Can You Wash Mattress Cover in Washing Machine?

In most cases, mattress covers are machine washable. However, it’s recommended to check the care label first before deciding to wash them. To wash your machine washable mattress cover, always set the washer to the delicate cycle and cold water settings.

No matter how good your mattress is, it is important to wash it before using it. This not only helps to kill any bacteria but also removes any strange odors if any.

Key Takeaways

  • Most mattress covers are sturdy and can be machine washed post-checking the care label.
  • Mattress covers are generally made of cotton, cashmere, wool, vinyl, polyester, and other synthetic materials that can withstand the machine-washing process.
  • It’s recommended to wash your mattress cover in cold water with gentle cycle settings in order to prevent any damage.
  • Always use a suitable detergent to wash the mattress cover, and never use any harsh chemicals or fabric softeners.

What is a mattress cover?

A mattress cover is an encasing made up of fabrics to protect mattresses.

Although mattress covers are available in cashmere, cotton, wool, latex, and other synthetic materials, the majority of them are either polyester-based or made from cotton.

With that said, some mattresses sold in the U.S. may contain fiberglass insulation underneath the mattress cover, especially the less expensive ones.

So, just look for a mattress that is marketed as fiberglass-free if you want to avoid fiberglass-based mattresses.

What are mattress covers made of?

Organic cotton, polyester, cotton, vinyl, cashmere, wool, latex, and polyurethane are the most commonly used materials used to manufacture mattress covers.

Among all the materials, cotton is considered to be the most comfortable. It is not only soft but also helps to breathe better than synthetic fibers.

Some high-end mattress covers are made from terry cloth, bamboo, microfiber cloth, felt, Viscose Damask, or even microfiber.

Over time, mattress covers or protectors accumulate a lot of dirt, bacteria, sweat, and food residues caused by spillage.

So, to maintain appropriate hygiene, mattress covers should also be washed, regardless of the fabric, they are made from.

 Whether it has water-repellent capabilities or not, you will need to wash it.

Just check the care label before choosing the washing method.

How often should you wash a mattress cover?

As a general rule of thumb, washing your mattress covers every two months should suffice. However, you may need to increase the washing frequency if you have kids and pets at home, and don’t forget the frequency of spillages.

So, if you are spot cleaning the mattress as soon as the spillage occurs and if you vacuum it in a timely manner, you can extend the washing frequency.

Can you wash the mattress cover with sheets?

It’s recommended to wash the mattress covers alone as they tend to get heavy once they are wet. However, if your washer has a decent capacity, you can wash them with sheets made of similar fabrics.

How to wash a mattress cover in the washing machine? (Machine Washable Covers)

wash mattress cover in washing machine

The process of washing a mattress cover is fairly simple. You will need 

Step 1: Read the Care Label

Reading the care label is important because it will help you to figure out the right method of washing.

Furthermore, the care label will have some key information on the water temperature and drying method as well.

In general, it is recommended to wash your mattress cover in cold water. However, if the care label allows you to perform a hot water wash, you can do so.

The bottom line is that the care label will give you all the information you need, i.e., at what temperature you should wash and whether hot air drying is suitable or not.

Step 2: Pre-treat the Stains

The next step is to pretreat the stains using a mild suitable detergent mixed in a bowl of water.

Here’s how to do it.

  • Dip the sponge in the spot cleaning solution and blot the affected areas.
  • Gently rub the stained areas with the sponge and leave the mattress cover aside for approximately 10 minutes. minutes.
  • Rinse the affected areas with clean, cold water and wipe the wet areas with a soft microfiber cloth.

Step 3: Put the Mattress Cover in the washer

Once you are done with the pre-treatment, place the mattress cover in the washer.

For best results, try to wash them alone and don’t add any other fabrics.

Step 4: Set the Right Wash Cycle

This is where the information prescribed in the care label comes in handy. So, if you have read the care label, you should be able to select the right type of wash.

In most cases, the ideal settings to wash the mattress cover are as below.

  • Wash Type: Gentle/Delicate
  • Soil Level: Normal
  • Spin Speed: Low
  • Water Temperature: Usually Cold but some care labels may recommend hot wash
  • Detergent: mild or natural detergents (only suitable detergents)
  • Fabric Softeners: Not Recommended
  • Pre-Wash: Not needed (instead pre-treat the stains).

Once you have set the right wash cycle after reading the care label, it’s time to hit the start button and let the washer complete the wash cycle.

Step 5: Air Dry the Mattress cover naturally

While most mattress covers can be dried in the dryer, it’s recommended to let them air dry naturally to be on the safe side.

