Best Ways to Clean a Mattress

At some point, your mattress is likely to get dirty, whether from spills or bedwetting accidents or the gradual accumulation of sweat or other grime from sleeping. If you want to keep your mattress in good shape and get the most from it, it’s important to take the time to clean your mattress when needed.

deep clean a mattress

However, there are certain dos and don’ts when it comes to cleaning your mattress if you want the best results. Some methods for cleaning your mattress are better than others, and some could even void your mattress’s warranty (like Serta’s) or cause additional damage.

When Should I Clean My Mattress?

You may want to clean your mattress immediately if any spills or other accidents occur, but it’s generally recommended to clean the mattress regardless once or twice a year.. Taking the time to remove any stains or dust particles from the mattress, along with any excess moisture that may have developed, can help you eliminate the need to buy a mattress sooner than you might otherwise need to.

Mattresses should last around 10 years or even longer, and keeping them consistently clean is the key to maximizing their longevity.

Problems When Trying to Clean a Mattress

A clean mattress is one of the most vital elements of a good night’s sleep, which means that you will need to clean it from time to time if you want to keep the mattress in good condition. Unfortunately, many mattress owners make certain mistakes when cleaning their mattresses that can do more harm than good, or at the very least be a waste of time that doesn’t actually leave the mattress any cleaner.

When cleaning your mattress, try to avoid the following potential mistakes.

Cleaning with Water

It’s pretty much inevitable that a spill will take place on your mattress. Whether you’re enjoying a glass of wine in the evening while lounging on your bed or bedwetting incidents take place, liquid stains are always a possibility that you should be prepared to address.

Many people tend to turn to water and soap to remove liquid stains from their mattresses, but making the mattress wetter can just make things worse.

Many manufacturers actually warn of the potential damage that liquids, including water, can cause to the mattress’s upholstery.

Urine stains are some of the worst to deal with, but you can effectively clean these by blotting away the fluid and spraying the stain with an enzyme-based cleaner, which will keep the mattress drier when cleaning. You can also use baking soda to eliminate any odor and vacuum it up without any need for water.

Using Traditional Vacuum Cleaners

It’s also important to keep in mind that you can’t use a conventional vacuum cleaner on a mattress or the rest of the bed, which is because most multi-purpose vacuums aren’t designed to handle upholstery and bedding.

hoseYou can use these vacuum cleaners to clean the floor and other furniture in the home such as sofas, you will need to use an attachment specifically intended for the bed and mattress.

Beating the Mattress

Using a beater might not hurt, but it’s not as effective when it comes to removing any bugs or dust mites from the bed. You’re better off using a vacuum cleaner designed for bed upholstery to suck up any dust, bugs, or other particles.

dusting mattress with beater
Not a very effective way of cleaning your mattress…Skip this step and grab the vacuum attachments.

Once you’ve done the vacuuming, you can still use a beater if you really want to, but it’s more effective as a method of stress relief than anything else.

Using a Steam Cleaner

Steam cleaners may be effective at removing stains on hard surfaces, and they may be able to help remove bacteria and other potentially harmful microbes, but a steam cleaner will ultimately be ineffective when cleaning a on steamer

This goes in hand with avoiding water, since steaming your mattress can cause moisture to seep into the mattress, encouraging the growth of mold or other infestations.

5 Best Ways to Clean a Mattress

While the above mattress cleaning methods are ones you should avoid to keep the mattress in good shape, the following methods are some of the most effective to keep the mattress consistently clean while preventing wear. You should never have to spend too much money or time cleaning your mattress, but the following methods will make sure you can keep your mattress clean without the need for professional services.

1. Use a Vacuum with Upholstery and Crevice Attachments

One of the best methods for cleaning a mattress of dust or other debris that may have accumulated is to use a vacuum with an upholstery and/or crevice attachment. You can reach a lot of the mattress’s crevices for some deep cleaning of debris if you know how to properly use a vacuum. Follow these steps to vacuum a mattress:

  1. Remove all of the bedding, including any mattress covers and toppers.
  2. Attach the upholstery attachment to the vacuum and start vacuuming at the top of the mattress, working your way to the bottom.
  3. Use a crevice attachment to reach cracks and other areas around the mattress where debris might have collected.
  4. When vacuuming, make sure you use overlapping strokes that can help make vacuuming more efficient.
  5. Flip the mattress over to clean the other side.

