What to Know About Mattress Cleaning Services

From how much they cost to what to expect when the cleaners come.

Professional cleaner using steam cleaner on mattress

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A clean mattress is an important factor in achieving a night of healthy, restful sleep. While you can clean a mattress yourself, most upholstery and carpet cleaning businesses also offer mattress cleaning.

A mattress is a hard-working home furnishing that is in use for more than eight hours each day. It is subjected to sweat and oil from our bodies as well as other bodily fluids. If you have pets, they may leave behind their dirt and grime, and for bedtime snackers, there are often food spills and stains. Our bodies also shed dead skin cells that attract and feed dust mites that thrive in the mattress fibers.

How a Mattress Cleaning Service Works

A good mattress cleaning service first inspects the mattress, then uses chemical solutions to remove specific surface stains. Next, high-temperature water is injected and then suctioned away, or blasts of steam are used to kill dust mites and bacteria. Most services also offer a deodorizing step to neutralize odors that are trapped in the mattress filling.

How Much a Professional Mattress Cleaning Service Costs

The cost for professional cleaning varies across the country and is based on the size of the mattress. Cleaning costs usually range between $75 for a crib-sized mattress to $150 for a king mattress.

Preparing for Professional Mattress Cleaning

Here are some things you should know and things you should do before engaging a service for mattress cleaning.

  • The mattress will not be wet when the cleaning is complete, but it will be damp. Try to schedule a cleaning on a dry, breezy day so that, with the windows open, the mattress will dry as quickly as possible (usually takes five to eight hours). Also, schedule the cleaning early in the day or when the mattress will not be needed for use right away.
  • If the bedroom is very small and access to all sides of the mattress is limited, consider moving the mattress to a larger area so that the cleaning technicians will have better access to move around with their equipment.
  • Remove all bedding and any mattress toppers from the mattress before the technicians arrive. This is the perfect time to give sheets, blankets, pillows, and bedspreads a thorough cleaning.

Warning

Many professional mattress-cleaning services that use hot-water extraction techniques (steam) will not clean a memory foam mattress because the foam takes so long to dry. Left overly wet for too long, any type of mattress can harbor and grow mold spores.

How Often Should a Mattress Be Cleaned?

Since we spend about one-third of our lives in bed, a mattress takes quite a beating. Most mattress manufacturers recommend a thorough cleaning of a mattress at least twice each year. This should be done in addition to vacuuming the mattress at least monthly to reduce dust and allergens. Regular cleaning helps the mattress last longer by removing grime that can weaken fibers and helping to prevent pest infestations.

Of course, mattresses in guest rooms that are used less often can get by with just a yearly cleaning unless there is an accident that requires deeper cleaning.

Tips to Help Your Mattress Last Longer

  • Follow the manufacturer's recommendations on the frequency of rotating and/or flipping the mattress to even out wear patterns. Some mattresses, like those with pillow-tops, should not be flipped. They can, however, still be rotated.
  • Check to make sure the mattress is properly supported with the right type of foundation. Foam mattresses usually require solid support while traditional mattresses often use box springs.
  • Be sure that the bedframe is solid, squared, and strong enough to hold the mattress properly. Large mattress sizes often require center supports in addition to the bed frame.
  • Use a mattress protector to prevent stains from food spills, body soil, and fluids, and to reduce allergens like mold and dust mites. The protective covering should be washed frequently. If you are in an area where bedbugs are prevalent, consider a bedbug-proof mattress encasement that prevents infestation.
  • Wash bed linens at least weekly.
  • Keep your pets off of the bed.
  • When you travel, carefully check your luggage for any bed bugs that may have hitched a ride home. Once a mattress is infested with bedbugs, it is nearly impossible to get rid of them.
  • Take care when moving a mattress to prevent damage to the integrity of the covering and inner structure.
  • Skip making the bed now and then on a sunny, breezy day. Being lazy and letting the mattress breathe for several hours will help moisture evaporate to prevent mold and bacteria growth.
  • Vacuum the mattress at least monthly and thoroughly clean the mattress at least twice per year.