Mattress Vacuum Cleaner
Mattress vacuum cleaners are very specific vacuums, optimized for vacuuming and cleaning of the mattresses (hence the name), beds, sofas, upholstery and other similar surfaces. Although the mattress vacuums are mostly specialized units, some general purpose vacuums can be used as mattress vacuums with suitable cleaning attachments.
The best mattress vacuums not only that they clean the surfaces, it sterilize it, dry it and vacuum it. Picking up the best mattress vacuum cleaner is easy and with all the models on the market, it is often left to personal needs and preferences.
Published: March 1, 2019.
Mattress vacuums use several methods in order to effectively clean and sanitize mattresses and other similar surfaces.
Since single mattress can contain up to, or even more than 10 million dust mites and other bed bugs, having a good mattress vacuum or at least a good mattress cleaning tool or attachment is very important for healthier and more pleasant living, regardless if you have or don't have dust mites or similar issues and allergies.
Mattress Vacuum Cleaner Features and Specifications
Power Source: most mattress vacuums are corded units and are powered via relatively short and thin power cord. 'Short' means that it is often shorter than 15-20 feet (~4.6-6.1 m) and 'thin' means that the power cord is easily manually wrapped around either vacuum's body or power cord wrap hooks and that the power cord is dimensioned according to the power rating of the unit.
Personally, 15-20 feet long power cord is more than enough for vacuuming individual mattresses, sofas, beds and similar surfaces.
Specialized cordless mattress vacuums are not so common, but some general purpose cordless vacuums feature cleaning tool optimized for vacuuming mattresses.
Large home vacuums that are rated up to or even more than 1400 W can be used as mattress vacuums if they have cleaning hose with suitable mattress cleaning attachments.
Air Filtration: since mattress vacuums deal with very small and tiny dirt, it is highly recommended that they are 'true HEPA' air filtration units - they must pick up and trap at least 99.97% of 0.3 microns or larger particles and they should expel practically the clean air.
Since there are several levels of HEPA air filtration, some manufacturers claim that their units are HEPA mattress vacuums, but they state the HEPA level using 'small letters'.
Bagged or bagless: mattress vacuums are almost exclusively bagless units and they feature relatively smallish, often transparent dirt cups that are easy to empty and when required, to wash. Mattress vacuums don't require large dirt bins, since the dirt which they pull from the mattress is not very voluminous.
Handheld or not: mattress vacuums are almost exclusively lightweight handheld units. Being light and compact, allows the user to accurately and easily use them when and where required. Some mattresses feature for example, telescopic handle or cleaning wand, allowing them to be used for cleaning carpeted floors, stairs and similar surfaces.
Suction strength: while some robot vacuums feature 1-2 kPa suction and large domestic vacuums reach 20+ kPa, mattress vacuums commonly have 8-12 kPa suction. Such suction is more than strong enough to pull out the dust mites, pollen and other potential allergens and to send them down the air stream into the dirt cup. For cleaning more sensitive surfaces, some models feature power selector for adjusting the suction power.
One or more suction inlets: Most mattress vacuums feature 'just' one suction inlet, which is IMHO good. However, some models feature two suction inlets, with the main suction inlet on the lower side of the vacuum and second, smaller suction inlet on the upper side for vacuuming dust mites that are perhaps managed to get away, but are lifted into the air by vacuum passing across the mattress surfaces.
Beater bar/brushroll: in order to clean deeper, mattress vacuums should have beater bars/pads and/or rotating brush/brushroll. As the vibrations penetrate the surface, they agitate and help loosen dust mites, dust, dead skin cells, pollen and other similar debris, which are than pick up by strong suction into the vacuum.
Warm/hot air blower: in order to grow and reproduce, dust mites and other bed bugs need food (for example, human dead skin cells are perfect food for them) and moisture. By drying out mattresses and keeping them dry, one denies bed bugs one of the key elements required for their existence. Thus, air is warmed up to 130°F (~55°C) and blown onto and into the mattress, effectively removing the moisture from the mattress. Using hotter air could improve drying effect, but not all fabrics can tolerate such hot air - even with 130°F (~55°C) warm air be careful.
UV-C irradiation: UV-C light is very harmful light, not only for bed bugs, germs, bacteria etc. but for humans, too. UV-C light source is commonly UV tube that irradiates mattress with ~253 nm UV light, leading to additional drying out of bed bugs, and to destruction of their membranes and DNA - for short, UV-C kills bed bugs, germs, bacteria, viruses etc. and sterilizes the mattress.
Since UV-C light is harmful to people too, mattress vacuums featuring UV-C light come with safety surface sensors, commonly placed in the wheels - when all the wheels are touching the cleaned surface, UV-C lamp can be turned on. If just one of the wheels is not touching the surfaces, UV-C lamp is automatically turned off.
For short: good mattress vacuum is specialized corded, bagless, handheld unit featuring strong suction, true HEPA air filtration, UV-C lamp/tube, vibration pads/beater bars or motorized brushroll, and hopefully a warm/hot air blower.
Vacuums with very strong suction and motorized brushrolls only, can be used as effective mattress vacuums, just be sure to keep mattresses as dry as possible without the warm/hot air blower and UV-C lamp on such models.