How to Steam Clean a Mattress

Your mattress will inevitably get dirty over time. Dust mites, bacteria and other debris will eventually accumulate and you will have to clean it so it can last longer and continue providing you with a healthy and comfortable night’s sleep.

But the question is: What can you do if accidental spills occur and if greasy and other hard to remove stains appear on your mattress?

In the previous article we have already talked about the most effective ways to clean and disinfect your mattress and we have also mentioned steam cleaning.

Steam cleaning is one of the best ways to clean your mattress, but have you ever wondered how to properly do this?

Here we are going to talk more about steam cleaning and we will explain to you how to properly steam clean your mattress without damaging it. Last updated Apr 29, 2020 @ 8:12 pm

How to Prepare a Mattress for Steam Cleaning

Steam cleaning a mattress is a cleaning process that allows you to remove dust mites, dirt, smell, stains, dead skin cells, bacteria and bed bugs in an efficient and environmentally friendly way.

However, before you can start a steam cleaning process, you should make sure your mattress is ready for it.

First of all, you should vacuum the mattress thoroughly. Vacuum every crevice and corner of your mattress by using an upholstery attachment. Get rid of all dust, debris and dirt that you can see so that the steam cleaner can be more effective.

The reason why you should do this is that steam cleaning a mattress that is too dirty can lead to even greater mess. If there is a lot of dust, debris and dead skin cells, adding moisture can push them even deeper into the mattress and encourage the growth of mold or mildew.

How to Steam Clean a Mattress

Choose a Steam Cleaning Machine

If you don’t have a steam cleaner and you want to buy one, there are many excellent steam cleaners on the market these days and you should just pick the right one that will suit your needs and your budget.

Any steam cleaning machine that can heat the water to at least 212 °F can do the thing, but we suggest you go for the one that can be used for other purposes around the house as well.

However, if you don’t plan to purchase a steam cleaner, you can also rent one from the local hardware shop or use a clothes steamer instead or even an iron with a steaming function.

Prepare the Steamer

Read the owner’s manual carefully for instructions on proper and safe use before you actually do anything. After you do that, you should fill the reservoir with water and heat the steamer according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

It’s the best to use distilled water instead of tap water because distilled water is free of minerals and will prevent limescale and other mineral to accumulate within the steamer.

Steam Cleaning a Mattress

You should start by steaming the top of your mattress. Hold the steamer some 2 or 3 inches above your mattress and apply long and slow strokes from the top left corner and move slowly down to the right until you cover the whole surface of the mattress.

Always keep the safe distance between the mattress and the steamer.  Avoid touching the mattress with a steamer as it could soak the mattress too much and it will take a long time to dry.

Once you cover the top surface of your mattress you should proceed to steam cleaning its sides. Hold the head of the steam cleaner vertical and run it along the sides of the mattress. Work from top to bottom to make sure you get rid of all bacteria, bed bugs or dust mites.

If your mattress is double sided and flippable and you have slept on the other side as well, you might consider steam cleaning it too. Wait until the top is completely dry then flip it over and repeat the process.

Dry the Mattress

Before you put back your linens, you should make sure the mattress is completely dry. How much time it will take to dry will depend on how much steam you use to clean the mattress.

It will need at least 2 – 4 hours to dry, but if you want to speed up the process, you can take the mattress outside and the sun will dry it quickly. The sun rays can also help kill any remaining bacteria or mold and make your mattress smell fresh.

If you can’t take the mattress outside, you can open the windows and let the fresh air in. This can help the mattress dry faster too.

In addition, you can also use the fan or even the heater if the weather is cold. If you decide to use the heater, make sure you place it in a safe distance to the mattress.

Finally, if you have a wet/dry vacuum cleaner, you can use it to suck any excess moisture from the mattress.

Things to Keep in Mind

Steam cleaning is probably the best way to keep your mattress clean. However, there are certain things you should keep in mind.

  • Safety – Most mattresses such as memory foam, pillow top and those made of other types of foam can be steam cleaned. But, there are some that can’t, which is why you need to check the company’s website or contact them. Make sure steam cleaning won’t void your warranty before you do anything.
  • Be careful – The steam from the steam cleaner will be extremely hot, so avoid putting your hands near it while steaming and keep it out of the reach of your kids.
  • Avoid steam cleaning too often – Steam cleaning the mattress too often can damage it. The steam from the steamer can discolor areas of your mattress or fade colored mattresses over time. Steam clean your mattress only when it is necessary.


Cleaning your mattress thoroughly can improve the quality of your sleep and steam cleaning is definitely the best way to clean it and make sure it is totally free of bacteria, dust mites, dead skin cells and stains.

Steam cleaning is not such a simple process as it may seem and here we explained how to steam clean your mattress properly without damaging it.

However, you should avoid steam cleaning it too often. Just like we have already mentioned, steam cleaning your mattress too often can also damage it and discolor it over time. There are other ways that can help you keep your mattress clean and we talked about them in the previous articles.

Feel free to read them or ask us if you need any advice and help with keeping the mattress clean.

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