Care Tips

How To Prevent And Remove Mold On My Mattress

    Last Updated
    May 16, 2023
    min read

    With humidity or lack of airflow, mold has a higher chance of growing within mattresses. Typically, you’ll be able to  notice an unpleasant smell, spots, or fuzzy growth–but how do you determine if these instances are mold growth or something else? 

    We’ve got you and all of your mold worries covered below, but to start, black or green spots that present fuzzy or slimy and are typically accompanied by a musty smell will most often be mold. Learn more about how to spot mold on a bed, the difference between mold and mildew, and tips on how to get rid of black spots on a mattress.

    What Does Mold On A Mattress Look Like?

    What mold on a mattress looks like

    If you believe your mattress has mold on it. Here are common symptoms:


    Mold can cause the mattress material to turn a different color. Look for dark spots that are irregular of your mattress. Mold tends to be fuzzy or slimy to the touch. Be sure to wash your hands if you touch mold.


    Mold has a distinct musty smell. Think of it as funky and slightly damp, much like a place before or after rainfall. If you’re worried about removing moldy smells and other odors, read our guide on how to deodorize your mattress.

    Health Issues

    Exposure to mold can cause respiratory symptoms, especially for young children or adults with allergies. Here are common symptoms to mold exposure:

    • runny nose and congestion
    • eye irritation
    • sneezing
    • coughing
    • sore throat
    • skin rash
    • headache
    • lung irritation
    • wheezing

    Why Does Mold Grow On My Mattress?

    reasons mold grows on a mattress

    Mold grows in places where there is excessive moisture and more specifically, damp, warm environments.. If you live in a humid climate and lack adequate ventilation, mold has a higher likelihood of growing.  Here are some common reasons why mold tends to grow within mattresses:

    • Poor air circulation
    • High bedroom humidity
    • Spilling on a mattress
    • Leaking water from home
    • Extreme warm environments
    • Keeping a mattress on the floor


    How To Get Mold Out Of My Mattress

    Disclaimer: It is best to consult with a professional to remove mold. This article is for informational purposes only.

    You can try to get mold out of your mattress by following the cleaning steps below. Note that this method may be more effective for mattresses with limited mold growth. If there’s an abundance  of mold growth on your mattress, it is most likely time to replace it with a new one.

    Vacuum Both Sides Of The Mattress Thoroughly

    Start the cleaning process by vacuuming both sides of your mattress. 

    Be sure  to clean out your vacuum cleaner’s dust catcher immediately after this step.

    Treat The Mold Area

    There are three ways that you can treat the mold on your mattress: dish soap, rubbing alcohol, or hydrogen peroxide. Here’s how each of these three methods works:

    Dish Soap Spot Treatment

    1. Mix one part dish soap and three parts water in a spray bottle, then spray this on any visible mold spots.
    2. Gently dampen a clean cloth and use it to lightly scrub the moldy area. Don’t forget to scrub past the visible edges of the mold spots so you also clean off invisible spores.
    3. Once you’ve removed all the visible mold, get a new clean cloth and dip it in clean water. Then, wipe the affected areas clean.

    Hydrogen Peroxide Treatment

    1. Mix one part hydrogen peroxide with three parts water.
    2. Dip a cleaning brush into your hydrogen peroxide mixture and use it to lightly scrub any moldy spots. Keep scrubbing past visible edges to kill invisible mold spores.
    3. Once all the moldy spots have been scrubbed clean, put any remaining hydrogen peroxide mixture into a spray bottle and spray your mattress surface.
    4. Allow these spots to dry in direct sunlight.
    5. Repeat steps 1 to 5 one more time.

    Rubbing Alcohol Treatment

    1. Mix equal parts rubbing alcohol and water.
    2. Soak a clean cloth in the rubbing alcohol solution, then wring the excess solution out.
    3. Use the dampened cloth to scrub off any visible mold, taking care to scrub past edges to kill invisible mold spores.
    4. Dry your mattress in direct sunlight.
    5. Repeat steps 1 to 4 one more time.

