How To Avoid Mattress Mold + The Best Mold Resistant Mattress
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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. Often times 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.
One additional problem when it comes to mattress mold is the glue / adhesive that is used in the mattress assembly process. Mold loves the stuff. It’s a favorite food for sure. Hence why it is important to look for a mattress without glues and adhesives.
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.
5. Do not place your mattress underneath a window if at all possible. If you do, make sure that the window is not leaking, is sealed with mold resistant caulk, and isn’t getting condensation.
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 right 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 or Remedy Mold Treatment 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. I also highly recommend using Remedy Shampoo and Body Wash and it actually removes mold spores from your body.
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
Any mattress can get mold. While there are some types of materials that are more mold resistant than others, any mattress can get mold if you aren’t practicing good mold prevention.
Typically all natural latex, wool, and rubberized coconut fiber are the best materials to use in a mattress to resist mold growth. Mattresses with coils and springs also help prevent mold as they give the mattress a layer of breathability.
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
Designed for performance, the Happsy mattress delivers on its promise of a better night’s sleep through innovative technology and creative use of natural materials. It happens to also be a mattress with a conscience – designed to make a positive impact on the environment.
The Happsy mold resistant mattress features certified organic, sustainably harvested and environmentally-friendly materials, while eliminating the harsh chemicals, foams and adhesives used by conventional mattress brands. Its organic design is not only better for the planet, but also provides excellent support, contouring to your every curve and dissipating heat for a more comfortable night’s sleep.
The Happsy mattress is not only a super affordable non-toxic mattress but it offers several layers of mold resistance. The organic wool layer is a first line of defense against mold as it offers breathability and natural fungal resistance. The organic latex is also naturally mold resistant giving you that next layer of protection. The pocketed springs allow your body heat to dissipate which means less sweating while sleeping which equals less moisture heading into that mattress! And finally, they use NO glue or adhesives in the mattress making process. Mold spores love glue and adhesives.
I have the Happsy mattress in my daughter’s room and often find myself falling into a deep sleep there. It is one of the most comfortable mattress I have personally owned and is very supportive for those middle age bones of mine. 😉
Happsy also offers a lot of other great non-toxic and organic products such as a super soft organic sheet set, a mattress pad, and a mattress topper.
Check out the Happsy mattress collection here.
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!
This is a great choice for a mold resistant mattress but please know that currently only the mattress top is certified as GOTS organic. I am super chemically sensitive and have never had an issue with this mattress off gassing or causing issues for me.
Check out the Brentwood Home line of mattresses here.
The Naturepedic Line Of Mattresses
Naturepedic offers a wide variety of non-toxic mattresses designed to match you with the perfect mattress based on your sleep preferences. All beds are MADE SAFE Certified. All ingredients used meet the GOTS organic & nontoxic standard. Naturepedic uses only GOTS certified cotton and wool, and uses only GOLS certified latex. No adhesives are used because everything that is attached is hand sewn or clipped or heat sealed. This offers a nice added layer of mold resistance since like I mentioned before, mold loves to eat adhesives.
The wool and PLA make the Naturepedic line more mold resistant than the average mattress. PLA is a high-performance material made from non-GMO sugarcane that adds resiliency and improved moisture wicking. I would personally suggest you choose one of their mattress that has coils since these help dissipate body heater more effectively.
Check out the Naturepedic line of mattress here.
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.
Check out the Palpring Mattress here
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.
You can check out the Sleep On Latex Pure Green mattresses here
The Best Mold Resistant Crib Mattress
Let’s not forget about the littlest sleepers out there! Not only do you want to protect their vulnerable bodies from mold but you also want to keep chemicals and other toxins as far away from them as possible.
The great news is that there are 5 mold resistant crib mattress options to choose from thanks to my friends over at Naturepedic.
Regardless of the model you select, all Naturepedic crib mattresses are free from harmful chemicals including flame retardants, vinyl/PVC, polyurethane foam, phthalates, biocides, perfluorinated compounds (PFAS) and other questionable materials. They’re also waterproof and easy-to-clean to help keep things hygienic and ensure your baby won’t be breathing mold, bacteria or other microbial growth. Finally, they’re 100% certified organic while avoiding the use of allergenic materials such as latex and wool.
Check out which mold resistant crib mattress is the best choice for your wee one.
- Lightweight Organic Cotton Classic Crib Mattress
- Breathable Organic Baby Crib Mattress
- Breathable Ultra Organic Baby Crib Mattress
- Mini Crib Mattress
- Oval Shaped Crib Mattress
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?
You can find the Sleep On Latex Pure Green Line of Mattress Toppers here
Happsy Organic Mattress Topper
Featuring certified organic materials without the harmful chemicals, the Happsy organic mattress topper provides a healthier alternative to conventional foam brands. Use with any size mattress for added comfort, pressure point relief, and a plush, pillow-top feel.
While I have not personally used this topper, I do have their mold resistant mattress and love it! I am confident that their mattress topper is equally as amazing.
You can find the Happsy Organic Mattress Topper here.
Naturepedic Organic Mattress Toppers
With three different mattress toppers to choose from, Naturepedic has something for everyone when it comes to mold resistant mattress toppers. Choose from a soft and fluffy organic wool mattress topper or two different thicknesses of latex mattress toppers. Either way, you will sleep cool, comfortable and mold free!
You can find all three Naturepedic Mattress Toppers here.
