How to Store a Mattress in a garage or storage unit

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Written by: Alex Savy
Read 9 minLast updated March 18, 2021

A good mattress takes time to find, but if appropriately chosen, can ensure your peaceful sleep for 10-15 years. This means that it’s would be great to store your mattress somewhere instead of ditching it off when not in use.

However, if you don’t take all the precautions before putting your mattress for storage, even a couple of months in the wrong conditions can completely ruin it.

Don’t worry, though! We can help you, and that’s why we prepared for you a thorough guide with recommendations on how to store a mattress so that it will stay in proper shape.

The Importance of a Proper Mattress Storage

Now, you can certainly just leave your mattress lying around, but storing it properly will benefit everyone. Here’s how:

  • Long-term mattress storage decreases the chances of funky odors. Storing a mattress in a specifically designed place prevents it from soaking the odors from your home or insufficient air circulation between the layers, which also can result in a stale odor.
  • No mold or mildew will get inside your mattress. Proper humidity is as important as proper aeration, and if your mattress is just lying on the basement floor or elsewhere, it becomes an easy target for colonies of mold or mildew that thrive easily in humid environments and can ruin your mattress.
  • Your mattress will retain its shape. By properly storing a mattress, you protect it from any possible impact that can damage the construction. This is especially true for the firm and ultra-firm mattresses that typically have fewer layers, and hence, are more susceptible to the outside impact.

Places Where You Should (and Shouldn’t) Store a Mattress

So, now you know all the benefits of storing a mattress in the right way. 

It is time to choose the place for it, because even a Queen-sized mattress is pretty bulky, not to mention bigger sizes.

Below, you will find a couple of ideas on where to put your mattress, as well as a list of less appropriate places for storage. 

Let’s start with the safe places for long-term mattress storage:

  • Climate-controlled storage unit. This is obviously your best bet. A storage unit with a climate control system will help you take a hold of temperature, humidity, and aeration, which will be useful not only for mattress storage but for literally everything you may want to put inside a unit.
  • Dry ventilated room. If you cannot afford a storage unit, you can organize space in your home to fit your needs. For mattress storage, it’s better to choose a room that isn’t damp and has some air circulation, either via the vents or through the windows.

Also, make sure that your mattress doesn’t touch the floor directly. Keep it wrapped in something or slightly elevated above the floor — you can use pellets or a plywood sheet for that matter. Elevating the mattress will promote air circulation under its bottom and prevent the mildew from growing.

Now, here are the places where you definitely shouldn’t store your mattress:

  • Basement, garage, or any room beyond ground level. These spaces usually have high humidity and may create a good environment for bacteria and fungi, which will end up inside your mattress. If you plan to use it further, be sure to choose a more suitable storage place.
  • Near the heat source. It doesn’t matter whether your mattress is composed of natural latex or synthetic memory foam: both of these materials cannot withstand high heat. They will melt or deform, thus making your bed uneven and uncomfortable.
  • Near the sharp objects. Sharp objects can poke through the mattress fabric and protective layers and damage the insides. Also, mildew, dust mites, or even bed bugs will have a much easier time getting inside your mattress if there’s a hole in it.

How to Prepare the Mattress for Storage?

Finally, let’s run through a list of things you need to do right before you place your mattress into a storage vault or a dark room.

Clean The Mattress

Your mattress has probably collected some dust and debris during use, and the dust buildup, along with insufficient cleaning, creates a perfect environment for the dust mites (1), which are the most common allergens in U.S. homes.

To prevent them from hosting a party inside your mattress, give it a thorough cleaning session before you put it into storage:

  • Remove all the bedding and mattress protectors from a mattress and vacuum it from all sides. If your mattress has a tufted top, use a small brush for hard-to-reach places to clean every crevice.
  • If your mattress has some stains, treat them. Make a mixture of lukewarm water, dish soap, and baking soda and pour it into a spray bottle. Generously spray the mixture on a stained area and a few inches around it. Let sit for 10-15 minutes and blot the stain with a cloth. Allow the mattress to dry before hauling it away.
  • Disinfect the surface. To make sure that your mattress has a minimal amount of microorganisms, you can disinfect the surface by spraying it with a Lysol spray and allowing it to dry out.

