How to Clean a Mattress - Mattress Vacuum Cleaner
Having a clean mattress is very important for having a good night's sleep and for overall well-being.
Many dangers lurk among the mattress fibers and feed on dead human cells and other dirt and debris. Not the best company to spend the nights with ...
Updated: January 12, 2021.
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Quick Intro to Mattress Cleaning
When cleaning a mattress, there are few things to consider:
- type of dirt - greatest danger are various bed bugs since they can cause different health problems, with the most common being allergies and asthma issues. Also, don't forget dust particles, pollen, dead human skin cells, hair, etc.
- possible health issues - some people are allergic to many things, while others have no such issues. If you are not allergic to dust mites, pollen, dust, and other similar dirt, you can consider cleaning using more aggressive means, like various chemicals. Sensitive people should stay away from aggressive chemicals since no matter how well-ventilated the area and mattress are, there are always certain residues left, which can cause even more health problems.
- keeping the mattress clean - it is rather simple to clean the mattress thoroughly, however, keeping it clean is an ongoing process. The most important things to do, in order to keep the mattress clean, is: use high-quality bed sheets and change them regularly, use mattress encasements (protectors), and keep your mattress dry. This will deny the bed bugs essential moisture and food and will prevent them from appearing again.
How to Choose a Mattress Vacuum Cleaner
Before buying a specialized mattress vacuum cleaner, it is important to know how such vacuums actually clean the mattress.
In order to clean and sanitize the mattresses, mattress vacuums combine several methods. Some of those methods include strong suction, vibrations, warm/hot air, UV light, and the use of a brushroll which helps clean deeply embedded dirt.
Importance of Strong Suction
Dirt, dust, pollen, dust mites, human hair and human dead cells, and other debris, can be embedded deeply in the mattress, and if the vacuuming is done with a vacuum that creates insufficient suction, the job will not be done properly.
To increase the suction and remove the dirt, mattress vacuums must be pressed gently at the mattress surface and pulled slowly. This action not only that increases suction deep in the mattress, but it also helps other methods of cleaning to do their job: UV light is focused only on the mattress, the vibrating bar has enough time to 'shake off' the dirt, and hot air can kill rest of the dust mites.
And what is the purpose of all that, if the suction is weak, and air filtration is bad?
Vibrating Bars, Pads, and Brushes
To help remove deeply embedded dirt, some mattress vacuums come with vibrating bars, pads, or brushes.
High-frequency vibrations penetrate the surface of the mattress and help loosen the dirt and bed bugs.
This vibrating action helps the airflow remove the dirt from the mattress, not only from its surface but also from its interior. How deep these vibrations agitate the mattress, depends on the type of mattress and the strength of vibrations.
For people having a really big issue with bed bugs, the only way to get rid of them is to use chemicals or to change the mattresses.
To kill bed bugs while they are still in the mattress, mattress vacuums can use hot air.
Such hot air dries the bugs and removes moisture from their tiny bodies and essentially kills them. One of the advantages of such vacuums is that they also dry any residual moisture in the mattress, preventing the bed bugs from reappearing again.
To prevent damage and injuries, the temperature of such hot air is usually limited to ~130°F (~55°C). Air of that temperature will not cause burns even if the human skin is directly exposed to such warm/hot air for a short period of time.
Some people use hair dryers in combination with common vacuums to clean their mattresses - hot air from a hairdryer can have a higher temperature and can cause damage to the mattress if is made of sensitive materials. Also, using a hairdryer and ordinary vacuum at the same time usually require two persons and their coordination must be - perfect :)
Since good mattress vacuums are relatively cheap and can last for a long time - if you need one, get it!
UV light sanitizes the mattress even further. In combination with hot air, it drys bed bugs and help kill them. Dead bed bugs are removed from the mattress with strong airflow and the mattress is - clean.
Note that UV light of certain wavelengths is dangerous not only to bed bugs but also to humans. To prevent injuries due to UV light exposure, vacuums with UV lamps have contact sensors and if the vacuum is not pressed at the mattress surface, the UV lamp will not turn on. Some people tamper with those contact sensors, to prevent them from turning off UV lamp - this should NOT be done, it is very dangerous in the long run ...
Use your mattress vacuum properly, or don't use it at all!
