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How to Store a Mattress

by The Mind Blown

Learning how to store a mattress properly is very important for any mattress owner. There are a number of reasons why you may need to store your mattress.

Maybe you want to upgrade your bedroom furniture, downsize your home, or perhaps want to relocate to a new place and need to keep some items away for a while.

Regardless of the reason, mattresses are an expensive investment. Once you land the perfect set, you will want to do whatever you can to protect it a little while longer.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to store a mattress correctly to ensure its longevity:

How to Store a Mattress: Step-by-Step Guide

Clean the mattress

Clean the mattress

Before putting your mattress away for long-term storage, it is vital to ensure that it’s thoroughly cleaned.

Residual dirt, oil, and sweat may not appear, but they can cause bacteria, mold, and fungus to grow if left unchecked.  

To clean a mattress, you first need to vacuum the entire mattress, including the seams and crevices. Next, use upholstery cleaner to remove any spots and stains.

If you have a clothing steamer, you can use it over the mattress to kill dust mites and bugs that may be sheltering within the mattress.

If you are worried about odors remaining on your mattress, mix lavender oil with baking soda and sprinkle it over the entire mattress. Leave it to sit for 24 hours, then vacuum it to remove the baking soda.  

Allow the mattress to rest in the sun for a day or two to air out and ensure that it’s free from moisture.

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Purchase a breathable mattress cover

breathable mattress cover

Never store your mattress unwrapped. Unwrapped mattresses are prone to a whole host of nasty issues, from molds to bugs.

You can wrap it with regular plastic for temporal storage and secure it with tape to ensure a tight seal.

However, for long-term storage, purchasing a breathable mattress cover is essential.

For about $20-$30, you can get a good breathable mattress cover in stores that sell moving supplies or in a local hardware store.

Breathable mattress covers ensure free circulation of air and keep your mattress free from moisture.

Transport your mattress carefully

carry mattress

Sometimes you may not have adequate space to store your mattress, and renting a storage space may be the only available option. This means that you will be required to transport it.

Learning how to move a mattress becomes important at this point.

For starters, avoid tying it on top of your car as this may cause it to bend permanently as well as expose it to harsh weather conditions.

In addition, strapping your mattress on top of your car risks the possibility of the mattress sliding off your car, resulting in an accident.

The best option is to use a covered vehicle to transport your mattress or a moving truck. This will not only avoid accidents but will also prevent exposure to moisture and dirt.

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Keep your mattress flat

Mattresses are naturally designed to lay flat. Standing a mattress on its side may save up on valuable storage space. Unfortunately, leaving your mattress in this position for a long period can shift the coils and the internal workings, causing it to sag.

Remember that mattresses are considerably heavy, and all that foam and padding can sink into gravity if inappropriately stored. Therefore, it’s vital that you lay it on a flat surface during storage.

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Do not stack items on your mattress

For mattresses to wear evenly, manufacturers recommend rotating them after every 3-4 months. This is due to how weight compresses your mattress over time.

The same concept applies to placing weights on your mattress when in storage.

If there are other items in the storage space, don’t put them on the mattress, which will speed up the compression process. If you are worried about storage space, you might consider buying a plywood board to rest on your boxes then place your mattress on top.

Consider adding a waterproof mattress cover

Based on the period you plan to store your mattress, you may want to incorporate an additional waterproof encasement.

The addition of an extra layer of cover will prevent fine dirt and dust from penetrating through small cracks and folds and provide extra protection from sharp objects, especially during transportation.

The encasement also keeps the plastic in place and prevents the tapes from peeling off. If you plan to store it for months, a waterproof encasement will offer you peace of mind.

Research mattress storage ideas for your space

Be cautious of where you store your mattress. Avoid damp and humid storage. Humid and damp areas can cause severe damage to your mattress as they offer a perfect environment for the growth and development of molds.

If you plan long-term storage, storing your mattress in the attic, basement, or garage could be a grave mistake. These areas can be hot, damp, and humid, causing serious deterioration to your mattress. These areas may also contain sharp objects that could cause irreparable damage to your mattress.

Therefore, it is vital to consider storing your mattress in a climate-controlled unit or within the house rather than in the attic, basement, or garage.

Suppose you are unwilling to rent out a climate-controlled storage unit. In that case, the best option is to place a dehumidifier within the same space to help control humidity and dampness from wreaking havoc on your mattress.  

Within the same space to help control humidity and dampness from wreaking havoc on your mattress.  

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How To Store A Memory Foam Mattress

Memory foam mattresses can hold a lot of weight and are quite resilient. They have the capability to restore into their original form when folded.

While these types of mattresses are stored and shipped while rolled up, manufacturers discourage rolling them up when storing them for long periods.

This is because rolling for extended periods could deform the mattress, making it impossible to restore its original form. 

