Vacuuming Your Mattress Is the Crucial Bedroom Cleaning Step You Shouldn't Skip

The next time you change your sheets, give the surface of your mattress a quick clean, too.

If you’ve never done it before, vacuuming your mattress might sound a little odd. But according to Matthew Lee, a senior research scientist for Dyson, your mattress can collect dust just like any other household surface, which means it could be harboring dust mites, bacteria, pollen, and viruses.

“While it may look clean, your mattress may actually be a hotbed of microscopic life, which could be impacting your well-being while you sleep,” Lee says. Even if you keep up with changing your sheets weekly, it might not be enough to keep your mattress clean. Learn how to vacuum your mattress the right way to eliminate dust and bacteria.

hand vacuuming mattress in bedroom

Getty Images / Basak Gurbuz Derman

Why You Should Vacuum Your Mattress

You wouldn’t want any other area of your house to stay dusty, and the same goes for your mattress (especially since you sleep on it every night). Plus, extended exposure to dust, such as breathing it in for eight hours each night, can eventually start to have health affects. “While dust mites themselves are harmless, dust mite allergens are one of the relevant inducers of allergic diseases worldwide,” Lee says. “Extensive exposure in early childhood to indoor allergens, including house dust mites, has also been associated with asthma.”

How to Vacuum Your Mattress

Unfortunately, washing and changing your sheets every week isn’t enough to keep your mattress clean. “Dust mites might be small, but they’re tenacious,” Lee says. “Their claws help them cling on to the fibers deep in your mattress, which can make them difficult to remove.”

Fortunately, the suction from a vacuum cleaner, especially in high-power mode, is enough to dislodge and remove any dust mites clinging to the surface. Lee recommends using the Dyson Hair Screw Tool in handheld mode, which is designed specifically for use on mattresses. However, you can also use an upholstery attachment or any attachment that has stiff nylon bristles, as these can dislodge dust mites and debris from mattress fibers. “Make sure the vacuum you’re using has a fully sealed filtration system to avoid allergens being expelled back into your face as you clean,” Lee says.

Once you have the right attachment, vacuum the top and sides of the mattress, paying special attention to any folds or seams that could collect dust mites. It might also help to vacuum beneath the bed where dust can gather. And remember to rotate or flip your mattress at least every few months, so each area sees the same amount of use. This will help prevent sagging and make your mattress last longer.

How Often to Vacuum Your Mattress

You should wash and change your bedding every week to remove dead skin cells, but you may not need to vacuum your mattress as often. It can be convenient to go ahead and vacuum after stripping the sheets, but according to Lee, it doesn’t have to be every week.

“A general rule of thumb is to clean your mattress twice a year: once when you’re doing spring cleaning, and once at the end of dust mite season in October,” Lee says. “This ensures you’re reducing the number of skin flakes present in your mattress before dust mite season begins, minimizing dust mites’ food source.”

However, if you have seasonal allergies to pollen, or are allergic to dust mites, you might want to vacuum mattresses more regularly. If you have pets (and especially if they sleep in your bed), you’ll also want to clean your mattress more often. “Our 2023 Global Dust Study revealed that 44% of Americans allow their pets to sleep in the bed, yet over 40% of Americans are not cleaning their mattresses regularly,” Lee says. If your pets shed a lot, or if anyone in your home is allergic to pet dander, consider vacuuming your mattress as often as once per month. 

Just like the rest of your furniture, a little routine maintenance every now and then will help keep your mattress in like-new condition for as long as possible. Plus, you might even see an improvement in your quality of sleep when you’re tucked into a clean, cozy bed every night.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles