Mattresses are a gathering place for all kinds of nasty things you’d rather not know about. One of the worst offenders is mold. Yes. Mold.
There are very few things in this world that are immune to mold growth and mattresses are not the exception. They provide organic material for mold to grow on in addition to the buffet of dirt, shedding skin, hair, body fluids, and more. So gross I know.
So how do you avoid mattress mold and is there a mold resistant mattress?
What Causes Mattress Mold?
Mattresses include soft, porous materials in their construction, such as cotton covers or foam comfort layers. Any of these can absorb moisture and since mold needs moisture to grow, cause your mattress to develop mold.
When you sleep, your body temperature rises and the human body perspires in order to cool it back down. This happens even during cold weather.
During this process the body gets rid of a great deal of water. This water is not just absorbed by our clothes, sheets, and mattress pad. Fairly often moisture gets beyond these defenses and into the mattress itself. The mattress acts like a sponge and absorbs the moisture.
Your mattress becomes a giant warm, moist Petri dish for mold. Oftentimes you won’t see mold growth on the surface right away but the mold will be growing down deep and hidden within the mattress layers.
If you are noticing it on the surface it is highly likely it was growing in your mattress long before you noticed since the mattress surface is the least likely spot for growth because it dries the fastest. This is what makes mattresses so tough to clean.
Another cause of mattress mold is the platform you are using for your mattress or if your mattress is directly on the floor. Air has to circulate properly on both sides of the mattress – not just one side. If you put your mattress directly on a carpeted floor there is a 100% chance of developing mold. I have yet to see a mattress on a carpeted floor that didn’t have some mold growth.
How To Avoid Mattress Mold
There are a LOT of ways to prevent mattress mold. The problem is, you can’t pick and choose. You have to follow every mattress mold prevention tip listed. Doing one or two things to prevent mold won’t cut it.
Let’s look at the 22 ways to prevent mold from growing on your mattress.
1. Replace your old mattress! An aged mattress has gone through a lot, often having been in contact several different substances. If your mattress is over ten years old, chances are that mold has formed, or is more prevalent to form.
2. Avoid memory foam mattresses. Not only are they super toxic but they can have mold issues straight from the factory. They are the most air tight mattress on the market and you need breathability to prevent mattress mold.
3. Keep good airflow on the underside of the mattress. Instead of a board or box spring, invest in a slatted bed base. Because the slats are spaced out, the air will flow freely on the underside of the mattress, unlike standard flat top bases. This is the slatted bed base I use for all our mattresses.
4. Use a breathable mattress cover. Not only does this offer another line of defense against moisture creeping into your mattress but it also keeps the yucky stuff in your mattress from coming in contact with your skin. This is the mattress cover I recommend.
6. Let the light in! Mold requires a humid, dark habitat to survive and reproduce. Open curtains and give your mattress a chance to see the light.
7. Don’t purposely introduce moisture to your bed. Don’t ever lie down out of the shower or the pool and always dry your hair before lying down.
8. Keep all damp towels and clothes off the mattress.
9. Dry spills immediately.
10. Wash bedsheets once weekly or more often if you are a prolific night sweater.
11. When you change your bedsheets, HEPA vacuum your bed. No, I am not kidding. Use your HEPA vacuum with the upholstery attachment to vacuum the entire top of the mattress as well as the sides. Then, mist it with EC3 Mold Solution Spray. Allow it to dry completely.
12. Choose 100% organic cotton sheets. These sheets breathe and will prevent moisture from being trapped in your bed. These are some of my absolute favorite sheets.
13. Flip and rotate the mattress every 3 months.
14. Let the mattress air out occasionally. Ideally you will place it standing up, with no bedding. Some people drag their mattress outside to get some sun but honestly, there are so many types of mold outdoors that this practice seems a bit risky.
15. Keep the airflow going, even when you’re away. Stagnant air in the bedroom can allow mold to flourish in your mattress. Fans and air conditioning can do wonders for circulation. In addition, try to keep the bedroom door open.
16. If you have bathroom in the bedroom, make sure you are following proper mold prevention tips in the bathroom.
17. If your bedroom is prone to moisture or you live in an area of high humidity, run a dehumidifier in your bedroom, especially at night.
18. Run a quality air purifier in your bedroom to remove mold and other yucky stuff.
19. Shower or rinse off prior to going to bed to remove any mold spores from your hair and/or body before bed.
20. Change into fresh, clean clothing before getting into bed to prevent bringing mold spores into bed with you.
21. Replace your pillows at least once per year if not more. These are my favorite pillows as they have mold resistant properties.
22. Don’t eat in bed. Crumbs fall which is just another food source for mold.
Can You Clean A Moldy Mattress?
Nope. Not a chance. I’m not even going to suggest that there is a way to remove mold from a mattress. If you see surface mold that means there is mold deeper in your mattress and there is no way to get it out. All you can do is get a new mattress.
The Best Mold Resistant Mattress
Typically all natural latex, wool, and rubberized coconut fiber are the best materials to use in a mattress to resist mold growth.
There are even a couple of mattresses that have an activated charcoal layer in them to further help resistant moisture and prevent mold growth.
Let’s take a look at the specific mold resistant mattresses and mattress toppers I recommend.
Mold Resistant Mattresses
Crystal Cove Mattress From Brentwood Home
This is the mattress that I personally use and the mattress in our seldom-used guest room.
The Crystal Cove mattress balances the latest in sleep technology — activated charcoal-infused memory foam and precision-tuned coils — with essential natural elements, such as 100% natural Dunlop latex. It is as mold resistant as you can get without a steep price tag.
What I love about the Crystal Cove mattress is it’s unique dual-sided design for a customizable, ultra-luxurious sleeping experience. To change your preference, simply flip the mattress. One side is more plush, the other more firm. Super awesome!
The Palmpring Line Of Mattresses
This is a new to me company but one of my friends has their mattress and loves it. The price tag is a bit high but they do have a unique blend of materials and the mattress is really comfy.
The Palmpring mattresses use certified organic natural latex, along with organic rubberized coconut fiber, wool, and cotton to create a mattress that’s mold resistant and free of off-gassing.
Sleep On Latex Pure Green Natural Latex Mattress
I haven’t personally used these mattresses but I use and LOVE their mattress toppers.
Sleep On Latex Pure Green uses 100% natural latex foam with a quilted cover made of organic cotton and organic new zealand wool. Greenguard gold certified – no fire retardant chemicals or barrier cloths.
Mold Resistant Mattress Toppers
Sleep On Latex Pure Green Natural Latex Mattress Topper
These are the mattress toppers that I have used and love. My daughter has one on her bed. They are amazing. So comfy. They sleep cool. I have NEVER had a mold issue. The price is right! What more do you need?
Lucid 4 Inch Bamboo Charcoal Memory Foam Mattress Topper
Normally I don’t recommended memory foam anything but this particular mattress topper really performs. Infused bamboo charcoal helps regulate moisture and mold growth. In addition it is ventilated for proper airflow.
Qbedding Carbonized Bamboo Summer Sleeping Mat
This is a great mattress topper for people are really prone to sweat at night. This sleeping pad is handcrafted to cool your body temperature. The carbonized bamboo offers a layer of mold resistance while remaining breathable.