In addition to getting rid of dust and other particles, vacuuming can also clear the mattress of any potential pests such as small bugs making the mattress their home.

2. Deodorize the Mattress Using Baking Soda

Baking soda is a godsend if you want an easy and efficient way to clean a mattress and eliminate any unpleasant odors. Simply follow these steps to deodorize your mattress in no time:

  1. Remove all bed and mattress coverings.
  2. Apply some baking soda on the mattress directly on its surface, but try not to overdo it; a thin layer sprinkled over it should be sufficient.
  3. Gently rub the baking soda into the mattress fabric and let it sit for around 10 minutes.
  4. Once 10 minutes have passed, clean the mattress. If odors still remain, you may need to reapply the baking soda and let it sit for a longer period of time, but it generally doesn’t take too much to significantly reduce or eliminate odors.
baking soda cleaning
‘Before & After’ applying the Baking Soda method

3. Remove Stubborn Stains with Household Cleaning Products

For stains that are harder to get rid of, you can always use some effective household products to clean the mattress. It’s easy to use what you likely already have at home by taking the following steps:

  1. Mix one-fourth cup of hydrogen peroxide and a tablespoon each of table salt and dishwashing liquid.
  2. Spread the mixture over the mattress stain and give it some time to dry.
  3. Scrape the dried mixture away.
  4. Use a cloth soaked in hydrogen peroxide to dab at any leftover discoloration.

Before taking any of these steps, you may want to check your mattress’s warranty, as certain stains or liquids applied could void the warranty.

4. Kill Dust Mites Using Essential Oils

Dust mites can aggravate allergies throughout the year, and they can even cause rashes or asthma. Using essential oils, you can kill dust mites. To effectively kill dust mites that might be hiding in your mattress, you’ll want to:

  1. Use 16 ounces of distilled water.
  2. Combine with 2 teaspoons of certain essential oils such as rosemary, clove, caraway, tea tree, or eucalyptus.
  3. Fill a spray bottle with the mixture.
  4. Spray the mixture over the mattress
  5. Give the mixture time to dry.

5 Disinfect the Mattress to Complete a Deep Clean

One of the final steps to cleaning your mattress is to disinfect it. Over time, your mattress may experience a buildup of bacteria and other harmful pollutants that can make you and your family sick without proper cleaning. You can easily disinfect your mattress by taking the following steps:

  1. Combine around a gallon of water and two ounces of bleach, but do not combine with any other substances.
  2. Use goggles, gloves, or a safety mask to avoid inhaling the bleach and ensure the area is well-ventilated.
  3. Use a spray bottle to spray the mixture over the mattress and use a damp cloth to wipe it clean.
  4. Bring the mattress outside to dry out if it’s sunny and warm.
  5. If water and bleach isn’t an ideal method, you can also use alcohol or other cleaners such as Lysol to disinfect the mattress.

Following spraying, wiping, and drying the mattress, your mattress should be much cleaner, particularly if extensive stains or moisture developed.

In addition to cleaning your mattress, you may want to consider getting a mattress cover that can help keep the mattress protected and make cleaning even easier.

Maximize the Lifespan of Your Mattress and Keep Your Family Safe

By taking any of the steps mentioned, you can make sure your mattress stays in prime condition for much longer. At the same time, you’ll be able to eliminate any potentially harmful mold or mildew buildup and eliminate unpleasant odors that can develop over time.

At the same time, cleaning your mattress isn’t time-consuming or expensive, making it one of the easier ways to maintain the overall health of the home and get a good night’s sleep.

However, there are times when a mattress just needs to be retired. If you’re mattress is over 10 years old it’s likely time to get rid of it. While you can yield more than 10 years out of a mattress, it usually means you’ve kept it covered with a proper mattress cover. Additionally, you’ll need to consider the use. If it sat on a bed in a spare bedroom for most of it’s lifetime then time really won’t factor into the equation and a deep cleaning should do the trick.

