A mattress is a very delicate object: it soaks up liquids, smells, and stains easily. When it comes to putting your mattress in storage, you need to be very careful if you’d like to use it again. Even though it might seem impossible, there is a way to do it. This article will show you how to store a mattress, what to look out for, and how to avoid common mistakes. Let’s get into it.
The issue with mattress storage is two-fold: firstly, mattresses can be very costly, especially mattresses for side sleepers; secondly, poor conditions can quickly ruin a mattress. Since the former is self-explanatory, let’s focus on the latter.
Mattresses are designed to live in a specific environment—that of your bedroom, to be exact. That means clean air, no smells, and no moisture. Ideally, the mattress will lay flat inside a bed frame.
When thinking of storage, people usually picture spaces such as a garage, a basement, or an attic. The problem with these is that they offer conditions that are the opposite of optimal: damp, musty, and cold. Such conditions will quickly turn your good mattress into garbage. Let’s see how you can avoid that.
To ensure the best possible storage for your mattress, you need to protect the shape, appearance, and smell (or rather, the lack of it). Our guide will show you how to achieve this, step by step.
When it comes to comfort, the shape of your mattress is by far its most important characteristic. A good mattress must be as straight as the day it came out of the factory. If your mattress is warped or contains lumps, it might be time for a change. Unsurprisingly, how you store your mattress will hugely affect its shape.
When storing your mattress, make sure you lay it perfectly flat and level. If you don’t, the mattress will eventually become warped and useless. Don’t even think of storing a mattress on its side either. Placing a mattress on its side is even more detrimental than not laying it flat.
Memory foam mattresses are a little more resistant to side storage than usual, but we still wouldn’t risk it. On the other hand, when you store a memory foam mattress, please do not put anything on top of it. If you do, you’ll dent the foam permanently.
It should go without saying that you should never fold your mattress. If you even think about doing it, best throw your mattress away immediately and save yourself some space. Folding a mattress will crush its inner structure, which will make it completely useless.
Let’s face it: nobody likes to sleep in a dirty bed. Therefore, keeping your mattress stain-free should be one of your top priorities.
First of all, your mattress needs to be clean before you store it. If there are stains, they will only become more noticeable during storage. To clean a mattress, vacuum it thoroughly. If it’s lightly stained, do some spot cleaning. After that, your mattress is ready for storage.
With the cleaning done, all that’s left is to protect your mattress from potential future staining. To achieve this, you need a waterproof cover. You can buy special mattress covers, or you can make your own. If you choose the latter, one way to do it is by wrapping it in plastic material.
Protection is essential when trying to store a memory foam mattress. The foam absorbs moisture like nothing else, which results in staining on the surface and the growth of unpleasant odors. Speaking of smells, let’s move up to the next point.
The only thing worse than a dirty mattress is a smelly mattress. Sleeping on a pungent bed is borderline impossible, and in some cases, it can be hazardous to your health.
The main culprit for a smelly mattress is moisture. As you probably know, mattresses absorb your body’s moisture during sleep. If not well ventilated, this moisture can turn into mold. Mold is dangerous (1), and it doesn’t smell too fresh either. Allow your mattress to dry thoroughly before storing it to prevent excess moisture.
After you’ve made sure your mattress is dry, you need to do the same with your chosen storage space. Ideally, it should be a well-ventilated and temperature-controlled room. Sadly, this is an unlikely combination, so we’d settle for either. To further reduce the chances of moisture inside your mattress, never place it directly on the floor. Instead, it would be best if you put it on something that will allow airflow around your mattress in every direction, including its underside.
As a side note: when wrapping up your mattress, don’t wrap it too tightly. While covering it does protect it from stains, doing it too tightly will lock any existing moisture inside the mattress. As a result, you might unknowingly encourage the chances of mold growth. Therefore, cover your mattress while still ensuring that the air moves around it.
Typically, we wouldn’t recommend that anyone store a mattress in a garage. We’re saying this because garages rarely fulfill the requirements: they’re usually cold, damp (or even wet), and smell of exhaust fumes, gas, oil, and whatnot. However, if your garage has more optimal conditions, feel free to use it for storage. You already know what to look out for.
Even the firmest, best-quality mattresses have a very delicate nature. That’s because a mattress is designed for a single purpose: to support your body while you sleep. Stacking things on top will destroy even the top-rated firm mattresses in Canada: it will weaken the springs of a traditional mattress. As for a memory foam mattress, let’s just say that it’ll make for some unpleasant memories.
Everything we told you about mattress storage applies to transportation as well. The cleaning and drying parts should pose no problems. However, here’s where things might get tricky: your mattress needs to lay flat and be protected during the entire journey. This means that you can’t just roll it up and put it in the trunk of your car. You’ll either need a flatbed truck (if it’s nice out) or a van of adequate size. Whatever you do, don’t think folding will be okay, even for a short trip.
Hopefully, our guide has settled your dilemmas on how to store a mattress. It’s a tedious job, but not impossible, provided that you have the proper knowledge. When storing a mattress, ensure that you retain its natural shape and protect it from stains. Store it in a clean, dry place, but keep it off the floor. Doing so will prevent moisture and odors from seeping into the material, keeping your mattress fresh.
Do you have any tips on how to store a mattress? Let us know in the comments below.
Yurii Brown is the Founder and Sleep Content Writer at SleepingNorth. Within his first year running the website, he has published over 50 articles that educate readers on sleep and help them find the most suitable sleep products. He pays more attention to analyzing each mattress construction, the different materials used within it, the feel each material contributes, and the best sleeping position they would work for. Having properly examined each product, he provides in-depth reviews that cut to the chase and provide readers with the value they need for more restorative sleep hygiene.