The Pros and Cons of Sleeping on a Mattress on the Floor

Written by: Andjela Kastratovic
Updated: 09/26/2023

Have you ever scrolled through social media and stumbled upon those cozy bedrooms with minimalist vibes—the ones where the mattress casually rests on the floor? 

They seem so simple and charming, and bed frames sometimes cost a lot. 

But is sleeping on a mattress on the floor healthy? Or is it just visually appealing? 

In this article, we’ll cover the pros and cons of putting your bed on the floor and give you some tips on how to make the most of it if you do decide to try it out. 

Let’s get into it! 

Can You Put a Mattress on the Floor?

There’s a bit to consider when deciding whether to put your bed on the floor. While it might seem simple and budget-friendly, not all mattresses are well-suited for this. 

Some mattresses, like roll-up mattresses, folding mattresses, and air mattresses, are designed to be floor mattresses—great for temporary solutions or camping. 

But a folding mattress isn’t very comfortable for everyday use. Most modern mattresses, like innerspring or hybrid mattresses, can theoretically go on the floor, but long-term use might lead to quicker wear and tear than with a proper foundation. 

But foam mattresses should not touch the floor because heat and moisture retention cause mold and rapid degradation. 

While you can place some mattress types directly on the floor, it’s essential to remember the pros and cons before you do this.

Why Should You Put Your Mattress on the Floor?

It’s not all bad. Certain benefits come with sleeping on a mattress on the floor. 

Health Benefits

Sleeping on a mattress directly on the floor can offer several potential health benefits. Evidence suggests improved blood circulation, neck and back pain relief, and enhanced spinal alignment. 

This setup can be particularly beneficial for individuals with scoliosis, as it reduces the risk of unnatural spinal curves. Sleeping on a cooler surface, such as hardwood or tiles, can also prevent overheating at night. 

Cooler Air

Cold air’s density causes it to settle lower, while hot air rises, making sleeping closer to the floor a good way to keep cool. So, sleeping on a mattress on the floor could help prevent overheating and create a more comfortable sleeping environment for hot sleepers. However, sleeping near the floor can get too cold if you live in a colder climate. 

From Soft to Firm and Supportive

Placing a mattress directly on the floor can provide a quick solution for sturdy support, especially with a sagging or overly soft mattress. 

This technique enhances firmness instantly, which is particularly helpful if you’re working with a tight budget or waiting to replace your mattress. Floors offer a flat and firm surface, ensuring decent support for the mattress. 

More Space

Without the bulk of bed frames and accompanying furniture, you can achieve a minimalist and trendy aesthetic, visually opening up your room and creating the illusion of a larger space.

Whether you’re aiming to make the most of a small room or seeking that clean, uncluttered look, this simple adjustment can significantly impact your room’s style.

Helps You Save Money

You can save money when you buy just the mattress sans bed frame, box spring, or additional accessories like a bed skirt or headboard. 

While it’s true that skipping a bed frame can expose the mattress to potential degradation, the financial benefits might even outweigh this trade-off, especially when considering the investment involved in a complete sleep setup.

Why Shouldn’t You Put Your Mattress on the Floor?

There are plenty of benefits to putting your mattress directly on the floor, but there are many more drawbacks. Here’s what you should know. 

Dust and Allergies

Placing your bed on the floor exposes you to accumulated dust and dirt, potentially worsening allergies. Dust mites, dead skin cells, and dirt gather on the floor, leading to itchy eyes, runny noses, and breathing troubles. 

Raising your mattress can help you avoid dust and dust mites.

No Airflow

As mentioned before, keeping your mattress on the floor could be cooler. However, it also has limited air flow, making your mattress a bad place for those who sleep hot. 

In particular, a carpeted floor can make the issue worse, leading to discomfort and disrupted sleep, and you might even have to get a new mattress sooner than planned. 

If you’re set on sleeping on the floor, getting a cooling mattress is best. And make sure to avoid foam mattresses without cooling technologies, because they tend to trap heat.


A lack of air circulation can lead to another thing – mold. This is bound to happen if you live in a warm or humid climate. 

Elevating the mattress with a foundation or bed frame allows air to circulate, preventing the humidity buildup that causes these issues. 

When you get a proper bed base, you prevent the accumulation of sweat and body oils, let the air out naturally, and there’s way less chance of getting a moldy mattress! 

Bed Bugs

When your bed is close to the floor, the chances of bugs climbing on it are higher. 

Bed bugs, in particular, find it simpler to jump on and burrow in when the bed is at ground level. 

So, if you don’t want dust mites, spiders, ants, fleas, termites, roaches, beetles, silverfish, and bed bugs to access your sleep space, you should keep your mattress off the ground! 

