Mattresses are an investment, both in cost and in the time it takes to find the right one. In fact, a quality mattress can last anywhere from 10 to 15 years if properly maintained.
Because the right mattress is expensive, it makes sense to want to store it when it’s not currently being used. However, a few months or years in storage can damage a mattress beyond repair if the proper care isn’t taken.
Maybe you’re getting married and you need to upgrade from a twin to queen, or your kids are moving out, and you want to repurpose their rooms. Whatever the case — proper mattress storage will significantly expand the longevity of your bed. Keep reading to find out how to store a mattress correctly.
Steps to Storing a Mattress
1. Thoroughly clean and air out the mattress.
Cleaning a mattress can be accomplished in many different ways, but the easiest method is vacuuming your mattress on both sides and then using upholstery cleaner (like the kind you use on a couch). Do the following to get a mattress ready for storage:
- Remove mattress and boxspring from the bed frame and strip all bedding.
- Sprinkle baking soda on the exterior and let sit to absorb lingering odors.
- Vacuum up all the baking soda using an attachment.
- Let the mattress air out for a few hours before proceeding to the next step.
2. Wrap the mattress in plastic.
Before moving a mattress to its storage location, thoroughly wrap the mattress in plastic and secure the plastic with packing tape to create a tight seal. If possible, do not use thick plastic covers, as these are more likely to trap in the moisture. A light, breathable plastic is more ideal.
Similarly, the mattress needs to stay covered the majority of the time it’s in storage. For long-term storage, consider purchasing a high-quality mattress bag (with no holes or tears), which should cost less than $20. These covers are designed to prevent mold and ensure the mattress stays dry.
Bonus Tip: When storing a mattress long term, open up the plastic wrapping every few months to air out the mattress. Make sure to reseal entirely afterward.
3. Move in a covered moving truck.
When moving your mattress from point A to point B, cover the bed pieces with old blankets or sheets to further shield them from dirt and damage. Remember always to use a covered moving truck.
It is not only unsafe to tie a mattress to the top of your car, but the mattress could also bend to the point of no return in the process. Inclement weather could also complicate matters when moving a mattress on an open truck bed.
During the moving process, it’s okay to keep the mattress on its side to create more space in the moving truck. This method is preferred versus piling lots of heavy furniture on top of the mattress.
Read Also: How to Move Large Items With Ease (5 Tips)
4. Lay the mattress flat when storing.
While some sources may tell you to prop the mattress on its side to save space, you should never store a mattress upright for an extended period. It’s entirely okay to carry your mattress upright, but once you place it inside your storage unit, lay it flat to mimic its natural positioning.
Mattresses need to be stored flat because eventually the coils and inner-workings of a side-stored mattress will settle out of their proper position, destroying the cushion.
5. Keep everything off the mattress.
Never store anything on top of the mattress. Heavy objects can damage the springs. Also, heavy objects create more wear to the exterior.
To make the best use of space, place the mattress on top of other objects, like pallets or other flat-topped furniture items. Make sure everything is stable, though!
6. Find the best place to store a mattress.
A primary concern when keeping any furniture in storage is moisture and temperature changes. These mischief-makers can do significant damage to a mattress. These factors make basements a terrible place to store a mattress for any length of time.
If renting a storage unit, consider upgrading from a traditional unit to climate-controlled storage. Opting for climate control will ensure that your storage space will have heat in the winter and stay cool in the summer, safeguarding your expensive mattress and bed from severe temperature changes.
If you do go with a traditional storage unit or opt to store the mattress in your basement or garage, buy a portable dehumidifier. Even though this setup is not ideal, this tool will pump moisture out and help maintain the quality of your mattress.
Learn More About the Benefits of Climate Controlled Storage: Should I Upgrade to Climate Controlled Storage?
7. Repeat Step 1 when retrieving a mattress from storage.
Once you’re ready to retrieve your mattress, follow all the guidelines in Step 1 to make sure your mattress is looking and smelling fresh.
Remember, all these storage tips also apply to the box spring. Following these tips on how to store a mattress and box spring will protect your mattress for months and years to come.
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This post was originally published on 2/29/16 and updated 3/7/18.