How Do I Wash My Heated Mattress Pad

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How to Clean an Electric Mattress Pad

Electric mattress pads are machine washable.

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Heated mattress pads ensure a warm bed at night. Heat coils, or wires, woven into the blanket warm up when you plug the pad into an outlet and turn it on. Proper washing methods take into account the delicate nature of these wires, since a damaged wire poses an electrical danger to the home and renders the pad useless. Fortunately, electric mattress pads are still machine washable, so it takes minimal effort to clean them for future use.

Turn the mattress pad control switch to the off position. Unplug the cord from the wall then detach the cord from the pad.

Inspect the mattress pad for exposed or broken wires. Pads with damaged wires pose a fire hazard and require replacement.

Set the washing machine dial to the gentle or delicate cycle and allow the machine to fill with lukewarm water. Add a mild laundry detergent in the amount recommended on the detergent label.

Place the pad in the machine and presoak it for 15 minutes. Turn the dial to the gentle or delicate cycle and wash for 2 minutes.

Move the dial to the drain and cold water rinse setting on the machine. Allow the blanket to spin dry in the machine.

Run the dryer empty on the low heat setting for 2 minutes to preheat the interior. Place the mattress pad inside.

Machine dry the mattress pad for 10 minutes. Lay the pad flat to finish drying or drape it over a clothesline. Allow it to air dry completely before replacing it on your bed and plugging it in.

How Often Do You Need to Wash Your Mattress Pad?

You do lay on it eight hours a night, after all.

There’s nothing that ruins the feeling of just-cleaned sheets like realizing that your protective mattress pad is looking a little. yellow. We all know you’re supposed to wash your sheets every one or two weeks, but what about this pesky thing under your sheets? Our expert is here to share her wisdom.

But first things first, when we say mattress pad, we mean a traditional protective covering like this. Pillowy toppers are a different story since they come in so many varieties (consult the care label for the best washing instructions), and the foam versions can’t be washed at all. You’ll want to replace your topper when they’re not comfortable or supportive anymore.

But here’s the scoop on mattress pads:

You should wash your mattress pad every couple months.

"It’s only necessary to wash your mattress pad several times per year," says Carolyn Forte, director of the Cleaning Lab at the Good Housekeeping Institute. "Sheets generally take more wear and tear than a mattress pad which is why they are washed more often."

This makes sense: You lay directly on top of the sheets, so they’re the first line of defense against body oils and dust getting to your mattress. Your mattress pad bears of that brunt, too, but not quite as much.

Forte recommends following the care label for specific cleaning directions, but in general, most mattress pads can be machine-washed in warm water and tumbled on low to dry.

But there are some exceptions.

If you have allergies, or let your dog or cat sleep in your bed, you might need to clean your pad more often. Gauge how much you should increase the frequency by considering the severity of your symptoms or how much your pet sheds. By trial and error, you might find that it’s necessary to wash the pad as often as weekly.

And if you spill food or drink, notice a stain, or find that it’s stretched out, wash the pad immediately.

Earn bonus points if you clean your mattress while the protector is in the wash.

It’s not everyday you have a bare mattress, so Forte recommends using this time to vacuum up dust (sprinkle the mattress with a little baking soda first to absorb odors). You can also spot-treat any stains, or spray the mattress with Lysol to kill bacteria. Just allow it to dry fully before making the bed again.

How to clean a mattress pad

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Just because you don’t sleep directly on mattress pads doesn’t mean they don’t get dirty.

Between dust mites and dead skin, spilled food and drinks, bladder leaks (or worse), mattress pads collect some gross stuff. So how do we clean them? The fact is, since mattress pads come in an assortment of materials — cotton, plastic-backed, foam, egg crate, down — there is no universal way to do it. That’s why TODAY Home asked green-cleaning expert Leslie Reichert for advice on tackling this chore. Not only does she know the best way to clean, she keeps it eco-friendly.

How to clean a cotton mattress pad

"Most manufacturers recommend cleaning cotton mattress pads at least every two or three months, depending on use," said Reichert. "Always follow the instructions on the care label, but, as a general rule, machine wash on warm or cool using a mild detergent."

Tumble dry on the lowest temperature recommended, using wool or rubber dryer balls or a few tennis balls to keep the pad fluffy. If machine drying is not recommended, then air dry.

How to clean a vinyl-backed mattress pad

Always follow the instructions on the care label of the pad, but, in general, vinyl-backed mattress pads can be machine washed in cold or warm water on a gentle cycle using mild detergent. Never use bleach on these pads, cautions Reichert, as it may damage the backing. Also, to assure an equal distribution of laundry detergent, allow the machine to fill with water, add the detergent, swish to mix andthenadd the pad into it.

If machine drying is recommended, tumble dry on low heat only. High heat will damage the vinyl. Toss in a few dryer balls or tennis balls to help the pad dry more evenly.

