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12 Tips for Storing a Mattress

Whether you’re moving, repurposing an unused bedroom, or simply need to store extra furniture, it’s important to know how to properly store a mattress in a self storage unit. Improper mattress storage can cause your mattress to become damaged or dirty, which can lead to health hazards like dust mites and bacteria. Check out our self storage guide below for tips on how to store a mattress!

Preparing a Mattress for Self Storage

Storing a mattress isn’t as simple as moving it directly from your bed frame to your storage unit. There’s a lot of extra care that goes into the protection and durability of your mattress. Use these steps to make sure your mattress is clean and well-protected before going into storage.

Measure Your Mattress

Take note of the length, width, and height of your mattress so you can be sure it will fit comfortably in your storage unit. The mattress will need to be stored flat, so the dimensions of the unit should be at least one square foot wider than your mattress.

Clean the Mattress

Mattresses absorb a lot of dust, dirt, and sweat, so it’s important to do a good, deep clean before putting yours into storage. Follow these steps to properly clean most mattresses:

  • Strip off the bedding
  • Apply upholstery cleaner for heavy-duty cleaning and leave ample time for the mattress to dry
  • Vacuum the top, bottom, and sides of your mattress
  • Spray a rag with mattress stain remover and spot-clean stains by blotting, not rubbing or soaking them
  • Let the mattress air-dry
  • Sprinkle the mattress with baking soda, let it sit for several hours, then vacuum it again to deodorize
  • Flip the mattress and repeat these steps

Put It in a Mattress Bag

Keep your mattress clean and safe from pests by placing it inside a mattress bag before storing it. Thick plastic wraps can cause bacterial growth, so stick with light, breathable plastic. Secure it in place with duct tape or a mattress cover that’s specifically meant for self storage purposes. No matter what plastic you use, it’s important to air out the mattress every few months, then reseal it if you’re storing a mattress long-term. Many mattress bags also come with attached handles that can make moving a mattress easier on you!

Rent a Moving Truck

Although it’s possible to strap a mattress to the top of a car, doing so can damage the mattress if it isn’t properly handled or gets bent during transit. The safest option for moving your mattress is to rent a covered moving truck and a dolly. If you’re moving other items into a storage unit with your mattress, make sure not to place any items on top of it during the drive. You can also use a tie-down strap or nylon ropes to keep your mattress secure on the drive.

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Storing a Mattress in a Storage Unit

Storage units are the ideal environment for storing a mattress since it’s best to keep them out of sunlight, heat, and moisture. Follow these steps when it’s time to move your mattress into a storage unit.

Keep It Off the Ground

Putting a mattress directly on the floor of your storage unit will make it difficult for it to “breathe.” Allow airflow from all angles by instead placing the mattress on wooden pallets. Additionally, if any moisture gets into your mattress, then storing it off the ground will help it dry out more quickly.

Store It Flat

The condition of your mattress is extremely important to the quality of sleep you get and can impact your health. Any improper storage can ruin your mattress. Keeping a mattress on its side or in a bent position will damage its internal structure over time, so the best way to store it is to keep it flat and level.

Don’t Place Anything on Top

Putting things on top of your mattress while it’s in storage can lead to permanent dents or damage. If you need extra storage space in your unit, consider raising up the pallets you’re storing your mattress on and keeping items beneath it instead. The last thing you want is a mattress that sinks in the middle when you get it out of storage.

Consider Climate-Controlled Storage

Climate-controlled storage units can keep your belongings better protected from temperature-related damage. Storing your mattress in this kind of unit can help prevent mold or odors from accumulating. Some storage locations may even offer humidity-controlled units that can help keep your mattress free of moisture.

Air It Out Afterward

Even with proper storage, your mattress may still be slightly musty after an extended period of storage. To be on the safe side, let it air out in an open, well-ventilated space for at least a few hours. If your mattress still has any odor after this point, try cleaning it or deodorizing it once more before use.

How to Store Different Kinds of Mattresses

The way you store your mattress will vary depending on what kind of mattress it is. Consider these additional storage tips for different types of mattresses.

Storing a Spring Mattress

Spring mattresses are more prone to damage than many other mattress types, so it’s especially important to not put any extra items on top of them while they’re in storage. However, unlike other mattress types, spring mattresses can be stored on their side for brief periods due to the reinforced internal structure.

Storing a Memory Foam Mattress

Memory foam mattresses are extremely flexible and should never be stored on their side, as this can cause the mattress to remain permanently bent. Another important consideration when storing memory foam mattresses is to avoid upholstery cleaner, which won’t come out of the foam the way it would from a standard fabric.

Storing a Hybrid Mattress

Hybrid mattresses contain both coils and foam and will need to be rotated periodically even while in storage so as not to wear out the coils. Every few months should suffice. Also, like memory foam mattresses, you should avoid using upholstery cleaner on a hybrid mattress.


Looking for somewhere to store a mattress? Extra Space Storage has convenient storage facilities throughout the U.S. that can help you with your mattress storage needs. Rent local storage units now!

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