The cleanliness and upkeep of mattress protectors play an integral part in promoting a healthy sleeping space and improving your sleep hygiene.
If you use a mattress protector or perhaps are considering getting one, then you already know it requires a certain level of care and maintenance!
The question is: How often should it be done?
This article will delve into a few essential things to be aware of when it comes to keeping your mattress protector clean and hygienic, such as:
- Why mattress protectors matter
- Signs of a dirty mattress protector
- Top cleaning tips
- Ideal wash frequency.
Let’s get into it!
Why Use a Mattress Protector?
Mattress protectors provide a barrier between your skin and your mattress, reducing the spread of bacteria and damage to the mattress.
Mattress protectors are typically used on all general household, medical, and hospitality-related mattresses to protect from stains and allergens, as well as extend the mattress’ lifespan.
Protects against Spills and Stains
Spills happen. Stains happen. Your morning cup of coffee may be subject to excited kids or pets jumping on the bed in the morning. In these cases, it’s vital to save the mattress!
A good mattress is an investment that you want to last, and using mattress protectors helps conserve the overall quality of your mattress by providing a barrier against any potential spills.
Guards against Dust Mites and Allergens
Mattress protectors give greater protection from dust mites and allergens.
Over 20 million people in the US are sensitive to dust, and mattress protectors help mitigate adverse reactions to it. That means less sneezing and sniffling!
The easy cleaning and replaceability of mattress protectors are useful for maintaining hygiene in your bedroom.
Just pull it free and switch another one in, and you’ve just improved your sleep hygiene without breaking a sweat!
Moreover, mattress protectors can be easily bought from a number of stores ‒ both physical and online ‒ and are relatively affordable due to their growing popularity and demand.
Adds a Layer of Comfort
Adding an extra layer to your mattress gives you additional cushioning to create the most comfortable sleeping experience possible.
If there’s one surefire way to improve your sleep, it’s to be as comfortable as possible!
Helps Maintain Warranty Validity
Good mattresses – especially those that are worth the investment – come with a warranty. Mattress protectors help to preserve their validity!
In fact, using a mattress protector might even be a requirement in your warranty to show that you’re taking the right steps to prevent damage caused by everyday wear and tear.
Factors Determining Washing Frequency
If you’re still at a loss as to how often you’ll need to wash your mattress protector, you can rely on certain factors such as your lifestyle, habits, and environment to help you make the best decision.
Lifestyle and Habits
Your lifestyle and habits are core factors to consider when deciding how often to wash your mattress protector. These include having pets, sweating, eating in bed, and skin sensitivities.
People with furry companions will inevitably have to deal with pet hair, as well as experience a higher risk for fleas and other unsavory souvenirs from the great outdoors.
If you’re in this situation, a more frequent mattress protector care routine is highly advised.
On the other hand, if you sweat profusely even in your sleep (or perhaps often enjoy the odd meal or snack in bed), you may also want to consider cleaning your mattress protector on a more regular basis as well!
Finally, if you suffer from dust allergies or simply put more emphasis on general cleanliness, it would certainly benefit you to wash your mattress protector a lot more often than typically required.
Allergies also impact how often you’ll need to clean your mattress protector. Dust, pollen, and potential allergens can accumulate on your bed, especially during high-risk seasons and when using open-air ventilation.
Make sure to factor in how your allergy might affect your sleep quality, and take the right steps to keep yourself safe, healthy, and comfortable — such as changing or cleaning your mattress protectors!
Your environment and where you live can also have a direct effect on the state of your mattress protector.
What is the climate of your location? More humid climates require more frequent washing as moisture in warm temperatures is the ideal environment for bacteria and mold growth.
Spills and Accidents
The final factor you must consider when deciding how often to change your mattress protector is the unpredictability of life when it comes to spills and accidents.
Any time certain unavoidable and unfortunate situations occur, it’s crucial to wash your mattress protector immediately for your safety and to prevent permanent staining.
Signs Your Mattress Protector Needs Cleaning
The key signs to check your mattress protector for are visible marks, odors, allergen-related symptoms, and the length of time since the last wash.
Visible stains and discoloration clearly indicate that you need to wash your mattress protector.
Stains and discoloration can accumulate over time without necessarily catching your attention. Do your best to spot any unusual marks when remaking your bed!
If walking into your bedroom causes you to wince or rethink where you’ll sleep that night — wash!
Any unpleasant odor that a mattress emanates is a warning that your mattress protector is due for cleaning.
Abrupt sneezing for no apparent reason is another significant indicator that your mattress protector could use a good session in the washer. When allergy symptoms arise, it’s time to get your cleaning duties done.
Recommended Washing Frequency
The general recommendation for the average household is to wash your mattress protector every two weeks to two months.
For example, you can make the first Sunday of each month your wash day. Feel free to set a longer period as well, like choosing the first Sunday every two months.
Create a routine to wash your mattress protector and integrate the process alongside the regular washing of your sheets. Adding a new habit to an already existing one is a great way to stay on top of a frequent wash schedule!
Lifestyle and habit factors may also change your circumstances, which can mean more frequent washing of your mattress protector.
If you have pets, it’s highly recommended that you follow a shorter wash frequency, such as the first Sunday every three weeks.
In the same way, individuals with dust allergies might want to consider washing their mattress protectors and bedsheets every two weeks.
