Blog > How To Clean A Mattress After Covid-19 [Purging Coronavirus 2024]

How To Clean A Mattress After Covid-19 [Purging Coronavirus 2024]

How To Clean A Mattress After Covid-19 [Purging Coronavirus 2024]

How To Clean A Bed After Covid-19?

When the COVID-19 pandemic broke out in 2020, the world forever changed and so did how we clean our homes and belongings. We’ve all been washing our hands more than ever, disinfecting our doorknobs, and even wiping down our groceries! There is likely one very important item you are forgetting to clean—your mattress. 

Table of Contents


1. Can You Get Covid From A Mattress?


2. How Long Can The Coronavirus Live On A Mattress?


3. How To Clean A Mattress From Covid-19


4. How To Disinfect A Mattress From Covid-19


5. Cleaning and Disinfecting a Mattress


 6. Can I Spray Alcohol To Disinfect A Mattress From Covid-19?


After you’ve been sick in bed, you’ll obviously want to change your sheets, but there can be some residual particles on your mattress. Changing and washing your sheets alone won’t remove all of the germs that have accumulated on your mattress while you’ve been sick in bed. It’s crucial to clean your mattress as well. 

Here’s how to clean a bed after COVID-19 and some answers to common questions you might have about mattresses and COVID-19.

Can You Get Covid From A Mattress?

No, there is currently no evidence that the Coronavirus can spread on mattresses. So, you cannot get COVID-19 from a mattress. As research on the COVID-19 virus improves and increases, there have been new developments in learning about how the Coronavirus spreads and what surfaces it lives on. If your family has COVID-19 or is suspected of having it, health professionals suggest cleaning and disinfecting your entire home, mattress, sheets, and laundry included. 

contaminated mattress

Remember that there is a difference between cleaning and disinfecting. Cleaning, according to the CDC, "physically eliminates germs from surfaces" by using soap or detergent to remove germs from surfaces or items. According to the CDC, disinfecting destroys germs on surfaces with chemicals but does not remove dirt. It’s vital to do both for optimal cleanliness. The best way to protect your mattress from COVID-19, allergens, and other gems is by using a mattress protector. Adding the protective layer of a mattress protector will cover up your mattress and prevent any germs from contaminating your mattress. 

How Long Can The Coronavirus Live On A Mattress?

It has been suspected that the Coronavirus can live on a mattress anywhere between 2 hours and 2 days, according to Dr. Isaac Bogoch, an Infectious Disease Specialist at the University of Toronto. There haven’t been any studies since 2020 to determine how long COVID-19 can live on a mattress. However, this information was revealed to the CBC in 2020, in the early days of the pandemic, when research about how long the Coronavirus can live on surfaces was limited. 

Covid life span

Additionally, the National Environmental Agency advises that as of October 2021, the virus can live on “surfaces such as curtains, bedsheets, carpets, mattresses, pillows or cushions for 2-3 days.” 

How To Clean A Mattress From Covid-19

Even though evidence and research is divided on how long COVID-19 can live on a mattress, it is recommended to clean your mattress after you or a family member has contracted COVID-19 to air on the side of caution. Cleaning a mattress can be a challenge and it can be difficult to know what cleaning products you can use on the mattress. 

How To Clean A Mattress From Covid-19

The following steps will help you get your mattress clean from COVID-19

  1. Before spraying any disinfectant, remove all bedding and vacuum the surface of the mattress. You can do this for either type of mattress or mattress cover. It’s not possible to vacuum up germs, but the accumulation of dust and allergens on your mattress might lead to worse symptoms or another illness. This is especially true if you suffer from allergies, anyway. Make sure to use your vacuum's upholstery attachment.
  2. Find out if your mattress has a cover. Then, determine if the cover is impermeable or not. Impermeable mattress covers are waterproof, and liquids will not penetrate them. Permeable mattress covers are not waterproof and liquids will soak through the cover to your mattress. 
  3. For impermeable covers, remove sheets and blankets. Clean any soiled areas with soap and water, then air dry it. 
  4. Once the mattress is dry, spray or wipe the entire surface with a cleaner that is proven to kill the COVID-19 virus and allow it to dry. 
  5. If the mattress is permeable and there is no mattress pad, clean any soiled or stained areas before disinfecting. Allow the surface to dry. 
  6. If there is a mattress cover on the permanent mattress, remove the cover and wash with pillowcases, sheets, pillows, and any other blankets or bedding. Wash linens separately from another laundry on hot water. 

