How To Wash A Mattress Cover Properly + Things MUST Know Before Starting

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Written by: Alex Savy
Read 10 minLast updated on May 24, 2022

The mattress covers “take the hit” when we spill something over the mattress. However, this saviour also needs regular care. In the guide, I will provide you with useful tips on proper mattress cover washing that actually work. Be sure, you won’t face any stains, discoloring, or shrinkage after the wash.  Here you will find suggestions on how often to wash the cover, how to do it right, what to do if the cover is non-removable and much more!

How Often To Wash a Mattress Cover?

A mattress cover (often referred to as a “mattress protector”) plays an important role in protecting the mattress from liquid, moisture, dust mites accumulating, and body fluids or dead skin. If you wash the mattress protector properly and on time, it will remain a solid barrier for avoiding dust mites accumulating on your mattress; rightly cared mattress cover will protect you and the family from allergies and improve asthma (1). How do I know it is time to wash a mattress cover? You will need to do it once per 2 months. Such a frequency will be enough to get rid of all the dust, dead skin particles, and the foul odor from the mattress protector.  There is also so-called “unplanned washing”. When you spill the drinks or food, you should clean the protector immediately, otherwise, over time it will be more difficult to get rid of them and some stains can develop.  When you drop a glass of water, it is also recommended to get the protector off and dry both the protector and mattress to avoid moisture. However, if you are the owner of a waterproof mattress protector, there is no need to do it, you can just mop the water excess with a paper towel or piece of cloth. More frequent washing (once per month) is required in the following cases:

  • If you have allergies. A lot of dust, bacteria, and dust mites can accumulate in the mattress cover. Clean the cover more often to avoid any allergic reactions (red eyes, itchy throat, runny nose, etc.).
  • If you have pets. The dog’s or cat’s hair can accumulate on the mattress protector and cause allergies. Especially important to clean the cover more frequently in spring and fall (when pets molt).
Don’t forget to take care of the mattress itself as well. I recommend vacuuming it every time you change the sheets. More complex cleaning should be performed twice a year. Also, pay attention to mattress type as cleaning memory foam mattress has some features you need to count.

Must Know Before Washing Mattress Cover

Before washing the mattress cover you should consider the following rules. They will help you to wash the cover effectively without damaging it:

  • Check the label. On the mattress cover, there is a label that shows what temperature is recommended and on what cycle.
  • Never use bleach. The bleach can damage the fibers of the cover. Use mild or all-natural detergent. It will help to get rid of all the spots without damages.
  • Make sure there is free movement in the washing machine. The mattress protector can move around the drum freely and therefore clean more efficiently. Otherway, it is better to use a large commercial washing machine.

If there is no label saved on your mattress cover, it is better to contact the retailer you bought this cover from. Wrong washing machine settings can damage the protector and void the warranty.

Washing Mattress Cover Step-By-Step:

Step 1: Remove The Cover

Depending on the type of mattress protector you will need to:

  • If it has elastic sides — just remove the cover starting from the corners.
  • If it has a zipper — unzip and then remove the cover from the corners.

Step 2: Put Into The Washing Machine

Add a small amount of non-bleach detergent. Pick the laundry settings that are recommended on the mattress cover label. Regarding temperature it is usually around 40° - 60°; the cycle will depend on the fabric type — for cotton or wool use normal cycle and for the polyester delicate cycle will work better.

Step 3: Dry The Mattress Cover

It is recommended by manufacturers to tumble dry the mattress cover at the lowest heating settings. You can also sundry the protector, it won’t cause any damages for sure.

Never dry clean the mattress protector as it can damage the item and shrink. Having washed mattress cover, don’t iron as it can harm the membrane and fabric.

How To Wash a Non-Removable Mattress Cover?

The mattress cover often comes along with the mattress, and sometimes it cannot be removed from the mattress. The only way to wash a non-removable mattress cover is spot cleaning. Be careful as with washing mattress protectors, don’t use a bleach solution. It is better to start with an all-natural detergent, if it doesn’t help you can apply chemicals. Use only warm water for spot cleaning. If the cover is non-removable, I recommend buying a mattress protector additionally. It will help to protect the mattress from the direct impact of spilled over drinks or food, pet’s hair, and become a barrier for accumulating dust mites. In this way, a removable mattress protector increases the mattress lifespan. No doubts, changing a mattress protector is significantly cheaper than the mattress itself. Besides, it is much easier to take care of a removable mattress cover. There are plenty of mattress protector types: starting with a waterproof mattress protector that is extremely easy to use and wash, and up to cooling mattress cover which is indispensable for people with increased body perspiration.

Signs You Need a New Mattress Cover

The lifespan of a mattress protector depends on many factors (such as the material it is made of, its quality, how it is cared of, etc.) but on average, the mattress cover can last 2-3 years.

But there are red signs that point out at immediate mattress protector replacement:

  1. You noticed tears, holes, and/or open seams. Due to washing the cover, the material may wear out, the holes appear over time, the filling may fall out. It is high time to change the mattress protector as it won’t be successful in achieving the primary goal — protecting the mattress.
  2. You started to suffer from allergies. If you wake up with an itchy throat or runny nose, the reason can be in the mattress cover. Over time, the material of the protector can become less resistant to allergens and bacteria.


How often should I wash my mattress protector?

As a part of the routine, the mattress cover should be washed once per 2 months. If you have allergies, you are the owner of pets, you should wash the cover once per month.

Can I spray bleach on the mattress cover?

No, the bleach can damage the cover’s fibers. I recommend using mild or all-natural detergent instead.

How to get yellow stains out of a mattress cover?

Vinegar and water solution (1:1) and soda will help to get rid of yellow stains. Spay vinegar-water solution on the stain, then sprinkle the soda on it and let stay for a few hours. After, wash in the washing machine and dry as usual.


Even such a simple thing as washing mattress cover has some features that needed to be followed to avoid unnecessary expenses. The first and the main recommendation is to pay attention to the label on the cover. Wisely pick the temperature and cycle for your protector. Never dry clean and iron the cover to avoid any material damages. Make the protector cleaning a part of your routine to prolong its lifespan!


  1. Lisettevan den BemtMSc (2004, January 8) Clinical effectiveness of a mite allergen-impermeable bed-covering system in asthmatic mite-sensitive patients. Retrieved from

Let’s discuss!

Have you washed the cover before?

What types of strains are you going to deal with?

Maybe you have some questions? I’ll be happy to help.

Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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