However, you could roll them up and wrap them with a plastic cover when storing them for short periods. Just like the regular mattress, all you have to do is:

  • Clean the mattress
  • Air your mattress and
  • Get a breathable mattress cover and wrap it well.

Once you’ve done the above, store your mattress in a flat place. This will ensure that it maintains its natural form.

mattress storage

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How To Clean A Mattress That Has Been In Storage

Now that you know how to store a mattress, how do you go about using it again?

Despite your preparations and efforts to ensure your mattress is in good condition during storage, it might come out smelling awful or might just feel dirty.

It’s therefore advisable that you clean your mattress at least 24 before using the mattress. So how do you do it?

  • Clean the mattress using upholstery cleaner, applying the same steps as before putting it in storage.
  • Sprinkle baking soda on the entire mattress to remove any bad odor.
  • Wait for about three hours and vacuum the soda away.
  • Leave the mattress to air away.
  • Leave the mattress to rest as it regains its original form.

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How To Store Box Springs

Clean the box springs

Before storing your box springs, headboards, and bed frame, ensure that you clean them thoroughly. Use a vacuum cleaner to remove any accumulated dust and hair. You can also use upholstery cleaner to wash off any sticky material such as hair oil from the items.

Use a separate cover

You can use a garbage bag or a separate mattress cover to wrap the items. This will prevent them from being exposed to humidity and dirt. It’s important to note that bacteria and mildew thrive well in extra space where the material meets material.

Therefore, it’s recommended that you purchase a separate cover that has not been exposed to bacteria for this storage. Put the nuts, screws, and other small items in a Ziploc bag and tape them to the headboard to ensure that everything is stored in one place.

store a Mattress

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can you store a mattress in a storage unit?

Without a doubt, the best place to keep your mattress when not in use is in a climate-controlled storage unit. If you don’t have one, consider keeping them indoors rather than outdoors.

How much time should I allow before using my stored mattress again?

It’s advised that you wait for at least 24 hours before using your stored mattress again to ensure it regains its original shape and feels. If it feels too cold or too hard, leave for another day or two until it returns to normal, then sleep on it again. Alternatively, you could replace it with an additional topper if you find the firmness too much to handle.

How do I store big mattresses?

There are several ways you can store big-sized mattresses. You could use a mattress cover to wrap it up and protect it from dirt, dust, and moisture or place it in a sealed storage bin if possible. For better protection, you can use one of those large-sized plastic bags to keep out any excess air that causes the material inside to stretch out beyond its natural form.

What are some tips for keeping my mattress clean during storage?

To keep your mattress clean during storage, be sure that it’s free from mold and dirt before putting it away. If this is not possible, ensure that the location where you place the item has good ventilation to prevent mildew and any other dampness-related issues.

How long can I store a mattress?

There’s no definitive length of time you can keep your mattress in storage. However, it shouldn’t be for more than six months to avoid the onset of any bacteria and mildew that might accumulate over time. The best part about keeping your mattress in storage is that you don’t need to worry about spills or stains, which could happen when the item is under regular use.

How do you prepare a mattress for storage?

The best way to prepare your mattress for extended storage is by cleaning off any moisture and dust before putting it away. You can also vacuum or upholstery shampoo each side for better results and improved hygiene.

How big should my storage unit be?

When deciding on a storage unit, you must get one large enough to accommodate all your items. Bigger is always better in this case, so if your mattress is bulky, ensure you get a locker with bigger dimensions. There are more options available for smaller beds depending on how many items you have that need protection before being used again next time around.

How long can you keep a mattress folded?

It’s best to keep your mattress folded for as long as possible before unfolding it again. Once you have unfolded it, you should use a mattress cover to protect the item from any dirt, dust, humidity, or spills.

 This will ensure it remains dry and hygienic for next time around.

How do I pack a mattress?

The best way to pack mattresses is by placing them flat on the floor or table then pulling them tightly along all sides so that you can fit them into an appropriate size bag. Ensure that you place each side of the mattress in different bags to prevent accidental tears. Once this is done, use packing tape to seal the opening before moving the item into storage to escape any dirt, dust, moisture, or bacteria forming over time.

How long should you keep your mattress stored?

There’s no definitive answer to how long you can keep your mattress stored. However, suppose there are any signs of dampness or humidity at any point. In that case, you should definitely get rid of them. If the bed remains dry at all times, then there’s no reason why you can’t keep it in storage for several years before using it again.


If you plan to store your mattress for a long period, you must consider delicate storage methods.

To prevent compression and dust particles from penetrating through the cracks, use an encasement or sandwich your mattress with two plywood boards, then keep it in either a climate-controlled unit or within the house. When storing your mattress in the garage or basement, make sure they are dry and well ventilated. Avoid placing items on top of your mattress when in storage. Instead, place them on a plywood board to help save up on space.

Finally, remember that you need proper know-how (regarding appliances) to avoid cases where accidents happen during storage.

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