How to Store a Mattress: Tips and Tricks

When storing household goods, you must prepare some items well. Delicate crystal stemware, for example, must be packed correctly in double corrugated boxes to get the best protection. Other items, including mirrors, collectibles, flat-screen TVs, and more, must also be packed well to survive the rigors of being moved and stored.  

One item that should be packed and stored well, but most overlook, is the mattress from your bed. First and foremost, a high-quality mattress can cost upwards of $500 and more, so it should always be well-protected. More importantly, a mattress is one of the few pieces of furniture you sleep on, exposing yourself to anything that might be on or – yuck – inside the mattress. For this reason, keeping your mattresses clean and pristine while in storage is essential. To help you do just that, Northwest Self Storage put together the following tricks and tricks for storing a mattress.  

The Importance of Storing a Mattress Correctly  

There are several excellent reasons for storing a mattress correctly. First, storing it well will prevent moisture which could cause mold and mildew to grow. This could destroy your mattress or, at the very least, cause it to smell terrible. Also, a well-stored mattress will prevent insects and pests from making a new home inside your mattress.  

Since mattresses are made to support the human body, storing them correctly also prevents them from becoming misshapen, warped, or otherwise bent out of shape. This could ruin the mattress and prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep. So, again, storing your mattress correctly is more important than most people realize.  

african american family having a pillow fight on a mattress

Cleaning and Preparing a Mattress for Storage  

Below, we’ve provided step-by-step instructions for cleaning and preparing your mattress for storage.   

  1. Remove all linens and bedding from the mattress, including mattress covers.  
  2. Sprinkle a fine dusting of regular kitchen baking soda on the top of the mattress and let it sit there for about an hour.  
  3. Using a HEPA vacuum cleaner, vacuum the baking soda and any dust, dirt, or debris on top of the mattress.  
  4. Repeat the process for the bottom of the mattress.  
  5. Once you vacuum the entire mattress, it should be spot-clean from any stains or spills   
  6. Stand the mattress on its edge and let it dry completely for a few hours. You can do this outside in the sun if you put something on the ground to protect its exterior.  

Should You Use a Mattress Cover?  

It’s always a good idea to cover your mattress (and box springs) with a high-quality mattress cover. Mattress covers serve two primary purposes. First, they keep your mattress clean while it’s moving and then in storage. Second, they create a barrier to keep out insects and vermin.  

When choosing a mattress cover, you want one that’s breathable and fits your mattress correctly, covering the top, bottom, and all four sides completely. It should also be secured tightly to prevent pests and dust, dirt, liquids, etc.    

Bonus Tip: Many moving companies sell boxes made explicitly for mattresses and box springs. These are sometimes even better than covers because they’re more robust.  

mattress on hardwood floor

How to Choose the Best Storage Location  

You can store a mattress in many places, including your basement, garage, and even in your attic if you have a large enough entrance. However, all three of these locations need to be more robust. Your basement and garage, for example, are prone to moisture and humidity, which can ruin your mattress. In your attic, the high heat can destroy your mattress by drying out many of the parts it’s made from. None of these locations are particularly clean, dry, and well-ventilated, which is crucial if you want your mattress to stay pristine.  

A great place to store your mattress is in a storage unit! Most of our storage facilities at Northwest Self Storage offer temperature-controlled storage units. If you’re storing your mattresses long-term, these are the best choice because they will prevent extreme temperatures from possibly ruining your mattress and any other goods you store inside of them.  

How To Physically Store a Mattress in a Storage Unit  

The biggest drawback to storing mattresses along with other household goods is that mattresses are large and bulky; if, for example, you store your mattresses lying flat (which is recommended), you will lose quite a bit of storage space in your storage unit.  

That being said, if you want to keep a costly mattress in excellent condition, laying it flat is your best option. Many folks stack boxes and other furniture and then place their mattress on top of those stacks. This method has the added benefit of preventing pressure or weight from pressing down on your mattress and warping it during storage. Another advantage this provides is that it keeps your mattress off the ground and further away from insects and pests.  

Bonus Tip: If you’re storing a mattress short-term and need to optimize the space in your storage unit, standing it on edge usually will avoid causing huge damage or warping. This is especially true for foam and latex mattresses.  

two men in red shirts and black pants on moving truck getting a mattress out

Store Your Mattress Safely with Northwest Self Storage  

When you need to find storage and store household items safely and securely, count on Northwest Self Storage. Northwest offers temperature-controlled storage units at many of our storage facilities. These specialized units will help keep your belongings in great condition.  

If you need help determining what size storage unit you need, click the link to look at our storage unit size guide. When you’re ready, reserve your storage unit online. There’s no deposit necessary, and once you’re finished, your storage unit will be prepared and waiting for you when you and your movers arrive at the Northwest facility you’ve chosen!