Can you Steam Clean a Mattress?

Cleaning a mattress seems so difficult because they are so big, so many people wonder: can you steam clean a mattress? It’s a good question because steam cleaning is easy and gets deep in there to remove mites, bacteria and other contaminants that dirty your mattress. The short answer is yes, you can steam clean. However, some preparation is needed before you do it.

Best Steam Cleaner

Consumer-grade steam cleaners come in two varieties: mop and canister. Mop steam cleaners are considered entry-level whereas canister-style cleaners are a mid-tier item. Both can be used within reason. If you have a canister model, then you should be all set to go. Most of these steam cleaners are perfect for mattresses because they get very hot, leave little moisture and can give you a deep clean.

Steam mops might be harder to use. They leave more moisture than steam canisters and typically don’t get as hot. If you do have a steam mop, then set it higher if possible to leave less moisture. If you cannot change this, then it might be best to rent a professional-grade steam cleaner for your mattress.

Prepping the Mattress

When people ask the question of can you steam clean a mattress, they often think of only steam cleaning their mattress. While you can go over the mattress with a steamer and nothing else, that isn’t entirely effective. You need to prep the mattress first to ensure the best clean.

Remove everything from the mattress. You might as well clean the covers at this time, but that is optional. Get a vacuum cleaner and vacuum the top of the mattress to remove any loose debris. This can be anything from crumbs to pet hair to dead skin. Steam cleaners aren’t very good at removing debris, plus this can get in the way of the steam.

Steam Cleaning

Now it’s time to steam. Just like with the vacuum, you’re moving the head of the steam cleaner over the top of the mattress. Be sure to reach every inch of the mattress, including the sides, to clean as deeply as possible. As stated above, be sure that your steam cleaner doesn’t leave too much moisture. If the temperature starts dropping from usage, then give the steam cleaner a minute or two to heat back up.

Feel free to flip the mattress as well to clean the other side. If you do this, make sure to vacuum it first before steaming.

After the Steam

After steam cleaning, give the mattress a few minutes to cool down and then deodorize it. There are products specifically for deodorizing, but you easily accomplish this with a sprinkle of baking soda. Just apply a layer over the top and vacuum it up after 30 minutes or so.


Can you steam clean a mattress? Absolutely. Most steam cleaners are up to the task, just make sure that your model doesn’t leave too much moisture behind. If it’s dry and hot, then your steam cleaner should be just fine. Be sure to vacuum the top to remove debris and consider deodorizing with some baking soda.

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