Can Bed Bugs live in a Memory Foam Mattress?

Bed bugs can settle in memory foam mattress

In this article we will answer the question: Can Bed Bugs live in a Memory Foam Mattress?
Bed bugs are tiny insects that have become a nuisance for many homeowners, causing discomfort and frustration.

If you own a memory foam mattress, you might wonder whether these pests can infest this type of bedding. In this article, we will explore the relationship between bed bugs and memory foam mattresses, helping you understand the risks, prevention methods, and treatment options associated with these unwelcome intruders.


What is a Memory Foam Mattress?

Memory foam mattresses feature a unique material called memory foam, which was originally developed by NASA for improved cushioning and crash protection in aircraft seats. The foam from the mattress will contour your body, which will prove personalized support and pressure relief.

These mattresses evenly distribute body weight, alleviate pressure points, promote proper spinal alignment, and offer a comfortable sleep surface. They are also known for their motion isolation properties, minimizing disturbances from movement on one side of the bed to the other.

Overall, memory foam mattresses have gained popularity due to their ability to provide a comfortable and supportive sleep experience, which can lead to better rest and potentially alleviate certain sleep-related issues, such as back pain or restless sleep.


How can you tell if a Memory Foam Mattress has Bed bugs?

Detecting bed bugs on a memory foam mattress can be a bit challenging since these pests are quite small and adept at hiding. However, there are several signs that can indicate the presence of bed bugs. Here’s what you can look out for:

  • Visual Confirmation: Carefully inspect the mattress seams, crevices, and tufts for any signs of bed bugs. These reddish-brown insects are about the size of an apple seed and can be visible to the naked eye, especially during severe infestations. Look for live bugs, shed skins (exoskeletons), or tiny black spots (fecal stains) on the mattress surface.
  • Bed Bug Bites: If you wake up with itchy, red welts on your body, particularly in a clustered or linear pattern, it could be a sign of bites. However, it’s important to note that their bites alone are not definitive proof of their presence, as other factors or insects can also cause similar skin reactions.
  • Bloodstains or Rusty Spots: They feed on blood and may leave behind small bloodstains on your sheets or mattress. These stains can appear as small dots or smears of reddish-brown color. Additionally, you might notice rusty spots on the mattress caused by crushed bugs or their excrement.
  • Musty Odor: They emit a distinct musty odor, often described as sweet or sickly-sweet. If you notice an unusual smell, especially in close proximity to your mattress, it could indicate a bed bug infestation.


Why do bed bugs settle in mattresses?

Here are some key reasons why they tend to infest mattresses:

  • Easy Access to Their Hosts: They are nocturnal pests that feed on the blood of humans and animals. Mattresses provide a convenient and close location for them to access their sleeping hosts and feed without having to travel far.
  • Close Proximity to Hiding Spots: They are skilled at hiding in small cracks and crevices during the daytime. Mattresses provide numerous hiding places, such as seams, folds, and tufts, which offer ideal shelter for these pests. They can easily tuck themselves away within the mattress structure, making it difficult to detect and eradicate them.
  • Attracted to Human Scent and Exhaled Carbon Dioxide: They are attracted to the scent of their hosts, particularly the carbon dioxide exhaled during respiration. When humans sleep on mattresses, they emit these signals that draw them towards the sleeping area. The accumulation of body heat can also act as attractants for these insects.
  • Favorable Environment for Reproduction: Mattresses provide a conducive environment for bed bug reproduction. Female bed bugs lay their eggs in protected locations close to their host, such as the seams and crevices of mattresses. The warm nature of mattresses allows the eggs to hatch and develop into nymphs, perpetuating the infestation cycle.
  • Ease of Movement: They are not adept at flying or jumping, but they are skilled crawlers. Mattresses, being flat and horizontal surfaces, allow them to move easily across the fabric, enabling them to find multiple feeding opportunities within a short distance.


Messiness is not a reason why they choose a home to nest in. If you want to know more about this topic, you can check our article about Bed bugs and Messy Beds.


How long can Bed bugs live in an Unused Mattress

They can survive in an unused mattress for several months to over a year. They can enter a dormant state and wait for a host to feed on. Preventive measures, such as using bed bug-proof mattress encasements and regular inspections, can help prevent infestations in unused mattresses.


Can Bed bugs live in a Memory Foam Mattress?

Yes, they can infest a memory foam mattress just like any other type of mattress. While memory foam mattresses may have a denser composition compared to traditional mattresses, they are not immune to bed bug infestations.

They can hide in the seams, crevices, and tufts of a memory foam mattress, taking advantage of its cushioning and supportive properties. They can easily navigate through the open-cell structure of the foam and find suitable hiding spots.

If you want to know if they can also live in Latex Mattress. You can check our dedicated article on Latex Mattresses and Bed Bugs.


Can Bed bugs live in Memory Foam Toppers?

Yes, they can potentially live in memory foam toppers. While memory foam toppers are not their preferred hiding spot compared to mattresses, they can still infest them. They are skilled at hiding in various cracks and crevices. Memory foam toppers can provide such hiding places, especially along the seams and edges.

They can crawl into the folds and indentations of the memory foam topper, as well as the spaces between the topper and the mattress below. These pests can lay eggs and establish a population within the topper if left unchecked.


How to treat a Memory Foam Mattress for Bed bugs?

Treating a memory foam mattress for bed bugs can be challenging due to its unique composition.

Here are some steps you can take to treat a memory foam mattress for bed bugs:

  • Confirm the Infestation: Before taking action, ensure that you have identified the presence of bed bugs on your mattress. By looking for live bugs, shed skins, fecal stains, or bloodstains. Consider professional inspection if needed.
  • Isolate the Mattress: Encase your mattress in a bed bug-proof cover to prevent further infestation and trap any existing bugs inside.
  • Vacuum Thoroughly: Use a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment to thoroughly vacuum the entire mattress, paying close attention to seams, crevices, and tufts. Dispose of the vacuum bag immediately afterward.
  • Steam Treatment: Use a steamer to apply heat to the mattress, ensuring a temperature of at least 120°F (49°C). In order to effectively kill these insects and their eggs. Avoid excessive moisture.
  • Spot Treatments: If the infestation is limited, apply bed bug-specific insecticides or natural alternatives to affected areas following product instructions. Take precautions to avoid direct contact with skin.


Should you throw away your mattress if you are having bed bugs?

In most cases, it is not necessary to discard your mattress if you have bed bugs. Effective treatments can eliminate the infestation. However, you may consider discarding the mattress in severe infestations, if it is heavily damaged, or as a personal preference for peace of mind.



In this article we answered the question: Can Bed Bugs live in a Memory Foam Mattress?
They can infest a memory foam mattress just like any other type of mattress. It’s important to be aware of the signs of infestation and take immediate action to address the problem. Treatments such as vacuuming, steam treatment, and spot treatments can help eliminate them from the memory foam mattress.

By staying vigilant and taking appropriate measures, you can keep your memory foam mattress free from bed bugs and ensure a comfortable and pest-free sleep environment.

If you want to know the best bed bug mattress cover on the market, you can check our Best Bed bugs Mattress Covers Buying Guide.