Note: direct sunlight, especially during hot summer days will also sanitize the mattresses. It can also make mattresses lose their color over time, but ...
Importance of Good Air Filtration
Mattress vacuums do a very important job, but if the air filtration is not good enough, all those little particles will return back into the cleaned room.
Even dead bed bugs can cause health issues, so if possible, choose HEPA mattress vacuum cleaners - such HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filters remove at least 99.97% of particles 0.3 micrometers in size.
For example, the size of dirt particles often found in home and apartments is:
- sand 50.0-1000.0 micrometers,
- pet and human hair 30.0-200.0 micrometers,
- pollen 10.0-100.0 micrometers,
- bacteria 0.3-10.0 micrometers,
- dust mites 90.0-600.0 micrometers, etc.
Top Models of Mattress Vacuums
There are many models of dedicated mattress vacuums, designed and optimized for vacuuming and sanitizing not only mattresses but other common household surfaces as well, like sheets, upholstery, pet beds, stairs, sofas, couches, etc.
Most of these models are oddly shaped devices, but their features dictate their shape.
Of all the models on the market, there are a few of them that stand out thanks to their design, features, but also thanks to their price.
Housmile Anti-Dust Mites UV Vacuum Cleaner - Model 810
All these cleaning methods are combined with a true HEPA air filtration system, being able to filter out at least 99.97% of 0.3 microns or larger particles.
It weighs only 4.5 pounds (~2 kg) and is easy and safe to use.
Housmile 810 is a compact unit rated at 350 watts, creating suction of 10.5 kPa. Such suction ensures deep cleaning of mattresses, pillows, and similar surfaces, by pulling out various types of debris, not just germs, pollen, and similar.
In order to clean and sanitize mattresses and other surfaces, Housmile 810 combines several methods:
- rotating brushroll which helps pick up surface dirt, including pet hair, lint, fibers, crumbs, etc. but also sends high-frequency (6000 cycle/minutes) vibrations deep into the cleaner surfaces. Such vibrations set loose deeply embedded and stubborn dirt, which is then vacuumed via strong airflow.
- UV light that emits at rather harmful 253.7 nm and irradiates the surface, killing bed bugs, mites, bacteria, and other germs in the process. The rate of sanitation is higher than 99.7% which also depends on the length of irradiation and the depth of the cleaned area.
- strong suction of 10.5 kPa ensures that the dirt, regardless of its type, gets vacuumed into the vacuum cleaner.
- hot air (~130°F, 55°C) fan warm up the cleaned surface in order to dry it. Moisture is one of the requirements for bed bugs to survive - when the moisture is removed, bed bugs simply die out.
Because UV light is harmful and some fabric don't react well when cleaned with the rotating brushrolls, Housmile comes with several safety features:
- UV light safety switch turns Off the UV lamp when the unit is turned on, but not pressed onto the cleaned surface,
- rotating brushroll safety switch turns off the brushroll when the vacuum is lifted 2 or more inches (5 or more cm) above the cleaned surface.
Also, when vacuuming sensitive surfaces, the user can turn off the brushroll in order to prevent any damage.
Because of all these features and rather affordable price, Housmile is one of the best and most popular mattress vacuums on the market.
For more reviews and recommendations, feel free to check Housmile Anti-Dust Mites UV Vacuum Cleaner - Model 810 Amazon link (link opens in the new window).
Dibea UV-10 Mattress Vacuum Cleaner
Dibea UV-10 is a compact corded handheld vacuum, with physical dimensions of 12.2 x 10.2 x 8.7 inches (31 x 26 x 22 cm) and features a weight of 4.1 pounds (1.86 kg) - as such, the unit is designed to be used by one hand using slow push/pull motion across the cleaned area.
Dibea UV-10 mattress vacuum is rated at 300 watts, with a maximum suction of 10 kPa. Unit is corded, featuring 14.7 feet (~4.5 m) long power cord.
In order to thoroughly clean and sanitize, Dibea UV-10 combines several cleaning methods:
- rotating brushroll picks up both surface dirt and deeply embedded dirt and hair, pulling it out from the cleaned surface. Also, as the brushroll spins, it sends strong high-frequency (~33 kHz) vibrations into the cleaned surfaces, loosening the pollen, bed bugs, and other dirt and allergens, which are then picked up by strong suction.
