The Right Way to Store a Mattress

Tony Emerson
January 11, 2021
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Everybody needs a good night’s sleep. If you plan to sleep well after your move, it is important that you store your mattress correctly. Improperly stored, your mattress can become lumpy and uncomfortable. Keep reading to learn how to store a mattress the correct way.

How to Store a Mattress

Whether you are storing a memory foam mattress or a traditional spring mattress, the correct method of mattress storage is essentially the same. Your primary mission is to maintain the shape of the mattress and prevent mildew. Here’s how to store a mattress in a storage unit:

  • Do not lay your mattress on its side. The key to keeping your mattress in top shape is to mimic the natural position of a bed by laying the mattress flat inside your self storage unit with no items resting on top.
  • When storing remove any bedding first. Wrap the mattress securely in a breathable plastic cover and secure the cover with rope or tape.
  • While in storage, keep the mattress at a reasonable temperature – humidity and mold are the greatest threats to the life of your mattress, so you might opt for a climate controlled storage unit.

Below is a more detailed explanation of how to store any kind of mattress for a long period of time while keeping it in tip-top shape.

1. Keep Your Mattress Flat.

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This is the main reason this blog post exists. Not to point fingers, but other blog posts and websites often say to store the mattress on its side.

“If you stand it up, the padding and coils can settle and the mattress will never be the same. Don’t forget, gravity’s not always our friend,” according to Frank Massaro, a co-owner of Mattrezzz Guys in Austin, TX.

Even with memory foam mattresses, storing a mattress on its side could cause it to fall out of shape if left that way for long periods.

If you intend on keeping this mattress in good shape, you’ll want to mimic its natural positioning—maybe even setting up your bed frame inside your storage space. Another way to achieve this is to build a loft or perch using your moving boxes and placing your mattress on top.

Do not lay your mattress directly on the ground. Not only does this waste space, but in the unlikely event of a flood your mattress will be soaked.

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2. Don’t Place Anything On Your Mattress.

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Gravity can come into play if you leave something on top of your mattress (or you have your mattress resting on something). To avoid wear and tear, make sure nothing is weighing down your bed. The only thing that should be on the mattress and box spring is a plastic cover.

3. Use a Plastic Mattress Cover or Plastic Wrap.

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This final layer of protection can prevent worst-case scenarios. Completely wrap the mattress in plastic, preferably specially made mattress storage bag or stretch plastic wrap.

The primary purpose of wrapping your mattress is to prevent dust from settling into the fibers of your mattress, which can happen even inside the cleanest indoor storage unit.

Water damage or pests shouldn’t be a problem at most storage facilities, but wrapping your mattress will help protect it from these threats as well.

You should apply the plastic wrap or mattress cover before moving to help protect it while it’s being transported. Make sure you cover the entire mattress and secure the cover with tape.

4. Use a Covered Moving Truck.

While we’re on the topic of transportation, you should avoid tying your mattress down on top of your car. You’re either going to warp your mattress by tying it down too tight or ruin it having it fly off the top of your car and onto the road. You also want to avoid smushing it to fit in the bed of a pick up truck, as you could damage the inner workings of the mattress.

Ideally, you should transport your mattress protected from the elements in a covered moving truck.

It’s okay to transport the mattress on its side as long as you aren’t leaving it there long-term, according to Peter Cancelli of The Mattress Expert.

5. Get a Climate-Controlled Storage Unit.

“If you’re storing for an extended length of time use climate-controlled storage,” Massaro advises.

This applies anywhere with a relative humidity that swings above 50 percent (hint: almost everywhere at some point in the year).

Mold and mildew are a serious threat to the health of your mattress and potentially to your health, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Climate control is essential for maintaining optimal air temperature and humidity levels when storing a mattress. For long-term storage, a climate-controlled self-storage unit is a must.

6. Let it Breathe.

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If you stored your mattress for more than six months you should remove your plastic covering and let the mattress air out a few hours before you put your sheets on it. This should allow any lingering odor from the plastic or the storage unit to dissipate.

If your mattress still has a bit of an odor from storage, sprinkle the top of the mattress with baking soda and let it sit for an hour. Then vacuum up the baking soda and your mattress should smell fresh and new again.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you store a mattress on its side?

No. For long term storage, it is not a good idea to store a mattress on its side. Doing so could damage the inner workings of your mattress. Instead, store your mattress laid flat on an even surface. If you need to transport your mattress in a moving truck, it is okay to lay it on its side for a short period.

What is the best way to store your mattress?

The best way to store your mattress is laid flat on an even surface. A plastic cover will protect your mattress from dust and moisture. When choosing a self-storage unit, opt for climate control to best protect your mattress from moisture or extreme heat.

How do you store a memory foam mattress?

Storing a memory foam mattress isn't that different from storing a regular mattress. You want to make sure it is stored flat with nothing on top of it. Use a climate-controlled self-storage unit to protect your mattress from heat and moisture.

Can you stack mattresses for storage?

Yes, you can stack multiple mattress on top of each other inside a storage unit. Make sure the floor is clean, and if possible stack the mattresses on top of an even sources to protect them from the possibility of flooding.


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The SpareFoot Blog offers tips about self-storage, information about storage auctions, advice about home organization, news about SpareFoot and much more.
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