How To Tell If Your Mattress Has Mold? Comprehensive Guide

Helen Skeates
Helen Skeates
23 min read

Trying to figure out whether your mattress has mold and not knowing what to look for? You needn’t worry, because this is exactly the article you need.

What Is Mold?

Mold is a fungus that thrives in damp conditions and is widespread in homes. You should also be aware of mildew, a type of fungus that is commonly mistaken for mold. A lot of people mistake mildew for mould because they don’t understand the difference between the two, yet mildew is significantly more frequent in your mattress.

Help! My Mattress has Mold Growth - Ultra Fresh

It’s easy to eliminate mildew from your mattress because it has a flat growth pattern and stays on the surface. When it comes to polluting surfaces, mold has a tendency to penetrate deep through the surface. Fortunately, mildew can be easily eliminated, whereas mold necessitates more extensive treatment.

As a general rule, mildew is easy to spot because it looks like black specks that are spread out and can be readily cleaned off. When compared to the fuzzier appearance of mold, your mattress’s surface can be tough to remove. Mold looks like old food. This “mold” you’re dealing with is nearly always mildew.

What Causes Mold?

When there are leaks in the roof, windows, or pipes, mold thrives. When there is flooding, mold thrives. Among its favorite substrates are cardboard, ceiling tiles, and wood products, such as drywall.

In addition to dust, paints, wallpaper, and insulation, many other common household items contain mold. The most prevalent indoor molds are Cladosporium, Penicillium, and Aspergillus.

In and out of doors, mold is a common occurrence. Mold can invade your home through open doorways, windows, vents, and heating and air conditioning systems.

It is possible for mold in the air to adhere to clothing, shoes and even pets, and then be transported inside. Mold spores thrive in regions where there is considerable moisture, such as in roofs, pipes, walls, plant pots, or areas where flooding has occurred.

Mold growth is frequently triggered by high humidity, uncontrolled condensation, and simple, slow-moving plumbing leaks. However, employing a plumber is not the only way to avoid a mold infestation.

For minor water leaks, a skilled plumber is the best alternative. In the event of a hidden mold problem, a plumber can spot the telltale signs and alert you to the impending doom that awaits.

A plumber’s expertise in mold detection is critical. They can also be extremely helpful in protecting against mold.

Understanding what causes mold growth is the first step in preventing it in your home. Consequently, it is advantageous to have a grasp of the effects of lean.

To assist you recognize the type of mold you need to deal with, here is a reference on what color mold is.

Mold grows well in a wide variety of construction materials because they provide the necessary nutrients. Paper, cardboard, ceiling tiles, and wood items, all of which contain cellulose, are particularly conducive to the growth of mold.

Dust, paints, wallpaper, insulation materials, drywall, carpet, fabric, and upholstery can all harbor mold. If you’re interested in learning more about mattress molds, go no further than the information provided here.

Mold Under The Bed

Aside from the bottom of your bed, mold can begin to grow in other areas of your home. As a result of the lack of light and air circulation, the bed’s underside has become a popular breeding ground for fungi. When you lift your bedsheets, sunshine and artificial light shine on the top and sides of the mattress, which are also exposed to fresh air.

Make a concerted effort to allow ventilation beneath your mattress and bed to avoid the growth of this fungus. Your bedroom door and a window in another room should be opened to allow fresh air to circulate throughout the house.

If you have a box spring in your bed, make sure there is a large gap between the mattress and the floor so that air can get to the bottom of the mattress.

Lifting the mattress to check for early indications of mold is a good idea at regular intervals. In order to prevent fungus from growing, you may want to leave it leaning against the bed for a few hours.

The Mattress-On-Floor Mold

Mold can grow on your mattress if it’s in close touch with the floor, which is almost always the case. When you sleep on a mattress, the moisture will be trapped against it, preventing air from reaching it to dry it off. Warmth, darkness, and moisture combine over time to provide an ideal growing environment for fungi.

As a result, it should come as no surprise that mold will grow on your mattress if you do not wash your sheets regularly, minimize moisture, and completely dry the underside of the mattress. While it’s ideal to use a raised bed with slats to promote ventilation, you can dry out your mattress by leaning it against a wall for at least a few hours each week.