If air drying is recommended, hang the pad outside on a clothesline. If you don’t have clothespins to fasten the pad to the clothesline, drape across the line with the vinyl side facing up. Once that side is dry, drape the pad across the line with the cotton side up.

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To avoid odors, mold or mildew, make sure the pad is completely dry before putting it on the bed.

Yes, you CAN fold a fitted sheet neatly

How to clean a foam mattress pad

Be sure to follow manufacturer’s instructions before cleaning foam mattress pads because foam pads are more delicate than fabric versions. They can shred and tear in washing machines and melt when dried at high temperatures. "Your best bet is to spot clean them," Reichert said.

To spot clean, begin by vacuuming both sides of the pad. Next, clean stains with an enzyme-based cleaner, such as Oxi-Clean or a solution made from equal parts water, distilled white vinegar and lemon juice. To keep the stain from spreading, start applying cleaner on the outside of the stain and work in circles toward the center. Allow the cleaning solution to sit on the stain for 15 to 20 minutes. Rinse by soaking a clean sponge in cool water and blotting water into the stained area. Remove water by blotting with a clean towel. Continue until most moisture is removed. Or, remove excess water using a wet/dry vacuum. Allow pad to air dry by laying it on a flat surface, turning occasionally so it can dry evenly.

If the entire pad needs to be cleaned, lightly spray with a solution of one part mild, low-sudsing detergent to two parts water, or use equal parts water, lemon juice and white vinegar. If extra cleaning power is needed, you can add an enzyme cleaner. Allow the solution to sit on the pad for 20-30 minutes. Rinse lightly in the tub or shower using a hand-held shower head. Squeeze — never wring out! — the extra water, or remove it by using a wet/dry vacuum. Lay the pad flat for several days, turning a couple of times a day, so it can dry evenly.

If you don’t have the space or time needed to dry a foam pad, consider spot cleaning or replacing the pad altogether.

How to clean an egg crate mattress topper

The first step to cleaning an egg crate is to vacuum it on both sides to remove dirt and debris. If the manufacturer’s care label indicates that the egg crate is machine washable, wash it only in a commercial or oversize washer because agitator-type machines may tear the foam, Reichert suggests. Use a gentle cycle and a small amount of mild detergent.

If machine washing is not an option, consider spot-cleaning the egg crate. Spray the stained areas with a solution made from equal parts water, distilled white vinegar and lemon juice. Allow it to sit for 15-20 minutes. Rinse the stained areas completely in the shower. Fold and press the egg crate or use a wet/dry vacuum to remove excess water.

Lay the egg crate on a dry, flat surface to dry. To prevent mold, mildew and odors, do not place egg crate on the bed until it is completely dry.

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Proper Care and Cleaning for Your Heated Bedding

It’s the height of spring cleaning season and though you may have tackled every closet and bedroom in your home, don’t hang up the rubber gloves just yet. Use this as an opportunity to do a thorough, deep-clean of all your winter and heated bedding before you pack it away for the season.

Consider this guide for all you need to know to properly care for your favorite Sunbeam® blankets and bedding.

Bedding Care
Taking proper care of all your heating products is both simple and safe, as long as you follow the right steps. As a general rule of thumb, all sheets and pillowcases should be washed frequently throughout the year. For larger items such as mattress pads, quilts, comforters and heavy winter blankets, some dusting and fluffing every so often will help keep them feeling fresh and clean.

When it comes to more advanced care and cleaning for your Sunbeam® warming products, the very first thing you must do is disconnect the power cord from the wall. Then, remove the control cord from the heated mattress pad, heated throw or heated blanket. Do a careful inspection to ensure that wires haven’t worn through the fabric.

Machine Washing
Before washing your heated bedding in the washing machine, soak each one in a mixture of soap and cool water. Choose a mild soap and do not use any bleach. Once you have placed the items in your washing machine, select the "gentle" or "delicate" cycle option. Ensure that you are washing with cold water, not warm or hot water. Run the cycle for just 2 minutes, then rinse in fresh, cold water.

Drying
You can either machine dry or air dry your Sunbeam® heated bedding items. If you choose to air dry, do not use clothes pins. Once removed from the wash, carefully shape the blanket, throw or mattress pad back to its original form. You can either drape the product over a clothesline outside, or hang it over a shower rod.

When machine drying, first preheat the dryer on "low" temperature setting for 2 minutes. Then, place the item into the dryer and tumble dry on "low" for about 10 minutes. As it will still be slightly damp, follow the same steps as above for hanging it on a clothesline or shower rod.

Important: Do not use the dryers at your local laundromat or commercial dryers. These devices tend to get too hot when they dry, causing damage to the wiring in your heated bedding.

