How To Clean a Memory Foam Mattress

Written by: Andjela Kastratovic
Updated: 04/11/2023

Keeping your mattress clean is essential if you want restful sleep!

So if you want your mattress to be more comfortable and even last longer, it’s time to start cleaning.

But how do you clean memory foam mattresses? We’re here to give you some advice. Let’s get into it!

Cleaning a Memory Foam Mattress

It’s time to get your hands dirty and your mattress clean. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to clean memory foam mattresses

Just a friendly reminder! You can also use all of these tips to clean a memory foam mattress topper.

Check the Instructions First

Before you begin, check to see whether the mattress manufacturer has already provided you with instructions on how to clean a memory foam mattress.

Some memory foam mattresses need to be cleaned in particular ways, but if that’s the case, it’ll be stated in the instructions. 

If there are no rules, you can continue with the next steps to clean a memory foam mattress. 

Prepare the Mattress 

Our first step is to prepare the bed for cleaning. You must remove the bedding and the memory foam mattress cover, if it’s a removable cover.

If you want to straighten up your mattress, you also need to wash all of those covers and mattress protectors, so take time to set them aside in the washer and get new ones for later. 


Now that your mattress is bare, you must clean up the surface layer. It’s time to vacuum. 

Add the soft brush attachment to your vacuum and gently vacuum the mattress in circles to clean it. You could also use a handheld vacuum for this step. 

Vacuuming is used to get rid of all the dust, crumbs, and other surface debris. Get into the nooks and crannies to eliminate dead skin cells and dust mites

If you don’t vacuum before you wet the memory foam and get to scrubbing, you’ll push all of the dirt further into the bed. 

Use a Homemade Solution

Your next step is to create a gentle homemade solution to clean your mattress. 

One of the ways to do so is to mix a cup of cold water with half a cup of laundry detergent or white vinegar. Put all of this in a spray bottle and shake well. 

That doesn’t sound strong enough, but harsh chemicals can ruin memory foam. Stay away from bleach and ammonia for this step! 

Use the spray bottle to gently spray the entire memory foam with this mild detergent, but don’t overdo it. 

You should get the top layer slightly wet. You can’t fully wash memory foam and polyurethane foam with water because they absorb moisture, which can cause mildew.

Get Rid of Stains

Does your mattress have any stains? If so, it’s time to get rid of them. 

Covering your mattress with a cleaning solution is also how you prepare it for the next step. 

Next, check if the stain goes deeper than the mattress cover. Remove the cover if it’s allowed; otherwise, you can void the warranty!

Lastly, how you deal with stains also depends on what kind of stain it is. but get a damp cloth ready. 

Old Stains

You’re supposed to remove a stain as soon as possible, but if that doesn’t happen, don’t fret. This can also work on old, dry yellow stains. 

Spray a little extra cleaning solution from the previous step directly on the memory foam layer, get a clean sponge or soft cloth, and start rubbing the stain in circular motions. 

Ensure not to wet the area too much and don’t rub too hard, so you don’t damage the memory foam inside. 

Put in some elbow grease or lightly spray lukewarm water and a gentle laundry detergent solution and wait for half an hour.

Once you’re done, get a clean cloth to wipe off the detergent and some dry paper towels or a clean towel to soak up excess water. Remember that too much water can damage the foam filling inside.

Liquid Stains

If you happen to spill something on your mattress, don’t worry. You need to get on top of that stain as soon as possible. 

First, get a paper towel or dry cloth to soak up the moisture. Next, cover the spot with diluted white vinegar. Let it do its thing for a minute, soak up the excess with a dry towel, and keep repeating until the stain is gone. 

However, if you spill a dark liquid, like coffee, you’ll need a good stain remover or fabric cleaner. 

And if those liquids also leave a smell, sprinkle baking soda directly on the mattress and vacuum it up after a few hours. 

Severe Stains

Some things make the stain worse. You will need a more potent weapon than a mild detergent if you’re up against tougher stains. But first, remove the mattress, if it’s removable, and put it in the washer. 

Then, instead of laundry detergent, make a new solution of one part vinegar and three parts warm water.

Some people use hydrogen peroxide instead of vinegar because they don’t like the smell. But hydrogen peroxide can damage the mattress and void the mattress warranty. Better safe than sorry! 

Put this mixture in a bowl, and use a clean rag to apply it to the stain and scrub it away. 

When you’re done, wipe off the excess solution with a damp cloth and dab the moisture with paper towels or a dry towel. 

Sprinkle Baking Soda

Baking soda is a small household item that can do much for your mattress. Not only does it soak up moisture, but it will also help you remove any bad smells. 

Sprinkle baking soda all over your mattress and let it sit for a couple of hours. And close the windows so all the baking soda doesn’t get blown away.

This will eliminate the moisture from the solution, so you won’t get a bad case of mildew, and the odor will disappear. 

It’s good to use baking soda sometimes, especially if you want to fight odors. 

Vacuum Again

Even though baking soda is helpful for cleaning, you’re supposed to remove it once it’s done. 

