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The Definitive Guide to Storing a Mattress (2023 Updated)

We all know that mattress storage is a necessary part of life. Whether you are moving, going on vacation, or getting ready for the next season, it’s important to have a plan in place before your mattress gets left out in the elements.

A mattress can last between 10-15 years, depending on the quality of the materials from which it is constructed. But storing it poorly will drastically lowers its lifespan.

Mattresses are an investment. And like all investments, you want to get the most out of them. Doubly so because finding the right mattress takes a lot of time. Imagine your dream mattress gave in after 3-4 years. You spent a lot of money and time on finding the perfect one. That would suck, wouldn’t it?

That’s why storing your mattress properly is crucial. You can keep it in top condition even while you’re not using it. Plus, you’re improving your house’s hygiene, which is just as important. Mattresses are a breeding ground for all types of pests. Bed bugs, dust mites, and other uninvited guests.

In this article we will discuss how to store a mattress properly and what not to do so that you can get years of use from your investment!

And before we go on, here’s a useful video guide for you:

Best Practices to Safeguard Your Mattress

There are four major factors that can cause a mattress to go bad: water, exposure to sunlight, inadequate ventilation and insects. Obviously you want your mattress stored in such a way as to avoid these damaging elements – here’s how!

Keep the Mattress Away from Windows or Doors

Windows and doors let sunlight shine on the mattress. Direct exposure to sun will cause it to deteriorate.

You must avoid storing your mattress in an area that is exposed to sunlight all day, such as a porch or balcony.

Sunlight increases the temperature in the area where your mattress is stored, making it prime breeding ground for mold. In order for mold to grow, it needs warmth, a food source (like decaying organic matter) and water or dampness.

Additionally, a lack of ventilation will cause the top layer of your mattress to trap in humidity which can easily get into seams and upholstery holes if not dealt with promptly by opening up your window periodically throughout day allowing fresh air through.

Store Your Mattress in an Area With Adequate Ventilation

Lack of ventilation will cause the top layer of your mattress to trap in humidity which can easily get into seams and upholstery holes.

Make sure to store your mattress in a place where it can get fresh air. Otherwise, mold will easily take over and start proliferating on it. Hardly a desirable prospect.

Here’s a list of places where you could store your mattress:

  • Storage units
  • Sheds
  • Stairs closet

Place a Moisture Barrier Over the Top of Your Mattress Before Storing It: There are places where you should NOT store a mattress:

  • Attic

Think about it: if you live in a warmer climate, it is going to be hot up there all of the time and mosquitoes like warm temperatures too! You don’t want them snacking with impunity while they’re waiting for their next meal.

  • Garage

The same goes for storing it in a heated space, such as the basement or garage. Though these spaces may be insulated and protected from water leakage, they are still susceptible to high temperatures, which will speed up mold growth on your mattress.

Place a Moisture Barrier Over the Top of Your Mattress Before Storing It

A moisture barrier is a sheet-like protection that can be placed on top of your mattress to protect it from moisture Whether you are storing your mattress in the basement, another room, or at a storage facility, this extra layer can help keep it clean and dry.

To make one, cut out individual sheets from an inexpensive plastic drop cloth. Lay out the drop cloth on top of the mattress and then put a fitted sheet over the top so that it hangs about two inches off each end of the bed. Fold over the excess drop cloth and tuck under the mattress to secure it in place.

If you have trouble finding a suitable plastic drop cloth sheet or if you would prefer to order something custom-sized for your mattress, there are several products on the market that are designed for this purpose.

Remove the Sheets from Your Mattress Before Storing It

Mattresses are a breeding ground for many pests. Bed bugs, dust mites and other uninvited guests. Even if you store them in an area where they are protected from water or sunlight, there is always some chance that these unwanted visitors will still be able to find their way to your bed.

Mattresses and pillows are very desirable for these pests because they provide a welcoming environment with plenty of food, warmth and shelter as fabric seams, crevices and folds.

One way is by removing the sheets from your mattress before storing it – this will make it much less appealing as an abode for pests.

It is also important to store your mattress in a way that protects it from dust and other particles

The more surface area exposed, the better chance there is of accumulating unwanted dirt or harmful bacteria which can live on surfaces like this and be transferred to you when you sleep on it again. Make sure the sheets are tucked securely under the mattress and nothing is sticking out to minimize this exposure.

If you have a pillow top, then make sure it’s turned down on its other side before storing as well. This will protect your pillows from dust mites or nesting insects that are looking for food sources in these crevices. If there is something peeking out of the pillow top, then just tuck it in and place the sheets over to help keep everything inside.

Remove Excess Fabric From Your Mattress Before Storing

This will prevent any creases or wrinkles that could trap moisture under them, which will attract more dirt and bacteria – not a good idea for long-term storage! If you have a pad on, take it off before storing.

