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A mattress is one of the critical items in any house. But what if you need to store it? Maybe you’re moving, or perhaps you don’t currently have room for a mattress. Whatever the reason, you’re probably wondering how to store a mattress the right way. 

Not only does it represent a significant financial investment, but your mattress also plays a significant role in our health and well-being. As such, most people would agree that mattresses need the utmost care and should be cleaned and always laid flat when stored.

Luckily, mattress storage is fairly simple–and today, we’re going to go over everything you need to know. 

How to Store a Mattress in a Storage Unit: 6 Tips

All you have to do to safely and successfully store your mattress is follow the six steps below.

Cleaning

The first thing you need to know about storing a mattress long-term is that cleaning is essential. Putting a dirty mattress in storage can cause bacteria to grow and eventually lead to unwanted things like mold and fungus growth. Make sure to clean your mattress thoroughly before putting it in storage.  

  • Start by removing all blankets, sheets, and pillows, and take the mattress off the base. 
  • Then place a small amount of baking soda on the mattress surface to help remove any smells and stains. 
  • After an hour has passed, use a vacuum attachment to remove the baking soda.
  • Let the mattress sit for a few hours once you’ve finished. It should be completely dry before you move on to the next steps. 

Covering

Once you’ve cleaned the mattress, it’s time to cover it before transporting it to the storage facility. The best tool for the job is a light, breathable plastic cover (avoid anything heavy). Wrap the mattress with plastic, and use packing tape to create a seal. Conversely, you can also buy a mattress bag designed for this purpose. 

Transportation

There are several reasons to consider renting a moving truck to transport your mattress. 

Though a rental is more expensive than using your vehicle, a moving truck is the safest, most appropriate way to move an awkward item like a mattress. Putting your mattress on top of a car is unsafe and it can also cause irreparable damage to the mattress structure. 

Make sure to line the truck with items like sheets or old blankets, which will help protect the mattress while in transit. If you’re moving, you’ll likely have other items in the truck, in which case you can put the mattress on its side. However, it should not be left in this position indefinitely. 

Storing

Once you unload the mattress, it’s critical to know how to store a mattress long-term in the storage facility. The best practice is simply to put a tarp on the floor and lay the mattress flat on the ground. Otherwise, when placed on its side, you run the risk of the coils and springs shifting, and irreversible sagging. 

If you have other items to store, avoid putting them directly on top of the mattress–especially if they’re heavy. Over time, things like boxes and other furniture can cause indentations and permanent damage to the mattress. 

It’s important to note that due to the size constraints and financial burden of keeping a storage unit, storing your mattress horizontally isn’t the best choice for everyone. While you will protect your mattress best by laying it flat and not stacking anything on top of it, you’ll also lose a good portion of your storage space. 

If you absolutely need the space, we recommend arranging your stored items in a way where you can stack your mattress on top of things, but with a firm sheet of plywood beneath the mattress. This will prevent the mattress from sagging as much by keeping a consistent surface underneath it. 

Climate Control

One common concern is how to store a mattress in storage and make it not mold. If you plan to leave your mattress for several months, a climate-controlled facility is the best way to keep it mold-free. This way, your mattress is protected from extreme heat and frigid cold.  

But what if you’re storing the mattress at home? Learning how to store a mattress in a garage is not so different, as you merely follow the same tips listed above. However, there is one critical difference: you should invest in a portable dehumidifier for your garage. 

Why? Because garages often have high humidity levels, which are ideal places for mold and fungus to flourish. A portable dehumidifier combats these high humidity levels and helps you store your mattress safely–though for short periods only. 

Removal

There will likely be some smells when it’s time to use your mattress again, even if you followed all the above steps.

This fact is especially true if the mattress has been in storage for several months, but not to worry. Put your mattress outside in the sun if possible and let it air out before use. You may even want to complete the same cleaning regimen above once more.  

Mattress Storage FAQs

Let’s wrap things up by answering some common mattress storage questions. 

How Long Can a Mattress Be in Storage?

The answer depends on how you store the mattress.  

Climate-controlled spaces allow for longer storage periods–for several months or even a year or longer without any damage. Otherwise, it’s best to avoid long-term storage in non-climate controlled spaces. The moisture in places like garages can cause mildew, which will permanently damage your mattress. 

Can I Store My Mattress With Its Frame and Box Spring?

Yes, as long as the surface is flat and supportive. You should also wrap each item separately, which will help everything stay clean. 

Mattress toppers are a different story, however, as it’s fine to roll it up in the interest of saving space in the storage unit. Just make sure to clean the mattress topper thoroughly beforehand and put it in a protective bag of its own. 

Do Different Mattress Types (Latex, Memory Foam, etc.) Require Different Methods of Storage?

Different mattress types have different considerations when it comes to storage, regardless of mattress type, they should all be stored flat. Storing a mattress on its side can lead to irreversible damage in any case, but this is especially true in the case of latex and memory foam mattresses. 

For Best Results, Store Your Mattress Flat

There you have it–all the basics of how to store a mattress to maintain its quality. As we discussed, the best way to store your mattress is horizontal, cleaned of contaminants and odors, clear of anything on top of it, and wrapped in a mattress bag. A climate-controlled facility is a huge plus, but not a requirement. 

Storage units can be pricey, and so can a new mattress. All it takes is a little time, effort, and planning to ensure that your mattress stays in excellent condition for many years to come. 

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Nate Devore

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