Storing Bedding
Equally as important as cleaning is proper storage techniques. Your winter bedding is likely going to be stored away in your attic, basement or closet for quite some time and to ensure that it’s still in tip-top shape when the first frost rolls around next year, it’s important to pack it away accordingly.

After you’ve followed the cleaning and care tips from above, set aside some time to pack everything up. Enlisting the assistance of vacuum bags will help you out in two ways. First, it’s a great way to save space. You can pack several throws, sheets and blankets into one bag and it will still take up less space than if you were to shelve them on their own. Secondly, the airtight bags will help to keep out odors, dust, insects and mildew.

All bedding should be handled and folded with care so none of the wires are bent into a sharp fold. Use this opportunity to inspect all cords and controls for any sign of damage or wear. Store all plastic bags in a protected place in your home, that is not likely to be susceptible to insects, mice or mold.

Important Dont’s
In addition to proper care, cleaning and storage, there are a few other precautions and tips to keep in mind.

  • Don’t dry clean heated bedding products.
  • Don’t use cleaning fluids or bleach when washing.
  • Don’t submerge the control in water at any time.
  • Don’t use a wringer or an iron on your heated bedding product.
  • Don’t use cleaning sprays of any kind.
  • Don’t ever wash the power cord or any cords of the product.
  • Don’t use analgesic cream with your product.
  • Don’t reconnect the heated throw, blanket or mattress pad until it is COMPLETELY dry.

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Best Heated Mattress Pads

You’ll spend a bit more for this heated mattress pad, but many consumers are happy with the overall quality and comfort level.

Praised for the fact that it heats up fully and quickly thanks to a rapid heat-up feature. Includes 10 distinct warming settings and an auto-off feature.

The control dials only light up for a moment, which can make it hard to read the settings in the dark.

This heated mattress pad has a number of features and one frustrating design flaw.

Stands out for its versatility. There are 10 total heat settings to choose from as well as a dual-zone control. Features auto-off function.

An awkwardly placed plug leaves some consumers needing to cut a hole in their bed skirt to get to the opening.

With dual controls and 10 different temperature settings, this mattress pad will keep you cozy in any weather.

Dual heating controls with 10 settings. Auto off and pre-heat options. Fits mattresses up to 21" deep. Quilted cotton top with polyester bottom. Safe for machine washing and drying. Comes in King or Queen size.

Display is challenging to read at night. Some are bothered by the circuit box at their feet.

Thin wires make this mattress pad more comfortable than many competitors. But this means they may snap more easily in the wash.

Available in several sizes. Queen, King and California King offer dual controls and zones. Safer low-voltage technology. 233-thread count pad with 10 settings. Backlit controls with convenient auto-dimming. Waterproof cotton/poly construction. 10-hour auto shutoff. Machine wash and dry.

Some report problems with circuit boxes running loudly or overheating. Washing the mattress pad sometimes breaks the thin wires.

It’s soft and safe, and if you don’t mind having a heated mattress pad that doesn’t warm up the whole bed, it’s a decent choice.

An appealing choice for any safety-conscious consumer thanks to low-voltage technology that promotes safety without compromising performance.

Unlike many heated mattress pads, this one is only warm where the person is lying on it.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Shopping for best heated mattress pads

If you don’t like to keep the house heat running at full strength throughout the night, you might want to consider a heated mattress pad, which will keep you toasty without the cost. Alternatively, you may want some long-lasting warming relief from back pain. Both of these features plus the relatively low cost of these pads makes them worth investigating.

Today’s heated mattress pads are safe for most kinds of mattresses and can even be washed — look for low-voltage, certified models and make sure to follow all the manufacturers’ directions for its care and usage.

We looked at a variety of models with features like pre-heating, dual zones (so that there’s no arguing over the thermostat), timers and a wide variety of settings. These can help customize your pad to adjust to your individual needs and preferences.

Why buy a heated mattress pad?

You have blankets and central heating, so why should you buy a heated mattress pad? Let’s take a look at some of the benefits:

Heated mattress pads warm you up without making you feel weighed down. If you dread the thought of lying beneath a mountain of blankets, this is a definite plus.

Users often find that their heating bills diminish after buying a heated mattress pad, as there’s no need to heat your room during the night.

People who suffer poor sleep due to muscle soreness or other body pain often find heated mattress pads therapeutic.

You can adjust the heat level depending on the temperature outside.

  • If you get too hot or cold in the night, it’s easy to turn your heated mattress pad up or down.
  • Denise has a background in healthcare and physical therapy. She also has the unique experience of raising three boys. Through the years, she has coached her sons and many of their friends through their share of childhood health problems and accidents. When not helping others recover from their injuries, you may find Denise working in her garden or reading.

    Heated mattress pad vs. electric blanket

    Most people know what an electric blanket is, but not everyone has heard of a heated mattress pad. In fact, electric blankets have been helping sleepers stay warm and cozy since the first part of the 20th century.

