How to Store a Mattress: A Step-by-Step Guide

Written by: Andjela Kastratovic
Updated: 05/23/2023

You’re doing some construction work or just have an extra mattress lying around, but you don’t know what to do with it. But you definitely don’t want to get rid of it. It’s time to learn how to store a mattress. 

Mattresses are a significant investment, and you must be careful even when you put them away. You can’t just chuck them into the basement!

We have some tips for ensuring your mattress stays in tip-top shape, even if you have to put it away for an extended period of time. 

How to Store a Mattress – A Step-by-Step Guide

Don’t worry, storing a mattress correctly is pretty easy! Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to store a mattress or even a box spring.

Where to Store a Mattress

Before doing anything else, you must choose the right mattress storage. After all, mattresses can take up a lot of space. 

In most cases, you only have two options for storing a mattress – a storage unit or your home. There are some things you should keep in mind in both cases. 

Climate-controlled Storage Unit

Storing your mattress in a storage unit is more common and often better for the mattress. 

But keep one thing in mind – climate control. 

A storage unit with no air conditioning or ventilation is a breeding ground for bacteria and mold; you want something other than that for your bed. Instead, look for a climate-controlled unit that offers heat in the winter, air conditioning in the summer, and is well-ventilated. 

In Your Home

Why would you spend money on a long-term storage unit when there’s enough space in your garage, attic, or basement? 

Those places in your home might have enough space to store a mattress, but do they have the right conditions? 

As mentioned, you must place your bed in a well-ventilated room with reasonable temperature control to avoid bacteria and fungi. Garages, attics, and basements usually don’t fit that description. 

That doesn’t mean you can’t store your mattress long-term in your house; you just need to be careful with it. 

For example, if you store your mattress on the basement floor and don’t have heating or air conditioning there, you can add a dehumidifier nearby to help prevent mold growth.

Clean the Mattress

Now you’re ready to pack! Well, not yet. 

You need to clean your mattress first! A bed can get dirty even during storage, and lingering stains or smells on a dirty mattress can worsen. 

Here’s a little lesson on how to clean a mattress: 

  1. Remove all bedding and covers and wash them.
  2. Spot-clean your mattress if there are any stains, or use an upholstery cleaner.
  3. Use baking soda to deodorize the mattress and vacuum it up after a few hours.
  4. Let your mattress air dry and air out for a while. 

Before you store your mattress, make sure that it’s completely dry! You want it to be moisture free all the way through because any lingering moisture can help grow mold when the mattress is stored. 

It’s time for the next step! 

Cover the Mattress

To keep your bed protected during storage, you need to keep it covered. 

You can buy a mattress bag or secure a thin plastic wrap with duct tape. Make sure not to use anything too thick or heavy because it’ll create a humid environment and can produce mold and mildew growth.

And if you want to get a mattress bag after all, you can find them in most hardware stores. They also come in standard mattress sizes, so if you have a California King bed, look for a mattress storage bag of the same size.

This will keep your old mattress from getting dirty, developing smells, or gathering bacteria and dust mites during storage. 

Next, it’s time for transport. 

Transporting the Mattress

If you plan on out-of-house storage, you’ll need to get the mattress from point A to point B. How will you do that? 

The best way to transport your mattress is to use a covered moving truck. This way, everything is safe. 

And it would be best to watch how you place the mattress in the moving truck. As you’ll see later, the right way to store your mattress is by laying it on a flat surface. However, if you’re traveling short distances and need more space in the vehicle, you can prop it up against the wall or roll it up. These things are usually not recommended!

A mattress should lie flat on the floor without anything heavy on top. Pressure can mess with the materials. However, you can use old blankets on top for protection until you get to the storage unit.

Transporting your mattress in an open vehicle leaves it susceptible to outside influences like rain and dirt, and that’s why a covered moving truck or a smaller pickup truck is the best way to go.

And don’t strap it to the top of your car. Driving around like that can be dangerous for you and other drivers. 

Store the Mattress Properly

Always keep your mattress flat! 

Mattresses take up a lot of space, so it might seem like a good idea to roll them up or prop them against a wall. 

However, both of these can mess with the construction and mattress materials. When you lean the bed against a wall, the inner structure tilts to one side, and the support layer fails under pressure. 

Instead, use plywood or a wooden pallet under the mattress so it doesn’t touch the floor directly, and place it in a flat position. You can also put it on another piece of furniture, as long as it’s lying flat. 

Don’t put other heavy furniture and storage boxes on the mattress because this can damage the internal structure.

And finally, storing your mattress doesn’t mean you’re off the hook for proper care. If you plan on keeping the bed in storage long-term, you’ll have to visit the storage facility occasionally to let it air out and flip it if it needs to be flipped. 

You must do this to avoid ending up with a bad mattress! 

Clean the Mattress Before Use

Even if you take all of the precautions, clean your mattress or box spring, and properly store it, it might still have a particular odor when you remove it from storage. 