Sweet Dreams!


A Girl’s Loft Bed with Ladder and Lighted Workspace Underneath

Gary in Texas built this OP Loftbed for his daughter. He added a lot of extra touches and shared a lot of details and tips. We’re happy to share both Gary’s craftsmanship and tips with our readers. He says:

This was my first significant wood working project, but it turned out great! I built this for my 8 year old daughter Claire and she (and all of her friends) love it. I built a simple ladder (thanks google for the ideas) to make it easier for her to get up top (a plunge router and a good protractor made that job straight-forward). I also got inspired to hard-wire in two LED under-counter lights that I purchased at Lowes along with some lamp wire and a male plug. One light over the couch on one end and one over her desk at the other end. They actually produce very nice light (I was uncertain about using LEDs). I hid the wires using thin plastic conduit that had an adhesive backing and I painted it the same color as the dark purple frame. I’ve never installed lights like that before, but it turned out to be really simple. My wife added a curtain with a cheap $5 dollar rod we bought at Walmart to help hide the computer and give her a little hide-away.

I used a two-tone purple paint scheme with dark purple on the main frame features (legs and side-boards) and an almost white-purple (same as her walls) for the supporting cross members to make the cross members disappear a little in the background and make the frame stand out (and make the room look less full because it’s such a large structure in her small room). Originally I was going to stain the bed, but I used a soft pine wood and I just couldn’t get the stain to go on light enough and I had problems w/ blotches – even used wood conditioner to prevent this. So I gave up and painted. Ultimately, I am much happier that I painted because I think it works better with the colors in her room. The other important thing I learned: use shellac to cover up those knots! I could see them bleeding through the primer the day after I primed them. After I applied shellac, no more bleed through.

It’s a simple design, but I’m impressed with how great it looks and how sturdy it is (it’s build like tank!). My son is now convinced he needs one too 🙂

Thanks for sharing these photos with us, Gary. You did a wonderful job and we’re sure many of our other customers will appreciate the tips you shared too.

Click on the pictures below to enlarge them. For more pictures of customer’s loft beds, visit out photo gallery.

A girl's loft bed with ladder and lighted workspace underneath
A girl's loft bed with ladder and lighted workspace underneath


How to Use Existing Dorm Room Springs with an OP Loftbed

One of the questions we’re often asked is, “My dorm requires us to use the existing bed or bed springs, how do I use existing dorm room springs with an OP Loftbed” Our usual answer is:

Instead of using plywood for a mattress platform, you will use the existing springs instead. You will need something to support the springs, so build two more center mattress supports and install them near the head and foot of the bed. This will give you three supports for the existing springs. Be sure to measure your springs before fabricating the pieces of your loft bed to make sure that they will fit inside the mattress supports. For a twin OP Loftbed, the springs must measure less than 74″x37″. For a twin extra long OP Loftbed, the springs must measure less than 79″x37″. It’s also possible to make your loft bed a little bigger to accommodate springs that measure more than this.

Another option would be to just set the springs from the bed in your room on top of the mattress platform. You could possibly use a router and create slots in the mattress platform for the legs of the existing bed to go through as well to decrease the amount of unused space between the springs and the mattress platform.

These are just a couple ideas.

Brian in Ohio decided to replace the mattress platform entirely with the existing bed springs and bolt the springs to the legs of the OP Loftbed. He sent a number of pictures to show us how he did it. You’ll find them below, just click on a picture to enlarge it.

If you are going to use this method (or even the previously mentioned methods) you will want to carefully measure the bed springs before you begin fabricating the parts of your loft bed. With this method, you want the bed springs to fit snug inside the legs of your OP Loftbed–a good tight fit is important to reduce shaking of the bed.


Attention to Detail: One Customer’s Experience

Rameen in Maryland sent us these pictures and told us about the extra work he did to give his daughter’s loft bed the look he wanted.