Invest in a Mattress Storage Bag

You should store your mattress in a wrapped state to prevent any unwanted critters from using it as their home.

The easiest way to do it is to use perforated plastic wrap, but if you’re about to get fancy, we recommend that you purchase a mattress storage bag. It has a layered design with a waterproof lining, and can securely seal your mattress inside and protect it from any unpleasant accidents. 

Oh, and don’t worry:

You can easily find storage bad for your California King mattress because they’re available in all 

Store a Mattress on a Flat Surface

Mattresses have a structure: they consist of top, comfort layers, transitional layers, and base. And the best way to maintain your structure, and therefore the comfort of your mattress is by laying it on the floor or another flat surface. 

Placing a mattress on the side, folding, or rolling it may cause the structural elements to shift or bend under their weight, which will result in lumps or broken coils. That’s why your storage room should have enough space to place your mattress as you’d typically put it on the bed.

How to Store a Mattress Depending on Its Type

Generally speaking, the way you store your mattress is the same regardless of its type: don’t place it on an uneven surface or right on the ground, and make sure it’s protected from mold and dust mites.

However, each mattress type has its unique features, which might prompt you to the way of arranging the best storage space for it:

  • Memory foam mattress. Memory foam mattresses don’t have coils inside and can adjust to your body curves pretty easily. However, the softness of memory foam can work against you if you place a mattress on an uneven surface. Plus, memory foam is especially susceptible to mildew growth, so be sure to wrap the mattress into a plastic or place it in a storage bag.
  • Latex mattress. Natural latex is dense and heavy, so it has a higher chance to bend under its weight. Place a latex mattress on a flat supportive surface and don’t store it on the side or in an upright position.
  • Hybrid mattress. Hybrid mattresses are among the heaviest, and they also have a rigid coil layer for a core. However, the coils inside a hybrid mattress typically are individually wrapped, which means they are more likely to shift if you place a mattress on its side.
  • Spring mattress. Unlike hybrid mattresses, spring mattresses have a reinforced coil unit with a wired perimeter, which maintains shape better, But they are still prone to bending and breaking through the mattress, so be sure to store it in a flat position.

How to Store Big Mattresses?

For big sizes, such as King or California King, as well as all high-profile mattresses, the main concern is their weight. If you place these mattresses on a lumpy surface or decide to store them on the side, they might crook and bend under their weight and lose all supportive properties.

So, the best you can do to properly store your King-sized mattress is to place it flat and ensure no things are lying on it, so the top layers won’t get deformed.

F.A.Q.

Can you store a mattress in an upright position?

It’s better not to store the mattress in an upright position or on its side, even though some manufacturers suggest that. The chances of bending or crooking in these positions are much higher than if your mattress would simply lie on the floor.

How to prevent bed bugs while the mattress is in the storage unit?

Purchase a mattress protector with hidden zippers that encases the mattress from all sides. Beg bugs cannot chew into dense fabrics and plastic lining, so your mattress will be safe. When you bring it back home, replace the mattress protector with a new one, and you’re all set.

Can you fold a mattress for storage?

No, both because it’s very hard to do and because it will damage the mattress.

Conclusion

As you can see, storing a mattress is pretty easy! Just wrap it in a dense plastic or put inside a waterproof mattress encasement, and place it in a cool dry place for as long as you need. 

Some mattress types may need a bit of a different approach, but having read this article, you will know how to make the most of it and prolong the lifespan of your bed.

How are you planning to store your mattress and for how long? Answer below!

References:

  1. Ozlem Makbule Aycan, Metin Atambay, U. Nilgün Daldal (2007). Investigation of house dust mite incidence related to social factors. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17918064/

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