The 12 Mold in Mattress Symptoms (Don’t Miss)

No matter what type of mattress you have, there is a risk of mold growing in it. Furthermore, mold grows well in mattresses even if the bed was never subject to flooding. The question is: how do you know if there is mold inside the mattress? Here are the top 12 mold in mattress symptoms.

1. Your Respiratory Symptoms Are Worse in Bed than Out

Mold growing in your mattress can contribute to asthma, allergies or general difficulty breathing. If you only start wheezing when you lay down in bed, you may have mold growing in it.

Note that you may not see or smell the mold. For example, it may be growing in the air pockets or channels of your memory foam bed.

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2. You Develop a Rash on Contact with the Mattress

If there is mold growing in the mattress, you could develop a contact rash. In a worst case scenario, you look like you’re becoming allergic to your mattress. If you have a latex mattress and develop a contact rash, get tested for latex allergy.

If the test comes back negative, the real problem may be mold in the mattress. If your mattress doesn’t contain latex but you’re showing symptoms of an allergic skin reaction, the issue is almost certainly mold related.

3. Your Existing Skin Conditions Have Gotten Worse

There are people who live with psoriasis and eczema on a daily basis. If these conditions have suddenly worsened, it might be due to stress. However, it may be made worse by contact with mold in your mattress. If your doctor’s treatments aren’t controlling the condition anymore, determine if there is mold in the mattress.

4. Your Mattress Has a Foul Smell

Memory foam mattresses may have a mild chemical odor for weeks, but that should dissipate. Other types of mattresses shouldn’t have a smell at all. If your bed smells like sweat or urine, then you need to treat those stains. However, if the mattress starts to smell foul like rotten food, you almost certainly have a mold infestation. The smell will typically start before you see black mold.

One way to rule out other potential causes is treating stains with enzymatic cleaner. This allows you to determine if the smell is rotting orange juice and chicken soup residue versus mold.

5. You Can’t Get Rid of that Smell

Sometimes mold starts growing inside the mattress because of urine or poop stains on the bed. We clean the stains, but the rancid smell remains. The next step is deodorizing the mattress with baking soda or odor-neutralizing sprays. If that doesn’t work, then the problem may be due to mold. It is definitely mold if the bed develops a mildew smell.

6. You See Black Spots on the Mattress

If you see black spots anywhere on the mattress, it is a fairly sure sign of mold growing in the mattress. If the spots get worse after an accident or hot sweaty night, it is certainly mold. If the black spots are accompanied by other, new colors, it is definitely mold.

7. The Mattress Is Discolored / Changing Colors

Not all mold creates the tell-tale black stains. The waste products created by mold can create green and purple spots instead. If your mattress is changing colors without an obvious cause, you may have mold. If you’ve removed blood and poop stains and a brown, beige or dark spot remains, it may be mold.

If treating the discolored areas with vinegar or enzymatic cleaners doesn’t resolve the problem, it is likely mold. If treating it with hydrogen peroxide or bleach dramatically reduced the problem, it is probably mold. If the discolored spots appear on other parts of the mattress or turn black, it is definitely mold.

8. You Experience Flu-Like Symptoms Every Time Enter the Room

Flu-like symptoms can include congestion, headaches or a sore throat. If there is mold in the mattress, it is probably releasing spores into the air. This can contribute to respiratory and other health problems before you even lay down on the bed. You can be fairly certain it is mold if the problems only occur when you’re in the bedroom and get far worse when you lay down in your bed.

9. You’re Continually Getting Sick

Exposure to mold can weaken your immune system. And the congestion due to mold leaves you vulnerable to ear infections and pneumonia. If you’re constantly getting sick, consider checking your mattress for mold. Furthermore, you should investigate the mattress if your child is continually developing colds and ear infections that lack any other explanation.

10. You’re Having Trouble Sleeping

You might write-off respiratory symptoms as being due to dust or dust-mites. However, the mold will probably cause breathing problems, and these will affect you at night. If you’ve suddenly developed sleep apnea or snoring, consider cleaning or replacing the bed before you go see a sleep specialist.

If your sleeping problems disappear in the sleep lab or when staying in a hotel, your bed is probably to blame. And this means that insomnia is one of the possible mold in mattress symptoms, if you only experience these problems in your own bed. If your child sleeps far better at daycare or Grandma’s house than their own room, mold in the mattress may be the root cause, too.

11. You See Bugs in Your Mattress

What do bugs have to do with mold in the mattress? If there are gnats swarming around the bed or mites in and around the bed, know that they’re feeding on mold inside the bed. The mold smell attracts them. Furthermore, the smell can attract termites to the bed. This is why bugs in your bedroom that aren’t bed bugs are a potential sign that there is mold inside the mattress.

Furthermore, a sudden appearance of spiders around your bed may be due to mold in the bed. They’re moving in because the spiders are feeding on the bugs living inside your bed.

12. Your Mattress Is Always Damp

If your mattress is always damp, it is certainly a perfect breeding ground for mold. It might start with spilled water or bed-wetting. Or you sweat heavily every night in bed. The bed should be dried out. However, mold traps moisture. If your bed never seems to dry out, this could be a sign that it is home to mold.

You Find Mold in Other Parts of the Room

Mold spores are airborne. However, mold only grows in a moist, dark area. Mold in the bathroom is usually due to the high humidity in that room. If you find mold in other parts of the bedroom, it may be due to mold growing in the mattress or fueled by another source.

First make sure there isn’t another explanation. There may be a leak in the bathroom sink fueling mold on the other side of the wall or an air leak by the window letting moisture fuel mold growth in the floor underneath it.

Check under the carpets, too. Mold may grow in the carpets due to them retaining moisture from the air or a water leak in the foundation. However, that mold can easily spread to your bed, too.


We’ve shared the most common mold in mattress symptoms so that you can determine the next course of action, whether it is chemically treating the bed or discarding it.