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Our grandparents sun pillows for a reason. Ever wondered why? And is it a good idea to sun a mattress?

What does sunning a mattress achieve and it is worth the trouble of hauling the mattress outside? Or leaving the curtains open for the sunshine to come in?

Let’s see what the benefits of sunning a mattress are in this post!

Why You Should Sun Your Mattress (Benefits Of Sunning A Mattress)

Here are all the reasons why sunning mattresses (and bedding in general) are beneficial. Some of them impact the lifespan of your mattress. And if you sun your mattress regularly, you can prevent all of the issues listed below too!

1. It Kills Mould

Mould thrives in dark, cool, and wet places (e.g., bathrooms and even the inside of a refrigerator). And when exposed to sunlight, mould dies off.

UV (ultraviolet) rays from the sun also kills mould spores.

2. Removes Odors

One hack for getting rid of odors in musty clothes and sheets is sunshine. The same applies to a mattress if you notice any funky smell.

This includes the smell of mildew, sweat, urine, smoke, pet odors and various food smells.

Sunlight is a brilliant, chemical-free, and cost-effective way to deodorize a mattress!

3. Eliminates Dust mites

It’s no secret that direct sunlight kills dust mites. Because dust mites like mould, enjoy humid areas.

And if you really want to make sure you get as many as possible, steam-clean the mattress before sunning it!

Because according to the AAFA (Asthma and Allergy Foundation Of America), dust mites are most comfortable in temperatures of 20 to 25°C.

So both steam and direct sunlight are unbearable to them.

4. Alleviates Allergies

If you have allergies related to dust mites, sunning your mattress should be an integral part of your battle plan along with using a good dust mite vacuum.

Dust, as well as the excrement and body parts of dust mites can bring on allergy symptoms. So since sunlight will kill the dust mites, it also indirectly alleviates allergies.

Dust mites - The Unseen Enemy Behind Allergies
Dust mites – The Unseen Enemy Behind Allergies

5. Reduces Bed Bugs

For the problem of bedbugs, it’s better to wrap the mattress in a way that’s as air-tight as possible, and then leave it out in direct sunshine.

This will trap the bedbugs in a very hot environment. Effectively killing them and their spawn.

6. Evaporate Moisture

As you might know from hanging the laundry outside in the sunshine, sunning your mattress will similarly remove excess moisture from your mattress.

For pillows, this is actually a hack to make them nice and fluffy again!

Sunshine Can Make Flat Pillows Fluffy Again
Sunshine Can Make Flat Pillows Fluffy Again

So if you happen to spill your entire water bottle on your mattress, it’s a good idea to sun the mattress and get rid of all that dampness before mould and mildew set in!

PS: The same goes for sweat and other bodily fluids

7. Kills Bacteria

Studies show that UV light can kill bacteria.

In fact, some hospitals and medical centers use UV light to sterilize their tools.

Therefore, giving your mattress a good dose of UV light will keep those bacteria populations down.

Vacuum The Mattress Before Sunning It
Vacuum The Mattress Before Sunning It

How Do You Sun A Mattress?

Even the best mattress in Malaysia will not last long without proper care. And there is a method to this madness.

  1. Firstly, strip the bedding off and if there’s a removable mattress cover, you might want to take it off too.
  2. Go through the entire surface of the mattress with a vacuum (preferably with a dust mite head)
  3. Spot clean any stains – we have a detailed post on how to remove blood stains from a mattress
  4. Find a dry and clean spot to bring your mattress to where it will be exposed to sunshine
  5. If you can, leave the mattress in the sunshine for at least 6 hours

PS: Some days have higher UV radiation than others. You can usually check this on a weather app.

Remove The Mattress Cover Before Sunning Your Mattress
Remove The Mattress Cover Before Sunning Your Mattress

How Often Should You Sun Your Mattress?

Sunning your mattress for hours on end is not practical for most of us. Especially for those that live in apartments.

And so, it does not seem to be worth the effort unless you do have a bed bug or dust mite infestation.

But prevention is always better than cure if you want to keep your mattress for longer. Hence, you can keep the curtains open to let sunlight in on days that you are changing the sheets.

Or if it’s been a particularly hot and humid night the day before (i.e. sweaty affair).

How Effective Is This Method For Killing Bed Bugs And Bacteria?

Because of how thick a mattress can be (average thickness of 11 inches), it’s not possible to completely remove all the accumulated bacteria (and any other gunk) from one sunning session, let alone several.

The sunlight can only get what is on the exposed surface of the mattress.

You will still need to call in a professional cleaning surface in Malaysia if you have a serious issue that sunlight alone cannot fix.


There’s more than a few reasons why you should consider sunning your mattress. You may not have a dust mite or mould infestation right now but the occasional sunshine on your mattress will be good in the long run.

So don’t forget to leave the curtains open once in a while! This is only part of how you can ensure that your mattress lasts for as long as possible.


Janice is the founder & editor for Wanted to be an author as a kid, got a D in English (First Language), but somehow now a content writer with an engineering background. Bakes, does yoga, plays the piano, reads, and most other introverted indoor hobbies.