I built this bed for my daughter last year.  I assembled it using locking nuts and 5/16″ 3-1/4″ bolts instead, and used gun blue to blacken the heads of the bolts for effect. I spent about 50 hours on the project, half of which was for selecting and sanding the boards.  It was fun to build, and the bed is very sturdy.  She loves it!


This shows how attention to detail and personal touches can create something special.


FREE Priority Mail Shipping on Hardware Kits!

No one likes paying extra for shipping. You add something to your shopping cart and then when you check out you find the price is much more than you were expecting. We’re happy to announce that we now provide free Priority Mail shipping within the United States! The price on our web site is the price you pay. Period.

USPS Priority Mail Medium Flat Rate BoxWe ship via USPS Priority Mail, which is 2- to 3-day delivery anywhere in the United States. We typically ship the next business day after you place your order. So, if you order your hardware kit on Monday, we’ll ship it on Tuesday and you’ll have it Thursday or Friday–just in time for assembly on the weekend.

When we can, we ship the same day you place your order which means you get your hardware even sooner. We ship from Wilmington, North Carolina, so the closer you are to Wilmington, the sooner you will receive your order. Customers in North Carolina and South Carolina often receive their order the next day.

Also, our prices are about half of what you will pay at your local hardware store or home improvement center–probably even less. Compare our prices to the $110 to $120 you’ll spend at your local hardware store:

OP Loftbed Hardware Kit for Tall Height Loft BedHK-101Hardware Kit for Tall or Medium Height Loft Bed – $54.99

Hardware Kit for Tall or Medium Height Bunk Bed – $59.99

Hardware Kit for Short Height Loft Bed – $49.99


Introducing Pay with Amazon Pay

Do you already purchase things from Amazon? If so, your OP Loftbed purchase is now easier than ever! On the checkout page, simply click the “Pay with Amazon” button.
Pay with Amazon button
After you log into your Amazon account, simply select your shipping address (if your item has to be shipped), select your payment method, and click the “Place Order” button.
Select your address, select your payment method, and place your order.

You can still pay with PayPal, pay with your credit card, or pay with a check or money order. Just fill out the billing and shipping information in the checkout form.


Scholarship Award

OP Loftbed Scholarship Award logo

Thank you for your interest in the OP Loftbed $500 Scholarship Award! We are proud to be able to ‘give something back’ to the group that has made OP Loftbed the number one choice in loft beds by America’s college students.

Connect with us!
Feel free to ask us questions, send us comments, and send us pictures of your OP Loftbed on social media. This also the best way to get notified about free stuff, new products, and other announcements.

Scholarship Program Status:

As of September 16th, 2012, our Scholarship program is currently ON HOLD.

For the past four scholarships, our judges have had a very challenging time choosing finalists, and once finalists have been chosen, the finalists haven’t followed through with providing proof of school enrollment or citizenship. It’s been as frustrating for us as it has for you, our applicants and customers. We’ve continued to get further and further behind in the process and feel more and more overwhelmed with each new program.

With this in mind , we’ve decided to put the next scholarship on hold so we can focus on clearing up loose ends from our previous scholarships. Hopefully this will all be done so that there will be time to run the regular Winter 2013 scholarship with a January 31st, 2013 deadline. Unfortunately, we can’t promise a date for when, or if, that program will open.

Our plan is to work backwards from the most recent scholarship program to the oldest one. We plan to work diligently to identify and contact finalists for the Summer 2012 Scholarship, make payment to the winner’s school, and announce the winner publicly. Then we’ll repeat the process for the Winter 2012 Scholarship, Summer 2011 Scholarship, and finally Winter 2011 Scholarship. We also plan to keep you better informed of our progress, right here on our web site.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

About the OP Loftbed Scholarship Award

We first offerred the OP Loftbed $500 Scholarship Award in 2002. We realized that the majority of our customers were college students and this seemed like a great way of “giving a little something back” to the very people that had made us successful.

Our product isn’t your ordinary product, so we didn’t feel like our scholarship award should be your ordinary scholarship either. We wanted to do something different there as well. Anyone can ask for essays on why you think you deserve scholarship money, or what you plan to do during your college career, but that all sounded entirely too boring to use. We decided to ask questions to which the judges would actually want to read the answers. We wanted our scholarship applicants to have fun, and wanted the judges to have fun reading the answers.

