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How to Store a Mattress: A Comprehensive Guide

By: Christina Davies
Updated on: April 05, 2024

When it comes to storing a mattress, proper care and attention are crucial to ensure its longevity and protection. Whether you’re downsizing, converting a room, or sending a child off to college, knowing how to store a mattress correctly is essential. In this comprehensive guide, we will provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to clean your mattress, cover it for protection, choose the right storage location, and handle different mattress types during storage. By following these tips, you can preserve the quality of your mattress and prevent damage caused by improper storage.

Step 1: Clean Your Mattress

Before storing your mattress, it’s important to clean it thoroughly. Even if you regularly wash your bedding, mattresses can accumulate dust mites, sweat, and dirt over time. Storing a dirty mattress can lead to bacteria growth, mold, and fungus. Follow these steps to clean your mattress clean and effectively:

  • Remove the mattress from its base and strip it of all bedding, including sheets, blankets, and pillows.
  • Sprinkle a small amount of baking soda over the entire surface of the mattress. Baking soda helps absorb odor and remove stains.
  • Leave the baking soda on the mattress for at least an hour to let it do its job.
  • After an hour, use a vacuum with an extension to remove the baking soda from the mattress completely.
  • Lastly, let the mattress air out for a few hours to make sure it’s completely dry before storing it.

Step 2: Cover Your Mattress for Protection

Once your mattress is clean and dry, it’s time to cover it for protection. Proper covering prevents dust, dirt, and moisture from accumulating on the mattress during storage. Follow these guidelines to ensure your mattress stays in pristine condition:

  • Choose a plastic mattress bag or a light, breathable plastic wrap for covering your mattress. Avoid using thick plastic that can trap moisture and lead to bacterial growth.
  • If using a mattress bag, carefully place it around it, ensuring it covers the entire surface.
  • If using plastic wrap, lay a large plastic sheet on a clean surface. Gently place the mattress on top of the plastic and lift the edges of the plastic to cover the mattress. Seal any loose edges with duct tape.
  • Check for tears or openings in the covering to ensure the mattress remains fully protected.

Step 3: Selecting the Right Storage Location

Choosing the proper storage location for the coils inside your mattress is essential to maintain its quality. Here are some storage options to consider:

Climate-Controlled Storage Unit

Ideally, a climate-controlled storage unit is the best long-term mattress storage choice. These units ensure the ideal temperature and humidity levels, safeguarding your mattress from excessive heat, cold, and moisture. Climate-controlled storage units help prevent mold, mildew growth, and bacteria growth, ensuring your mattress remains in excellent condition.

Garage Storage

If a climate-controlled storage unit is unavailable, storing your mattress in the garage can be an option. However, garages tend to accumulate dust, dirt, and humidity, which can harm your mattress. To mitigate these risks, heavily wrap your mattress in plastic and place it on an elevated surface away from potential damage.

Basement Storage

It’s typically advisable to avoid using basements for mattress storage due to their elevated humidity levels and insufficient airflow to properly ventilate the mattress. However, if you must store your mattress in the basement, choose an area with minimal moisture and ensure it is elevated from the floor to prevent dampness. Think about utilizing a dehumidifier to lower levels of humidity.

Step 4: Properly Moving Your Mattress

When moving your mattress to a new storage space or place, it’s important to treat it gently to prevent any damage. Here’s how to move your mattress safely:

  • Opt for a moving truck with a cover when transporting your mattress. This protects it from the elements during transit.
  • Before loading the mattress into the truck, line the surface with blankets or sheets to provide additional protection.
  • If you need to temporarily prop the mattress on its side, ensure it is only for a short period. Extended periods in this position can damage the internal structure of the mattress.
  • Secure the mattress in the truck to prevent it from shifting during transportation.

Step 5: Proper Storage Position

It’s essential to store the mattress materials under it in the proper position to maintain the integrity of the mattress. Here are some guidelines for storing your mattress:

  • Lay the mattress flat on a clean, level surface. This ensures even weight distribution and prevents sagging or misshaping of the mattress.
  • If storing the mattress on the floor, place a tarp or other protective material underneath to prevent direct contact with the ground.
  • Avoid stacking heavy items or placing additional objects on top of the mattress. Excessive weight can cause permanent damage and deform the mattress.

Step 6: Regular Check-Ups

While your mattress is in storage, it’s important to check on its condition periodically. Open the plastic covering every few months to inspect for any signs of moisture, mold, or pests. This allows the mattress to breathe and helps you identify any potential issues early on. Taking these preventive measures will ensure your mattress remains in top-notch condition during storage.

Different Mattress Types and Their Storage Considerations

How to Store a Mattress, upholstery cleaner, stack mattresses

Each mattress type has its own unique characteristics and requires specific care during storage. Let’s explore how to store items from different mattress types:

Memory Foam Mattress

Memory foam mattresses are called for their contouring properties but can also be sensitive to certain storage conditions and extreme temperatures. To properly store a memory foam mattress:

  • Refrain from keeping the mattress on its side for prolonged periods, as this can result in the loss of its original shape.
  • Use a plastic mattress bag to protect the memory foam from dust, dirt, and moisture.
  • Ensure the mattress is stored on a flat surface to maintain its structural integrity.

Latex Mattress

Latex mattresses are heavy and should not be stored on their sides. Follow these tips for storing a latex mattress:

  • Ensure the mattress is stored on a level surface at all times to prevent any bending or warping.
  • Additionally, steer clear of placing heavy items on the mattress, as this can lead to sagging over time.

Hybrid Mattress

Hybrid mattresses combine the advantages of memory foam and innerspring coils. To store a hybrid mattress properly:

  • Avoid storing the mattress on its side for long periods to prevent damage to the coils and foam layers.
  • Lay the mattress flat on a level surface to maintain its shape and support.

Spring Mattress

Spring mattresses rely on a system of coils for support. When storing a spring mattress:

  • Store the mattress flat to prevent damage to the coils and maintain its structural integrity.
  • To prevent sagging, refrain from placing heavy objects on the mattress.


How long can I store a mattress?

You can safely store a mattress for up to a year, but it’s best to check it periodically for any issues. Consider proper mattress storage in a climate-controlled storage unit if you need to store it for longer.

Can I store my mattress upright?

Storing a mattress upright for an extended period can cause it to lose its shape. It’s better to store a bed with it flat or on its side.

Should I vacuum my mattress before storing it?

Yes, vacuuming the mattress before storing it helps remove any lingering dust or particles that could attract pests during storage.

Can I store my mattress in a plastic bag?

While plastic bags can protect the mattress from moisture, they should be breathable to prevent mold growth. Opt for specialized mattress storage bags instead.

How can I prevent odors in stored mattresses?

Placing your mattress in an open box of baking soda or using activated charcoal in the storage area can help absorb odors and keep your mattress smelling fresh.

Is it okay to store a mattress on the floor?

Storing a mattress directly on the floor can expose it to dust and moisture. Elevate it slightly to maintain its cleanliness and structural integrity.


Properly storing your mattress is crucial to ensure its longevity and protect it from damage. By following the steps in this guide, you can maintain the quality of your mattress during storage. Remember to clean your mattress thoroughly, cover it for protection, choose the right storage location, handle it carefully during transportation, and store it in the proper position. Additionally, consider the specific storage considerations for different mattress types. By taking these precautions, you can ensure that your mattress remains in excellent condition until you’re ready to use it again.


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