It’s accurate to assume that germs are lurking everywhere in your home, but your mattress is one particular place that harbors untold microorganisms that many of us prefer not to think about.
In fact, mattresses are more disgusting than you might ever have imagined, according to Manal Mohammed, a medical microbiologist and senior lecturer at London’s University of Westminster.
“An average mattress can have thousands of dust mites that produce millions of droppings,” Mohammed said. She explained that these mites feed on particles like dead skin cells, saliva, sweat and even wayward food crumbs.
“Many people can develop allergies to dust mite droppings,” Mohammed said. “And after prolonged exposure, some people, especially those with asthma, might develop severe symptoms and complications.”
It’s not just dust mites that you might be sharing a bed with. Due to how prone mattresses are to moisture and warmth, Mohammed warned against fungi, mold, viruses and bacteria such as E. Coli, MRSA and other serious contaminants that pose real risks to our health.
Before you throw your mattress to the curb in advance of the recommended six-to-10-year time frame, Mohammed said there are some steps you can take to reduce the number of germs that you’re exposed to, including using a mattress-designated vacuum with a built-in UV sanitation light. Although she didn’t cite any model in particular, we found a highly reviewed mattress vacuum on Amazon that fits her guidance.
“Vacuums with ultraviolet radiation will sanitize your mattress by killing germs [because] UV light will break apart their nucleic acid so they cannot reproduce and will subsequently die,” Mohammed said, adding that this step should be done at least once a month and can be especially important if you have allergies or pets.
The Housmile lightweight handheld mattress vacuum at Amazon claims to offer a powerful suction specifically designed to attract dust and mites, plus a drying function for eliminating bacteria-causing moisture. The device uses a twice-activated carbon filter and a HEPA filtration system, which Mohammed said is an important requirement when looking for mattress vacuums.
This vacuum cleaner has also been outfitted with a UV light, a method that, according to some studies, is proven effective in reducing pathogenic microorganisms in the way that Mohammed described.
Of course, there are supplemental ways you can keep your mattress clean. Mohammed recommended things like bathing before going to bed, investing in a mattress cover that you can wash on a regular basis, avoiding eating in bed and changing your sheets and bedding once every two weeks.
A complete germ-free existence is not realistic (nor entirely necessary), but hopefully by following Mohammed’s advice you can rest easier knowing that your exposure is as reduced as possible, at least when it comes to your mattress. Keep reading to learn why some reviewers believe this mattress vacuum helped them do just that, or read even further to shop a list of some other great bed vacuums with similar germ-fighting features.
Promising Amazon reviews:
“I love this thing. I didn’t really know how to clean the couch other than a sticky roller and I am paranoid about sharing vacuums that are also used on the floor. I have had this for a few weeks and am really pleased. You can see particles collecting immediately. It passes smoothly over surfaces and isn’t very heavy. There is a button to be pushed for the roller to rotate so be sure you have that on. I was unsure if the UV light was functioning at first but it is a very dim light you can see through the collection chamber if you look closely. I believe it only comes on when flush to a surface. It takes a minute to heat up but I also like that feature for germ killing. The filter is easy to remove, rinse and replace into the collection bin. In addition to the couch I have also used this on pillows, mattress, chair and comforter. This product helps me feel more comfortable.” — Aubrey
“I was skeptical, but desperate. I started to have really bad allergies which led to purchasing air purifiers, but I felt like there was more I could do. I saw a TikTok about this product and figured it wouldn’t be a bad thing to try. I have a cat and dog, so I was expecting to see a lot and I sure did! I’ve used this on pillows, mattresses, couches, rugs and have noticed a significant difference with my allergies! It picked up the small dust and allergens that I needed gone! I also have long hair, which is very easy to get off the rotating barrel inside - I’d recommend vacuuming first before using this product.” — Joelle V
″This product has really made a difference in my battle with my allergies! I really thought that using a regular vacuum on my mattress and sheets was a good thing but this bed vacuum really made a difference and almost embarrassed me as I saw what it was picking up. Now I use it daily! In addition, I’m no longer waking up with itchy eyes and stuffy nose. I’m still taking meds and all other precautions and not claiming this to be a “miracle cure” but it’s really made a difference not only for me physically but mentally as well, as I’m now feeling that I’m taking the extra step and it’s making a difference. I’m so glad to have it!” — Ms. J