- despite being a compact unit, Dibea UV-10 creates 10 kPa of suction with decent airflow, vacuuming the dirt from the cleaned surface into the dirt cup.
- 8 inches (~20 cm) long UV lamp, rated at 9 watts, emits at harmful 253.7 nm, efficiently killing bacteria, bed bugs, and other germs, practically sterilizing the surface. Sterilization rate is ~99.9%, which is achieved in lab tests, although in real life it can be even better if the UV irradiation time is made longer - this on the other hand can damage sensitive fabrics and cause discoloration of the surface.
Since UV light is harmful to human skin, too, Dibea UV-10 comes with safety sensors that turn off the UV light when the unit is lifted off the surface.
Dibea UV-10 is a very popular mattress vacuum cleaner that does its job rather well - it is a compact and affordable unit, with low maintenance costs.
If you are looking for a mattress vacuum that combines strong suction with the rotating brushroll and UV light for cleaning and sanitizing of beds, mattresses, upholstery, and similar surfaces, consider this unit.
For more reviews and recommendations, feel free to check Dibea UV-10 Mattress Vacuum Cleaner Amazon link (link opens in the new window).
Bang Na Mattress Vacuum Cleaner
True HEPA air filtration system captures at least 99.97% of 0.3 microns or larger particles, while 104°F (40°C) warm air blower help decrease the moisture in beds and mattresses, while also helping to kill as many bed bugs, germs, and bacteria as possible.
Unit is compact and lightweight, weighing only 2.86 pounds (~1.3 kg).
Bang Na Mattress Vacuum Cleaner is rated at 300 watts and comes with 13.1 feet (~4 m) long power cord.
One of the very interesting features is a rather large dust cup which features a capacity of 600 ml, which is a very large capacity for a compact mattress vacuum cleaner.
Nonetheless, it is highly recommended to empty the dirt cup after each use.
For more reviews and recommendations, feel free to check Bang Na Mattress Vacuum Cleaner Amazon link (link opens in the new window).
Of course, there are many other mattress vacuums that can do their job properly, but these are the most popular units that have been tested by countless users in real-life situations and they passed with flying colors.
Bed Bug Killers
When the going gets tough, tough get ... chemicals! Seriously, if you have real issues with bed bugs, talk with the professionals about your issues and check how you can:
- get rid of the bed bugs,
- prevent them from reappearing again.
If you should decide to take action on your own, before buying a bed bug killer, you must know a few things:
- bed bug killers come in the form of spray or similar bottles. They are mostly liquids, but can be found in the powdered form, too,
- such chemicals should kill bed bugs right away, in any stage of their life (adults, nymphs, or eggs),
- bed bugs killers should not cause stains on the mattress,
- avoid using bed bug killers based on strong chemicals (insecticides, pesticides ...), but choose one based on the natural, organic, and to humans non-toxic ingredients,
- before applying the bed bug killer, thoroughly read the instructions, and forget improvisations ...
To keep bed bugs away, personal hygiene and keeping the mattress dry are very important.
To protect the mattress, so-called mattress encasements can be used. Mattress encasements protect the mattress from water and other liquids spills, from dust mites and other bed bugs, from pollen, and other allergens.
Mattress encasements must protect the mattress from all six sides, must be breathable, quiet, and safe for kids, adults, and even pets.
Preferably, they should be machine washable - this eases their maintenance significantly.
After the mattress is thoroughly cleaned and/or sanitized, having a protective mattress encasement is highly recommended.
Long Story Short - keep your mattresses clean and improve your well-being. Mattress vacuums are relatively cheap and reliable devices and are highly recommended not only for people having issues with bed bugs but also for people wanting to prevent such infestation.
To prevent bed bugs from appearing, keep your sheets and mattresses dry and clean - change the sheets regularly and avoid spills/liquids of any kind.
For example, people with kids with diapers should protect the mattress with waterproof mattress encasement, although such protection is recommended for everyone.
When replacing bed sheets, be sure to quickly vacuum the mattresses with a good mattress vacuum - it takes only a few minutes and can prevent many issues in the future.
Worst Case Scenario - contact local professionals and they will help you get rid of your problems. This is not the cheapest solution, but ...