Mold On Popular Mattresses

Innerspring Mattresses

Mold can still grow on spring beds, despite their amazing and fascinating technology. The fungus will develop and spread as long as there is a warm, damp environment under the mattress where light cannot reach.

You must lift your mattress as much as possible so that more air can flow through it, preventing this from happening. Dehumidifiers and periodically opened windows can also aid in the process of removing moisture from the air in your home.

Memory Foam Mattresses

Foams of various kinds are used in the production of these mattresses. There is a problem with foam because it absorbs and retains moisture extremely efficiently, allowing sweat and other liquids from your body to build up over time in the mattress. There is a risk that this moisture will reach the bottom of the bed, allowing mold to form.

Mattresses made of memory foam are prone to mold since they are flat and retain moisture. Due to a lack of air flow and a high level of moisture, fungal growth is greatly facilitated in this environment.

Mold In Mattress Symptoms

Because mold and mildew are microscopically small to begin with, it is impossible to detect the early signs until they have grown large enough to be seen with the human eye. Those who don’t frequently rotate and inspect their mattress while changing the sheets are more likely to suffer from this issue.

A common indicator of mold under the mattress is the formation of microscopic black spots, which can be seen long before any health issues or a stink are apparent. An important part of preventing mildew growth and occurrence is monitoring your mattress regularly.

3 Simple Ways to Remove Mould from a Mattress | Fantastic Services AUS


Mold spores have a very pungent and lingering odor that you might not expect from mold. Most people connect it with rotting food, which has a pungent, decaying smell. However, spores on a mattress can produce a damp or dank odor over time.

You should keep looking for the spores if you start to smell this, so that you can fix the problem. You may smell it before you see any mildew on the mattress, but it depends on where they are and how deep the mold concentration is.

Health Problems

Exposure to spores can have major consequences for one’s health, especially if one is already ill or has severe allergies. Because you spend so much time in bed, you’re more likely to be exposed to mold under your mattress than you would be elsewhere in your home.

Symptoms such as headaches, itchy eyes, congestion, and tiredness are common in people who have been exposed to mold for a long length of time. Mold or mildew exposure may be to blame if you’re experiencing these symptoms, especially after waking up.

When you leave the infected area, whether it’s to go to work or just to another section of the house free of mold, you should start to feel better right away. Mold on your mattress, rather than across your home, can cause a rapid shift in how you feel.


Tiny black spots will emerge on the mattress’s underside, where it comes into contact with the ground, the bed slats, or the box spring. Leave this mildew to spread and cover the mattress, which will lead to damage and the release of spores that can have a significant influence on your health.

Large patches of mold might be seen as a white or black fuzzy coating. Despite the fact that mildew is easily spotted due of its distinctive dotty and black look, this type of fungus. Under mattresses, mildew is significantly more common, and you can tell if it’s there since it’s so easily removed with a damp towel.

Mold, on the other hand, can be more difficult to get rid of than mildew since it sticks to the surface of the mattress. Mattress cleaning suggestions and guidance are available on our website.

How To Tell If A Mattress Has Mold

Because mold and mildew start out so little, you won’t be able to observe any symptoms until they become noticeable to the naked eye. People who fail to rotate their mattress when changing sheets are more likely to suffer from this issue.

Tiny black dots are the first sign of mold under the mattress, and they can be seen long before any health issues or a stink are noticed. Mildew growth and occurrence can be prevented by keeping a constant eye on your mattress.

If you suspect mold growth in your mattress, look for the following signs and symptoms:

1. Identify or detect the smell or scent

An unmistakable smell of mold spores can be difficult to detect. As opposed to the terrible stench of decaying food that you might associate with it, the damp or dank scent that spores on your mattress may emit over time is more like that of a lingering must.

Keep searching for the spores if you find this odor. Depending on where they are and how dense the mold concentration is, you may be able to smell the scent before seeing any significant density of mildew on the mattress.

2. Notice changes or occurrences on health issues

If you’re currently ill or have severe allergies, spore exposure can be dangerous. You are more likely to be exposed to mold in your mattress than in any other part of your home since you spend so much time in bed.

As a result of prolonged exposure to mold, you may have symptoms such as a sneezing fit, a runny nose, itchy eyes, and fatigue. Chances of exposure are significant if you start experiencing these symptoms as soon as possible after waking up.

