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Does Replacing Your Mattress Get Rid of Bed Bugs?

Since bed bugs like to live in mattresses, it is logical to think throwing away the mattress will eliminate the problem. 

Replacing your mattress will not get rid of bed bugs. Bed bugs do not only live in mattresses, meaning there will still be insects left in the infested room. Also, when you remove your old mattress, you will spread bed bugs around your house. 

Why Replacing Your Mattress Won’t Get Rid of Bed Bugs

A white bedroom with a mattress and a wide window.

There are two main reasons why replacing your mattress won’t get rid of bed bugs, which I will discuss below. 

Bed Bugs Don’t Only Live on Mattresses 

Although bed bugs prefer living on or inside mattresses, these are rarely the only place they nest in an infested room. 

Some other common spots where bed bugs like to live and hide include: 

  • On crevices in bedframes 
  • Inside or on boxsprings 
  • Along baseboards
  • In the corner where the wall meets the ceiling 
  • Drawers 
  • Closets 
  • Inside items stored under the bed 
  • Inside electronics 
  • In curtains 
  • On stuffed animals and other toys 
  • In carpets and rugs 
  • Inside the framework of buildings 
  • Inside furniture 

Thus, throwing out your mattress will rarely ever get rid of your entire bed bug problem. 

More likely, the bed bugs still in the room will just infest your new mattress, and you will be back where you started. 

Moving an Infested Mattress Spreads Bed Bugs 

If you’ve ever moved a mattress before, you know it isn’t the easiest task. 

Even a strong person will end up jostling the mattress around quite a bit, and all this movement will cause the bed bugs living there to fall off. 

So, moving an infested mattress will likely lead to bed bug colonies setting up in new places throughout your home. 

What if I Want to Replace a Bed Bug Mattress?

If you decide you want to replace a bed bug-infested mattress, there are a few steps you should take to protect your home, other people’s homes, and your new mattress. 

Seal Your Old Mattress Before Moving It 

To prevent bed bugs from spreading around your home when you move your mattress, you should put it in a mattress encasement before taking it out of the infested room. 

And luckily, mattress encasements are very easy to use. 

All you need to do is fit the encasement over the mattress and zip it up. 

Take the Mattress to the Dump Immediately 

Many people like to store their old furniture in their garage after moving it and then wait until later to take it to the dump. 

However, if you do this, you risk the bed bugs getting back into your house, especially if you did not place the mattress in an encasement. 

Also, if your neighbor’s house is very close to yours, the bed bugs could make their way into their home. 

Thus, it’s best to take the mattress directly to the dump. 

Furthermore, you should load the mattress on a trailer or truck bed to transport it instead of putting it inside your car. 

Because if you place the infested mattress inside your car, the bed bugs could easily take over the vehicle, allowing them to bite you and your passengers. 

Yet, if you do have to put the mattress in your car, you should vacuum the entire interior immediately afterward. 

Additionally, before dropping the mattress off at the dump, it is best if you write “BED BUGS” on it in big capital letters in case someone else decides they want to take it home. 

Doing so could prevent another person’s house from becoming infested

Wash Your Encasement and Use it on Your New Mattress 

Before disposing of your old mattress, you should take off the encasement and place it in a sealable plastic bag. 

Then, bring the encasement to your laundry room or the laundromat and wash and dry it on the highest heat setting possible to kill any bed bugs that may still be on it. 

Afterward, you can use it on your new mattress to prevent bed bugs from crawling inside. 

How Can I Eliminate Bed Bugs Without Replacing the Mattress? 

A man cleaning the mattress with a vacuum.

In the following sections, I’ll discuss some of the ways you can eliminate bed bugs without having to replace your mattress. 

Yet, I just want to say that it is doubtful any one of these methods alone will be enough to get rid of all the bed bugs in your home. 

Therefore, you should use as many of these approaches as possible to achieve the best results. 

Buy a Mattress Encasement 

Mattress encasements are great investments because they trap the bed bugs already living in your mattress. 

Basically, once you zip the encasement up, no bed bugs can get out, and they will eventually starve to death. 

Also, mattress encasements make it impossible for new bed bugs to get in and continue to infest your mattress. 


Another way to get bed bugs off your mattress and out of your room is to vacuum regularly. 

You can use the suction tool on your vacuum cleaner to suck up any bed bugs on your mattress, walls, furniture, and other items. 

You should also vacuum your carpets and rugs often in case bed bugs have decided to live there. 

Read Also >> Can You Vacuum Bed Bugs Out of a Mattress?

Use Pesticides 

Using bed bug pesticides is another excellent way to kill bed bugs. 

Just do not spray or sprinkle any pesticide product on the top of your mattress where you sleep because it could lead to skin or respiratory issues. 

Furthermore, you should always carefully read the instructions on any pesticide you use to keep yourself, your family, and your pets safe. 

Have a Heat Treatment Performed

Since bed bugs can not stand high heat, you could always hire a professional exterminator to perform a heat treatment on your home. 

This option is the most expensive, but it is also your best chance of completely getting rid of all the bed bugs in your home. 


You do not need to replace your mattress if you have bed bugs, but if you do, make sure you follow the proper precautions.