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How to Dry Out a Mattress Fast To Preserve Its Quality

Updated: Nov 23, 2023

drying a mattress out

A mattress is an essential investment for a good night's sleep, and keeping it clean and dry is crucial for its longevity and comfort.

Accidental spills, moisture build up, or even flooding can lead to a wet mattress, which not only affects your sleep but, depending on the spillage, can also pose potential health risks like mould and mildew growth which will affect your breathing as you sleep.

Knowing how to properly dry out a mattress can save you from the hassle and cost of replacing it. With many mattresses costing hundreds, it's well worth learning how to take care of your mattress.

In this guide, we will explore effective methods to dry out a mattress and preserve its quality.

Can You Save A Mattress That Got Wet?

Yes, you absolutely can save a mattress that is even soaking wet. Don't worry, your efforts aren't in vain, but you will need to dry the mattress properly in order to save it. Doing a bad job of drying your mattress will not save it, you have a timeframe of around 24 hours to completely dry it before you risk having the mattress unsalvageable.

How to dry out a mattress (Including after bedwetting)

The fastest way to dry out a mattress is to remove as much moisture as possible (Wet and dry vacuums work perfectly for this). Then sprinkle baking soda onto the damp area as this will absorb the moisture and freshen it up too if it was a bedwetting incident. Then, simply allow it to air dry out. You can use fans or direct sunlight to speed up the process.

Read on for a full how to guide:

How Long Does It Take For A Mattress To Dry?

On average it can take between 24 - 48 hours for a mattress to dry out if it has been completely soaked in water. If it's a smaller incident such as bedwetting, it can take several hours. Leaving it to air dry is risky as the likelihood of it growing mould is greatly increased.

Can You Let A Mattress Air Dry?

Whether or not you can let your mattress air dry depends on how wet it is, to begin with. If your mattress is soaking wet, then no it is not worth the risk because if it doesn't dry after a certain amount of time, you could develop mould and mildew. If however, it is slightly damp then you can allow the mattress to air dry on a hot day.

Different Mattress Types

There is a surprising amount of different mattress types, each with their own specific materials which need to be taken into consideration when cleaning and drying.

Quickly familiarise yourself with the mattress you own for better cleaning results:

Assess the Wetted Area

Before diving into the drying process, it's crucial to assess the severity of the situation.

Determine the cause of the moisture, whether it's a spill, perspiration, or a more significant issue like flooding.

This will help you understand the extent of the damage and choose the appropriate drying method. I have listed a lot of different methods below, each with varying levels of cleaning requirements.

Remove Excess Moisture

The first step in drying out a mattress is to remove any excess moisture.

Act quickly and blot the affected area with clean towels or absorbent materials to prevent further saturation.

The absolute best way to do this is with a wet and dry vacuum cleaner, the Karcher WD2 plus is the perfect home version every homeowner should have.

  • Excellent for drying out mattresses

  • Helps remove tough stains

  • Small and compact vacuum

  • Remove spillages with ease

  • The fastest way to tackle accidents

  • Saves your carpets from damage

We highly recommend these cost-effective cleaners for any home with mattresses, upholstery and carpets. They make the care of such items of furniture much easier.

Avoid rubbing or scrubbing when blotting, as it can push the moisture deeper into the mattress fibres.

Utilize Absorbent Materials

Absorbent materials such as baking soda, corn starch, or talcum powder can help draw out moisture from the mattress.

Sprinkle a generous amount over the damp area, gently press it into the fabric, and let it sit for several hours or overnight (depending on the amount of moisture needing to be extracted).

These materials absorb moisture and have the added bonus of helping to eliminate odours.

Air Circulation and Sunlight

Proper air circulation and sunlight are effective natural remedies for drying out a wet mattress.

If possible, move the mattress to a well-ventilated area with good sunlight exposure. Open windows and doors to improve air circulation and aid in the drying process.

However, avoid direct exposure to intense sunlight, as it can cause discoloration.

Fans and Dehumidifiers

using a fan to help dry out a mattress

If natural airflow didn't quite do the job, try using fans and dehumidifiers to accelerate the drying process.

Position fans around the mattress to promote air circulation, ensuring that the room is well ventilated.

Dehumidifiers help remove excess moisture from the air, this aids in drying the mattress faster.

Steam Cleaning For Bedwetting Incidents

Steam cleaning is an effective method to sanitize and dry a mattress. Use a handheld steam cleaner on the affected areas, if you're unsure, read our can you use a steam cleaner on a mattress guide .

The steam helps kill bacteria, dust mites, and other microorganisms while simultaneously evaporating moisture.

Professional Carpet & Upholstery Cleaners

In severe cases of moisture damage or if you're uncertain about handling the situation yourself, it's advisable to call in the professionals. They will be able to assist you in pretty much every circumstance and let you know if it's even cost effective to save the mattress.

They will have the necessary equipment, expertise, and techniques to effectively dry out and restore your mattress.

Preventative Measures

Prevention is key to maintaining a dry mattress. Consider using a mattress protector or waterproof cover to safeguard against spills and accidents.


Drying out a mattress requires prompt action and proper techniques to prevent mould, mildew, and other damage.

By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can effectively dry out a wet mattress and maintain its quality for years to come.

Remember, prevention and regular maintenance are crucial for keeping your mattress dry, clean, and comfortable, contributing to a healthy sleep environment.

A wet mattress can be a nightmare, but with the right approach, it's possible to dry it out and restore its quality.

By promptly removing excess moisture, utilizing absorbent materials, promoting air circulation, and considering professional assistance if needed, you can ensure a dry and clean mattress.

Remember to implement preventive measures to avoid future incidents. With these tips in mind, you can extend the lifespan of your mattress and enjoy a comfortable and restful sleep night after night.

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