Key Takeaways
  • Proper mattress storage involves cleaning, packaging, and positioning your mattress in a way that inhibits moisture buildup and prevents permanent damage to its interior and exterior. It’s important to choose your storage space carefully, ensuring there is plenty of room to lay your mattress. Ideally, it should also have some type of climate control.

There may come a day when you need to store your mattress, whether it’s due to a move, a remodel, or you simply think you’ll use it again at a later date. A mattress is an investment, so it makes sense to take care of your mattress so it’s in good shape when you need it again.

Mattresses, especially larger sizes like a king or queen, are heavy and take up a lot of space, so extra care is needed when picking a storage location. You’ll also want to take steps to protect the integrity of the mattress’ materials, as they are susceptible to moisture and odors. 

We’ll explain the steps for storing a mattress, including how to clean your mattress, protect it, and prep it for storage. We’ll also discuss storage space options and basic storage principles that apply to all mattress types.

Steps for Storing a Mattress

It’s important to take specific steps to prepare both your mattress and storage space to avoid damaging your bed, including cleaning and wrapping your mattress and choosing an appropriate storage spot.

Clean and Protect the Mattress

Mattresses accumulate dust mites, dirt, and sweat over time, so it’s a good idea to clean your mattress before storing it. We recommend using these procedures to prepare a mattress for storage:

  1. Strip the bed of all sheets and blankets.
  2. Vacuum the surface of the mattress to remove any loose dirt, hair, and dead skin.
  3. If needed, spot-clean any stains with a small amount of mild detergent and water, then allow it to dry.
  4. Sprinkle baking soda over the entire sleep surface and let it sit for at least a few hours. The baking soda will absorb moisture and odor from the mattress.
  5. Vacuum up the baking soda residue.
  6. Let the mattress air out for a few more hours, if possible. 
  7. Cover the mattress tightly with a mattress encasement, a mattress storage bag, or by taping plastic wrap around it. Thick plastic can trap moisture and create an environment for mold to grow, so a thin, breathable plastic cover is recommended. 
  8. Upon removal from storage, clean the mattress again by repeating the steps above.

Find the Right Space 

When choosing a storage space, be sure to measure your mattress’ dimensions. It’s recommended to store mattresses in a flat position, so adequate space is a necessity. A climate-controlled area is ideal to avoid possible moisture buildup and damage. If that’s unavailable, a dehumidifier can be used to help combat any moisture.

At Home

If you have the extra space, you may choose to store your mattress at home, likely in your garage or basement. However, those spaces may have excess moisture that can foster fungus and mold growth, especially garages that aren’t climate controlled. To combat this, try placing a dehumidifier near your mattress to mitigate any harmful effects.

In a Storage Unit

When using a storage unit, be sure to pick one that easily accommodates the size of your mattress. A climate-controlled unit that has air conditioning in the summer and heat in the winter is recommended to protect your mattress from temperature extremes and the resulting moisture.

Store It Properly

After preparing your mattress and finding a space, it’s critical to take the proper steps when storing it. 

Lay the Mattress Flat

Although it may be tempting, avoid storing your mattress on its side to save space. Over time, the uneven weight of this position can permanently damage the interior structure, whether it’s made of coils or foam. As a result, you may end up with a lopsided, uncomfortable bed. By measuring your storage space beforehand, you can avoid irreparable damage to your mattress.

Let the Mattress Breathe

It’s important that your mattress receives enough airflow while in a flat position. Avoid laying it directly on a floor where it can absorb and trap moisture. Instead, place a tarp underneath for protection. Pallets also make a good mattress foundation and encourage plenty of airflow. 

Storing objects on top of your mattress can damage the outer surface as well as the internal structure. Therefore, stacking multiple mattresses is not advised.

Double-Check Your Warranty

If your mattress is still under warranty, be sure to double-check its terms before storing your bed. Some companies have strict storage requirements, and failure to follow them can void the warranty. At a minimum, careful storage avoids damage that normally voids a warranty, such as stains, tears, and unevenness resulting from an improper foundation. 

When handling and moving your mattress, be careful not to rip off the manufacturer’s tag, as this will also void the warranty. 

Why You Should Properly Store a Mattress

Proper mattress storage preserves the quality of your bed by protecting it from harmful substances and structural damage. Instead of having to replace your mattress, you can use it again when needed.

Prevent Mold and Damage

A mattress’ porous nature makes it susceptible to moisture and mold. It’s crucial to properly wrap and store your mattress to avoid damage. Not only does mold degrade the integrity of the mattress material, it’s also a health risk for anyone in contact with it. A moldy mattress can cause physical problems like respiratory issues and skin rashes.

Reduce the Risk of Odor

Another reason to protect your mattress from moisture is to reduce the likelihood of odors developing. When damp material is enclosed, it can develop a mildew smell that can be difficult to remove. Even if your mattress is in a dry environment, it can still absorb surrounding odors if improperly sealed. 

Keep the Mattress’ Shape

Proper storage maintains the shape of your mattress and prevents it from becoming lopsided and uncomfortable. Propping it on its side or cramming it into a small space can cause structural damage that will affect its feel and performance. 

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