    Air Out The Mattress (Use Direct Sunlight If Possible)

    Once you’ve thoroughly spot-treated and washed your mattress, you need to let it dry in an airy space exposed to direct sunlight. Studies have shown that UV (ultraviolet) rays are effective mold killers, and the sun is a natural source of this light. Note that it can take anywhere from one to three hours for UV ray exposure to break down the mold and make it inactive.

    Let your mattress dry fully in the sun. Placing damp mattresses on bed bases is the sure-fire way to expedite mold growth once agian. Once you’re done airing and sunning your mattress, put your dry, clean bedding and pillows back on and keep an eye out for mold in the next few days. Don’t take the risk of sleeping on your bed if the mold spots return, as mold can have serious short and long-term effects on your health.

    How To Prevent Getting Mold (Future Prevention)

    You can prevent mold growth in your bed with the following tips. All of these steps are meant to keep moisture at bay and increase airflow in your room:

    • Switch to a slatted bed foundation: A slatted bed foundation can keep the underside of your mattress well-ventilated. If you’re using a solid bed base and worried about mold, switch to a slatted bed frame instead. The slats will leave open space underneath exposing more air to your mattress.
    • Use a mattress protector: Waterproof mattress protectors can keep moisture from penetrating mattress surfaces. It can also protect your mattress from fungus infestations, dust, and debris. Consider getting one to cover your mattress and mattress toppers – it’ll keep your mattress sparkling clean for much longer. Note that you still need to wash your mattress protector regularly, as you would other bedding.
    • Clean up spills and accidents immediately: It’s important to immediately clean up any liquid spilled on your mattress. An immediate clean also keeps a stain from setting, so whatever the fluid,  be sure to wash immediately to prevent permanently discoloring your mattress. Need tips for cleaning blood from your bedding? Try the DIY solutions in our guide on how to get blood out of your sheets.
    • Air out your mattress and bedding frequently: A dry, well-ventilated environment is the enemy of mold. Make sure you air out your sheets, pillows, blankets, and other forms of bedding. If you’re unsure how often you should wash and air-dry your pillows, read our guide on how to wash your pillows for cleaning tips.
    • Store your mattress in a dry, clean place: If you need to store your mattress, it’s best to put it away in a place with low humidity, far from dust, debris, and other things that would damage your mattress. Read our guide on how to store a mattress for more tips on how to put away your mattress properly and keep it in good shape.
    • Use a dehumidifier: High humidity creates a damp environment that allows mold, fungi, and mildew to thrive in your bedroom. Using a dehumidifier will lower the humidity and help prevent future mold growth.
    • Put an air purifier in your bedroom: Air purifiers can keep air constantly circulating in your bedroom, preventing moisture from building up. This, in turn, can keep mold at bay.
    • Leave fans on in your bedroom: If practical, keep electric fans on in your room. This will allow air to circulate freely from your bedroom to your household and prevent moisture from getting trapped.

    Protect Your Mattress With Purple

    To protect your new mattress against mold, it's crucial to take preventative measures such as using a waterproof mattress protector or a bed foundation and mattress that promotes air circulation. 

    At Purple, we believe that a mold-free sleeping environment is essential for a good night's rest. If you noticed mold on your mattress and decided it's time to replace it, we are here to help. 

    Purple mattress protector: This water- and stain-resistant cover  protects from spills while featuring a unique stretch that allows you to  experience the full comfort of your mattress

    Platform Bed Frame: A lightweight, sturdy and simple to set up foundation designed  with ample air circulation.

    Upgrade your mattress to one that is designed with airflow in mind. To keep moisture out and keep you sleeping cool all night. 

    Purple Mattress: Our bestselling mattress made with over a thousand  air channels that keep cool and comfortable all night long.

    About the authors

    Cecilia Gillen

    Cecilia brings over five years of writing experience primarily centered around lifestyle and health topics. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Media and Journalism from the University of South Dakota. She’s both an advocate for sleep and a night owl at heart.