Not the Best for Side Sleepers

Putting your mattress directly on the floor can make it feel firmer, which is not the best scenario for side sleepers. 

While a firm mattress might feel comfortable for some, side sleepers typically require softer support that contours to their hips and shoulders. 

A firmer mattress won’t let their hips and shoulders sink in, leading to discomfort and inadequate pressure relief.

You might want to rethink keeping your mattress on the floor if you’re a side sleeper. 

It Can Be Hard to Get Out of Bed

The floor might not be the best place to put a mattress for those with mobility issues, especially seniors or those with chronic pain. 

A low bed can make getting in and out of it awkward and challenging. This could even increase the risk of balance issues or falls during the process. 

For those with mobility issues, having a bed frame for your mattress might be best. 

You Risk Voiding the Warranty

And finally, you risk voiding your mattress warranty if you place a mattress directly on the bedroom floor. 

Many mattress manufacturers specify that their products should be used on a compatible bed frame or base. Most warranties caution against utilizing the mattress directly on the ground, as it may lead to damage and early wear.

Tips for Placing a Mattress on the Floor

Putting your bed on the floor can lead to more than a couple of problems, but there are ways to prevent or help with these issues. We have some tips if you want to place your mattress on the floor. 

Check Your Warranty

As mentioned before, most mattress companies advise against keeping your mattress on the floor, and doing it anyway can void your mattress warranty. 

So, before you remove your bed frame, check the warranty guidelines and see what they say about keeping your mattress on the floor. 

Use a Mattress Protector

If you’re placing your bed on the floor, it’s a good idea to use a mattress protector or a mattress encasement to keep it safe from dust, dust mites, dirt, and bacteria on the ground. This protective layer helps maintain mattress hygiene and quality. Remember to choose a breathable protector that fits your mattress size. 

Flat Surface

It’s crucial to always place your mattress on a flat surface for proper support and comfort. Uneven floors, such as those in old houses, can lead to improper weight distribution and affect spinal alignment. 

Also, go for a finished surface like tile or hardwood because there’s less risk of mold or mildew forming on your mattress. 

Cardboard or Foam

If your bedroom has hardwood or tiled floors, you can enhance your mattress-on-floor setup by adding a thin layer of cardboard, foam, or plywood underneath. This insulation helps prevent excessive heat loss and keeps you warm during the colder months. 

Air It Out Once a Week

To prevent moisture-related issues like mold and mildew growth when using a mattress on the floor, ensure you air it regularly. Lean your mattress against a wall for a few hours a week to let both sides breathe. 

Doing this helps reduce the risk of trapped moisture and improves sleep quality. And you can wash your bedding while you’re at it! 

Pick a Spot With Good Airflow

When choosing a spot to place your mattress on the floor, opt for an area with good airflow. While positioning it in front of a window has advantages and disadvantages, aim for a location that allows some air circulation. 

Just ensure not to put it in direct sunlight because higher temperatures can age your mattress faster.

Your Sleeping Position

Before placing your mattress on the floor, consider your sleeping position, especially if you’re a side sleeper. Putting a mattress on the floor makes the sleeping surface feel firmer, which might not be best for your hips and shoulders. 

Also, back and stomach sleepers might require fewer or no pillows when sleeping on the floor.

Keep the Floor Clean

Maintaining a clean sleep environment becomes crucial when placing your mattress on the floor. When you’re done cleaning, ensure the floor is dry before putting the mattress back because humidity can lead to mold, especially when there’s no airflow. And remember to keep your mattress clean too! 

Frequently Asked Questions

Will Putting My Mattress on the Floor Void My Warranty?

Placing your bed on the floor might not necessarily void the mattress’s warranty, but checking the terms is essential. Some warranties could require specific support. Stay informed to ensure your warranty stays valid!

Can You Put a Memory Foam Mattress on the Floor?

You can put a foam mattress on the floor, but there are certain risks you should keep in mind. If there’s no proper airflow, memory foam mattresses can develop mold. 

So, even though it needs the firm support the floor can give, you should avoid putting your foam mattress on the floor and opt for a bed frame instead. 

Can You Put a Box Spring on the Floor?

The floor and box spring can provide a solid base for your mattress, and many people opt for this setup for its simplicity and cost-effectiveness. Remember, box springs are built to be used with a bed frame, and a bit of elevation can help with airflow and prevent moisture. 

Final Thoughts 

Placing your mattress on the floor can be a game-changer if you’re into that minimalistic feel and are okay with the lack of elevation. It’s budget-friendly and can even be good for your spine. 

However, watch out for potential dampness and dust, and consider whether you’re comfortable. 

So, do you want to get a bed frame or be more down to earth? 

The choice is all yours, and it depends on your preferences. We wish you a good night’s sleep! 

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.