How to Properly Store a Mattress (And How Not To!)

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A mattress usually isn’t a small investment; therefore, it is crucial to ensure you are taking the proper steps to preserve the longevity of your mattress. A good, quality mattress can last upwards of 15 years if stored correctly.

Whether you are soon moving and need to store your mattress temporarily or are looking for a more long-term solution, it’s essential to store your mattress correctly. If the mattress isn’t stored correctly, it can cause permanent structural damage or lead to hygiene issues, rendering the mattress completely unusable.

So, here is a guide on how to properly store a mattress, both short and long term and what NOT to do when storing your mattress.

How to properly store a mattress

Why is it important to store your Mattress the RIGHT way?

Before leaning your mattress up against the wall in your basement and walking away, consider the many significant benefits of proper mattress storage:

  • Structural damage – All mattresses are designed to be kept flat and support weight vertically. When stored upright or on its side for a long duration (more than a month), the innerspring mattress can lose structural integrity, while memory foam or latex mattresses can misshapen and lose their original form (gravity sucks!). This damage is usually irreversible.
  • Hygiene – If the mattress is stored in a humid or moist environment or where air circulation is limited, there are high chances for mold or mildew buildup. These growths are not only unhealthy but also difficult (and sometimes impossible) to remove from the mattress. 
  • Pests – If the mattress is not sealed properly, it can become infested with dust mites, bugs, or other pests. These critters will not only stain and damage the mattress but also trigger allergies and be a health hazard.
  • Warranty – Most mattresses come with a 7 to 10 years warranty, but the warranty is usually voided if the mattress is not cared for properly. 
  • Protect your investment – A good mattress is a significant investment. By taking the time to store it correctly, you are prolonging its lifespan and ensuring you get the most out of your purchase.

How Should You Store Your Mattress?

tips to store a mattress

Regardless of whether you’re looking to store your mattress for the short term or long term, the first time is to clean your mattress thoroughly.

1) Deep Clean and Air out the Mattress.

Your mattress collects all types of dirt, dust, and allergens along the crevices, seams, and cover. More often than not, we overlook these areas when cleaning our mattresses. So, before putting your mattress away for storage, it’s essential to give it a deep clean and remove as much of the debris. You do not want the dust and allergens to be trapped inside while in storage as it can lead to bacteria, mold, mildew, and fungus growth.

Start by stripping the bed of all sheetspillows, and mattress protector. Then, using a vacuum with an upholstery attachment, clean all sides (top and bottom) of the mattress. If you have a mattress with a removable cover, it’s a good idea to remove it and vacuum the inner core of the mattress as well. You can also wipe the mattress with a damp cloth to remove loose dirt or light stains.

It’s equally important to air out the mattress for at least a day or two to release any moisture trapped before storing. You can use a hairdryer on a low or cooling setting to speed up the process if you’re short on time.

Remember not to put the mattress away while it’s still damp, as this will definitely lead to mold or mildew growth.

2) Invest in a Mattress Storage Bag.

A mattress storage bag is an absolute must if you’re planning on storing your mattress for more than a couple of months. These heavy-duty bags are designed to seal and protect the mattress against natural elements and pests. This will ensure your mattress is protected from any unfortunate accidents or unwanted critters making your bed their home.

What your need:

  1. Mattress storage bag – We recommend using two bags for added protection.
    Recommended product – 
    DreamZ mattress storage bag (Australia), Nordic Elk Mattress Bag (USA).
  2. Charcoal or silica moisture absorbing packets to help control the moisture and humidity inside the bags.
  3. Tarp to put on the floor.

Place the tarp on the flooring. Put the mattress inside the storage bag and then seal it shut. If you have a second storage bag, place that one over the first and seal it as well. Further, it’s a good idea to seal the seams of the storage bag with duct tape to minimise the risk of moisture, pests, or dirt getting inside.

Alternatively, if you don’t have a mattress storage bag, you can use big plastic sheets and duct tape to seal all the edges properly.

3) Always Store Your Mattress on a Flat Surface.

It is advisable to store your mattress flat without any items placed on top. This will prevent your mattress from forming lumps, permanent indentations, creases, broken coils or other structural issues. 

Mattresses may consist of a soft pillow top layer, additional comfort layers, transitional layers, and an innerspring core. To ensure you are best maintaining the shape and structure of your mattress, avoid folding or bending it unnecessarily, which may cause damage to the structural elements within.

Memory foam mattresses and similar “springless” mattresses must also be stored flat as the layers may detach and displace under stress.

mattress-vacuum-bag

4) [Optional] Use a mattress vacuum bag (works only for foam mattresses)

A mattress vacuum bag can help recompress foam or any bed-in-a-box mattress to a manageable size. This will save you a lot of storage space, and it’s pretty easy to do as well. All you need is a decently powerful vacuum cleaner and the right size mattress vacuum bag.

Place the mattress inside the vacuum bag and connect the vacuum cleaner to the hose on the bag. The vacuum cleaner would slowly suck the air out of the mattress till it flattens. You may want to press or walk on the mattress to release any trapped air pockets for more even compression.

Once the mattress is flat, seal the vacuum bag tightly. Further, you can then either roll or fold the mattress and put it in storage.

Recommended product – Storage Logic Mattress Vacuum Bag (Australia/USA).

How Should You Store Your Mattress for a Short Term (less than a month)?

