How Long Do Lice Live On Mattress?

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Whether you are dealing with lice infections or you just want to prevent it, if your child has lice, and thankfully if you did the treatment,

And now your kid is lice-free, head lice is an extremely common occurrence amongst children ages from 3 to 11.

Now your kid is lice-free but what about the mattress? Do lice live on mattress?

And if it does live on a mattress how long do lice live on mattress?

According to a CDC USA report, an estimate of 6 to 12 million infestations occurs each year in the United States among children 3 to 11 years of age.

Okay now you get it, but how to prevent lice from your child or anyone?

We spend most of the time sleeping on the mattress and there are high chances the lice can be there on the mattress.

But the main question is do lice live on the mattress? 

Let me give you the short answer, Yes lice can live not only on your mattress but also in all the bedding like pillows, sheets.

And another question may be on your mind, okay I understand lice can live on the mattress but how long do lice live on mattress?

The shortest answer to this question is, lice can survive on the mattress for about one to two days if they can’t find a host.

 And how to prevent them.

In this article, we are going to discuss in detail of life cycle of lice how long they live and how to prevent them or kill them so you can get rid of this problem.

Firstly we check out the life cycle of lice.

The Lifecycle of Lice

how long do lice live on mattress

Firstly what are head lice? How do they look?

The head lice are human parasites which means they attach to our head and use our head as a host, they feed on our blood and they can easily be transferred from one head to another.

But cats, dogs, or other pets and animals can’t get head lice.

They are mostly found in children, you can say one out of five kids get lice on their heads only in the US alone.

Lice are only “contagious” at the fully-grown, egg-laying stage.

And mature female lice can spread to the head and will lay their eggs, and these eggs are smaller like poppy seeds and appear off-white or yellowish in color.

the single adult lice can be also very small like sesame seed and this is why spotting lice in our children’s heads is very difficult.

Adult lice are usually a white or grayish color while the eggs of lice are tan and brown or yellow.

Now let’s find out how long do lice live on mattress in details 

Read More: Can bed bugs climb up an air mattresses? 

How Long do lice live on mattress?

how long do lice live on mattress

The most common way the lice can be spread is head to head contact or using the same comb, for example, an individual lice can live on the human head for about 30 days but they reproduce and multiply which will increase their time.

But in the mattress and bedding, they can’t live long if they don’t find any host.

Head lice can only survive 1 to 2 days on the mattress if they don’t feed on blood and don’t get any host.

And one more important thing to remember is lice can not hide in the mattress like bed bugs so if you have lice on the mattress then you can easily spot them.

Lice can only crawl, they can’t jump or fly which means they can only spread through direct contact.

The question that may be on your mind is can you get lice from the mattress? Technically Yes you can get lice from mattresses but it’s very unlikely.

And washing and drying your bedding every time is not necessarily getting rid of the mattress.

So you need to clean everything because bedding comes in contact with your head and it is the best place for the lice they can live on.

So washing and bedding are not the only options lice may be spread to your head also so the main important question of this article is how to treat your mattress for lice.

How to Treat Your Mattress for Lice

If you find any lice in your hair or your child’s then your first and most important step to prevent lice from your head is to get a lice treatment.

The commonplace to find lice or eggs of the lice is to check your bedding so check covers, sheets, and pillowcases or even mattress and mattress cover itself.

So I am going to give you proven ways to prevent lice from your mattress, bedding, and your home so let’s check out.

1. Use Essential Oils

Essential oils prevent any insects from finding your bedding or a household peppermint oil and lavender oils are noxious to arthropods, including lice.

Therefore you can use lavender oil on your beddings and your skin.

Peppermint oil can be harsh when you use it on your eyes so it’s better if you use this oil on your car’s headrest or car seats or any area that your hair regularly brushes on.

2. Use a Dryer to clean pillows, sheets, and beddings.

Put everything pillows, sheets, and beddings through the dryer.

An average dryer can be raised at a temperature of 135° F on the high cycle and remember lice can die at 130° F.

But be aware of the fact it will take some time for the dryer to get to that temperature especially if you have wet clothes in it.

So you have to be patient until the dryer gets to that temperature, lots of study shows that lice can die after 40 minutes of high heat in the dryer.

3. Use Vacuum for mattress and headboard 

Lice sprays are not effective to kill head lice on the mattress and the headboard, and plus they are very toxic.

If you spray them on your bedding then there are chances you can inhale those chemicals every night so it can very dangerous for your health.

So the best way to clean lice from your mattress and headboard is to use a vacuum.

Vacuuming can be the best way to get rid of lice from your mattress.

4. Use sanitize Cycle on washing machine.

Most of the people simply just put their sheets, blankets, and pillows into the washer and they think it will kill lice but it doesn’t.

You wash your hair daily right? But how lice can stick to your hair after washing your hair the answer is simple they grip your hair so tightly.

A similar case happens with this just washing method they stick and grip the fabric of your bedding so tightly that you can’t just get rid of lice by just washing your bedding in a washer.

A study shows that lice can survive more than 8 hours in immersed water.

The only real solution to kill lice on the bedding is to put your washer on sanitize cycle if your washer has this feature

Lice can die at temperatures around 130° F so put your sanitize cycle around 165° F which will kill all lice on your bedding.

If you don’t have to sanitize the cycle then you can use the dryer method which I mentioned above.

5. Clean your house completely

No matter if you have lice in the mattress or in your bedding they can be anywhere, so you just can’t find that tiny little creature.

So the best option to get rid of them is to clean your house.

There is no need to throw away or burn things just cleaning things is enough to get rid of lice on your house.

6. Clean your Your Hairs

The first place lice will live longer in your head because they feed on blood and they can reproduce and multiply their count.

So washing your hair is a permanent and necessary solution for getting rid of lice on the mattress permanently.

The primary way lice can spread is head to head and hair to hair contact.

If your child has long hair then using lavender oils can be the best solution to kill lice in your child’s head.

So wash your child’s hair regularly with a good shampoo and apply lavender oil to their hairs and scalp so lice will be dead.

You can use other oils like coconut oil, tea tree, lavender, eucalyptus, rosemary, and lemongrass.

Good hygiene is very important to stop the growth of lice and get rid of them permanently.

Do not use Lice Spray to kill lice from  mattress

If you are looking for lice spray that you can spray on your bedding to kill all lice then it’s not the best solution to kill all lice from your bedding.

Because many companies will try to sell you lie in that spray so buy any lice spray.


If you have lice on your mattress then immediately get rid of them as soon as possible because they can spread fastly in your all home.

So use these tips & tricks to treat lice on mattresses and other bedding.

Shree Jadhav
About the author

Shree Jadhav

Shree Jadhav is a freelance writer, with his critical & analytical thinking, he researches & tests all mattresses, to help people to choose the best mattress and give all guides & Information for every mattress on the market.

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