We have thoroughly enjoyed running the program over the last 6 years, and look forward to continuing to do so in the future. So far, we’ve given out $3,000 in scholarship award funds, which we feel is pretty good, especially considering that lots of companies that are much bigger than we are give away much less in scholarships, and in many cases, offer no scholarship opportunity at all.

We want to wish each of our applicants the best in all their future endeavors.


Business Opportunities With OP Loftbed

dollar_sign200x200We started the OP Loftbed Preferred Manufacturers Program because of the large number of requests that we get from people wishing to buy a complete OP Loftbed. Because the shipping costs would nearly equal the actual cost of the bed, in most cases it is not feasible for us to ship them from our facility in Thomasville, North Carolina. This inspired the idea of allowing other people around the country to become our suppliers to those people who want complete OP Loftbed kits.

This is terrific business opportunities for you!  There are a lot of people looking for loft beds, and they are coming to our site. Becoming an OP Loftbed Partner will place your business where the people that are looking for your product can find you and do business with you. Our OP Loftbed Preferred Manufacturers can be found in the Buy A Bed section of our site.

Benefits of Becoming a Partner

People who are enrolled as an OP Loftbed Preferred Manufacturer will receive:

  • A listing on our web site for one year*
  • Copies of all the OP Loftbed loft bed plans (Medium and Original Height)
  • Immediate notification of changes or upgrades to the plans for one year*
  • A personalized flier that you can copy and post to generate business.
  • A Customized “Liability Waiver” for your customers to sign.
  • A Customized “Thank You for Purchasing an OP Loftbed” letter that explains to your customers how to care for their OP Loftbed.
  • A Customized Business Card template to identify yourself as and OP Loftbed Preferred Manufacturer.
  • Incredible discounts on loft bed fasteners at a national fastener supplier.
    A guaranteed service territory.

Costs and Fees

Your first year as an OP Loftbed Partner and Preferred Manufacturer, will cost $125.00*. Each year after that you will be given the opportunity to remain an OP Loftbed Preferred Manufacturer. If you choose to remain an OP Loftbed Partner, simply complete a new application and return it to us with a check or money order for $50* before your year expires. If we do not receive these before your year expires you will have to reapply as a new OP Loftbed Preferred Manufacturer and pay the $125.00* again.

Expanded Areas
We have had some Preferred Manufacturer’s request territories that are larger than the standard 25 mile radius. Where possible, we do allow this. We do charge $25.00* for each additional 25 miles of driving radius (in 25 mile increments) between you and any other OP Loftbed Preferred Manufacturer. We have set a maximum extension of 75 miles. We pride ourselves on a very high level of customer service and we feel that a 100 mile territory is about as large as any person or single company can effectively service. (This relates only to how close other Preferred Manufacturer’s are to you. You can still sell and deliver anywhere you choose.)

If you would like to request an expanded area, just note that on your application and include the additional funds with your payment.

*Subject to change in proportion as benefits change.

* 365 days, beginning with the date that your information is listed on the web site


We want to see your OP Loftbed!

We would especially like to see the unique and creative ways that you have decorated your OP Loftbed, but any and all pictures are welcome.

You can email pictures to (We realize that loft beds are usually used in cramped quarters, but give it a shot anyway!)

We will add your pictures to the OP Loftbed customer gallery. We will also share your pictures and give a shout-out to you as the Master Builder! If you provide additional information and tips, we might even present it in an article on the OP Loftbed Blog and give you all the credit.

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Buy a Loft Bed or Bunk Bed from a Preferred Manufacturer

Preferred Manufacturer Program

image of a carpenter
Find an OP Loftbed Preferred Manufacturer

We receive many requests from people that prefer to buy a complete OP Loftbed kit instead of building their own OP Loftbed from our plans. To meet this need, we developed our OP Loftbed Preferred Manufacturer Program. This program is designed to connect customers who want a complete OP Loftbed kit with a manufacturer in their own area.


