How To Get Smells Out Of A Mattress – Keeping It Fresh


Here’s what you need to know about how to get a smell out of mattress fabrics.

Identify What Is Causing The Smell

If your mattress is a bit whiffy, you will want to waste no time and start deodorizing.

But, finding out why your mattress has an unfortunate aroma can help you uncover the steps you need to take to deal with the problem. It will also help you understand what you can do in future to prevent the pong from coming back.

Below are a few questions you can ask to hunt down the cause–and the solution!

Is Your Mattress New?

New mattresses often have a smell. The smell is the result of off-gassing. According to mattress makers Emma, this is where volatile organic compounds or VOCs break down.

When you get a new mattress, the off-gassing process is still underway.

While current science shows VOC exposure from mattresses isn’t harmful to most healthy adults, these smells can be overpowering at first.

Emma notes that this off-gassing should disappear on its own after about seven to ten days. If the smell doesn't go, you should contact your mattress makers to ask for their advice.

Manufacturers like Silentnight recommend airing your new mattress for several hours in a well-ventilated room before you put sheets on it and get ready for bed.

While this might be inconvenient, it can help to cut down on that new mattress smell.

Is There A Sweaty Smell?

If you find that the smell is more of a general, musty odour that resembles stale sweat, one way to combat this is to air out your mattress.

Airing out your mattress means pulling the covers off for at least 20 minutes a day. Doing this when you get up in the morning can help evaporate any sweat that the mattress might have absorbed.

If that sweaty smell is proving stubborn, consider using bicarbonate of soda.

Bicarb is good at fighting smells, so sprinkling some across your mattress and leaving it for a while before hoovering it up could help to freshen your mattress.

Is The Smell Connected To A Stain?

Over time items like our mattresses might become stained.

Most mattresses are not waterproof, so scrubbing at a stain with copious amounts of water is not a good idea. Instead, GoodHousekeeping recommends using a few drops of disinfectant in the water you use to blot the stain. This can freshen the area.

As mattress maker Eve says, when you’re cleaning your mattress, you should be thinking about “dabbing” and not rubbing the area. Dabbing will help you avoid damaging the mattress material.

If you are in any doubt about how to clean your mattress, you should contact the manufacturer. By getting the advice of the experts, you can get tailored support and protect your warranty.

Cleaning Your Mattress To Cut Smells

The following video from The Home Depot shows you a few different methods for cleaning your mattress, including the bicarb of soda trick.

Just remember, it’s important to read your mattress care guidelines to make sure none of these cleaning hacks risk invalidating your warranty. If in doubt, speak to your mattress makers’ customer service team.

Prevent Future Smells

There are a few things you can do to make sure that your mattress doesn’t accumulate smells. While nothing will guarantee your mattress will stay completely odour free, the following can help you keep your sleep environment fresh:

Air Out Your Mattress

As mentioned above, taking the sheets off your bed in the morning can help evaporate sweat and cut the risk of bad smells building up.

Change Your Bedding Regularly

Changing bedding can be a chore, but switching your sheets, pillowcases, and covers can help cut down on odours and allergy risks. Changing your sheets every one to two weeks is ideal.

Make Sure Your Mattress Has A Well Ventilated Base

If your mattress requires a slatted base, ensure even spaces between the slats. Also, make sure nothing under the bed is blocking air from circulating through your mattress.

Good ventilation can prevent mould from growing on the underside of your mattress. Damp build-up can also cause smells, so ensuring good air circulation is one of the best things you can do for your mattress.

Hoover Your Mattress Regularly

When changing your bedding, it can be a great idea to get out the hoover and, using the more gentle brush attachment, give the mattress surface a quick clean.

While this won’t suck up bad smells themselves, it will help pull up dead skin and hair and cut down on mites and other potential smell-makers that might be lurking in your bed.

Consider A Mattress Protector

By buying a mattress protector, you can help to cut down on stains reaching your mattress.

It’s also quicker and easier to deodorize your mattress protector by popping it in the wash.

Consider A Mattress That Helps To Keep Your Sleep Environment Clean

If you are in the market for a new mattress and want to keep odours to a minimum, some mattresses have built-in technology to help your sleep environment stay fresh.

Silentnight and Sealy have mattresses with Purotex technology that actively fights bacteria in your mattress. While Purotex isn’t a guarantee of a smell-free mattress, it could help fight the organisms that create odours and, also, allergies.

Final Thoughts

Your mattress is one of the most used items in your home, so having a fresh smelling mattress that makes you feel comfortable is critical.

Practising housekeeping tips like regularly changing your sheets and giving the mattress careful spot-cleaning as needed can all cut bad smells and give you the sleep experience you deserve.

Do you have any odour-fighting tips? We’d love to hear your cleaning hacks in the comments below.

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