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One of the more commonly asked questions when it comes to how to care for your bedding is, “Can my mattress cover go in the dryer?” This question usually comes up for the first time once the mattress cover has been in use for a little while, and the packaging, along with the detailed instructions for care, is long gone.
Not to worry, the answer is yes --most mattress covers can safely be put in the dryer, but with a caveat. Mattress covers can be made of different materials so, if possible, check the label for specific instructions before washing or drying. However, as a general rule, low heat on a gentle tumble cycle in the dryer is appropriate for almost all protective and waterproof mattress covers on the market today.
Most people know not to wash their bright white clothing with their favorite red socks unless they are trying to dye everything pastel pink. Equally true, but perhaps not as intuitive, you should consider some important things when you are cleaning and caring for your mattress cover. Please keep reading for all the details!
Why Use a Mattress Cover
A mattress is a significant long-term investment in your health and your quality of life. If you are following doctors' and the National Sleep Foundation’s recommendations for how much sleep an average person needs to function optimally, you will spend exactly one-third of your time in bed over the course of your life.
Once you have purchased a good mattress, the last thing you want to do is start the process all over again before you absolutely need to. Unfortunately, many people face this when their relatively new mattress becomes soiled or stained from an accident or a spill because mattresses are difficult to clean thoroughly.
A mattress can become quickly saturated with oil from your body and hair or full of dust mites that feed on dead skin. This all happens even if you are using a well-fitted sheet. Bacteria that feed on the oil and sweat secreted from our bodies can start to smell bad and discolor an otherwise perfectly good mattress. Nobody wants to climb into a stinky bed made on a mattress full of bacteria and yesterday’s sweat and considering that we spend so much time there, our beds should help us feel rejuvenated rather than grossed out.
Fortunately, for a relatively low cost, a protective or waterproof mattress cover can safeguard your investment ensuring many years of rest and relaxation. A mattress cover is a protective, often waterproof barrier that encases the mattress beneath the fitted sheet. Of course, it is necessary to clean the mattress cover regularly. Just knowing a few basics about mattress cover materials will help you understand how to care for your mattress cover.
What is a mattress cover made of?
Typically, a modern and affordable mattress cover is made of a waterproof layer such as vinyl or polyurethane that has been lined with a soft fabric component like polyester, cotton, or linen. More expensive mattress covers can be made from bamboo, terry cloth, felt, or even microfiber. There are many options available.
Whatever your mattress cover is made from, the waterproof layer can be more temperature-sensitive than a bedsheet made from cotton or linen would be. Excessive heat can cause the mattress cover to deform, which is why dry cleaning is never recommended for mattress covers.
Even if the mattress cover doesn’t melt or deform, drying it at too high a heat can cause the material to degrade more quickly than it would otherwise. To ensure that you get as much life out of your product, whatever it is made from, simply remember that gentle is better than aggressive.
Can you machine wash a mattress cover?
Mattress covers, even the waterproof kind, are designed to be machine washable. Think of them as you would any semi-delicate fabric and wash them accordingly.
How often should you clean a mattress cover?
Because a mattress cover is somewhat protected by the fitted bedsheet, it doesn’t become soiled as quickly as sheets do. So most manufacturers recommend washing it monthly rather than every two weeks like a fitted sheet.
How do you wash a protective mattress cover?
To wash, simply remove the mattress cover and place it into your machine. It can be washed at the same time as your sheets and other bedding if desired. Add laundry detergent according to your machine's recommendations and run the machine on a gentle cycle with cold or warm water.
How do you dry a waterproof mattress protector?
To avoid causing the waterproof component of your mattress cover to melt or deform in the dryer, change your settings to tumble dry on low heat. This may take a little longer, but it will extend the life of your mattress cover and prevent damage to the product.
There are few things as relaxing as snuggling into a warm bed with freshly cleaned bedding, so have no fear that you are going to ruin it by washing and drying it, and get that mattress cover clean too. As long as you take a little extra time to make sure that you are gentle with your mattress cover, go ahead and toss it in the dryer, and once you get the bed all put back together, rest easy knowing your investment is well protected.
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