Can you wash a mattress topper? Experts share the dos and don'ts

Find out whether you can wash your mattress topper thanks to these expert-led rules

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A mattress topper can transform your sleep set-up because it's designed to make an old mattress feel more comfortable, or alter the firmness of one you can't seem to get along with. Just like the rest of your bedding, you're going to want to keep it clean. 

Bacteria build-up, dust mites, and accidental spills mean your mattress topper can get dirty. And if you strip back the sheets, you're sure to notice some stains. So can you wash a mattress topper? The short answer is yes. All mattress toppers can be spot cleaned, but whether you can wash one easily, in a machine, will depend on the type of topper you have, whether it comes with a cover, and how thick it is. 

And while it's important to keep your mattress topper clean, washing it incorrectly could completely ruin it. We've spoken to laundry experts for their rules for washing a mattress topper – including how often you should be cleaning yours. 

Which mattress toppers can go in a washing machine?

Laundry room neutral with washer and dryer

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Some mattress toppers can be washed in the machine. 

Check the care label

To find out whether yours can, we'd first recommended reading the laundry symbols on the care label. In the absence of a care label, consider the material.

Which material?

Foam toppers must be spot cleaned, only. As Christina Heiser, in-house mattress expert at Saatva explains: 'Foam is delicate, and putting this type of topper in the washing machine could destroy it.' 

Instead, you can wash your memory foam topper using the same method as cleaning a mattress. Most foam toppers will come with a removable cover, which can be put in the wash with your mattress protector, sheets, and shams. 

Thin featherbed, polyester, or cotton toppers can be put in the washing machine, but key is choosing an appropriate detergent.

Chrstina Hesser Saatva mattress expert headshot
Christina Heiser

Christina Heiser is the in-house mattress expert and senior content manager at luxury mattress brand Saatva. She is passionate about health, wellness, beauty, nutrition, and fitness and is well-versed in helping others find their most satisfactory sleep. 

Which detergents to use for washing mattress toppers?

When washing thin featherbed, polyester, or cotton mattress toppers, a gentle detergent, such as Method's, free and clear laundry detergent, should be used over harsh bleaches and solutions. 

You will also need to check whether your mattress topper is able to fit in your washing machine drum. Most king-size (and larger) toppers will be too big and therefore can be immediately ruled out of washing by machine. 

No matter whether you can clean yours in the washing machine – or not – you should always remove stains from your mattress topper by hand before you wash too. Customers highly rate this Resolve stain remover on Amazon


Can you put a mattress topper in the dryer?

Putting a mattress topper in the dryer would be a quick, easy solution  – you could wash, dry and put your mattress topper back on the bed before bedtime. But whether you can will depend on its material composition. Excessive heat will damage foam toppers, and we'd always suggest double-checking the care label when it comes to feather-filled, down, and polyester types, too. You can, however, put a mattress protector in the dryer.

How often should you wash a mattress topper?

The good news is you don't have to clean your mattress topper as often as you should wash your bed sheets. You should spot-clean your topper as frequently as your mattress, as it's the surface you sleep on, night after night. As a general rule, you should wash your mattress topper once every three months. If you're someone who overheats at night or has pets (or kids) in bed, you may want to clean it more often. And ideally, accidental spills should be treated immediately. 

Keeping your bed fresh is seriously important for your sleep hygiene, and if you're noticing too many stains, it might be time to weigh up whether you should invest in a new mattress instead. 

Louise Oliphant
Ecommerce Editor

Louise is your eCommerce Editor and sleep specialist to help you wind down well. A connoisseur of the mattress world, Louise previously covered sleep and wellness (as well as the occasional organizational buy) at Real Homes, and has tried, tested, and reviewed some of the buys for your bedroom. With an MA in International Journalism and PR experience, Louise brings bags of bedding expertise and enjoys nothing more than helping readers find solutions and products that best suit their sleep needs.