Enter your address or zip code to locate an OP Loftbed Preferred Manufacturer in your area.  Our Preferred Manufacturers will deliver and setup your OP Loftbed for you, saving you hundreds of dollars in freight costs. You can refer to the map below to find other Preferred Manufacturer’s that are not in your state but that may be willing to deliver to your area.

ZIP / Address:


Furniture Distribution Services
(1818 W. Spruce St., Az)
Brandy Beds
(1624 Meander Drive Simi Valley, CA 93065 )
Robert D. Crane
(14899 E. Columbia Dr. Aurora, CO 80014 )
Classic Restorations
(218 W. 5th St. St. Elmo, IL 62458 )
Dusty Attic Beds
(412 W. Vine St. Springfield, IL 62704 )
Uncle Pete’s Woodshop
(1630 Burr Oak Rd.. Homewood, IL 60430 )
Big Al’s Loft Beds
(11876 4A Rd. Plymouth, IN 46563 )
Larry Medford
(1205 Elm St. Fort Wayne, IN 46808 )
(5065 Cobblestone Rd. Winston-Salem, NC 27106 )
P & R Loftbeds
(9251 Foxboro Drive Brentwood, TN 37027 )
Ted’s Beds
(12570 Lake Coventry Dr. Bealeton, VA 22712)
Loft Beds of Texas
(2285 Garden Crest Dr. Rockwall, TX 75087 )
U Floor Me!
(Houston, TX 77092 )
Cloud Tower Loft Designs
(1813 Somerset Dr Marion, IA 52302 )
Midwest Loftbed Company
(2120 West Old Shakopee Rd. Bloomington, MN 55431 )
Appliance Discount Outlet
(237 East Athens St. Winder, GA 30680 )


If you are interested in becoming an OP Loftbed Preferred Manufacturer, please visit our Business Opportunities section for more information.


Build a Bed

Do you want to build a bed, but don’t know where to start?

Do you live in an apartment or college dorm and struggle with limited space?

OP Loftbed can help you build a bed!

Benefits of building a loft bed or bunk beds

  • Save money!

Total cost of the lumber to build an OP Loftbed should be around $100, and can be purchased from your local lumber yard or at most any home improvement store such as Lowes or Home Depot. Here is a list of what you would need to build a Twin Extra Long* tall size OP Loftbed:

– 10 pcs 2″ x 6″ x 96″ pine board
– 13 pcs 2″ x 4″ x 96″ pine board
– 1 pcs 3/4″ x 48″ x 96″ plywood

– 60 pcs 3/8-16 x 3-3/4″ hex head cap screws (bolts)
– 2 pcs 3/8-16 x 2″ hex head cap screws (bolts)
– 62 pcs 3/8-16 wing nuts
– 124 pcs 3/8″ flat washers
– 62 pcs 3/8″ lock washers
– 42 pcs #10 x 3-1/2″ flat head phillips wood screws
– 24 pcs #10 x 2″ flat head phillips wood screws

Total cost for the fasteners is $54.99 if you purchase the kit online through our OP Loftbed Hardware Store. If you buy these at a general hardware store like those mentioned above, the price will run around $110 or more.

*This material list is for the twin extra long tall height loft bed. This is our most common set of plans because it also seems to be the most common size in college dorms. Materials and costs for other sizes will vary proportionately, and is printed on page 3 of the purchased plans. Lumber and fasteners are commodity items and prices can vary greatly from day to day and in different geographic locations.

  • Save space!

“Loft beds are excellent space saving ideas for small rooms. Lofts with low beds and loft beds can make kids room or teenage bedroom design more functional and comfortable. Loft bunk beds and lofts with beds add more space to small homes, cottages and apartments, and create stylish and interesting interior design that children and quests enjoy.” –

  • Feeling of accomplishment!

There is nothing like the feeling of accomplishment gained from building something. When you build your own loft or bunk bed you are reminded of the accomplishment each night. OP Loftbed is here to help. With our plans and hardware kits you don’t have to be an experienced builder to build your very own DIY loft bed.

  • Personalize your bed!

When you build your bed yourself you can personalize it in ways you can’t if you buy one from a furniture store. Take a look at what some of our customers have done.