Using a good mattress pad on your bed can have many benefits. It can reduce allergens, provide support and comfort, increase the durability of your mattress and protect your bed from stains or damage. When it does its job, you might forget your mattress pad is even there.
However, proper care is essential to maintaining it and keeping your sleeping space sanitary.
How Often Should You Wash a Mattress Pad?
Dust mites and the flakes of dead skin they feed on can accumulate and aggravate allergies. Other allergens such as pet hair and dander, dirt, pollen and even mold can also end up in your bedding.
Accidents happen, as well. Mattress pads can protect the bed from spills, food and sweat, oil and other natural but unpleasant bodily functions.
When you consider all that your mattress endures, it becomes clear that you should probably wash your mattress pad on a regular basis. But how frequently should you do so?
Experts recommend just a few times each year.
“It’s only necessary to wash your mattress pad several times per year,” says Carolyn Forte, director of the Cleaning Lab at the Good Housekeeping Institute. “Sheets generally take more wear and tear than a mattress pad which is why they are washed more often.”
The Sleep Foundation concurs, stating that two to three times per year is adequate. However, they add that you can vacuum your mattress pad when you wash your bedding to remove dust particles and other debris.
How to Clean a Mattress Pad
So what is the best way to clean your mattress pad? The answer largely depends on the type of pad you have. The best solution is to read and follow the manufacturer’s washing instructions, typically listed on a tag.
Generally, it is safe to wash a mattress pad in cool or warm water with a mild detergent. Tumble dry on the lowest setting. You can use dryer balls to help the pad stay fluffy.
Alternatively, hang the pad out on a clothesline or an indoor clothes drying rack. If your mattress pad has vinyl backing, this is probably the best option to avoid melting or damaging the vinyl in the dryer.
If you have a foam mattress pad, it may not be safe to toss it in the washing machine.
“Your best bet is to spot clean them,” green-cleaning expert Leslie Reichert told “Today.”
First, vacuum both sides of the pad. Next, use an enzyme-based cleaner or equal parts water, distilled white vinegar and lemon juice to scrub any stains. Then, rinse with a clean sponge in cool water and blot dry. You can clean an egg crate mattress topper the same way.
Replacing a Mattress Pad
If your mattress pad is extremely stained, worn, stretched or otherwise damaged, it might be time for a new one. When shopping for the best mattress pad, there are several factors to consider.
First, make sure the pad is comfortable. Look for one that is breathable and won’t cause you to sweat while sleeping. A plush pad filled with a down alternative provides support and comfort and will be easy to clean.
Next, shop for a pad that will adequately protect your mattress. If you have pets or small children who sometimes share the bed, you will appreciate a waterproof pad. In addition, a hypoallergenic mattress pad is a beneficial feature for someone with severe allergies.
A pad that fits well and wraps around the mattress securely is essential. And, of course, the mattress pad should also fit your budget.
You’re sure to sleep better knowing you have a clean and comfortable mattress pad protecting your bed (and you).
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