Another important thing to remember when cleaning and washing bed linens after COVID-19 is to not shake out the linens and to keep them separate from another dirty laundry. Place the laundry directly into the washing machine. Do not let it sit in a laundry basket. Do not throw or toss fabrics as this might spread the virus in the air, which is how it is primarily transmitted.

How To Disinfect A Mattress From Covid-19

someone disinfects a mattress

As mentioned above, there is a difference between cleaning and disinfecting surfaces. After the top layer of the mattress has been thoroughly scrubbed, the disinfectant will be able to penetrate the mattress to its core and effectively eradicate the virus. 

Effectively Eradicate the Coronavirus

  1. For impermeable mattresses, spray or wipe an EPA-approved disinfectant over the surface after the mattress or mattress cover has been washed and dried. It is best to let spray disinfectants like Lysol, which do not need wiping, air dry after using them for at least 10 minutes. If using wipes or another type of disinfectant that needs to be wiped up, allow it to sit on the mattress cover for 10 minutes before wiping. 
  2. For permeable mattresses, use a spray disinfectant that does not need to be wiped off, such as Lysol. 
  3. Allow the disinfectant to sit on the mattress until it dries completely. Spraying a disinfectant on porous surfaces, like mattress or cloth mattress pad, is the only method that is recommended for proper disinfection on this type or surface.

For both cleaning and disinfection, make sure the cleaner is compatible with the surface material. Check the ingredients of the solution and check for ingredients like bleach or corrosive chemicals that might damage the surface of the mattress cover or the mattress itself. If you aren’t sure about what chemicals to use on what surface, contact the manufacturer or look up cleaner to see if they are compatible. 

Cleaning and Disinfecting a Mattress

  • Make sure to clean surfaces before disinfecting with a solution. Remember that disinfection does not remove dirt from surfaces. Cleaning before disinfecting will make sure that the disinfectant fully penetrates the surface and kills the virus. 
  • Leave the windows open in the room where the positive person has been for at least 3 hours. This will allow for the room to be adequately aired out. 
  •  Before cleaning, put on gloves and a medical mask. When cleaning, keep your hands away from your face and eyes. During cleaning, keep all rooms well ventilated by continuing to keep the windows opened. 
  • Along with washing sheets and bedding, launder all linens that the sick person has used, like towels and blankets. Also, wash any curtains in the room as the virus can possibly live on fabrics for up to 2 days.
  • There are some fabric sanitizer sprays that can be used to disinfect mattresses from COVID-19. Check the ingredients on the spray to ensure it does, in fact, kill the virus. 

Cleaning and Disinfecting a Mattress

Can I Spray Alcohol To Disinfect A Mattress From Covid-19?

Yes, it is possible to spray alcohol to disinfect a mattress from COVID-19. Alcohol, including rubbing alcohol, can kill a variety of germs including COVID-19. However, not just any alcohol will kill the virus. The alcohol must be at a concentration of at least 70% alcohol. Diluted alcohol of any type can be used to disinfect from COVID-19 as long as it is at a concentration of 70%. 

To disinfect a mattress from COVID-19 using alcohol, remove all bedding, spray on the mattress or mattress cover, and allow it to dry. 

alcohol used as cleaning solution

Cleaning and disinfection of the mattress in the bedroom with hot steam. Professional cleaning process

When cleaning your home and commonly touched surfaces after a positive COVID-19 case, many people forget to clean their mattresses. This article will help you learn how to clean a mattress after COVID-19 and hopefully keep your family safe and testing negative. Besides cleaning your mattress after COVID, it’s also important to regularly clean your mattress to reduce allergy symptoms by keeping your bed clean. 

For more information on mattress cleaning and sanitizing, check out The Ultimate Guide On How To Clean Your Mattress on our blog.

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About The Author

Dustin Morgan

Dustin Morgan

Sleep Expert & Store Manager

Dustin Morgan is the Chief Mattress Analyst and Sleep Technology Expert at SleePare. He combines his computer science background with his passion for sleep innovation. With personal experience testing over 200 mattresses, Dustin offers unmatched insights into finding the perfect sleep solution for various needs. His work focuses on delivering honest and detailed comparisons and advice to help individuals achieve their best sleep. When he is not exploring the latest sleep technology, Dustin enjoys spending time in the great outdoors and gaming in his Virginia home.

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