How to get stains out of a mattress topper – our easy, expert-approved method for every spill

This simple four-step technique is all you need when removing stains from a mattress topper

Cleaning a mattress topper with a vacuum
(Image credit: Alamy)

Accidental spills happen. Whether you have been careless with your morning cup of coffee, let your pets into your bed, or are a sweaty sleeper, your mattress topper will, occasionally, need cleaning. 

Even the best mattress toppers can't resist stains without a mattress protector. But if you don't have a protector (yet), our experts can tell you the correct way to get stains out of your mattress topper, without affecting its warranty, below. 

Many of the techniques for removing foam mattress topper stains are the same as when you clean a mattress, though if you've got a featherbed topper, don't try to do more than blot wet stains. After that, the process is as simple as dropping it off at the dry cleaners. 

How to get stains out of a mattress topper 

There is no need to buy any specialist cleaning supplies to remove stains from a mattress topper, as this expert-approved technique involves basic pantry staples – and a basic disinfectant. Baking soda, vinegar, and dish soap at the ready, here's how to get every type of stain out of a mattress topper (and more).

1. Strip the bed and check the care label

Begin by removing all of your bedding (if you haven't already). This is the perfect time to wash your pillows, protectors, sheets, and shams. Since it is likely you can wash, and dry, all of these in the washing machine, you can turn the wash on and have the cycle done in the time it takes you to remove stubborn stains. Of course, you should check the laundry symbols on each item if you're unsure. 

Before you get started with spot cleaning, you should also take the time to read the care label on your mattress topper. The advice may differ depending on the type of topper you have. Though you should always spot clean first for the best results. 

2. Spot treat, according to the type of stain

Homemade spray bottle with glove cleaning mattress

(Image credit: Getty / Credit:Andrei Zonenko Creative #:1426649203)

Ideally, you should spot-treat any spills as soon as they happen, though some stains will build up over time. If you suffer from overheating at night, for example, light marks will appear where you tend to lie and sweat when you sleep. 

For almost all stains, Drew Miller, sleep consultant at Sit 'n Sleep  states 'you can use a combination of baking soda and white distilled vinegar.' 

If you are treating wet stains caused by a recent spill you should blot the area dry with a towel to absorb any excess water. It's important to not rub or scrub too hard as this may push the stain deeper into the topper. 

For old, dry stains, slightly wet the area with a damp cloth before adding any solutions. The treatment you use will depend on the type of stain you're dealing with: 

  • Coffee stains: 'Dish soap and vinegar is the best way to release deep coffee stains,' explains Christina Heiser, in-house mattress expert at Saatva
  • Oil-based products: Grease from food or lotions is arguably the toughest to tackle, as you won't be able to see the stain right away. The solution, on the other hand, is simple. First, sprinkle some baking soda. Let it sit for 20 minutes and then vacuum the area. After dap a mixture of dish soap and hot water onto the area before blotting dry.
  • Blood stains: To remove tough blood stains you should use white vinegar and cold water. Apply vinegar to the area and leave to soak for 10 minutes, blot dry and repeat. Use a cloth dipped in cold water to release the topper of any vinegar residue. 
  • Urine stains: Mix eight ounces of disinfectant, two tablespoons of baking soda, and a small amount of dish soap into any empty bottle and spray directly onto the stained area. 
  • Pet urine stains: You may need a specific pet cleaner when treating animal urine. Heiser states 'non-toxic, natural enzyme cleaners like Simple Solution at Amazon, which chemically break down stains and odors, should do the trick in many cases.'
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. 

3. Deodorize your mattress topper

Mattress with stain using baking soda to clean

(Image credit: Getty / Credit: Andrei Zonenko Creative #: 1427596699)

While this final step is optional, we'd always recommend sealing the stain removal process by giving your entire topper a clean with baking soda. Baking soda is a natural deodorizer and will work to eliminate any lingering odors. 

Christina Heiser suggests sprinkling the whole surface with 'up to a full one-pound box of baking soda'. 

If this is the first time treating any stains on your topper in a while, the more, the better. 'Leave it on for at least four hours – a full day is best, if possible'. 

To get your bed smelling five-star, you can add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to the baking soda, or use a scented linen spray. This best-selling lavender and camomile linen spray from Amazon will not only make your bed smell fresh, but, experts say, lavender can help you sleep better. 

Finally, vacuum it up using a good handheld vac, or the upholstery attachment on your vacuum.

4. Let it air dry completely

Your mattress topper should not be too damp, but there may still be some moisture lingering. To avoid the risk of mold and mildew build-up, allow your mattress topper enough time to completely dry before putting it back on the bed. Leaving it outside in the sun on a warm day is a great way to speed up the drying process. Plus UV rays will eliminate bacteria. 


Can I bleach my mattress topper?

If you are struggling with deep, tough stains, it is easy to assume bleaching the affected area will lift any discoloration. But you should never use any harsh cleaners like bleach or hydrogen peroxide as they can damage the mattress topper's composition, especially if you have a memory foam mattress topper – strong chemicals will break down the soft sink-in properties of the material. Bleach may also spread the stain, rather than remove it. 

Why did my mattress topper turn yellow?

So you stick to a no-food-or-drink-in-bed rule and don't overheat at night? And there have not been any accidents that you are aware of, but your mattress topper is still turning yellow? You don't have to directly have any spills to stain your mattress topper; a natural build-up of sweat and body oil can cause your topper to yellow over time. To help prevent this, you should wash your mattress topper cover every three months – better yet, invest in a mattress protector.

And don't forget to flip. You can keep your bed looking and feeling even fresher by turning your topper over and making sure no stains have seeped through down to your mattress. 

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.