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What Causes Foam Mattress Discoloration?

Foam mattresses have a foam top designed to offer a soft, luxurious feel when slept on. Foam mattresses often contour to the sleeper's body, presenting a sleeping surface that is completely customised. However, different factors can cause discolouration of the mattress. Identifying these potential staining factors can help individuals keep their foam mattresses looking like new.

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If a foam mattress is exposed to direct sunlight, it may start to discolour. This is due to the fading of the foam colouring that occurs under the sun's rays. Sunlight is one of the largest contributing factors to foam mattress discolouration. Sunlight can discolour a foam mattress even if sheets are present on the bed.

Water Stains

Water stains are also a cause of foam mattress discolouration. Drool, stains from glasses of water, a leaky roof or any other water source can cause the surface of the foam mattress to become stained. Water stains do not damage the mattress, but they can cause the surface of the mattress to become unsightly. Water stains can also cause mildew to grow in the mattress if the stain is not cleaned up immediately. Mildew will cause a brown or black discolouration on the mattress surface.

Other Stains

Other stains can also cause discolouration. Blood, vomit and other bodily fluids are all likely to damage the surface of the mattress and cause discolouration. These solutions should be cleaned immediately after they occur to prevent major discolouration from occurring. If the mattress is white, some stains can be bleached out.


The best way to protect the surface of the mattress from discolouration is to use a foam mattress cover. These covers protect the mattress from liquid stains and keep the surface of the mattress looking like new. Sun damage can be prevented by keeping direct sunlight away from the mattress's surface. Keep curtains or blinds drawn during the day, and do not allow the mattress to sit for extended periods without sheets and blankets.


Some mattress warranties may be voided if the mattress shows signs of excessive discolouration. Charities and mattress donation centres will not take discoloured mattresses, and it may be harder to dispose of a discoloured mattress when it comes time to get a new one.

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About the Author

Brenda Priddy

Brenda Priddy has more than 10 years of crafting and design experience, as well as more than six years of professional writing experience. Her work appears in online publications such as Donna Rae at Home, Five Minutes for Going Green and Daily Mayo. Priddy also writes for Archstone Business Solutions and holds an Associate of Arts in English from McLennan Community College.

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