So after a couple of hours, when the water and smells are soaked up, get your vacuum cleaner out again and clean up the baking soda. 

Let It Air Dry

Lastly, your mattress needs to be completely dry before you use it again. Baking soda will help a bit, but you must also let the mattress air dry. 

It’ll need a well-ventilated room for the drying process, so open the doors and windows. Also, put the memory foam mattress in direct sunlight for more help. 

What you should doWhat you should avoid
Vacuum oftenToo much water
Homemade cleaning solution with laundry detergentStrong chemicals
Clean stains immediatelySteam cleaners
Wash sheets weeklyDon’t let stains dry
Check instructions

How To Keep Your Memory Foam Mattress Clean

Do you want to keep your mattress fresh and make it last longer? We have some tips for you. 

Vacuum Often

Over the years, your mattress will get filled with dust, dead skin cells, pet dander, and other small, dry particles. 

Not only is this dirty and bad for you, but it also creates a perfect breeding ground for dust mites and bed bugs. Yes, even in memory foam mattresses, even though they’re hypoallergenic. 

It’s best to do this every time you change your sheets, and remember to vacuum the sides! 

Good Ventilation

Everything needs fresh air—you do, and so does your mattress. Make sure to keep your bed in a well-ventilated room. This will help with dirt, odors, and even cleaning. 

Wash Sheets and Bedding at Least Once a Week

Keeping your bedding clean will also keep your mattress fresh. Make sure to wash all of your bedding and sheets once a week. 

This will help you eliminate dust, dead skin cells, and other stuff. Also, remember to vacuum the mattress while you’re at it! 

Mattress Protector

To protect your memory foam mattress from stains, dirt, and everything else, you must put something between it and the world. 

The best thing to do is get a full-encasement mattress protector so nothing can get to the foam. You could also get a waterproof one. 

Some manufacturers even require you to use a mattress protector if you want to keep the warranty. 

Another solution is to use a memory foam mattress topper on your bed if you also want some extra comfort. However, a memory foam mattress topper won’t protect the foam as well as a mattress cover.

No Eating, Drinking, or Pets

We know that breakfast in bed can be very alluring, but it can shorten your mattress’s lifespan if you need to be more careful. 

Crumbs are just extra dirt, and don’t get us started on spilled coffee. 

Also, keep your pet off the bed as much as possible. We know your furry friend is dear to you, but pet dander and hair can feed dust mites and cause allergies. 

Direct Sunlight

Sunlight can help you dry your mattress when you finish cleaning, but it can also do much more. 

Direct sunlight and a higher temperature can eliminate bacteria and harmful gasses in a memory foam mattress, which is why they’re often used to help with off-gassing

Is Your Mattress Flippable?

If your memory foam mattress is flippable, you should rotate it every few months, so check this with the manufacturer. 

Flipping your memory foam mattress helps with wear and tear. 

Just clean up and vacuum the bottom side whenever you flip it. 

Why You Should Clean Your Memory Foam Mattress

At the end of the day, why should you put so much work into keeping your mattress clean? 

Well, first off, it’ll make your mattress last longer. Next, a dirty mattress can affect your sleep. 

Your mattress could be filled with body oils, dust mites, and other allergens, and that’s why you always have a runny nose. Check out our guide on memory foam mattress allergies for more! 

Bad odors and mildew are also significant problems you should deal with immediately if you don’t want them to worsen. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How Often Should I Clean My Mattress?

It all depends. As a general rule, you should completely clean your mattress every six months. But if you’re prone to allergies or have pets, do it a bit more often. 

Furthermore, it is best to clean stains as soon as possible, and it is best to lightly vacuum the mattress surface once a week when washing your sheets. 

Other than that, take some steps to protect your mattress. You can use mattress protectors or a memory foam topper.

Can I Steam Clean a Memory Foam Mattress?

Using a steam cleaner is smart when cleaning a memory foam mattress, but it could do more harm than good. It’s too much moisture and heat. 

Should I Get My Memory Foam Mattress Cleaned Professionally?

Usually, you could handle cleaning memory foam on your own. But if you have a bug infestation or our tips don’t work, it might be time to get the professionals involved. Just make sure the company is legit. 

Final Thoughts

That’s all we have to share with you! Now you’re officially ready to clean your memory foam mattress. 

It’s essential to keep your mattress clean if you want it to last a long time. Remember not to overdo it with water, harsh chemicals, or heat. 

Good luck with the memory foam mattress cleaning!

Reviews written by:

Andjela Kastratovic - Co-editor

Anđela is a content writer by the day and an Illustrator by night. She loves anything creative, but sleep takes the cake – that’s why she enjoys writing for Anatomy of Sleep so much!

While in high school, she got accepted for her dream job – a ‘professional sleeper’. Her job was to test new mattresses from a local mattress brand and write reports on the quality of sleep. Ever since then, she’s been in love with reviewing mattresses and putting her compelling research into ultimate buyer’s guides. While not exploring the latest brands, she likes to illustrate and spend time with her dog and friends.