Is It Safe To Steam Clean A Mattress? [Answered]

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Expert's Note

Steam cleaning your mattress might be just the thing it needs to freshen it up and get rid of spills, dirt, or germs.

However, before you go ahead and start steam cleaning your mattress, there are some precautions you must know about so you don't ruin your expensive mattress.

In this article we discuss if it's safe to steam clean a mattress and guide you through the precautions and steps to follow so you can steam your mattress safely without damaging it.

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steamer cleaning a mattress

It might be challenging to figure out how to clean a big mattress, whether you have a significant stain or your mattress is just starting to smell funny. It's simply not possible to put your mattress into your washing machine, so how can you get it looking and feeling fresh and clean again? (Unless you really slice it, which we wouldn't recommend.) One excellent option is steam cleaning, but be sure you fully understand the procedure before attempting it on your own.

To help you keep your bed in peak condition, we have a tonne of useful information regarding steam cleaning, spot treating, and other washing techniques.

Is Your Mattress Really Clean?

You probably don't spend a lot of time worrying about your mattress' cleanliness, but it is something you should. This is especially true when you realise that we can spend up to a third of our lives in bed.

Additionally, since mattresses are in close proximity to our bodies, they may gradually accumulate sweat, skin cells, dust mites, bacteria, stains, and odours. A average mattress may possibly hold up to 100,000 to 10 million dust mites, according to one research.

It is especially crucial for you to make sure that your mattress is kept clean if you suffer from breathing problems like allergies, asthma, or sleep apnea. Your health, the air quality in your house, and your sleep can all be enhanced by a clean mattress.

Pros/Cons Of Steam Cleaning A Mattress

Although keeping your mattress clean is important, do you really need to steam clean it? Well, that depends on various variables.

Consider the steps you are already taking to guarantee a clean mattress first. You won't need to clean your mattress as frequently if you use a mattress protector or sleep on a hypoallergenic mattress, like the majority of natural latex mattresses.

steaming cleaning a mattress

However, if you tend to perspire at night, sleep with pets, dine in bed, or have young children who are still in diapers, it is possible that your mattress may require more frequent cleaning to keep odours and stains from developing.

If you've been sick on your mattress or had a bloody nose overnight, steam cleaning your mattress is also an excellent idea. You'll need to steam clean your mattress more frequently in any of these scenarios.

Let's consider some of the advantages and disadvantages of steam cleaning a mattress with those elements in mind.


Any upholstered object can be effectively kept clean using steam washing. Steam does an amazing job of eradicating everything from dust mites to bacteria while also breaking down stains and debris. Steam may reach temperatures of up to 250°F.

Due to the fact that steam cleaning just uses water and heat, it is also highly environmentally friendly. Additionally, it is advised that you use a mild cleaner when steam cleaning any upholstered items rather than one that has harsh chemicals that will harm both the environment and your skin.


However, there have been some conflicting opinions on steam cleaning mattresses, and the major bone of contention is dampness. Any upholstered furniture item that has too much moisture might develop mold or mildew, which will further exacerbate any allergies brought on by a dirty mattress.

When steam cleaning your mattress, it's crucial to be cautious of how much moisture it absorbs. You should also wait until your bed is totally dry before placing fresh sheets on it and sleeping on it. In the end, though, the advantages of steam cleaning your mattress really cannot be topped by any other cleaning technique, provided you let the bed to completely dry.

drying a mattress

How To Steam Clean A Mattress

You won't need to steam clean your mattress all that frequently if you take good care to preserve it from spills and stains, but perspiration, skin cells, dirt, and other particles will accumulate over time. Although you won't need to steam clean your mattress very frequently — especially if you do a good job of protecting it from spills and stains - sweat, skin cells, grime, and dust are unavoidable, so we advise deep cleaning your mattress at least once a season.

Once you know how to steam clean a mattress, including it in your seasonal thorough cleaning schedule won't be difficult.

Make sure to give your bed enough time to dry before going to bed because this process takes some time and effort. Start the operation early in the morning, or plan to spend the night somewhere else after steam cleaning your mattress.

So, precisely how does one steam clean a mattress? Well, it's not too difficult. First, you'll want to confirm that you have all the necessary supplies on hand. We suggest having:

  • Utilize a hose attachment to vacuum.
  • A non-toxic cleaning, such as baking soda or laundry detergent.
  • Vinegar.
  • Clean towels.
  • Plenty of water
  • The steam cleaner.

ironing a mattress sheet

There is no need to go out and buy an expensive commercial steam cleaner in order to deep clean your mattress. If you have an iron with a steaming function or a garment steamer, those should work fine. However, we highly recommend using a high quality steamer if possible. In our testing, we highly recommend Salamandres Steamers.

You can also go out and pick up an affordable upholstery steamer machine for around $100 at stores like Walmart or Target, as well as online. Or, if you’d like to use a higher-end steamer, but you're not planning on using it a lot, you can actually rent one from places like Home Depot or Lowe’s. No matter what you use, just make sure that your steamer is able to heat to at least 212℉ to fully benefit from the steam cleaning.

Steam Cleaning Mattress Step-by-Step:

  1. Deodorize And Vacuum:

    • Vacuum the mattress' surface thoroughly after removing all the sheets, blankets, pillows, and extra mattress pads from your bed. This step is crucial to ensuring that you clean the bed thoroughly enough to allow the steam to permeate the bed more deeply. Any hair, skin cells, dirt, and other substances that won't dissolve when steamed can be removed with the use of a vacuum.

