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How to Store A Mattress: Right Way and Tips

mattress on a bedframe
Written By
Parachute Team
Photographs By
JESSICA SCHRAMM FOR PARACHUTE
@parachutehome
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Mattresses are such an essential part of our lives. They provide the comfort we need to feel rested daily, supporting the third leg of the health tripod of nutrition, exercise, and sleep. But storing a mattress improperly can ruin your investment, subjecting it to dampness, mildew, dust, and compression, rendering it unusable when it’s time to take it out of storage.

Thankfully, it’s not so hard to store a mattress to protect and preserve it, so when you’re ready for it again, it’s ready for you — good as new. That’s why it’s important to know how to properly store your mattress between periods of use.

Whether you’re remodeling your home, storing for the short term or packing it up for a cross-country move, there are a few specific steps to ensure your mattress stays in perfect shape.

Ready to see how to store a mattress in five steps? It starts with baking soda.

1. Make Sure Your Mattress Is Clean

Before packing and storing your mattress, ensure it’s completely clean. Cleaning your mattress is an easy process, though it does take a bit of time.

Treat Mattress Stains

Spot-clean stains on your mattress with diluted detergent or mild dish soap and water. Gently dab the solution on the stain with a washcloth and lightly scrub. Make sure to soak up excess moisture afterward.

Deodorize With Baking Soda

Baking soda is a convenient and inexpensive way to deodorize your mattress. Lightly sprinkle an even layer on the surface of your mattress and let it sit for a few hours.

Vacuum and Ventilate

Vacuum the baking soda with your vacuum cleaner’s wand tool. (Don’t use the beater brush, as this can damage the stitching.) Let the mattress sit in the open for a few hours, or even a full day, so it can fully dry before you wrap it. Knowing how to store a mattress properly won’t be of much help if it’s wet when you pack it away!

Pro Tip: It’s best to clean your mattress a few days before you plan to pack it for storage because storing a damp mattress can damage it. Check out our guide: How to Clean a Mattress: Steps and Tips

2. Protect Your Mattress

No matter how long you plan to store your mattress, you’ll need to protect it from dust, dirt and moisture. A plastic mattress cover for storage is ideal, but remember that thick plastic can trap moisture and cause mildew.

For best results, wrap your mattress in thin, breathable plastic, polyethylene or a mattress bag. Wrap all the way around the mattress and tape the plastic cover closed with packing tape.

If you plan to store your mattress long-term, it’s a good idea to air it out every few months to avoid moisture and odor issues.

Mattress bags with handles or mattress protectors for moving make it easier to maneuver your mattress and are available from many pack-and-ship companies. A big part of understanding how to store a mattress is making sure you don’t damage it during the move.

Pro Tip: For proper storage ideas for your pillows and sheets, explore our guide: How to Store Your Bedding.

3. Choose a Safe Place

It’s important to select a good mattress storage location. Select a place that’s dry, safe from fluctuating temperatures and has plenty of space so your mattress won’t be compressed.

Safely Store a Mattress in a Storage Unit

When you’re redecorating or just need short-term mattress storage, a traditional secure storage unit will work fine. If you need to store your mattress longer than a week or two, select a climate-controlled unit to keep it fresh long-term!

Storing Mattresses at Home

If you have enough space to store your mattress at home, pick a climate-controlled room like a spare bedroom or a heated garage. A big part of knowing how to store a mattress in an attic, basement or drafty garage is using a dehumidifier or ventilation fan to protect it from moisture.

4. Transport Your Mattress Correctly

Even if you’re only moving your mattress somewhere in the same neighborhood, it’s important to move it properly to avoid damage.

Mounting a mattress on a roof rack, force-fitting it in an SUV or transporting it in the back of an uncovered pickup truck is never a great idea. Instead, try to move your mattress in a covered vehicle that offers plenty of room. Moving vans, moving trucks and pickup trucks with covered beds are ideal.

On moving day, lay your mattress flat, and don’t stack boxes on it. These can compress it beyond its ability to spring back into a comfy shape.

Planning a big move? You might need to know more than just how to store a mattress. Get inspired with our New Home Checklist: Essential Things to Buy or Upgrade When Moving In.

5. Lay it Flat

After preparing your mattress for storage, position it safely within your storage unit or spare room. 

The best way to store a mattress is horizontally, not vertically. Storing mattresses upright may seem like an easy way to save space, but too much time spent standing on one end can shift the stuffing, compress the padding or warp internal springs.

Lay your mattress flat without anything stacked on top. Try to keep it off the floor so air can circulate around it. 

When you’re ready to use your mattress again, air it out for a day or two before sleeping on it.

FAQs

Here are some of the most common questions people ask about how to store a mattress.

How long can a mattress stay in storage?

As long as you store your mattress correctly in a protective plastic cover and in a clean, dry location, you can store your mattress for years at a time without worrying about damage. If you plan to store a mattress long-term, remember to air it out periodically and before returning it to use.

Can you store a mattress folded?

Even though some mattresses, like memory foam models, come folded or compressed, you should never refold or compress a mattress for storage. Compression can damage your mattress and diminish the support it provides. Never fold, bend, squeeze or roll your mattress for storage.

Can you stack mattresses in storage?

Stacking mattresses for any length of time isn’t recommended. Even if your mattresses are correctly prepared for storage and wrapped, stacking can trap moisture and lead to mildew. Mattresses are also heavy, and the bottom mattress in a stack can be damaged through compression.

Protect Your Mattress for Lasting Healthy Sleep

As long as you follow the steps above for how to store a mattress correctly, you can look forward to many nights of restful sleep in your new or recently remodeled home. The Eco Mattress by Parachute is designed with health-conscious support and eco-friendly materials. By properly storing your Parachute mattress, you can keep it in terrific condition for years to come.