Just when we thought we had enough on our plates with having to spot black mould on our walls and around our windows, brand new research has revealed a significant rise in public concern over black mould in mattresses.
There’s been over a whopping two million TikTok views for #mouldremoval in the last month – with Brits searching Google for “mould on mattress” up 64% in the same time frame.
Sleep website Memory Foam Mattress, who carried out the research, have now issued an urgent warning to Brits about the hidden dangers of black mould in mattresses – and it’s making us want to bin ours immediately.
But how do we know whether it’s lurking in our beds? Memory Foam Mattress’s certified sleep expert Tom White, has offered up his crucial top tips on identifying, treating, and preventing mould in mattresses.
The Hidden Danger in Your Bedroom
Black mould, a common household problem in the UK, particularly in damp environments, can be especially dangerous when present in mattresses.
According to Tom White, “Many people are unaware that their mattress can be a breeding ground for black mould, which can lead to serious health problems, including respiratory issues, allergies, sleep disturbances and even neurological symptoms.”
How to Spot and Smell Black Mould in Your Mattress
If you suspect your mattress might be going mouldy, how can you diagnose the issue?
According to White, there are four telltale signs you need to watch out for:
Smell — Mould has a distinctive, musty odour. If you’re not sure what mould smells like, think about the smell right before or after it rains with a little added funk.
Discolouration — Mould on a mattress can cause the material to turn different colours. Look for dark spots or blotches, especially if they seem to pop up without a cause, they might also feel distinctly fuzzy or slimy (spew). Wash your hands well after touching a surface you suspect has mould.
Warped surfaces — Mould can warp a solid surface, such as a wall. Common signs include bubbling or peeling paint. If you see this in your bedroom, there’s a good chance your mattress could also have mould.
Respiratory symptoms — Mould exposure can cause health issues, especially for children, older adults, or immunocompromised people. Mould is incredibly common, so if you start experiencing these symptoms, it can indicate there’s a more serious mould problem.
Common physical symptoms of mould exposure include:
- Skin rashes
- Cold or cough that won’t go away
- Itchy or watery eyes
- Worsened allergies
- Persistent headache
What to Do If You Suspect Black Mould
If you suspect that your mattress is affected by black mould, it’s crucial to act promptly. White recommends the following steps:
Inspect Your Mattress Regularly: Check for visible signs of mould and be aware of any musty odours. Do this at least once per month or when changing bedding.
Clean and Treat the Affected Area: If mould is spotted, clean the area with a mould-killing solution. However, ensure that the mattress is thoroughly dried, as moisture can worsen the problem.
Improve Air Circulation: Keep the bedroom well-ventilated and consider using a dehumidifier to reduce moisture levels. Avoid placing mattresses directly on the floor and keep them away from directly touching walls to ensure proper air circulation. This practice can significantly reduce the risk of mould growth.
You Might Need to Replace Your Mattress
In some cases, cleaning may not be enough.
“If the mould infestation is severe or if the mattress is old and cleaning does not remove the mould, it’s time to seriously consider replacing it,” advises White. “Continuing to sleep on a mould-infested mattress can pose serious health risks.”