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Why Do Mattresses Turn Yellow?

Why Do Mattresses Turn Yellow

As much as we would love to showcase our pearly white mattresses, we often keep them covered in our household. A patterned bed sheet or a colorful mandala cover always hides our mattresses. The problem is very simple and common. Our mattresses turned yellow.

There are numerous contributors to the yellowing of our mattresses and very few ways to prevent that. The process of yellowing is natural and we can’t stop the time. Rather than scratching our head to think of ways to clean yellow staining, choosing to take preventive measures to stop staining from happening will be very useful in the long run.

Why Do Mattresses Turn Yellow?

No matter what color your mattresses are right now, slowly but surely they will turn yellow.

The common reason is ageing of the mattresses. Over time, based on usage and environment; the mattresses get covered in yellow tint and stains. There are no apparent full proof ways to prevent that apart from covering them up. But identifying the reasons might help us delay the yellowing.


Mattresses always have an exterior exclusively made using fabric. The material is prone to getting stained and wet. Moisture trapped in the fabric mostly contributes to the yellowing of the mattresses. Keeping the bed clean and dry can be a useful solution to tackle the coloration through oxidization.


Our body loses 10 to 14 liters of sweat a day. This salty thermoregulatory liquid is the most common cause of yellow coloration on your mattresses. When we sleep or lie down on the bed, most of the time, our body is covered with sweat. The exterior of the mattress catches the sweat in the fabric and ignites the coloration process.


Bed wetting is a popular cause of stains on your mattresses. If you have kids and pets, then this is a common issue you face. Urine stains can turn your mattresses yellow and excrete a strong smell of ammonia. The exterior of mattresses is quite prone to these sorts of stains that can turn the mattresses yellow.


India possesses mostly a tropical wet and dry climate that contributes to the oxidization of the mattresses and thus turning it yellow. Although, there isn’t much we can do about it rather than keeping our mattresses dry in the humid weather.

Bed Bugs

From thousands of years, bed bugs hitchhiked on humans to move around places. Their stealth like attribute keeps them unnoticed by human eyes. They usually hide in the mattresses and feed on human blood. These infestations are common in our country. They heavily contribute to staining and yellowing in silence.


We often find ourselves in company of our domestic pets. They might be cute and cuddly, but they can be messy as well. Whether you have a dog or a cat, they can contribute to the yellowing of mattresses. Pets often can drool, urinate, or even carry dirt and oil to the bed. Keeping your pets clean and away from the bed can be a viable solution to prevent yellowing of the mattresses.


Human body produces oil from the skin with sweat. These oils can stay unnoticed for a very long period of time until it creates yellow stains on the mattresses. The sweat and oil get mixed together to create a nasty staining with yellow coloration which might seem horrid but it is away from being toxic or harmful. At best, it will look ugly and might stink depending on the nature of oil and origin.

Eating Food in Bed

During the pandemic, people moved away from the trusty couch and towards the bed and made it a multi-purpose workstation and relaxation base. We eat, sleep and work on our bed. Eating food in bed is a tough task on its own.

Liquids and oil usually spill whether we like it or not. Sometimes the spillage might be so minimal that is not easily visible to the eye but, through time, it adds up to the yellow staining on the mattresses.


Molds and mildew grow on the urine, sweat and oil stains through collecting moisture from the environment little by little. The mold stain will grow when they are not disturbed and have an adequate environment. The stains are similar to small yellow spots that usually cover a certain area with scattered yellowing. It may look like spray marks in the early stages of its life.

Not Using a Bed Sheet or a Bed Cover

We usually cover our mattress with a bed sheet or a mattress cover. It saves the mattress from unwanted spillage of liquids, oil and molds. The cover acts as a shield and protects the mattress. Usually mattress cleaning requires steamer and other equipment to deep clean a mattress which is rarely available in a normal household.

So, having a cover that is easily washable is a valid solution in our context. Even using dirty covers for a prolonged period can transfer the molds and oils down on the mattress.

Pest Infestation

A very common problem that revolves around home is the pest. Cockroach and bugs that stay in the house are big contributors to the staining of the mattress. Excretes from the pest are hard to see and fabric on the mattress can be absorbent enough to carry them for a long period of time. These excretes can cause yellowing, molds and nasty stains, which are hard to remove.


This is a common staining and yellowing contributor to the world. Semen are mostly protein which can bind to the fabric from heat.

Though it can be easily removed with cold water and some elbow grease but, it all depends on how swift you are at identifying the cause quickly and acting upon it.


Now, let’s explore what you can do to prevent your mattress from turning yellow.


Using a wet cloth to blot the yellow spots with water and a generous amount of soap will ease the stains from the fabric. After that, a dry cloth can be used to absorb the excess water and mattress.

Repeating the process with patience and rubbing technique can remove most of the stains. Finishing up the process with dry cloth and leaving it to crisp up in the sun will kill most of the bacteria and provide a stain free mattress to enjoy.

Hiring a Professional

There are loads of mattress cleaning services floating around the neighborhood that can be availed through just a phone call.

The services are not that cheap but; it is likely that you need to call them up every after few years. Safaiwala, Elite Sanitization and Cleaning Services, Prithvi Home Care Services Pvt Ltd and Apna Sapna Clean India are a few services that we recommend if you are in New Delhi.

However, a simple google search can bring out a lot of service providers that can offer you deep cleaning and disinfecting your mattress on demand.

Keeping It Clean

Keeping our beds clean and tidy is a sure shot way to have a staining and yellow coloration free mattress. Aging will contribute to the yellowing whether we like it or not; yet, the process slows down when the mattress is getting proper care alongside the daily usage.


If your mattress starts turning yellow, then home DIY can be a place to start the process of removing yellowing. If required, seeking professional help is the best solution from the staining and yellowing.

There are remedies and professionals available on the web and in the neighborhood. Keeping a sharp eye on the prevention of yellowing by adjusting habit and maintaining the bed will slow down yellowing and keep everything fresh.