As the weather changes, it’s common to swap out your blankets, sheets, and comforters around the house. You may have soft and cozy flannel sheets for your bed during winter or a favorite throw to keep you warm. Or when winter turns into spring, your weighted goose feather-down comforter gets changed out for a lighter quilt.
But as your collection grows, the issue of how to store bedding comes into play. Where and how should you store sheets, blankets, and comforters when you’re not using them?
Bedding Storage Ideas + Helpful Tips
Some of us are lucky enough to have ample hall closets to store linens long-term. But if you live in a studio apartment, a condo, or a small home lacking storage, you may need to get creative. In this guide, we’ll show you how to store items like comforters and blankets to preserve their quality and save space in your home.
How to Wash Bedding for Long-Term Storage
The first step in storing bed sheets, comforters, and blankets is making sure they’re all as clean as possible beforehand. Sheets touch our skin directly and are more prone to collecting oils, dust, skin cells, etc. That’s why we tend to wash our sheets a lot more than we do comforters or blankets.
But even if they’re not in use, it’s important to store clean bedding for sanitary reasons. Storing freshly washed bed linens and blankets helps prevent damage to the fabric while they sit in storage, mold and mildew growth, and even unwanted odors. All that aside, it’s also just nice to have clean bedding at your disposal whenever you need it. (Any house guests you have over will appreciate it, too!)
As you prep your bedding for storage, a good rule of thumb is to fully wash all sheet sets, pillowcases, and blankets. You can use discretion on whether or not your comforters and larger duvets need a full launder. For instance, if you are only storing a vintage quilt in your linen closet for a month or two, it might be best to fluff it up and shake out the fabric outdoors before storing to save it from the stress of laundry. You could also opt to get it dry-cleaned if it has been a long time since it has been properly cleaned.
One important note: Make sure all fabric is completely dry before storing. Any dampness can promote mold and mildew growth.
Remember these tips when washing bedding for storage:
- Wash bedding in cold water on a delicate cycle. Excessive hot water can degrade the fabric. Use a small amount of gentle detergent. Too much soap can leave sheets stiff.
- Dry bedding in a large enough dryer on low to medium heat. To ensure the comforters are evenly dried, use dryer balls that keep the fabric from bunching.
- Don’t overstuff the dryer. Don’t fill the dryer more than halfway; give the bedding space for air to fluff it up. If your dryer is too small, you may need to run multiple cycles to get larger comforters completely dry. Remember, you can always dry your sheets separately.
- Take bedding out of the dryer right away. Doing laundry is never fun. But don’t procrastinate taking your bedding out of the dryer once it’s done. This step makes sure that you don’t store bedding with wrinkles.
- Let certain bedding air dry. Some fabrics might require air drying or absolutely no heat. When in doubt, check the label.
Will bedding stay clean if you store it in the basement?
If your house lacks linen closets or other storage areas for bedding, you may have limited options available. So what should you do if you need to store bedding in an area that could potentially get damp? Basements, attics, and storage spaces inside apartment complexes aren’t always ideal for bedding storage. However, there are some workarounds to help keep your fabric fresh.
If your linens are in an area of your basement, make sure you run a strong enough dehumidifier to keep humidity levels in check. Airtight containers can temporarily block out moisture in storage spaces like the garage. But keep in mind, this is a temporary solution. Fabric should ideally be exposed to fresh air for long-term storage.
How to Keep Bedding Fresh & Clean While in Storage
Regardless of where in your home you decide to store your extra bedding, here are some helpful tools to use for maximum freshness:
- Dryer sheets. Before storing, place a few sheets inside the folded bedding or in the tote. Dryer sheets keep fabric fresh regardless of where it’s stored.
- DIY odor absorber. Make a DIY odor absorber by mixing baking soda with a few drops of your favorite essential oil inside a mason jar. Punch a few holes in the lid and place this inside your linen closet or your bedding storage area.
- Hang blankets in the sun. Once you take your blankets out of storage, thoroughly wash them and hang them out to dry on a clothesline. Bright, sunny days typically work best. Sunshine works to naturally deodorize and kill odor-causing bacteria in the fabric.
Caution: Avoid mothballs. While mothballs can prevent damage to your clothes, sheets, and bedding sets, they can also leave them with an undesirable scent. Use cedar-lined chests or cedar chips instead.
How to Store Bedding – General Tips
Once your bedding is fully cleaned, it’s time to set it aside in its designated storage space. Whether you’ve got a specific spot already in mind or need some guidance, here are some of our best bedding storage tips:
1. Avoid damp storage areas.
The top priority in a bedding storage area is making sure the space is cool and dry. That’s because the biggest offender to bedding in storage is moisture. Avoid storing bedding in a basement, garage, or other humid areas of your home if you can.
2. Allow fabric to breathe.
Besides temperature, fresh air is also important to consider when storing bedding. This is especially crucial for natural fibers like wool that are easily damaged. In general, it’s best to avoid plastic storage bags that trap moisture. You may think you’re saving space, but these bags can be breeding grounds for mold and mildew.