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.
You can find the Lucid Bamboo Charcoal Mattress Topper here
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.
You can find the Qbedding Carbonized Bamboo Summer Sleeping Mat here
After an air test, it was confirmed that we had Aspergillus and Penicillium mold in the basement and first floor of our home. We have since moved out of the house and now wondering if our mattress which was always located on the second floor of our home is a problem. We are going to move into our new house in 3 days and wondering if we use a HEPA vacuum and spray it with EC3 spray if we’ll be okay. Any thoughts or recommendations?
I am so sorry I missed this question! If it were me, I would HEPA vacuum the mattress, spray it with EC3, and then encase it in one of those bed bug protectors. Ideally you won’t bring a mattress because they are very tough to clean (and there likely were mold spores that made their way to the mattress) but if finances do not allow for a new one, this is the best way to handle it!
Thank you. I cant afford all new mattresses., but I did want to get toppers. What encasing would you recommend. I am so thankful to have found this website. Many blessings to you. My husband and I have hit our 70s.
Hi Monty! I am actually going to be updating this article to include several choices for encasing a mattress. Until then… here are my picks:
We purchased a memory foam mattress in a box 3 months ago and placed it on our box springs. When I went to remove the dust ruffle, we found mold on the bottom. The company is refusing to help and we follow almost all of the suggestions you list from letting light in to washing sheets weekly to mattress covers and showering and clean clothing before bed. I truly believe this was a factory issue we inherited as we have never had issues like this. Is there any recourse with companies who refuse to help?
I am so sorry to hear this! If you want to email me with the company name, I would love to know! If it has only been 3 months, they should 100% replace the mattress of refund your money. This is something you could take to the Better Business Bureau for sure. I would even just email then stating that you are hiring an attorney and give them 72 hours to correct the situation. The word attorney will get their attention.
Hi there, are you able to provide any recommendations for mattresses available in Canada? The ones you have listed here are all in the US.
YES!!!! I am actually going to update this article with two new mattress options. Here is the link to one company I will be recommending. It has their Canadian Shipping Info: https://shrsl.com/2gyju This is the only one I know of currently that ships to Canada.
I recently purchased a new mattress, in order to keep the warranty active they want me to use a full encasement. I am concerned this will lead to mold as the air will become stagnate inside the encasement.
What do you recommend? Air it out once a month?
Thank you for all of this wonderful advice.
I suspect I know which company this is. 😉 Yes, let it air out once a month. Alternatively, leave it a little bit unzipped. The good news is that the mattress should not absorb moisture since it will be in an encasement, is encasement work as advertised.
I have been making myself nuts trying to determine what expensive items I can afford to keep when I vacate the moldy house that’s been slowly killin’ me for about 6 years, and I am hoping you might be able to comment from your experience and education to help me determine whether I have a good shot at safely keeping a less than 1-year-old encased mattress + encased boxspring set.
I replaced my mattress and boxspring last July after some remediation was done and the whole place was fogged with Hypochlorous Acid in an electrostatic fogger, and I was fogging the home myself daily, sometimes twice daily, with Hypochlorous Acid at around 5 microns. As soon as the brand new mattress and boxspring were delivered and the plastic was removed from each one, the delivery guys and I slid on premium waterproof/allergenic/’moldproof’ encasements. I think I fogged some more after they left, out of an abundance of caution.
My health has not improved and I must move, and I am debating whether or not to take the mattress and boxspring with me.. the set cost me a cool grand, and even though the encasement zippers have not appeared to breathe along with the mattress all this time and both the mattress and boxpring appear to have been sealed up safe from spores, it’s difficult to know if they couldn’t still gotten through the encasement somehow.
The encasements were slightly oversized in relation to the mattress and boxspring thickness, so some air was trapped in them which hasn’t let out all this time, but the HVAC air ducts had also recently been cleaned and sprayed with HOCl, and any air trapped in the encasements would have also been fogged just minutes before.
I’m wondering if I can take the mattress and boxspring out of the house still encased, maybe onto a clean tarp or something, and then cover them up to transport them to the new place, and then fog ’em and let them dry, and re-encase them again with premium encasements, and not be too paranoid about reexposure?
You can imagine how beat to heck my body is right now and how I’m gonna need quality sleep, and this whole ordeal has driven me to borderline poverty so I’m trying to be smart in terms of avoiding cross-contamination so that Ican actually start to heal, but without also sending myself into more debt replacing expensive stuff that seem to have good odds at being salvaged safely.
If it were you and you were desperate to get healthy but too broke to be tossing a $1000 mattress set that seems to have been well sealed from the moldy environment as best as possible, do you think you would you chance it?
Have you ever heard of this brand? Saatva.com
We have a memory foam one… ugh but it does say CertiPUR-US® certified foams. Does that mean anything?
Saatva is not one of the mattress brands I would ever recommend. CertiPUR-US certification does NOT mean that the entire mattress (or even the foam) is chemical-free, safe, non-toxic, or free of carcinogens. And polyurethane foam can never be certified organic. While this certification does ban certain substances (like CFCs) and they do conduct some testing for VOCs, the other qualifications they require might not make much of a difference at all. For example, they say that their certified mattresses are free from heavy metals and formaldehyde. However, they also admit that heavy metals or formaldehyde are rarely found in polyurethane foam in the first place. Basically it isn’t a true standard indicating a healthy mattress choice.