Expert reveals how often you should actually wash your mattress protector

We're betting yours isn't getting cleaned as often as it should be

The White Company mattress protector
(Image credit: Future PLC/James French)

When it comes to washing our bedding, our first thoughts usually dart to the duvet cover, bedsheet, our pillowcases. Most of the time, we'll quickly load these into the washing machine without much consideration for the rest of our bedding.

And this means that, along with our mattresses, we're often guilty of regularly forgetting the mattress protector during our washing routine. Let's be honest – while it's an essential part of our bedding, until we take the bedsheet off, it's easy to forget that it's there – and when we do spot it, it's usually too big to fit into the washing machine with the rest of the bedding items.

According to one expert though, we should be washing our mattress protector on a regular basis – in fact, it's likely that most of us aren't washing ours as often as we should. 

How often you should be washing your mattress protector

Emma Rowlinson, Product Development Manager at bedding companyChristy explained that it's important to take care of your mattress protector if you want it to last as long as possible; she revealed that the average lifespan of a mattress protector is around two years if you look after it well. 

And part of that is cleaning the protector on a regular basis. 

Emma explains that we should be cleaning this item at least every other month to keep it hygienic – after all, mattress protectors themselves are designed to protect from spills, sweat and other dirt that we don't want on our pricey mattresses.

'Generally, you should wash your mattress protector every other month,' she said. 'However, there are exceptions to this rule. People who suffer from allergies should wash their mattress protectors more regularly, around once a month, to prevent any reactions.'

'And one thing to be particularly strict with is washing your mattress protector after someone has suffered from a cold, flu or any transmissible illness, as not doing so could make other members of your household ill.'

Marks & Spencer waterproof mattress protector on a be with an upholstered headboard

(Image credit: Marks & Spencer)

When it comes to the best way to wash this household item, Emma also encourages you to check the details of your specific mattress protector.

'Your mattress protector should have a care label, which will give you precise instructions on the conditions in which they can be washed.'

'However, if yours does not, or it has faded, I’d recommend using regular detergent on a 40ºC gentle wash, as anything too hot can damage the protective qualities.'

'And, if your mattress protector is stained, you will want to treat this beforehand. You can do this by using baking soda (a great natural cleaning hack) to work out the stains the same way you might with clothes.'

White mattress topper on grey bed

(Image credit: Martex available at

And when it comes to drying?

'While you can put mattress protectors in the dryer if you keep it to a low temperature, I suggest air drying them as heat can cause damage to the protective qualities.' To speed things up, you can use a heated clothes airer.

'They should also never be ironed or dry cleaned,' adds Emma.


 Amy Hunt is an experienced digital journalist and editor, now working in a freelance capacity specialising in homes and interiors, wellness, travel and careers. She was previously Lifestyle Editor at woman&home, overseeing the homes, books and features sections of the website. Having worked in the industry for over eight years, she has contributed to a range of publications including Ideal Home, Livingetc, T3,Goodto, Woman, Woman’s Own, and Red magazine