3. Check the appearance

One of the earliest signs of mold is moldy mattresses, which have small black patches on the underside that touch the ground, the bed slats, or the box spring. Leaving this black mold untreated will cause damage to the mattress, as well as spores that can be dangerous to your health, so you should get it taken care of as soon as possible.

Mold typically appears as a white or black fluff in large chunks. Mildew has a dotty, black appearance that is unique to this type of fungus.

You can tell whether you have mildew under your mattress by how readily it comes off with a moist cloth. You may learn how to get rid of mold from your mattress by reading this article.

The 12 Mold in Mattress Symptoms (Don’t Miss)

1. Your Respiratory Symptoms Are Worse in Bed than Out

The presence of mold in your mattress can cause respiratory problems, including asthma and allergies. Mold may be forming in your lungs if you only wheeze when you lie down in bed.

Keep in mind that mold may not be visible or odorous. Your memory foam bed’s air pockets or channels, for example, may be the source of the growth.

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2. You Develop a Rash on Contact with the Mattress

You may get a rash if the mattress has mold growing in it. It appears as though you are developing an allergy to your mattress in the worst case situation. Make an appointment with an allergist if you notice any redness or itching after sleeping on your latex mattress.

A moldy mattress may be to blame if the test results are negative. An allergic skin reaction is nearly often caused by mold if your mattress does not include latex.

3. Your Existing Skin Conditions Have Gotten Worse

People with psoriasis and eczema have to deal with these conditions on a daily basis. Stress could be to blame if these symptoms have suddenly gotten worse. However, mold in your mattress might exacerbate the problem. Find out whether there is mold in your mattress if your doctor’s treatments aren’t working.

4. Your Mattress Has a Foul Smell

Some people may notice a minor chemical odor for weeks after purchasing a memory foam mattress. The scent of other mattresses should not be present. Treating the stains on your bed if they smell of perspiration or urine is necessary. A mold infestation is almost certainly present if the mattress begins to smell musty, similar to rotten food. Before you see any black mold, you’ll often start smelling it.

The use of an enzymatic cleanser can help rule out other possible explanations. A rotting orange juice and chicken soup stench can be determined by comparing the odor with that of mold.

5. You Can’t Get Rid of that Smell

The presence of pee or excrement staining on the mattress can cause mold to begin developing inside. The scent of rancidity persists despite our efforts to remove the stains. Once the mattress has been thoroughly cleaned, use baking soda or odor-neutralizing sprays to remove any remaining smells. The problem may be caused by mold if that doesn’t work. If the bed smells like mildew, it’s probably mold.

6. You See Black Spots on the Mattress

If you notice any black stains on your mattress, you can be quite certain that mold is growing within it. Mold is almost probably to blame if the spots develop worse after an accident or a hot, humid night.. Mold is most likely the culprit if the black spots are complemented by other, fresh hues.

7. The Mattress Is Discolored / Changing Colors

The black stains aren’t always indicative of mold. Mold’s waste products can instead produce green and purple patches. Changing the color of your mattress may be a sign of mold. if you’ve cleaned up all the feces or blood, but there is still a brown or beige or black patch, it may be caused by the presence of mold.

Mold is most likely to be the culprit if vinegar or enzymatic cleansers fail to remove the discoloration. Using hydrogen peroxide or bleach to get rid of the mold problem is a good sign. As soon as the discolored areas spread to other regions of the mattress or become black, you know you’ve got mold on your hands.

8. You Experience Flu-Like Symptoms Every Time Enter the Room

It is possible that you will experience flu-like symptoms such as congestion and headaches or a sore throat. There is a good chance that mold is growing in the mattress and sending spores into the air. Even before you put your head on the pillow, this might cause respiratory and other health issues. It’s a safe bet that mold is to blame if your symptoms only grow worse when you’re in bed and only become worse as you sleep.

9. You’re Continually Getting Sick

Your immune system can be weakened by mold exposure. When you’re congested from mold, you’re more susceptible to ear and respiratory infections. You may want to check your mattress for mold if you keep feeling unwell. If your child is getting colds and ear infections on a regular basis and you can’t figure out why, you should look into the mattress.