Storing Your Mattress Properly: What Not to Do

You can do everything perfectly and still end up ruining your mattress to the point of unusability. That’s because the environment in which you are storing your mattress matters as much—if not more—than how.

Some of these will sound obvious. But if they really were, we wouldn’t have to write about them. Some people just don’t know better. Others are forced to store their mattress in an unfitting place.

That’s why we made this list.

Don’t Store the Mattress in a Pool or Hot Tub

Apart from being dangerous to move, things can get messy when you try to put your mattress back. Plus, these are very humid places. We already talked about the dangers of storing a mattress in a wet place.

And, you might want to use your pool or hot tub eventually. Keeping a mattress in there would make it inconvenient to say the least.

Avoid Storing the Mattress Near Chemicals

Chemicals used for treatment of pests and bugs will cause the mattress to deteriorate more quickly. Yes, must use these before storing your mattress away, but once they’ve dried up, keep them away from the mattress.

The reason is that mattresses undergo a lot of chemical processes when they’re built. So, other chemical compounds will interact with them and cause the mattress itself to lose its properties.

This is also why you should always let the chemicals you use on the mattress dry before storing it away.

Don’t Store Your Mattress in a Place Exposed to the Elements

Water, sunlight and humidity are all things you want your mattress stored away from. A dark and dry place works best.

Editor’s note: If you are storing your mattress at home, keep it on its side with feet up so that air can circulate underneath, allowing for ventilation

Storing your mattress while lying flat on the ground will do nothing to keep it from taking on moisture if stored in an area with high humidity.

Prevent Bugs and Pests

Keep your mattress away from any areas where they are present so that you can avoid having them move into a new home: your bed. Maintaining cleanliness is key to preventing infestations of bedbugs and other pests like dust mites.

Good hygiene is important. Even if you don’t mind having the occasional bug around, you’ll save yourself from coming in contact with mold. Mold can be dangerous to us if we are continually exposed to it. Take the precautions and don’t let it proliferate.

Don’t Forget to Store Bed Sheets Separately

Placing your mattress and all of its linens in a bag or box can cause them to become damp with sweat, which will then seep into the fabric. We’ve already dedicated ample space to this matter in the previous section, so scroll up if you want to know more about this.

Keep Your Mattress Stored in a Dry Location

This is for two reasons: if it’s wet, the mattress will rot and mold may grow. Keeping your storage area as close to the ground as possible without touching the floor can help prevent moisture from accumulating on top of your mattress. Some storage units are completely exposed to the elements and will cause your mattress to deteriorate more quickly than it would if stored in a dry place.

What to Do Before Storing Your Mattress

Before storing, lay out all the bedding from your bed so that you can remove anything wet or damp

If there is any moisture on top of the mattress, use a towel to dry it. Don’t forget about the pillows and blankets too!

It’s important that you inspect your bedding for any signs of dampness or mold before storage, because this can lead to more serious health problems if not addressed

Spray your mattress with an anti-mold solution before or after you seal it up in a vacuum sealed bag. This will help prevent mold from growing and create a more comfortable sleep space for when your bed is just too tempting to resist!

To avoid insects, put the mattress in a sealed container – preferably one that is airtight and has been treated with an insecticide like permethrin.

Editor’s note: If you are storing your bedding separately from the mattress, seal it tightly as well!

Mattress Storage Extra Tips

Now that we have talked about how to avoid the most damaging factors, it’s important to talk about what you DO want in a mattress storage place:

  • Avoid storing your mattresses near large appliances that produce heat – like dishwashers and dryers. Doing so can cause significant damage over time.
  • Don’t store them on cement floors or anywhere else. As you could guess, that will cause damage.
  • Store them in a dark, dry place. We already talked about the dangers of sunlight and humidity for mattresses. You don’t want to get it out of storage and see it turned into a shapeless blob of mold.
  • A place on the second floor is preferable. If you’re storing it in your basement, make sure there are no pipes running across the ceiling because these will cause moisture to drip onto your mattress and get trapped between layers of fabric.
  • Make sure that whoever’s moving a bed or box containing mattresses wears gloves! The oils from their skin can cause fabric to deteriorate quickly.
  • Use a mattress cover or at least wrap the mattress in two layers of plastic when storing it.

Editor’s Tip: Choose an airtight container to store your mattress (ideally one with permethrin treatment) so that you can keep it pest free and reduce the contact of liquid which can damage your investment!


There are a lot of things to consider when you’re storing a mattress. It might sound like a complicated operation, but if you take things one step at a time, you’ll do it without too much hassle.

It’s vital to store your mattress properly for two reasons: it’s a matter of hygiene, and it keeps the mattress intact for the future. Good mattresses are expensive and hard to find. You want to keep the best ones around for as much time as possible.

Keeping your mattress in top shape will keep its qualities for a long time. You never know when you’ll need it. Or maybe you’ll want to sell it. That’s also a possibility. A well-kept mattress will sell for more money, so it makes economically sense to store it properly.

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