Foam mattresses have become increasingly popular in recent years due to their superior comfort and support. However, one common issue that many users have noticed is that over time, these mattresses tend to develop a yellowish tint. This discoloration can be concerning and raise questions about the mattress’s quality and cleanliness.
In this article, we will delve into the reasons behind why foam mattresses turn yellow, potential factors that contribute to this phenomenon, and how you can prevent or address it effectively.
Yellowing does not affect the usage of your foam mattress. It is typically a natural process and hence does not hinder performance. The discoloration mainly happens because of low oxidation, meaning you can safely sleep on your mattress.
We understand you might be tempted to replace your foam, but it’s good to know that the best foam mattress can serve you for up to 10 years. Even the period can be longer if you practice proper maintenance and good cleaning. If you notice any discoloration along the way, that should not worry you if the cause is low oxidation.
Foam mattresses turn yellow for many reasons, including age, exposure to sunlight, sweat and body oils, urine stains, and uncleaned vomit. Let’s look at each reason.
The main reason your foam mattress is turning yellow is that it’s aging. It is a natural process that should not worry you. Typically, over time, as you keep your foam mattress direct to the sunlight, the materials will oxidize, leading to a reaction with oxygen, making your foam turn yellow.
So, if your foam is yellowing because of age, it shouldn’t produce any odor.
The UV rays are usually unsuitable for your (memory) foam mattress. Each time you leave your foam under the sun for seven hours, rest assured that your foam will start yellowing with time. On top of that, its material will also begin to damage, reducing the shelf life of your mattress.
Also Read: How Long Does a Mattress Last?
Seasons change, and sometimes you can sleep hot occasionally, or your body overheats frequently. When this happens, you sweat more, which may make your mattress accumulate sweat, causing your bed to discolor.
Also Read: How to Get Sweat Smell out of Mattress?
Although the discoloration won’t show up immediately, it will be evident with time. That’s why washing your bed sheets and mattress cover is advisable to reduce stains.
Body oils also play a role in making your mattress turn yellow. They seep through the foam, and your mattress starts yellowing in a matter of time.
Urine stains can quickly make your mattress start yellowing. Especially in scenarios where bed-wetting is expected, the colors will soon build up and cause foul odor, mold, and bed mites without forgetting the yellowing on the mattress.
So, anytime you stain the mattress with urine, you must strip it off the bed and wash the sheets and mattress.
Whether it is vomit from people or pets, if left uncleaned, it may form a yellow stain on your mattress. If you leave the uncleaned vomit for a more extended period without cleaning, it can cause the spread of bacteria, which is harmful to your health.
Spilled coffee and tea are other things that cause foam mattresses to turn yellow. Also, pollution emissions, higher temperatures, and the presence and usage of flame-retardant chemicals when manufacturing products designed from memory foam may cause yellowing.
Also Read: How to Clean Vomit from Mattress?
Smoking indoors can introduce harmful particles into the air, which can settle onto the mattress’s surface and cause yellow stains over time. Additionally, air pollution can also contribute to discoloration.
High humidity levels can contribute to foam mattress yellowing. Foam has a natural tendency to absorb moisture from the surrounding environment. The trapped moisture encourages the growth of mold and mildew, leading to discoloration and a musty odor.
Certain chemicals present in cleaning agents, body sweat, or other substances can react with the foam material over time. These chemical reactions can alter the foam’s color, causing it to turn yellow.
The quality of the foam used in the mattress can also play a role in how it ages. Lower-quality foams may be more prone to yellowing due to their composition.
Investing in a high-quality foam mattress from a reputable manufacturer can reduce the likelihood of premature yellowing.
While some yellowing may be inevitable due to natural aging processes, there are steps you can take to prolong the pristine appearance of your foam mattress:
Regularly rotate and flip your mattress to distribute the wear and tear evenly. This can help prevent specific areas from yellowing prematurely.
Also Read: Can You Flip Pillow Top Mattresses?
Invest in a high-quality, waterproof mattress protector to shield your mattress from sweat, spills, and body oils. You need to ensure the protector is breathable to prevent heat buildup.
You need to follow the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions and use a mild, foam-safe cleaner to spot clean stains. Avoid using excessive water, and always allow the mattress to dry thoroughly before using it again.
Also Read: How to Clean an Air Mattress?
If possible, position your mattress away from direct sunlight or use curtains and blinds to block harmful UV rays.
Maintain a stable and comfortable room temperature with proper ventilation to minimize the impact of environmental factors.
Here are several ways to clean your (memory foam). Have a look:
Baking soda is a good detergent you can use to neutralize odor and clean mattress stains. For it to be effective, you can apply it in two ways:
Also Read: How to Clean a Mattress Without Baking Soda?
Laundry detergents also serve as a great way of removing yellowish stains on the mattress. Ensure you invest in suitable detergents that will not damage the texture and structure of your memory foam. You can use a gentle liquid detergent mixed with water and appropriate materials to form a paste.
Here are the steps to follow:
Wondering which is the more accessible and convenient way of cleaning memory foam? Vacuum cleaning is the answer. You can also use this process to get your pillows and toppers clean and tidy. This process removes every dirt, debris, dust, and dead skin cell on the surface of your memory foam.
By using the vacuum cleaning process, you aid in preventing dust mites and molds from building up and creating yellowing marks on your foam mattress.
How it works is simple:
Other ways to clean your memory foam include:
Yes, in some cases, you may be able to reduce yellowing with proper cleaning and maintenance. However, prevention is always better than cure.
Foam mattresses are highly durable, but their longevity can be affected by factors like quality, maintenance, and usage.
A mattress topper can provide an extra layer of protection, helping to minimize yellowing and extending the mattress’s lifespan.
In most cases, yellowing is a cosmetic issue. However, if mold or mildew growth is involved, it can impact indoor air quality.
No, the susceptibility to yellowing may vary based on the quality of foam and its protective properties. High-quality foams with proper additives are less prone to discoloration.
No, using bleach or harsh chemicals can further damage the foam and may not effectively remove the yellowing. Stick to mild cleaning agents.
The yellowing of foam mattresses is a natural occurrence influenced by several factors such as exposure to light, heat, body oils, and cleaning practices. By understanding these reasons and adopting preventive measures, you can prolong the lifespan of your foam mattress and maintain its pristine appearance for years to come.
If you’re looking to invest in a foam mattress or already own one, make sure to follow the guidelines provided in this article to keep it in top condition. A well-maintained foam mattress not only enhances your sleep quality but also adds value to your overall sleeping experience.
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