3. Maximize space by folding.
Simply put: Properly folded blankets and sheets take up less space in your home. That’s why learning how to properly fold and organize your bedding can make a world of difference. Learn how to fold fitted sheets in the video above, and keep reading for more folding advice.
Bed Sheet Storage
Regarding bedding storage solutions, bed sheets and linens are often the least of our worries. They don’t take up nearly as much space as comforters and blankets, and they lie relatively flat on a shelf. (Even if you struggle to fold a fitted sheet properly.)
That said, you can still maximize your storage space by storing sheets inside of pillowcases. Simply fold your sheets as you normally would, and place them inside the matching pillowcase. Not only does this tip help keep sheet sets together, but it also helps your linen closet look sleek, uniform, and organized at all times.
Some comforters are bulky and hard to keep folded. Others shouldn’t be compressed or stacked for risk of damaging the fabric. One solution to this issue is to roll the bedding into a ball and tie it into place using a ribbon. This option is great because it keeps the blankets more accessible and won’t be crushed under the weight of other blankets.
Rolling down comforters loosely in this fashion and storing them vertically will prevent accidental compression. Especially if you have comforters with goose down or feathers, the excess weight can damage or even create uncomfortable bunches on the inside. If you do fold blankets and put them on a shelf, keep the heavier blankets on the bottom.
How do you store a duvet when not in use?
If you have a guest room in your home or just like to keep extra bedding on hand, you may find yourself needing to store a duvet. Regardless of how long your duvet will be in storage, separating the two pieces and removing the cover is the first step. Duvet comforters and their covers should always be stored separately. This keeps them easily accessible and less susceptible to bunching.
After you wash each piece of your duvet, you can fold the cover as you would a sheet set and store it with your bed sheets and linens. Duvet covers lay mostly flat when they aren’t filled with anything, so they shouldn’t be too much of a hassle. Large duvet comforters can be stored following the steps outlined above.
Need some additional tips? Check out these guides below:
Truth be told, you can never have too many cozy blankets on hand. The only problem is figuring out where to store them. If you’re low on blanket storage space or just need to shake up your current method, here are a few new places to consider:
- Linen closets or hall closets. Maximize space by keeping the linen closet organized.
- Under the bed. Make your own under the bed storage solution.
- Attic. Just ensure adequate airflow up there, and it stays cool.
- Armoire or dresser. Utilize large-scale furniture pieces in a hallway to create a built-in bedding storage cabinet.
- Living room: Instead of sprawling your blankets out on the couch, why not create a decorative piece to showcase them all? Check out this quick and easy DIY blanket ladder tutorial.
How do you store bedding without a closet?
If you lack closet storage space inside your home, feel free to get creative. You can reorganize your mudroom storage space or repurpose a piece of furniture to add a storage element. (Check out the DIY category on our blog for some inspiration.)
If you are using a storage unit, make sure that the storage unit is climate controlled. In the market for a storage unit to help organize your extra bedding? Life Storage offers clean and secure units in many cities and metro areas throughout the country. Use our online guide to find storage locations near you.
Bedding Storage Container Options
Already have a storage spot picked out for your bedding? Maybe storage space isn’t an issue in your home, but you need help organizing your linen closet. If that’s the case, here are a few bedding storage container options to consider:
- Cotton bedding storage bags. These bags protect against bugs and dust but are light enough to allow for proper airflow. Storage hack: If you don’t have cotton bags, wrap comforters and other bedding in cotton sheets before storing.
- Comforter hangers. These work well for delicate items like heirloom quilts. Many vintage pieces should be hung in storage to allow air to pass through the fabric.
- Acid-free box and tissue. Did you know you can use acid-free tissue for more than just storing photos and shoes? Acid-free boxes and tissues are ideal for long-term bedding storage as they prevent creasing and fabric bleeding.
- Vacuum-sealed bags. These work well for synthetic, wool, or cotton down comforters. If you have a feather-down comforter, make sure you leave some air inside the vacuum bag.
- Bedding storage ottomans. Hide your extra blankets and bedding in plain sight using multi-purpose furniture. This also keeps blankets easily accessible anytime you need them.
- Bedding storage baskets. Need to spruce up the storage space in your closet? You can easily add extra space underneath a shelf in the closet with a few inexpensive yet beautiful baskets. These can be purchased at your local home goods store or online.
Related: Moving in Together? 8 Helpful Tips for Living With Your Significant Other for the First Time
Learn How to Store Bedding Efficiently
Which bedding storage solution will you choose? Whether you’ve got an entire closet dedicated to bed sheets and blankets or you’re making it work in a small apartment, we hope this guide was helpful. And remember: If you need additional storage space for anything in your home, Life Storage has you covered. Check out our high-quality, climate-controlled storage units in a city near you.
This post originally appeared on the Life Storage blog on 5/20/19 and was revised on 12/19/22 to provide new information.