If you’re still unsure how often you should wash your mattress protector, read the product’s manufacturer instructions for care and wash information!
This way, you’ll have more confidence that what you’re doing is the best approach to maintaining your mattress protector properly.
Benefits of Cleaning Your Mattress Protector Regularly
Aside from the overall sense of purity and sanitation, there are a number of other benefits of cleaning mattress protectors regularly.
These include the extended life of both your protector and mattress, better health, and more hygienic sleep!
Extended Life of the Protector and Mattress
Cleaning your mattress protector regularly will help extend the life of both the mattress protector and mattress, reduce allergic reactions, and support sleep quality.
Mattress protectors themselves require only minimal effort to clean; they can simply slip right into your regular sheet cleaning schedule!
It’s certainly a lot more convenient compared to the hefty mattress cleaning process. By cleaning your mattress protector regularly, you’ll be reducing the buildup of dead skin and bacteria.
Reduction in Allergens and Potential Health Issues
Similar to the buildup of dirty dishes in a kitchen, oils from your skin, pets, bacteria, and fungi growth can accumulate on your mattress protectors over time.
That’s why it’s essential to learn the signs of a dirty mattress protector and take immediate action.
Regular cleaning helps eliminate these unwanted and potentially harmful buildups, minimizing the chances of health complications and allergens lurking in your sleeping space.
Maintenance of Sleep Hygiene and Overall Sleep Quality
Sleep hygiene encompasses the factors that impact your sleep, such as your bed-related furniture, bedding, room environment, or your habits around sleep.
Creating a routine with consistent bed and wake times will eventually result in a good night’s sleep every time!
Of course, your environment matters a lot as well. As such, having a routine for cleaning is equally as useful as sleep timing as it helps to maintain a hygienic sleeping area. This ultimately diminishes the recurrence of disrupted or uncomfortable sleep!
Tips for Washing Your Mattress Protector
Of course, simply throwing your mattress protector into the washing machine isn’t going to cut it. Here are some of the top washing tips for you to follow!
Checking Care Instructions First
Each mattress protector brand and type will have individual, product-specific care instructions to maintain your product and maximize its lifespan.
Following these instructions to a T will also reduce washing-related damage. Usually, these instructions are located on the product tag or packaging.
Stain-removing treatments are an underrated tool to help return a product to as close to its original state as possible.
Pre-treating stains can involve using household stain-removing products according to their instructions or cold-soaking a product before washing. Apply stain treatments before washing and leave it to soak for the recommended time.
Suitable Detergents and Washing Settings
Use your washing machine to the best of its ability by familiarizing yourself with the machine wash settings and instructions and using the appropriate detergent.
Look for detergent products that are suited to your washing machine and mattress protectors. Always check that you’re using the correct wash temperature as well!
It goes without saying, but read the instructions for each detergent, product wash, and appliance use before letting it rip.
Follow your mattress protector instructions for the appropriate drying instructions. There are different ways to dry your mattress protector, and these depend on what specific instructions your product has.
Storage Tips If Not Used Immediately
Store your mattress protectors when unused in a cool, dry location. Mattress protectors in humid or moist conditions can invite nasty bacteria and fungi.
Finding an appropriate storage location will keep your mattress protector in tip-top shape and support a healthy home environment.
When Should I Replace a Mattress Protector?
It’s best to schedule your mattress protector replacement alongside your wash frequency!
As we’ve mentioned, you can do this every two weeks to two months, depending on your unique circumstances.
Consider discarding your mattress protector if you’ve used it for over a year and if it has significant stains, odors, and discoloration that can no longer be dealt with by any cleaning agent available on the market.
Can you put a mattress protector in the washing machine?
Read your mattress protector care instructions before putting your mattress protector in the washing machine.
Care instructions for mattress protectors vary by individual products, and some items may not be suited to being thrown around inside a washing machine. Don’t risk ruining your mattress protector — check the label first!
How often should you wash your mattress protectors?
Wash your mattress protector every one to two months. You may need to wash your mattress protector more frequently according to your lifestyle and habits.
Depending on whether you have pets or are experiencing health issues, you might want to wash as frequently as every two weeks.
Should you wash your mattress cover every time you wash your sheets?
You can wash your mattress cover every time you wash your sheets.
However, this isn’t strictly necessary unless you experience lifestyle or habit-related factors that require more frequent washing of your mattress protector. A general rule of thumb is to wash your mattress protector every one to two months.
How often do hotels wash mattress protectors?
Health requirements in some areas and industries are regulated to ensure guest health.
Hotels will often wash mattress protectors after being used by guests. Hotels may wash mattress protectors more frequently if requested or required by guests due to accidents or spillage on the bed.
How often are hotel pillows washed?
The cleaning of hotel pillows will vary between hotels. Hotels often maintain a cleaning schedule for bedding items that have external bedding covers or protections to reduce the need for frequent cleaning. The material a pillow is made of also affects how frequently a hotel will wash it.
Do hotels wash sheets every night?
Hotels often wash sheets every two to three days throughout a stay or after one guest checks out. High-end hotels will likely wash their sheets more frequently than lower- to medium-end hotels. Studies have shown, however, that some hotels may not wash their sheets as frequently as needed for ideal cleanliness.