How to Store a Mattress | Guardian Self Storage | Pittsburgh & Colorado

How to Store a Mattress

| By Jenn Mikitka Comments Off

11 Steps to Storing a Mattress

Did you know that the average person spends one-third of their life asleep? Since so much of your life is spent asleep, it would only make sense that you would invest in a quality mattress. Mattresses are a substantial investment, so you will want to take care of it to make sure you can use it for the longest amount of time possible. The average mattress can last between 10 to 15 years depending on the level of upkeep. If and when you decide to move homes, knowing how to properly move and store a mattress is essential to maintaining its quality.

Step 1:

Strip all of the bedding off of your mattress. Wash, fold, and pack it away for your move. Next, sprinkle baking soda onto your mattress and let it sit for an hour to absorb odors and moisture. Once you are satisfied, vacuum up all excess baking soda. If you do not want to use baking soda, you can also use upholstery cleaner. However you choose to clean your mattress, it’s essential that it is dry before you store it.

Step 2:

Disassemble your bed frame and headboard. Grab a large Ziploc bag and label it to indicate that the contents belong to that specific bed. Place all hardware, screws, and other small objects in the bag, then attach it to the back of the headboard with tape.

Step 3:

In the time period between getting your mattress ready for storage and actually moving it, you will need to keep it safe. Keep it far away from any sharp objects or corners, as they can tear your mattress. You should also make sure to keep it in a room that is not prone to humidity. Placing it in the basement, garage, or attic, even for a short period of time, can cause mold and warping. Lastly, if you have any pets, keep them away from your mattress. Pets can unknowingly transfer pests, dander, and dirt onto your mattress.

Step 4:

Before you get ready to move everything to either your new home or a storage unit, take time to protect your bed frame and headboard. You can do this by wrapping them in either sheets or blankets. This will keep them from getting scratched during transport and will protect them from dust while sitting in storage. If it is raining or snowing on the day you move, make sure to replace the blankets covering your frame and headboard with dry ones. Otherwise, the moisture will get trapped and your bed will begin to mold and rot.

Step 5:

Buy a plastic mattress cover for your mattress. This step is absolutely essential if you plan to store a mattress. If you do not properly protect your mattress, you run the risk of mold, pests, or discoloration to your mattress. Make sure your mattress is completely dry and clean before placing it into a mattress protector. Then, tightly secure all edges and openings with tape to keep out any moisture or water. It is rare that water or pests will find their way into your unit, but you’ll want to be protected just in case.

Step 6:

Try to avoid storing your mattress in places like garages, sheds, attics, or basements. You wouldn’t buy a mattress from a shed, so why risk storing yours there? If you are unable to rent a storage unit and absolutely have to store your mattress in one of these places, you will need to invest in a dehumidifier. This will keep the area relatively dry and help prevent mold or mildew from damaging your mattress.

Step 7:

Make sure to use a covered moving truck when transporting your mattress. Not only is it unsafe to transport your mattress on the roof of your car, but it can also damage your mattress. Tying your mattress down causes the shape of the mattress to warp. Plus, if there is inclement weather, your mattress will be ruined. Instead, opt for a large van or moving truck. Do not pack anything on top of your mattress. If the drive is not too long, it is okay to have your mattress on its side to make room for other items. Be mindful to not put anything with sharp edges near your mattress, as it might tear the mattress or mattress cover.

Step 8:

If possible, you should always opt for a climate-controlled storage unit over a standard unit. Environments that have high humidity and moisture are a breeding ground for mold, especially in porous materials like mattresses. Climate-controlled storage units are always kept at a consistent temperature and humidity level. This protects your mattress from any fluctuations in humidity or temperatures, which could cause condensation. They are also typically indoor units, so you will have an extra layer of protection from the elements. If you are storing for a long period of time and you have easy access to your unit, try to remove your mattress every 4-6 months from its mattress cover. Let the mattress “breath” for about an hour and then place it back in the mattress cover.

Step 9:

Never stand your mattress upright. Although standing your mattress upright gives you more space in your unit, it causes the springs to shift and the mattress to lump and sag. If you can, lay the mattress flat down on the ground as if you were going to sleep on it. For extra protection, you may want to lay a sheet or tarp down underneath it.

Step 10:

If you do not have space for the mattress to lay on the ground, there is an alternative. Instead, you can create a flat surface by putting larger, heavier items in your unit first. These items will create a shelf that you can slide the mattress on top of, keeping it as flat as possible. It is very important to not put any items on top of your mattress. This will create an uneven mattress and will damage the springs over time.

Step 11:

When you are ready to take your mattress out of storage, it will need some time to air out. It may smell a little musty at first, but this is completely normal. Give it 3-4 hours to completely air out. It is also recommended to sprinkle baking soda onto it to absorb moisture and eliminate odor.


That’s it! Once you have followed all of these steps, you will officially know how to store a mattress. While it may seem overwhelming now, it will save you hundreds of dollars down the line when you don’t need to invest in a brand new mattress. You can simply grab it out of your unit and get your first good night’s sleep in your new home! For more tips on moving, storage, and enjoying your home, sign up for our monthly blog newsletter.

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