may have made it underneath your sheets. Doing so will help prolong the life of your mattress and improve your sleep hygiene.

Perform a more thorough cleaning by following the steps above twice a year.

Can You Steam Clean a Memory Foam Mattress?

Steam is a great cleaning agent, and it can work wonders for removing stains from the surface of traditional innerspring mattresses. However, using a steam cleaner on a memory foam mattress could end up doing more harm than good.

Since steam cleaners rely on liquid and steam to clean the surface, they can saturate your mattress with liquid. Since memory foam is so absorbent, it would be almost impossible to thoroughly dry the mattress before mold or mildew have an opportunity to take hold.

While a steam cleaning may leave the exterior of your mattress looking brand new, it can also do irreparable harm to the foam beneath. Instead, follow the spot cleaning steps above when it’s time to clean your mattress.

Should I Rotate My Mattress After Cleaning?

You should absolutely rotate your mattress after cleaning. Rotating your mattress helps promote even wear and helps ensure that your bed is comfortable and supportive for many years to come.

While most innerspring mattresses allow you to flip them over and sleep on either side, that isn’t something you can do with the majority of memory foam mattresses.

Most memory foam mattresses have a top layer for added comfort and heat management, as well as additional middle and bottom layers that provide structure and support. As you’d imagine, those middle and bottom layers aren’t nearly as comfortable as the plush top layer is.

Just because you can’t flip your memory foam mattress doesn’t mean you shouldn’t rotate it. Each time you clean your mattress, you should also turn it to extend its lifespan and ensure it wears evenly.


If you’re looking to get the most value possible from your bed, learning how to clean a memory foam mattress is a critical skill to have. Following the steps above will help ensure that your mattress remains clean and hygienic so you can get the most out of your investment.

Medical Disclaimer: The information contained on the site should not be used as a substitute for the advice of an appropriately qualified and licensed physician or other health care provider. The information provided here is for informational purposes only.

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