10. You’re Having Trouble Sleeping

Respiratory symptoms may be attributed to dust or dust mites, which you can dismiss. As a result, you’ll likely suffer from breathing difficulties at night as a result of your exposure to mold. Prior to going to see a sleep specialist, consider cleaning or replacing your bed to see if that helps alleviate any symptoms of sleep apnea.

In a sleep lab or a hotel, your bed is likely to be to blame if you’re having trouble sleeping. This means that mold in mattress symptoms, if you only experience them in your own bed, could include insomnia. Mold in the mattress may also be the core cause if your child sleeps better at daycare or Grandma’s house than in their own room.

All About Mold On Mattresses - The Symptoms and Things to Know

11. You See Bugs in Your Mattress

What do bedbugs and mattress mold have in common? There are gnats flying around and around the bed, or mites in and around the bed, and they’re feeding on the mold that’s growing in the bed. They are drawn to the moldy aroma. The fragrance can also entice termites to the bed. This is why bugs in your bedroom that aren’t bed bugs could be a clue that your mattress is contaminated with mold.

If you notice spiders crawling all over your bed, it’s possible that mold is at blame. Because the bugs in your bed are being eaten by spiders, they’re migrating in.

12. Your Mattress Is Always Damp

Your mattress is a wonderful growing ground for mold if it’s always wet. Bed-wetting or spilled water may be the first sign. It’s also possible that you’re a nighttime bed sweater. The bed needs to be dried out. Mold, on the other hand, is a moisture-sucking fungus. Having a moldy mattress could be a symptom of a more serious problem.

You Find Mold in Other Parts of the Room

Mold spores can travel through the air. Mold, on the other hand, thrives in moist, dark conditions. The high humidity in the bathroom is the most common cause of mold growth. Other areas of the bedroom may be infested with mold as a result of the mattress or an other source.

To begin with, rule out any alternate theories. Mold growth on the opposite side of the wall could be fueled by a leak in the bathroom sink, or by an air leak near the window that allows moisture to fuel mold growth on the floor below.

Look under the floorboards, too. Carpets can harbor mold if they retain moisture from the air or if there is a breach in the foundation that allows water to enter. The problem is that mold can readily spread to your bed.


How bad is a moldy mattress?

Some health risks can arise if you have mold growing on your mattress. Mold exposure can cause a variety of respiratory problems. Asthma, allergy symptoms, or trouble breathing are just a few possible side effects. Mold-induced wheezing is a typical adverse effect.

Can sleeping on a moldy mattress make you sick?

Moldy mattresses can cause respiratory symptoms like coughing, sneezing, and difficulty breathing. When you sleep on your mattress, you run the risk of developing more serious symptoms like asthma or wheezing.

How long does it take for mold to grow in a mattress?

If a damp surface is left unattended for more than 24 hours, mold colonies might begin to grow. Spores – small, airborne “seeds” – are the means by which they reproduce. In the process of consuming organic material, molds eventually ruin the substance they are growing on and then spread to other organic materials.

What does mattress mold look like?

Mattress mold might appear as off-white, pink, or puffy black dots on the mattress, but these are the most prevalent appearances. Any mattress can grow mold if the conditions are correct, which is an important thing to remember. Early warning symptoms of mattress mold include the following: A strong musty odor.

What kills mold on mattress?

Lysol is a fantastic option for removing mold from a mattress, but rubbing alcohol, bleach, or white vinegar are all viable options as well. Apply to a sponge or cloth and scrub the moldy places until they’re gone with one of those alternatives. Allow the mattress to air dry for at least one day.

Can you get mold out of a mattress?

In a disposable container, combine equal parts rubbing alcohol and warm water. To clean the moldy portion of the mattress, wet a clean cloth and wring it out well. When scrubbing, use a circular motion and a lot of energy.

Why is mold growing under my bed?

Why do you have mold growing on your mattress or in your bed? Mold can only grow in conditions of complete darkness, warmth, and moisture, all of which may be found in most bedrooms. We all sweat as we sleep, but some people sweat more than others, and that moisture can build up in or beneath a mattress and provide a breeding ground for mold.


In order to figure out whether or not your mattress has mold, you’ll need to know some key details. To learn more, simply follow the links provided.

Helen Skeates

Helen Skeates

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