Sales of this Lakeland bed-bug battling gadget are soaring – and experts reveal it works

Bed bugs, be gone

Lakeland Mattress Vacuum with UV
(Image credit: Lakeland)

In the midst of the current bed bug scare we’re facing in the UK, sales for everything bed bug-related have soared. Including this Lakeland mattress vacuum, with sales rising by 211% in the last week alone, according to the company’s report. Call it the bed bug epidemic effect. 

But is a mattress vacuum like the Lakeland Mattress Vacuum with UV what you need to combat bed bugs? Whether that’s for prevention or if you do indeed find yourself in the unfortunate situation of having the pests invading your home. 

We put it to our pest experts to advise whether we should also be running out and bagging this £49.99 gadget as many Brits have. This is what they had to say about it.

Is this Lakeland mattress vacuum what you need to combat bed bugs? 

Bedding and a book on a bed

(Image credit: Future PLC)

As we find ourselves in the middle of a bed bug crisis, it’s only natural we’re searching for ways how to get rid of bed bugs. So is this mattress vacuum one of them?

While the Lakeland vacuum is not designed specifically to combat bed bugs, the company claims that the hot air from the vacuum heats the mattress, drying any moisture within as well as drying any present bed bugs which helps to eradicate them. In addition, the UV lamp function is apparently lethal to the pests, while the vibrations from the appliance disturb the creepy crawlies. But do they actually?  

‘Vacuuming is a key part of a broader process for ridding yourself of bed bugs but alone won’t be effective in combating the pests,’ says Dr. Jonathan Kirby, pest expert at NOPE!.

Mihail Velev, Fantastic Pest Control's pest technician, continues, ‘Dealing with a bed bug problem needs to be done quickly to prevent it from turning into an infestation and vacuuming your mattress is one of the first and most useful steps in managing such a problem. Although it won’t eliminate the problem entirely, vacuuming is a control measure.’

So while a mattress vacuum like this one is effective as one of the steps taken, even the best vacuum cleaner won’t completely and single-handedly rid you of bed bugs. 

How to use a mattress vacuum to get rid of bed bugs

If you do come across signs of bed bugs in your bed, then vacuuming your mattress should be one of the steps taken. But it should be done in tandem with other precautions.

‘It should follow on from washing all affected items at 60°C and come before treating affected areas with a pesticidal spray to kill bed bugs on contact,’ Dr. Jonathan recommends.

Mihail adds, ‘For better control, it’s recommended to vacuum regularly, at least once a week. When doing that, focus on the seams, folds, and crevices of your mattress where bed bugs tend to hide. Besides that, use a vacuum cleaner with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter to ensure that even tiny particles, such as bed bug eggs, are captured, preventing them from being released back into the air.’ The Lakeland mattress vacuum is indeed fitted with a HEPA filter.

A bedroom with cushions on the bed

(Image credit: Future PLC/Colin Poole)
Headshot of Jonathan Kirby
Dr. Jonathan Kirby

Jonathan is a developmental chemist and pest expert at NOPE!. From pest control to masonry protection, he has dedicated himself to helping protect UK housing stock through the development of new and innovative products. 

What you do after you hoover up the pests is as important as how you do it though. ‘If you hoover the bed bugs, you need to make sure there is a bag in the hoover and empty it immediately after you have hoovered otherwise the bed bugs will simply crawl back out,’ warns Sarah Beck, operations manager at The Pest Master.

‘Bed bugs can be spread around very easily and hoovering them up without changing the hoover bag or emptying is a sure-fire way of moving them around the property.’

Vacuum cleaning your mattress can also be done alongside steam cleaning it as steam does kill bed bugs.

Is the UV lamp function effective against bed bugs?

Single bed with ornate metal headboard and pillows

(Image credit: Future PLC/Colin Poole)

‘The UV light feature of the vacuum cleaner provides disruption and can damage the DNA of bed bugs, leading to their death,’ Mihail explains. ‘It can be effective in killing bed bugs, their eggs and nymphs on the surface of the mattress or other areas. Besides that, the UV light can act as a supplementary treatment method, enhancing the overall effectiveness of the vacuuming process.’ 

‘However, when using a vacuum cleaner with this feature, keep in mind that the UV light has limited penetration power and it will likely not reach bed bugs hidden in cracks, crevices or deep within the mattress.’

So while this gadget is effective in tackling the bed bug issue, it can’t deal with it alone. As Mihail says, ‘Because vacuuming alone won’t completely eliminate a bed bug infestation, it should be part of a comprehensive integrated pest management strategy that includes other methods, such as thermal treatments, insecticides or professional help.’

Sara Hesikova
News Writer

Sara Hesikova has been Ideal Home’s News Writer since July 2023, bringing the Ideal Home’s readership breaking news stories from the world of home and interiors. Graduating from London College of Fashion with a bachelor’s degree in fashion journalism in 2016, she got her start in niche fashion and lifestyle magazines like Glass and Alvar as a writer and editor before making the leap into interiors. She feels the two are intrinsically connected - if someone puts an effort into what they wear, they most likely also care about what they surround themselves with.