When storing your mattress for a shorter duration, you can be a little less cautious. You can cover the mattress with a tarp or big plastic sheet, tie it with rope, or use duct tape. If storing the mattress flat isn’t feasible, keep it upright or on the side against the wall. Most mattresses are sturdy enough to handle the stress of compression for a few weeks, but any longer than that, you’re risking permanent damage to the mattress.

Although not advisable, if you plan to store the mattress sideways for a longer duration, it’s best to rotate the mattress side to side and head to foot every couple of weeks to balance the stress on the mattress. 

Where Can you Safely Store your Mattress & Places to Avoid

Humidity and temperature fluctuations are the two main enemies of mattresses in storage. So, when choosing a location to store your mattress, it is crucial to consider any temperature fluctuations and the humidity levels it would be exposed to. This is especially important during Australian summers, where humidity spikes reach 65% on average.

Sudden temperature changes can create an environment of high humidity and can cause moisture to become trapped within the mattress. As a result, the mattress may become damp. Something you want to avoid—trust us. When mattresses remain wet for extended periods, they become prone to mold and bacteria that can render them unusable.

1) Climate-Controlled Storage Units.

If money isn’t a concern, climate-controlled storage units are always the best option to store your mattress. They offer a consistent temperature and protect against summer’s high heat and humidity and the cold, dampness of winter.

By maintaining an ideal temperature, moisture level and air circulation, you can feel confident your mattress will remain in excellent condition during short or long-term storage.

2) Keep in Dry Places, i.e. NOT Your Basement or Attic.

If a climate-controlled storage unit isn’t within your budget or does not work with your storage plans, ensure you can find a dry place to store your mattress on a flat surface, elevated from the ground. It’s always best to place it in a heavy-duty mattress storage bag.

If you can store the mattress somewhere within the house that would be ideal. An unused bedroom, office, or even the spare room at a friend or relative’s home are options to consider. Another option is your garage. You can store your mattress in the garage if it’s relatively dry and temperature-stable. 

Avoid storing your mattress in the attic, as the intense heat, cold and humidity can wreak havoc on mattresses. The same goes for storing a mattress in the basement – the damp environment is a breeding ground for mold and mildew and unsuitable for long-term storage.

If you have no other option other than storing it in an attic or basement, it’s good to use a dehumidifier and air out the mattress from time to time to reduce any risk of damage and keep the mattress fresh.

Removing your Mattress From Storage

Whether you have finally moved into your new home, or your college graduate is returning to their childhood bedroom, there are essential steps to ensure your mattress is pristine before settling in for a good night’s sleep.

  • Check for any stale or musty smell of the mattress – If the mattress smells stale or pungent, there are high chances it has been spoiled by mold or mildew. In such a case, you’re better off disposing of the mattress and buying a new one. Mold or mildew can trigger allergies and cause respiratory or other health concerns. There is no need to worry if there is a light smell, as it will go away after airing out the mattress for a few hours.
  • Inspect your mattress – look over for any visible signs of water damage, stains, fabric tear or mold spots on the mattress. If you see any of these, it would be best to get rid of the mattress.
  • Vacuum and Deodorize – Vacuum the Mattress, apply a layer of baking soda overnight, and vacuum again. This will help remove any foul or musky odours from storing your mattress.
  • Air Out – Air out your mattress either in your bedroom with the windows open or outdoors in the sunshine if the weather allows. This will help remove any residual odours and help freshen up your mattress.

The Bottomline

Storing a mattress doesn’t have to be complicated. By following the tips above, you can ensure your mattress remains in good condition for years to come. And when it’s time to remove your mattress from storage, a little elbow grease will have it feeling and smelling as good as new.

Still, have a burning question about proper mattress storage left unanswered? Check out a few additional FAQs below!

FAQs

Mattress should always be stored in a dry place. In the attic and basement, the humidity levels often fluctuate. There is also a lack of airflow, which can cause moisture to become trapped within the mattress, leading to mold, mildew, and bacteria growth. So, it’s not advisable to store the mattress in either the attic or basement.

For long-term storage, mattresses should always be stored flat on an even surface to prevent lumps, broken springs/coils, and other structural issues. Storing your mattress on its side or standing upright can cause the inner padding and coils to shift or bend under the weight of the mattress. For shorter-term storage, such as during a move, you may temporarily store your mattress on its side or standing without damaging it.

No, storing a mattress folded in half will certainly damage the inner construction of your mattress and may cause the springs and base to bend or break.

If your garage tends to get humid or has huge temperature variations, it won’t be a good idea as the moisture condensation can lead to mold buildup. For relatively dryer garages, it’s safe to store. However, we recommend following the steps mentioned above.

No different from a regular mattress. Memory foam mattresses also need to be stored in a dry place on a flat elevated surface. Follow the above instructions.

Invest in a good quality mattress storage bag; the layered design and waterproof seal make them an ideal solution for preventing bed bugs while storing your mattress.

James Lee

James Lee

James is the content director at WhatASleep, a certified sleep science coach from Spencer Institute and our in-house sleep product expert. Over three years, he's personally tested hundreds of mattresses. He likes to keep his reviews simple, objective, and straightforward so that the readers don't have to go through decision fatigue which is often the case while shopping for sleep products.

He hails from Sydney and has a journalism degree from the University of Queensland and an MBA from Melbourne Business School.

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Skip the mess, Get a Mattress Storage Bag!

We recommend DreamZ mattress storage bag.

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