Why Does My Mattress Smell Like Mildew?

You might have thought about many things that could make your mattress smell like mildew, and you have no idea why.

You should be able to find out why your mattress smells like mildew in a few minutes with this guide.

Mold can likely cost you your comfort if you ignore and its growth on your mattress means it has severe damage, so do not hesitate to fix it.

Why does my mattress smell like mildew

Your mattress can smell like mildew due to humidity and temperature. Mildew is a mold or fungus that grows in moist environments and flourishes best in dark or wet places like bathrooms and basements.

The mildew smell often comes from the mold’s spores, which are spread by air movement. The term “mildew” is often used interchangeably with the term “mold,” Both terms commonly refer to fungi that grow on damp surfaces.

Mildew and mold can grow on mattresses when they are on the floor. Keeping the mattress off the ground is helpful if you notice this smell.

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How To Stop Your Mattress from Smelling like Mildew

You can clean the mattress and remove the mold to stop it from smelling like mildew.

Here are ways to fix it and measures to prevent future mold growth. However, you are responsible for whatever decision you take to rescue your mattress.

1. Use Rubbing Alcohol

  • Vacuum your mattress
  • Next, wet the area where mold grows and mix equal parts of rubbing alcohol and warm water to form a cleaning mixture.
  • Dip a clean cloth into the mixture and wring it out before scrubbing in a circular motion.

Rubbing alcohol is a versatile cleaning product that can remove mold from a mattress. However, mixing it with warm water can be more effective.

Use Hydrogen Peroxide

  • Vacuum your mattress to remove loose mold spores
  • Next, scrub the mattress with a nylon brush. Doing this will help loosen up the mold and make it easier to remove.
  • Mix Hydrogen peroxide with warm water to create a solution that can remove mold.
  • Spray it on the affected area.
  • Let the mattress sit for 15 minutes before removing any excess moisture
  • After waiting, the mold could be over.

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Causes of Mold in a mattress

Mold is a type of fungus that thrives on moisture. So, it can increase in your mattress’s dark and damp areas, such as the seams, folds, and zippers.

Mold can cause various health problems, so it is important to address mold signs immediately.

The main reason mold grows on mattresses is because the underside of the mattress provides the right environment for it to thrive – this includes protection from direct light and a transfer of moisture from your body’s sweat.

1. The Mattress-On-Floor Mold

Keeping your mattress on the floor creates a moisture problem and provides an ideal environment for mold to grow.

If you are not careful about washing your sheets and keeping the moisture level down in your room, the underside of your mattress will be the perfect place for mold to grow.

To fix this:

  • Lean the mattress against a wall for 4 hours each week to dry out and kill any mold buildup.
  • Leave the mattress leaning against the bed to dry it out as much as possible before flipping it over to sleep on top of it again.

2. Mold Under The Bed

Mold grows under your bed due to a lack of airflow.

Mattresses and beds can trap heat and moisture, which creates an ideal environment for mold to grow.

Opening windows and doors to allow unrestricted airflow in your home is helpful. You can also vacuum and clean the area under your bed to remove any potential sources of mold growth.

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Symptoms of Mold on Mattresses

There are many types of mold, and they all have different symptoms.

Some early mold symptoms on a mattress include foul odor, discoloration, stains, bugs on your mattress, black spots, pink spots, or off-white spots.

If you notice any of these symptoms, it is crucial to take action and remove the mold as soon as possible.

1. Foul Odor

If your mattress smells bad, there is a good chance you have a mold infestation, and the smell can be persistent and indicate a serious problem.

The mold spores cause the smell, and you can get rid of it by changing your sheets and cleaning any spills on the bed.

See 8 Reasons You Should Not Stack Memory Foam Mattress

2. Discoloration and Stains on the mattress

The most common symptom of mold on a mattress is discoloration and stains. Mold can cause dark spots around the seams, tags, or zippers of mattresses.

Mold usually comes from damp areas and can cause the mattress to smell like mildew.

If you notice any of these symptoms, it is important to discard the mattress as soon as possible before mold spreads.

3. Bugs on Your Mattress

Bugs on your mattress are a sign of mold.

Mold spores will often hitch a ride on bugs, and once they enter your home, the mold will start to grow, giving off a musty smell.

If you notice an increase in bugs in your bedroom, it’s essential to inspect the space for any signs of mold and take steps to remove it.


How long does it take to get sick from mold exposure?

It can take a few days or weeks for someone to start experiencing symptoms of mold exposure. The symptoms can be allergy-like, including headaches, itchy eyes, and congestion.
However, exposure to mold and mildew can also worsen your symptoms if you are already experiencing them.

Can you get sick from moldy mattress?

Mold spores can cause various health problems, including allergic reactions, respiratory issues, nausea, vomiting, and other conditions.

What kills the smell of mold and mildew?

Mold and mildew produce a rank smell that can be difficult to eliminate. Vinegar is an effective treatment for mildew, while rubbing alcohol is excellent for removing mold.

Mold and mildew are two types of fungi that can grow on various surfaces, including wood, concrete, metal, and paper. These organisms thrive in conditions with high moisture levels.

How long does it take for mildew smell?

It can take 7 to 6 months for the mildew smell to disappear entirely. Mold does not create an unpleasant smell until it accumulates for some time. However, a musty odor can indicate the accumulation of mold spores in your mattress, which needs to be treated quickly.

How much vinegar does it take to get rid of mildew smell?

The amount of vinegar needed to eliminate the mildew smell will vary depending on the severity, but it is typically between 1-3 cups.
First, it is essential to note that there are many different types of vinegar. White distilled vinegar, which you might use for your salad dressing, is not the same as cider vinegar, which is used for pickling.

How do you get mildew smell out of a mattress?

The easiest way to eliminate the smell of mildew or mold on a mattress is by vacuuming it first to remove some of the spores. After that, sprinkle baking soda over the mattress and let it sit for a few hours before vacuuming it again.

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