    So why would you want a heated mattress pad instead of an electric blanket?

    If an electric blanket balls up, it could catch fire. But because a heated mattress pad lies flat, you’re less likely to encounter this problem.

    You’re unlikely to kick a heated mattress pad off the bed in the middle of the night.

  • Heat rises. And because you lie on top of a heated mattress pad, the heat rises toward your body. With an electric blanket, the heat rises away from your body and toward the ceiling.
  • A heated mattress pad might help lower your energy bills by reducing the amount of time you run your furnace.

    Most heated mattress pads are similar in what they do, but pricier ones tend to be more durable and of higher quality.

    Heated mattress pads come in standard sizes that fit a range of bed sizes, from twin to California king.

    Considerations

    Keep these considerations in mind when selecting a heated mattress pad:

    The size you need depends on the size of your bed. Most pads come in at least four sizes: twin, full, queen, and king. Some products provide even more options, such as California king and twin XL.

    Heat settings

    A mattress pad’s heat settings allow you to program how warm you want your bed to be.

    As you peruse products, keep in mind that there are no “standardized” heat levels, and some models may get hotter than others.

    Dual controls

    Most heated mattress pads offer “dual controls” on sizes from queen upwards. This means that if two people are sharing a bed, each can control the heat on his or her side.

    If you’re interested in avoiding quarrels about who’s too hot and who’s too cold, this could be a good option for you.

    Material

    The majority of heated mattress pads have an outer layer made of a synthetic material like polyester. However, some may be made from a natural fiber like cotton. If you seek the latter, you might have to shop around a bit to find it.

    In most cases, it matters little what the outside of the pad feels like, as you can stretch a regular bed sheet over it. That said, there are some heated mattress pads out there that, for safety reasons, should never be covered with a sheet. As such, it’s wise to check the manufacturer’s instructions before use.

    Automatic shut-off

    Automatic shut-off is a feature that works exactly as it sounds.

    A heated mattress pad with automatic shut-off turns itself off automatically after a set amount of time.

    For example, you might buy a mattress pad from a reputable company like Biddeford that switches itself off after 10 hours.

    Activate your heated mattress pad 10 to 15 minutes before you want to go to sleep. That way, you can slip into a warm bed — which is much more pleasant than crawling between cold sheets.

    Heat and warmth can largely help those who suffer from fibromyalgia and other ailments that cause chronic pain. Such patients often benefit from better sleep when using a heated mattress pad.

    Dual controls are a lifesaver for couples who share a bed, as each person can select his/her preferred heat level. It’s easy to change the heat setting on your mattress pad using a controller. Simply press a button or turn a dial.

    Price

    While there are some price differences between various makes and models — with higher-quality pads generally costing a bit more — the main factor that influences price is size.

    Twin:A twin-sized heated mattress pad will cost you roughly$50 to $80.

    Full:If you’re looking for a full-sized pad, you’re looking at somewhere between$55 and $90.

    Queen:Expect to pay about$70 to $100for a queen-sized heated mattress pad.

    King:A king-sized pad should cost in the region of$80 to $130.

    Anything larger than a king (or non-standard) is likely to cost more, as odd sizes tend to be manufactured in smaller batches and therefore cost more to produce.

    If you can’t put a sheet over the top of your heated mattress pad, look for one with a cotton outer layer, as it will be more comfortable.

    The majority of heated mattress pads automatically shut off after 10 hours. This should be long enough for all but the most devoted of sleepers.

    To avoid fires, never fold the pad over while it’s in use. For instance, you shouldn’t fold a queen-sized mattress pad smaller in order to fit a twin bed.

    Never allow a person who is unable to operate the controls (or understand if they’re overheating) to use a heated mattress pad. This includes children and some injured and disabled people.

  • Always make sure your heated mattress pad is completely dry before you use it. Switching the pad on when it’s wet could give you a serious electric shock.
  • Q. Are there any safety concerns surrounding heated mattress pads?

    A.For the most part, heated mattress pads are very safe. However, you must always exercise caution and common sense when using an electrical appliance.

    There is a slight risk of overheating or malfunction, so we wouldn’t recommend letting kids use heated mattress pads. The same goes for anyone with limited mobility who wouldn’t be able to get out of bed if something went wrong with the pad.

    Q. How do I wash my heated mattress pad?

    A.Good news — most heated mattress pads are machine washable. Of course, you should make sure that your model is machine washable before throwing it in the laundry!

    Remember to remove the controller and any wires before washing. In addition, you should check the manufacturer’s instructions in regards to heat settings and drying.

    Q. Can a heated mattress pad be used with any kind of mattress?

    A.Some experts advise against using heated pads with memory foam mattresses, as the heat could affect the ability of the mattress to mold to your shape. That said, many people use their pads with memory foam mattresses with no issues to report.

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