      Try dusting baking soda over the entire surface of your bed before vacuuming if there are any odours that persist or if you want to ensure that your bed smells new. To make your bed smell even fresher and more deodorised, you may also add a few drops of your favourite essential oil to the baking soda during this stage. We advise lavender because research has shown that it can help you relax and calm down before bed, which makes it a pretty good choice for a mattress. Before vacuuming it off, give the baking soda mixture at least an hour to absorb odours and oils from your mattress.

      When you vacuum your mattress, make sure you are using a hose attachment that gets a close suction to the bed. Use short strokes as you cover the entirety of the bed, paying special attention to the areas that are most likely to get dirty, like underneath your head and feet.
  2. Spot Treat Stains:

    • Spot cleaning any stains is another thing you should do before steam cleaning your mattress. A moderate detergent and water mixture applied with a sponge works well for stains.

      Or, since you already have the baking soda out, another excellent natural stain removal method is to sprinkle some extra baking soda on the stain and then dab it with some white vinegar. Whatever you do, just be careful not to oversaturate the stain with liquid because, as we've already mentioned, it's crucial that your mattress be able to fully dry once you've washed it.
  3. Steam The Surface:

    • Fill the water tank with your steam cleaner's recommended amount of water, check that all the pieces are securely fastened, and then start steaming. While carefully moving it across the bed in long, low strokes, you'll want to hold the steamer a few inches above the surface of the mattress, not really contacting the fabric. Pay close attention to how damp the mattress feels; it should feel slightly damp but not sopping wet; picture a light rain rather than a thunderstorm. If it appears to be becoming overly wet, raise the steamer higher and farther away from the surface and carry on as normal. Try steaming the sides of the mattress as well for an even deeper clean.

      Reminder: If your mattress can be flipped, wait until the first side is entirely dry before doing the same thing on the other side. There is no need to bother about steaming the underside of the bed because the majority of mattresses are not double sided.
  4. Let It Dry:

    • After the entire bed has been steam-dried, give it at least three hours to dry. Open the windows, position a fan or two to blow directly at the bed, or, if you have a clear area outdoors and the weather's beautiful, transfer your mattress outside to dry in the sun. All of these methods will fasten the drying process.

      mattress beside window

      Use dry towels to firmly press in different places on the mattress to see whether it is dry enough to re-cover with sheets. Allow the bed to dry out more if they absorb any moisture.

Other Mattress Cleanliness Tips

Here are some further suggestions to make sure your mattress stays fresh and clean in case you discover that you need to clean it frequently or if you continue to experience breathing issues related to your bed.

Get Better Mattress Accessories

We advise making an investment in an excellent mattress protector to give an additional layer of defence between your body and the bed. These are readily removable and may be put in the washing machine and come in a variety of fabrics. Please keep in mind that some mattress protectors might really alter the cooling and feel of some mattresses. If you tend to get hot when sleeping, we advise opting for one composed of a permeable material, such as organic cotton, or one with improved cooling qualities.

Keep Your Room Dry

Your home should have a cool, dry environment in your bedroom. A cooler environment is not only better for sleep, but it will also lessen the likelihood of night sweats. Additionally, keeping your room dry will reduce the growth of bacteria or mildew in your mattress. If you reside somewhere with a moist and humid climate, this is very crucial. If so, think about purchasing a dehumidifier for your room.

This also means that you shouldn't leave any damp items on your bed. This means that you should refrain from placing wet or partially dry items on your bed. Make sure your pet hasn't just come inside from a frolic in the rain if they like to lounge on your bed before jumping up to cuddle.

Let The Sun In

Finally, exposure to direct sunlight not only benefits your own health, but it may also keep your mattress clean and in good condition. If possible, you may destroy any bacteria or moisture on your mattress and freshen the fragrance by putting it outside in a clean, dry place every other month.

Consider A Steamer For Your Household

mattress steamer

You should be able to get a steam cleaner for your mattress online for a fair price if you're ready to purchase one. Start your search on Amazon, where an ordinary steam cleaner will cost you between $100 and $150, depending on the level of functionality you require.

We highly recommend the steamer we use, the Salamandres Steamer, which can be found on Amazon and big-box retailers.

Where can I find a great, affordable mattress (in 2023)?

These 5 mattresses (in 2023) are some of the best you can buy if you care about your health, your wallet, and your sleep:

These 5 mattresses (in 2023) are some of the best you can buy if you care about your health, your wallet, and your sleep:

  1. Layla Hybrid Mattress - All-around winner, fantastic for all sleep positions, and is rated our Best Mattress of 2023. (Read our review here)
  2. Amerisleep Mattress - versatile, minimal, and great for responsive pressure relief. (Read our review here)
  3. Puffy - feels like you're sleeping on a cool cloud (at a good price). (Read our review here)
  4. Nolah Evolution - beautiful, breathable, and ultra high-tech features. (Read our review here)
  5. BedInABox Dual Hybrid - highest density of pocket coils in the industry, great for extremely hot sleepers

Read our short, well-researched 10 Best Mattresses of 2023, here.

We did the homework so you can buy the perfect mattress without any hassle.

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Expert Pick

Layla Hybrid Mattress

The Layla Hybrid offers an unrivaled balance of memory foam pressure relief and pocket coil support. With its versatile flippable design, copper-infused memory foam, and pocketed coils, the Layla Hybrid is designed to soothe pain, keep you cool, and provide years of comfort.

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Jessica H.

Jessica is a reviewer, writer, and sleep enthusiast at Sleepiverse. Jessica graduated with her master's degree in Nursing research and education. She is a registered nurse and currently works in the Intensive Care Unit. Since becoming a nurse, Jessica has worked the night shift, which means a disrupted sleep schedule. Knowing she needed to function at her best while caring for patients at night, she spent a lot of time researching how to sleep well with a difficult schedule.