How to Clean an REI Sleep Pad

Christina Schnell

REI makes more than 50 varieties of sleeping pads, ranging from inflatable, to ridged and thermal. Sleeping pads insulate your body from the cold ground and protect your sleeping bag from any loose dirt or grit that might be on the tent floor.

Let your sleeping pad air dry to prevent cracks or creases.


Never pack a wet or damp sleeping pad while camping; doing so will cause mold and make the contents of your sleeping bag smell foul.

You should only wash your sleeping pad at the end of the camping season or if it becomes damaged by something other than regular use, such as bodily fluids. Cleaning your REI sleeping pad isn't difficult but it does require some strategy to avoid a cumbersome, soapy mess.

  1. Wipe off any excess dirt or debris from the exterior of the sleeping pad with your hands. Inflate the pad if possible, which will make cleaning the surface easier. Tightly seal all air caps to prevent water inside the pad. Insert the pad into your bathtub.

  2. Squirt 1 tbsp. of antibacterial soap onto your sponge and create a lather by squishing it in your hands. Use gentle circular motions to scrub the sleeping pad, beginning at the highest point and working your way downward. Lay the pad flat on the floor of the bathtub to clean an especially stubborn soiled spot. Rinse the surface of the sleeping pad and repeat the same process on the other side.

  3. Remove the sleeping pad from your bathtub and dry the surface with a towel. Deflate the pad by uncapping the air-plug and hang the entire pad over a line or the back of a chair to completely dry. Do not place your sleeping pad inside the dryer or use a hair dryer, as this will damage the fibers and potentially melt the surface.

  4. Store for the off-season in a flat or lightly folded position. Avoid tightly rolling the pad for storage, which will stress the material and cause cracks and creases along the edges.