If you have read the care label and if it recommends machine drying, you can put them in the dryer on low heat and low spin settings.

If you are unsure about the drying process, it’s best to let them dry naturally by simply hanging them on a clothesline.

Note: Do not wring the mattress cover.

How to Handwash a Mattress Cover? (Non-Machine Washable Mattress Cover)

Handwashing the mattress cover is easy and, in most cases, it does not require any prep work.

The process is fairly straightforward and gives you more control over the washing process.

Here’s how you can hand wash the mattress cover.

Things required:

  • A bucket or a sink
  • Mild detergent
  • Sponge, cloth, or soft-bristled brush

Step 1: Prepare the cleaning solution

Start by pouring some water into the bucket or a sink big enough to accommodate the mattress cover.

Next, add some detergent to the water and mix it well until the detergent is diluted.

Step 2: Put the mattress cover in the sink or bucket

The next step is to put the mattress cover in the sink or bucket and agitate gently so that the mattress cover is soaked completely.

Note: You can even add a few drops of Dettol or Lysol disinfectant at this stage in order to disinfect the mattress cover. Alternatively, you may use distilled white vinegar if you don’t have the disinfectant handy.

Step 3: Hand Wash the Mattress Cover

Start working on your mattress evenly and make sure that you cover each and every corner.

You may need to put additional focus on the stained areas. Be gentle and don’t try too hard to get rid of stains, as you may end up damaging the fabric.

Step 4: Rinse with clean water

The next step is to rinse the mattress with clean water and get rid of the soap residue.

Step 5: Dry the mattress cover as per the recommended method

If you have read the care label before or even after washing, you should know the right method to dry your mattress cover.

If you are unsure about the drying process or if the care label is missing, simply stick to the air drying method.

Also, if you are drying the cover using a dryer, use a low spin cycle with low heat settings (only to be done if the care label recommends machine drying).

Freshening Mattress Cover without washing it

The easiest way to freshen the mattress cover without washing it is to use baking soda.

In order to use this technique, you will need to plan it well in advance as this process is not instant and may take up to 24 hours.

Here’s how to do it.

Step 1: Remove the mattress cover from the mattress.

Step 2: Apply some baking soda evenly and generously over the mattress cover and let it sit like that overnight.

Step 3: The next morning, pat the mattress cover and vacuum it to remove the baking soda powder.

Step 4: Dry brush the mattress cover.

Can you put a mattress cover in the dryer?

The mattress covers can be dried in a dryer, under a fan, or even air dried naturally by hanging them on a clothesline. However, it’s important to check the care label as not all types of mattress covers may be dryer friendly.

If your mattress cover is dryer friendly, always use low heat and low spin settings to tumble dry your mattress protector.

Note: Tumble dryers are not recommended for waterproof mattress protectors. There is a good chance that it will damage the fabric.

Final Thoughts

Not all mattress covers are machine washable and dryer friendly as the fabric used to manufacture them may vary.

So, it’s important to read the care label carefully before deciding on the washing approach.

With that said, always make sure to select the right wash cycle based on the instructions on the label, as selecting the wrong cycle could make your mattress cover appear dull and amplify the wear and tear on the fabric.

Lastly, sanitize the cover while washing as it will help to get rid of bacteria caused by food spillage and dirt accumulation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you wash a memory foam mattress cover?

It is not recommended to machine wash a memory foam mattress cover since the strong agitation may rip the foam, making the cover ineffective. Furthermore, do not dry your memory foam mattress cover in the dryer. It’s best to spot clean the memory foam covers in order to keep them in good shape.

Can you remove the cover from a memory foam mattress?

It is possible to unzip and remove the cover. However, this may void the warranty as the manufacturer may not recommend this. So, check with the manufacturer about the warranty coverage and cleaning tips (in most cases, the care label will have this information).

How to wash a waterproof mattress protector?

It’s better to hand wash the waterproof mattress cover using mild detergent and cold water. However, if the care label recommends machine washing, then you can use a delicate cycle and cold water settings to wash them. Just make sure to use a bleach-free laundry detergent in order to avoid any damage.

How often should you change the mattress cover?

Changing the mattress cover every 2 years should be ideal. However, if the wear and tear are less due to limited usage, then you can extend it even further.

Hemant Sarkar is a seasoned techie with a diploma in computer science and an impressive track record of over 15 years in dealing with speakers, kitchen appliances, and various home appliance-related issues. He is widely recognized for his exceptional expertise in repairing dryers and washing machines from all major brands. In addition to his appliance repair prowess, Hemant maintains engaging blogs on topics related to music and speakers. For any inquiries or assistance regarding appliances or tech-related matters, you can reach out to him at: hemant (at)