There’s a simple solution for that before you get to use it again. It’s baking soda!

Just sprinkle baking soda evenly on the whole mattress. Baking soda is great at absorbing smells and should get the job done in just a couple of hours. After that, you need to vacuum it. 

Why Do You Need to Store a Mattress Well?

If you don’t put a little effort into packing that mattress, you’ll have problems. Here are some main reasons why packing a bed properly is a must. 

Mildew and Mold

Mold and mildew grow in humid places with poor ventilation. And that’s why picking a good place to store your mattress is essential. 

Without air conditioning, your basement, attic, garage, or storage units could ruin your mattress. Also, remember not to put it directly on the floor and use wooden pallets or a large sheet of plywood under it so it doesn’t trap moisture.

This is also why it’s essential to let your mattress air dry completely before wrapping it up in plastic and packing tape and putting it away in the storage area. 


If you don’t want your mattress to develop any odor, you must ensure it’s wrapped nicely. Also, this is why it’s crucial to clean your mattress before you store it. Any lingering smells will get worse.  

But that’s not all. You need to ensure that your mattress gets aired every couple of months. You need to remember it! 

Mattress Shape

If you want your mattress to retain shape and avoid ending up with a lumpy material that is uncomfortable for sleeping, you must store it properly. 

Remember never to roll a mattress or lay it on its side because it can ruin the structure. 

Mattress Types and How to Store Them

We also have some special tips for storing some of the most common mattress types

Foam Mattresses

Two problems can happen when putting foam mattresses in storage. 

Number one, this mattress type is very contouring, so it’ll also contour to any uneven surface you put it on. Place your mattress flat!

Second, foam mattresses are prone to mold and mildew, so pack them up nicely. Remember to use a plastic mattress bag! 

Innerspring Mattresses

Spring mattresses are sturdy and supportive. However, the reinforced coil unit can break if you prop the spring mattress upright against a wall, and the mattress fabric can shift.

Also, a spring mattress isn’t bendable, and bending it can damage the coils, so say goodbye to rolling it up. Instead, just keep innerspring beds stored flat. Similar rules apply to box springs.

Hybrid Mattresses

A hybrid mattress can’t be rolled and shouldn’t be placed on its sides because of the coils inside. The steel coils in a hybrid mattress can get seriously damaged if you do either, primarily because hybrid mattresses are heavy

Also, if it’s a hybrid mattress with memory foam layers, you can follow our tips for storing memory foam. Pack hybrids up nicely and lay them on a flat surface! 

Latex Mattresses

Just like memory foam, a latex mattress contours the body. You need to place latex beds flat on an even surface so they don’t get deformed. A latex mattress can get heavy, especially if it’s made from natural latex, which causes the material to bend and deteriorate if it’s propped up against a wall. 

Mattress Topper

If you’re wondering how to store a mattress topper, know that it’s easier than storing a mattress. You need to clean it and pack it up nicely, but there’s no need to keep it flat in storage. If it’s easier for you, you can roll it up. 

Storing a Mattress- What to Do and What Not to Do

See? It’s simple. Here’s a quick overview of what you should or shouldn’t do. 


  • Store it in a well-ventilated and temperature-controlled space. 
  • Clean the mattress thoroughly and use baking soda for deodorizing
  • Use a storage bag or plastic wrap to package it
  • Use a covered vehicle for transport. 
  • Place the bed flat on the floor. 


  • Roll up or lean your mattress upright against a wall, which can harm the materials.
  • Place a heavy object on top of the bed.
  • Forget about it and never air it out. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Store a Memory Foam Mattress?

You can store memory foam mattresses just like any other! The steps are simple – clean it, pack it up, transport it to the mattress storage space, and lay it flat on the ground. 

If the vehicle is small, you can roll the memory foam mattress up, unroll it and place it flat on the ground in the storage unit. 

Can You Store a Folded Mattress?

Storing a mattress folded isn’t recommended because this can seriously damage the inner structure of the bed. 

Can You Stack Mattresses?

You can do this, but be cautious. Storing your mattress with other mattresses, one on top of another, can harm the materials and lead to high humidity and mold. 

Final Thoughts

There you go! Now you know how to store a mattress properly, no matter how big or what it’s made from. 

Remember, those mattresses can get heavy, so get help packing and transporting them!

Good luck!

Reviews written by:

Andjela Kastratovic - Co-editor

Anđela is a content writer by the day and an Illustrator by night. She loves anything creative, but sleep takes the cake – that’s why she enjoys writing for Anatomy of Sleep so much!

While in high school, she got accepted for her dream job – a ‘professional sleeper’. Her job was to test new mattresses from a local mattress brand and write reports on the quality of sleep. Ever since then, she’s been in love with reviewing mattresses and putting her compelling research into ultimate buyer’s guides. While not exploring the latest brands, she likes to illustrate and spend time with her dog and friends.