Keep your mattress clean and fresh with our easy step-by-step guide on how to wash a mattress protector. Find actionable tips and washing advice.

man putting on mattress protector

Are you sleeping on a clean bed? You might be surprised to learn the answer.

Washing your sheets is not enough. Your mattress can host a slew of unhealthy things, from dust mites and bed bugs to sweat and urine.

Of course, you can’t toss your mattress into the washing machine. Even cleaning your mattress by hand will do more harm than good.

Instead, you’ve probably invested in a mattress protector to ensure your mattress stays pristine. These handy covers are far easier to wash than mattresses and keep your bed fresh and clean.

Here’s all you need to know about how to wash a mattress protector – the easy way!

What Is a Mattress Protector?

A mattress protector is a removable bedding layer that covers a mattress. It’s a waterproof barrier that shields the mattress from allergens, dust mites, and spills, extending its lifespan. It also provides an extra layer of comfort and is usually machine washable.

Can You Wash a Mattress Protector?

You can wash a mattress protector, and it’s also quite easy! Most mattress protectors are machine washable. However, refer to the care instructions provided by the manufacturer.

Regular washing helps keep your sleeping environment clean and allergen-free. We recommend you wash a mattress protector when you first buy it. After that, wash it once a month or whenever a spill or stain occurs.

Mattress Protector Washing Instructions

Washing your mattress protector ensures it remains effective and hygienic. Let’s dive into these simple yet vital instructions.


Frequency Wash monthly or when stained
Cycle Normal or bulky, depending on the size
Temperature Cold to warm
Detergent Regular laundry detergent (or down cleaner for down-filled mattress protectors)
Drying Dry on normal or low heat (Air-dry Polyurethane mattress protectors)

How to Wash a Mattress Protector (5 Easy Steps)

Mattress protectors are a simple, convenient way to keep your mattress squeaky clean. So when it comes time to wash your mattress protector, follow these five steps:

1. Check the Mattress Protector’s Label

Checking the tag is the first step in determining how to wash a mattress protector. Each protector will have specific care instructions.

Following the label’s directions will help prevent damage in the wash. It will also help extend your mattress protector’s lifespan.

2. Spot Clean and Pre-Treat Stains

If you notice stains on your mattress protector, spot-clean them before washing. You can use laundry detergent and water with a regular cloth. Then gently work stains free from the mattress protector’s fabric.

Pre-treating stains on a mattress protector before washing helps break down and lift the stains. This process increases the likelihood of completely removing the stain during the wash cycle, maintaining a clean appearance.

3. Add Detergent to Your Washing Machine

You can wash most mattress protectors with regular detergent. The only exception is down-filled mattress protectors, which require down cleaner.

If your washing machine has a specific slot for detergent, add it at the beginning of the cycle as usual. Otherwise, adding detergent after the wash cycle has already begun is an excellent way to dilute it.

4. Select the Right Water Temperature and Washer Cycle

Selecting the right water temperature and washer cycle is crucial to clean a mattress protector properly. It also ensures the longevity and effectiveness of the protector.

Use warm to cold water and a gentle cycle to remove dirt without damaging the fabric or protective features. Also, wash without other clothes or bedding in the washer.

5. Choose Your Method for Drying a Mattress Protector

Try to line-dry your mattress protector to help preserve its shape and form. If you cannot do that, tumble dry on low heat with other bedding items.

Drying at a high heat will damage the waterproof material and shorten its lifespan. Never iron a mattress protector.

5 Tips for Washing a Mattress Protector

Here are a few more tips on how to wash a mattress protector.

  1. Have Two Mattress Protectors for Each Bed: We find that most customers start with two mattress protectors, one to immediately put on the mattress and another for backup in case of emergency spills or while doing the laundry.
  2. Always Read the Care Label: Check the manufacturer’s care instructions before washing. Some mattress protectors may need different care depending on their material. Following the care instructions helps avoid damage or shrinkage.
  3. Wash With Cold Water: Washing with cold water is gentle on fabrics and can help preserve their color and texture. Cold water also prevents damage to certain protective materials and features for mattress protectors. Moreover, cold water saves energy, making it an environmentally friendly choice. Conversely, hot water may cause a mattress protector to warp out of shape or shrink. As a result, it will no longer fit your mattress correctly.
  4. Use a Mild Detergent and Avoid Bleach: Stick to mild detergents for a gentle yet thorough clean. Detergents with harsh additives can seriously damage a mattress protector’s waterproof qualities. Also, avoid bleach and fabric softener. These can also damage your protector’s protective layer. Best to leave it out of the wash when you bleach your white sheets.
  5. Tumble Dry or Air Dry: Air drying is always the best option for a mattress protector. Air drying is gentler, helping maintain the protector’s shape and protective properties. Tumble drying can cause heat damage. If you use this method, drying on low with other bedding is a safe bet.

Note: Never put a polyurethane mattress protector in the dryer. It damages the material.

How Often to Wash a Mattress Protector?

Ideally, wash a mattress protector every two to four weeks. However, wash immediately if there’s a spill or stain.

Washing helps keep your sleep environment clean and allergen-free. Here is more specific washing advice:

  • Allergy Sufferers: Bimonthly: If you experience allergies, washing your protector bimonthly helps remove allergens like dust mites and pet dander, reducing symptoms.
  • Cold or Flu Sufferers: Post-Illness: Washing the protector after illness removes germs, preventing potential re-infection.
  • After Spilling Food or Drinks: Immediately: Immediate washing can prevent stains and potential growth of bacteria or mold.
  • Guest Bedrooms: Quarterly: Quarterly washing keeps the protector fresh and clean for guests, even if the bed isn’t frequently used.

Shop Mattress Protectors at BedMart

Sleep soundly and worry-free with our high-quality mattress protectors at BedMart!

Our protectors ensure your mattress remains spotless, combating spills, allergens, and dust mites. They’re easy to clean and designed to enhance your comfort, so you can wake up refreshed every morning. Plus, you’ll prolong the lifespan of your mattress, saving money in the long run.

Don’t let your bed lose its luster. Improve your sleep hygiene and protect your sleep investment today.

We’re your #1 stop for ultra-waterproof mattress protectors. Find the RIGHT protector for YOU!

Washing a Mattress Protector FAQ

Answers to common questions about mattress protector washing.

Do I Need a Mattress Protector?

Yes, a mattress protector is highly recommended. It safeguards your mattress from spills, stains, and allergens like dust mites and mold. Additionally, it adds extra comfort and extends the lifespan of your mattress.

For those with allergies, it can also be beneficial in creating a clean sleeping environment.

Should I Wash Mattress Protectors Before Use?

Yes, we advise washing a mattress protector before its first use. This removes residual chemicals from the manufacturing process and can enhance the softness of the fabric. Also, always check the care instructions before washing to ensure proper handling.

Can You Put a Mattress Protector in the Washing Machine?

Yes, a washing machine is the best way to wash mattress covers at home. We don’t recommend getting a mattress cover dry cleaned, as this can damage the material.

What Temperature to Wash Mattress Protector?

Typically, wash a mattress protector in cold to warm water. Extreme heat can damage the fabric and protective features. However, always read the care label. Some protectors may have specific washing temperature recommendations.

How to Dry a Mattress Protector?

Air dry when possible. Air drying is gentler, helping maintain the protector’s shape and protective properties. Whereas tumble drying can cause heat damage.

How Often to Replace Mattress Protectors?

Generally, replace your mattress protector every 1 to 2 years. Replace sooner if the protector is ripped, damaged, or has reduced waterproofing. Otherwise, mattress protectors can last for years.

The replacement frequency can also vary depending on quality, care, and usage.