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I have mold on my mattress, what can I do?

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Mold on a mattress isn't just disconcerting, it's also potentially dangerous to your health. 

As it spreads quickly, by the time you even notice black mold, it may already be a well-established problem. 

Unfortunately, it doesn't take much for mold to grow, and no matter how clean your household is, it can very well become plagued with this unpleasant guest.

In this article, your hybrid mattress specialist at Polysleep gives you some tips to remove and prevent mold from your precious mattress. 

 

How to recognize it?

 

Two hands placed on the mattress to show mold

 

Mold on a mattress will likely not be that visible at first, particularly if you don't typically examine your mattress between bedding changes or if you use a mattress cover frequently. 

Here are some signs you can look for:

Smell

Mold spores have a persistent, pungent odor to them. You might not notice this odor is coming from your mattress right away, but it will persist.

A health problem

You spend a big chunk of your life in bed, and if you do have mold on your mattress, you're being exposed continuously to this health hazard. 

While you can typically recover from mold exposure, how long you're being exposed and the type of mold could cause health concerns. 

Mold exposure may come off like allergy symptoms:

  • Itchy eyes

  • Headaches

  • Exhaustion

  • Congestion

However, unlike an allergy, once you leave your mattress, you'll start feeling better, until you lay back down on it.

Appearance

When mold finally shows itself, you will be able to see it clearly. It will be unlike any other marking or stain on your mattress. You'll likely see more of it in the darker areas of your mattress that don't see much light. 

 

Mold vs mould: what's the difference? 

 

Traces of mold on a mattress

 

The use of “mold” or “mould” will really depend on where you live. 

Individuals living in the United States spell it “mold”, whereas those living in England spell it “mould”.

Usually, both spellings mean the same thing (if you're speaking about the "noun" and not the "verb"). 

Australians and Canadians also use the "u", although you will find it spelled "mold" in some Canadian literature since it shares a border with the U.S.

 

Why is there mold on your mattress?

 

Close-up of mold on a white mattress

 

A couple of reasons you might find mold on your mattress are:

  • Your environment: 

Mold requires warmth, darkness, and moisture for it to thrive. Unfortunately, this resembles many sleep environments in households. 

Everybody sweats while sleeping, some sweat a lot more than others. This moisture accumulates under or in your mattress, providing the ideal breeding ground for mold to continue thriving and reproducing.

  • Your mattress type: 

Most mattresses are manufactured with some type of foam, whether it's memory foam or latex foam. The air pockets and open cells offer mold tiny places to colonize. 

To make these problems even more complicated, you likely don't see your mattress's surface that much and probably even far less of its underside. 

Chances are that the only time you really see your mattress's surface is when you're changing the sheets. This means that mould can go undetected for weeks. And if you use a mattress cover like many other people do, that could be even longer.

 

Is mold on mattress dangerous?

 

Close-up of mold on a white mattress

 

Mold can definitely infest your mattress and become a health hazard. If you have mold on a memory foam mattress or another type of mattress, then you're at risk of certain health problems. 

Mold exposure could lead to a multitude of respiratory problems like:

  • Allergy symptoms

  • Asthma

  • Breathing difficulties

  • Wheezing

Mattress mold can sometimes cause a rash to develop in the exposed area. You may see an aggravated rash, or you may have irritation at the area of contact.

Other people experience more serious hazards to mold exposure. For instance, some individuals with chronic lung illnesses can develop a lung infection after they've been exposed to mold. 

 

How to remove mold on mattress in 5 steps? 

 

Woman with her protective mask cleaning a mattress with a vacuum

 

After you've spotted mold on your mattress, it's important you work on removing it immediately. The longer you allow it to grow, the more chances you're giving it to burrow further into your mattress and reproduce. If it's allowed to sit there for too long, you might not be able to remove it, and you'll be left having to purchase a new mattress.

Follow these 5 steps to remove it:

  1. Vacuum your mattress on both sides thoroughly.

  2. Combine equal parts of warm water and rubbing alcohol in a disposable container. Dampen a cloth in the mixture and wring it out well. Then scrub the mold spots of your mattress using circular motions.

  3. Rinse the damp areas well with a new cloth and warm water (wring out the cloth well).

  4. Spray the whole mattress evenly with a disinfectant solution that's suitable for your mattress's material.

  5. Place your mattress in a high in sunlight, well-ventilated area and allow it to dry out completely.

 

What is a mold resistant mattress?

 

Demonstration of the Zephyr mattress layers

 

All mattresses can get mold. Although you will find certain types of materials that are more resistant to mold than others, any mattress can end up with mold on it if you're not practicing good preventive measures. 

Generally, wool and natural latex are more mold resistant. 

A Polysleep mattress might be a good idea, since it has a spill-resistant cover on it, a reactive top layer, and channeled foam for breathability. It will prevent the accumulation of moisture (which is a big cause of mold).

Polysleep's tips to prevent mold 

Here are some tips you can follow to prevent mold:

Mold likes to thrive in damp areas. Therefore you should keep the humidity levels of your bedroom down using a dehumidifier to prevent future growth of mold.

Air purifiers help filter and circulate the air in your bedroom. It can also actively eliminate mold spores in the air and prevent them from further spreading.

Cleaning your mattress regularly could help reduce bedroom allergens and allow it to dry thoroughly.

..as frequently as possible which will keep the air circulating well.

While many mattresses are breathable, there are still things you should do such as:

  • Rotate and flip your mattress regularly

  • Occasionally air your mattress out, standing up without bedding on it

  • Run some fans to keep the airflow going.

  • Use a slatted foundation that allows good airflow from the mattress's bottom.

..like Polysleep's hybrid mattress. This mattress consists of premium hybrid foam and has a ventilated top layer for better air circulation.

Learn more: How to clean a mattress?

A vacuum cleaning the side of a mattress

Conclusion

 

Even the most ideal or clean environment can grow mold spores. Constant humid environments could cause this issue. Some things just aren't under your control. 

It's important you are proactive in taking preventative measures. If you find mold growth on your mattress too late, it could lead to a costly treatment, or you may need to purchase a whole new mattress. 

It might not be a bad idea to purchase a ventilated, breathable mattress like our hybrid foam mattress to begin with.

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