Have you noticed unsightly yellow stains on your mattress? They’re pretty common and can turn brown over time. Mattresses turn yellow for various reasons; even the best mattresses can develop these stains if not adequately protected. Read on to find out why mattresses turn yellow and how to remove these stains easily.

Read also: 5 Easy Ways to Keep Your Mattress As-new

What Are The Yellow Stains On My Mattress

Ageing of the mattress, spills and night accidents often result in unsightly yellow stains. However, there could be other reasons, too. The most common causes of yellow stains on your bedding are:

Natural Oxidation

As the mattress ages, it decays due to oxidation, which results in a yellowish tinge that persists despite cleaning. You can slow the oxidation process by keeping the mattress dry and away from direct sunlight. If you want to air your mattresses, do it in a warm, dry, and shaded area.

Stains caused by sweat and body oils can look like they have been watered down. Image: Flickr

Sweat and Sebum

It’s a fact that everyone sweats and releases natural body oils while sleeping. Although sweat stains may not be visible immediately, they gradually accumulate, leading to unsightly yellowish stains. Sweat and sebum provide an ideal environment for bacterial growth, which can cause unpleasant odours. Sweat stains also attract dust mites, which are a common source of allergies. Moreover, these bodily fluids can soak through the sheets and reach the mattress if you don’t change your bedding regularly. If left untreated, the stinky yellow sweat stains are difficult to remove.

Check also: How to Keep Your Mattress Free of Unpleasant Odors


As with urine, vomit can cause smelly yellow stains, so you must clean it promptly to prevent this problem. Always remove the solid parts before dabbing the area to remove excess moisture. When removing all types of bodily fluids, make sure to disinfect the mattress before using it again.

Read also: How to Remove Vomit Stains and Get Rid of the Stench From Your Car

Urine stains can turn brown if left untreated. Flickr


Urine can cause yellow stains and unpleasant odours on your mattress. Clean the fresh urine immediately to prevent it from seeping deep into the bedding. Excess moisture can also lead to mould growth. Dried urine stains and smells are difficult to remove and may attract dust mites, leading to further damage.


It is important to note that moisture and sweat can make their way to the coils of your spring or hybrid mattress, leading to rust formation. Rust stains are easy to identify as they have a darker colour and an orange tinge. Additionally, they tend to emit a faint metallic odour. Keep your sleeping area clean and dry to prevent stains and prolong your mattress’s life.


If you spill water on your mattress and don’t clean it immediately, light yellow-beige stains may form. These stains don’t smell but can eventually lead to mould and create more yellow stains.

Check also: How to Maintain Your Sofa Bed to Extend Its Lifespan

Baking soda is often used in refreshing mattresses because it helps remove foul odours and excess moisture.

How To Remove the Yellow Mattress Stains

Here are a few different ways to remove stubborn yellow stains from your mattress:

Fresh Urine Stains

If you need to remove a fresh urine stain:

  1. Start by blotting the excess urine with a dry cloth, and be careful not to rub it in.
  2. Mix 1 part white vinegar and 1 part water and spray the area generously.
  3. Sprinkle some baking soda on top and leave it to sit overnight or for at least eight hours.
  4. Once it’s dry, vacuum the residue and check the stain. If it’s still visible, repeat the process until you’re satisfied with the result.

Dried Urine Stains

Dry urine stains can be difficult to clean. Here’s how to remove them from your mattress:

  1. Create a solution by mixing 1 cup hydrogen peroxide, 3 tablespoons baking soda, and 2-3 drops of mild dish soap.
  2. Apply the solution to the stained area.
  3. Let it dry completely before vacuuming the residue.
  4. Depending on the severity of the stain, you may need to repeat the process several times.

Sweat Stains

You can use baking soda and a bristle brush to remove sweat stains from a mattress. Start by sprinkling baking soda all over the mattress and gently rub it with the brush. The longer you let it sit, the better it will work. For heavily soiled mattresses, leave it overnight. Afterwards, vacuum away the residue. Baking soda effectively absorbs moisture and unpleasant odours, making it a great cleaning agent for mattresses.

Vomit Stains

  1. First, start by removing the vomit from the bed.
  2. Remove all the bedding and wash it at a high temperature to kill germs.
  3. Use an old cloth or towel to blot the stain and remove the excess moisture.
  4. Mix warm water with a mild detergent and apply it to the affected area with a sponge.
  5. Combine 3 parts of white vinegar with 1 part of water and blot the spot with the solution to disinfect and deodorise the stain.

To disinfect the area thoroughly, spray the spot with rubbing alcohol. You can add some essential oils to reduce the pungent smell. To remove any lingering odour, sprinkle baking soda on the area, which will absorb the smell. Finish the vomit stain removal process by vacuuming the area to extract the baking soda residue from the mattress.

Changing your bed linens every week will help keep your mattress stain-free longer. Freepik

How To Prevent Yellow Stains On Your Mattress

If you want to prevent yellow stains and keep your mattress clean, follow these simple tips:

  • Use a mattress protector as a barrier against liquids, mites, and debris. These protectors are removable and machine washable. Some are even waterproof, making them ideal for preventing spills.
  • Make sure to wash your pillowcases, sheets, and pillows regularly to prevent sweat and body oils from seeping into your mattress and causing yellow stains.
  • Avoid eating and drinking in bed to prevent food and beverage spills on your mattress.
  • Avoid letting your pet sleep on your bed. If you sleep next to your furry friend, they might accidentally urinate on your bed, staining the mattress. Keep your pet on a separate bed in your bedroom to prevent mishaps.
  • Clean up any spills immediately to avoid stubborn stains on your mattress.
  • Schedule a professional cleaning at least twice a year to remove deeply embedded dirt, keep your mattress hygienic, and prolong its life.

Read also: How to Maintain Your Home Clean When Having a Dog

Yellow stains on the mattress caused by oxidation are nothing to worry about. Image by gpointstudio

Is It OK to Sleep On A Mattress With Yellow Stains?

Yellow stains from oxidation are harmless, but other stains on your mattress can lead to health problems. If your mattress smells bad or has patchy stains, it may be unsafe to sleep on. Allergic reactions while sleeping can indicate mould growth or dust mites in your mattress. If allergies persist, your stained mattress is no longer safe to sleep on.

Check also: 7 Signs That It’s Time to Invest in a New Mattress

Regular deep cleaning of your mattress can help eliminate allergens, dust mites, and harmful bacteria that develop over time. This can lead to a better quality of sleep and a healthier lifestyle. So, why not book a professional mattress cleaning service today and enjoy a peaceful and restful night’s sleep?