Mattress stains: Normal or nasty?!

An average person spends a third of their life in bed. As a result no matter how well you look after your mattress, it is likely to become stained or discoloured at some point. Even mattress protectors (depending on the type you use and how often you change them) cannot prevent all dirt penetrating. Plus let’s face it, accidents always seem to happen when they aren’t being used.

Understanding what has caused the stain, how long it has been there and the type of material it is on is key to successfully removing or reducing it without damaging the mattress. It goes without saying, the earlier you treat any mattress stains the easier it is to get them out.



An average adult produces around 285ml of sweat every night (and even more when you are ill or experiencing hormonal flushes). This can penetrate deep into the fabric of the mattress. It creates unsightly familiar yellow halos on the mattress cover, alongside a musty type of smell. It can take you by surprise as often it builds up gradually. Good cleaning practices, like mattress protectors and regularly changing bedding, can keep it in check. However specialist treatments like our Fresh Sleep enzyme wash, will target and gently degrades the organic material.


It is an unfortunate truth of life that mattresses often get stained with blood. If this does happen making sure you treat it quickly is really helpful before it gets set into the mattress. In addition with blood stains if you are going to clean it up at home remember – never rub the area. Simply blot any mattress stains as rubbing pushes the blood into the mattress fibres. Also never apply hot water as this can set the stain into the mattress making it much harder to remove. A general clean will rarely remove stains of this sort, especially if they are not fresh. These, more often than not, will require specialist spot treatment.


For anyone with kids or pets, urine accidents are inevitable. But when it takes place on a bed, it can be a real pain to clean up. This is especially true if you don’t find out about it until a later stage. Like sweat, over time these accidents cause the yellowy-brown discolouration of the surface and unpleasant odours if not properly removed. Memory foam mattresses can  even act like a giant sponge sucking the urine inside the mattress. Once inside, it is tough to remove as adding more water makes drying out the mattress even harder.

Since the urine itself is made up of uric acid crystals (a protein material), normal cleaners just won’t do the job. Instead, if you are going to tackle it properly, you need the right enzymes to bind with and destroy it . These are available online to buy but there are  differences between human and pet urine and so it is worth checking what stains they deal with. In addition bear in mind many cleaning products are mixed with peroxide and other chemicals that may just bleach the mattress rather than actively removing the stain.

Finally to prevent urine stains on kids beds, waterproof mattress protectors can be fantastic. Lots of mums swear by layering a protector under a sheet than another protector and sheet. This means that in the case of an accident the top 2 layers can be swiftly removed so everyone can get back to sleep. Just remember to change them regularly to avoid a build up of humidity within the mattress a result of the waterproof barrier. Plus most importantly if an accident does happen,  replace it immediately so that the urine doesn’t creep into the mattress through the sides.

Yellow discolouration from urine mattress stains



A single accident if left can end up looking like this. However if dealt with early, it can be removed, saving the cost of replacement


Have you ever been through that terrible night when your child (or loved one) went sick suddenly all over the bed? After the initial shock you realise the vile liquid is soaking straight into your bed. Whilst it is easy to change the bedding, getting rid of the lingering smell (and resultant mattress stains) can be impossible. As with other stains the smell will arise from the moisture. Getting rid of as much as possible quickly is key by carefully blotting up the fluid. Again whilst it is particularly tempting, never dump water straight onto the mattress to wash it out for all the reasons shared before.  For lingering mattress stains like this, the Fresh Sleep sterilisation process in particular the GUV and super-heated dry steam is fantastic. This will ensure all organic matter is destroyed and any lingering odours completely removed.


It is often challenging to remove mattress stains like this by yourself without the specialised equipment or cleaning materials. Almost all of the most effective DIY cleaning solutions (of which there are many!) require either harsh chemicals or water. Once water penetrates inside a mattress, it is incredibly hard to effectively dry it before problems occur like mould and mildew. This will then result in even more odours and increased contaminants. Even rubbing, using the wrong solution or too warm water can actually bond the stain to the mattress, making it tough to remove or even worst can even degrade the mattress material over time.


As a result we have developed The Fresh Sleep Valet to avoid all of these pitfalls. In less than 45 minutes we will ensure anything that is lurking on or inside the mattress is neutralised without chemicals or water. Each stage of the process deals with different elements of the problem. From the visible mattress stains on the surface to the hidden dirt and odours. We always make sure you are left with a bed that is sanitised to medical standards smells even fresher than when you first bought it!

Sadly we cannot guarantee that all visible staining can be removed in a single treatment. Responding quickly to accidents will definitely help. However we can guarantee that we will fully sanitise the mattress. This ensures that all bacteria, allergens, mould viruses etc is safely eliminated.

What is your experience with dealing with stains? Is there a treatment you swear by? Tell us your thoughts here.

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