How to Store a Mattress So It Stays Comfortable—and Dust-Free

You're going to need to clear out some space.

<p>Triocean/Getty Images</p>

Triocean/Getty Images

You may have a mattress that isn't being put to good use at the moment. Perhaps your guest room won't be seeing a lot of guests for a while, you're waiting for your big move, or a college student coming home for the summer needs a spot to stash their mattress over the summer. But figuring out how to store a mattress—particularly a bulky-sized queen or king—can be a challenge.

Learn how you can store your mattress safely, so it's fresh and ready to go.

What to Consider When You're Storing a Mattress

How long are you storing it? How large is the mattress? What kind of room do you have for storing it

How to Store a Mattress Properly

There's more to storing a mattress than just moving it out of the bedroom—though that alone could take plenty of muscle! Try these tips to ensure that your mattress is safely stashed.

Clean it before you store it

Related: How to Clean Your Mattress Without Harsh Chemicals

Your mattress may be harboring dust mites, stains, crumbs, or other ick factors that could attract pests or damage the mattress while it's in storage, so it's best to make sure it's clean before you put it away.

First, remove all the bedding and mattress covers. Vacuum the mattress on all sides, and treat stains with a stain removal pen, a paste of mild laundry detergent, or another stain remover. You should also sprinkle your mattress with baking soda, let it sit for 30 minutes, then vacuum again to help deodorize your mattress.

Don't get your mattress too wet

Try to minimize the amount of water you use to clean the mattress, and make sure that it dries thoroughly before you store it. Mold could develop in your mattress if you leave it damp.

Store your mattress flat, if at all possible

Storing your mattress propped up against a wall or folded can make it much easier to store, but it puts your mattress in danger of becoming damaged and uncomfortable to sleep on—especially if your mattress is a traditional spring-style or filled with a natural fiber filling. Your mattress isn't meant to spend weeks or months on its side, and that can damage the structure and integrity of your mattress.

Consider the temperature and humidity where you store your mattress

Dampness and temperature extremes can damage your mattress and allow mold to grow. (In other words, unless you're totally sure your dehumidifier game is on point, nix the basement as a potential storage space.) For memory foam mattresses in particular, hot temps could degrade the memory foam.

If you don't have a safe space in your home, a climate-controlled storage unit can ensure that your stored mattress remains in good shape.

Keep your mattress off the ground

Ideally, place your mattress up a bit, whether on a wooden pallet or on a bed frame or other elevated (yet supportive) surface. That allows your mattress to have air circulating on all sides—and makes it a little harder for moisture or pests to get to it.

Invest in a good mattress cover

We're not talking about the kind you use to protect your mattress from everyday use. There are specific mattress covers that are used when mattresses are in storage. For shorter term storage, a cardboard box sized for your mattress could do the job effectively. If you'll be measuring the storage time in months, opt for a bag designed for mattress storage. They will protect your mattress, and make it easier for you to move them.

Look for a mattress cover with handles

The handles will make moving your mattress back into place much easier for you and your moving buddies.

There are vacuum seal bags for memory foam mattresses, that allow you to remove the air from the mattress and roll it up so it's super compact and looks like your mattress likely arrived on your doorstep. This is a great (and cost-saving) way to store a mattress for the a month or two, but for long-term storage, it may result in your mattress not recovering its shape when its removed from the vacuum bag.

Avoid piling things on top of the stored mattress

It can be oh-so-tempting to use that precious real estate on top of the stored mattress to stack other boxes and storage items, but that constant pressure and weight on the mattress can damage it—especially if the weight isn't evenly distributed.

Your best bet: Put down the boxes and other to-be-stored items first, trying to maintain an even, level surface from box pile to box pile. Then, place the mattress on top of it on your pallet or other storage structure, so it keeps your mattress well supported.

How to Refresh a Stored Mattress

A mattress that's been stuck in storage for months should get a refresh before you put it out for someone to sleep on again.

Let the mattress air out

While your mattress is being stored, open the zipper to let it air out for a few hours every few months, to help allow any trapped moisture out of the mattress bag. You'll want to do this again for a few days before you bring it back into your space.

Inspect the mattress

Look the mattress over for any signs of mold, pests, or new stains that have cropped up while it's stored. You'll want to treat any of those issues before you bring the mattress back to be used.

Sprinkle on some baking soda, then vacuum

Follow the same pre-storage refreshing method: Sprinkle the mattress with baking soda, let it sit for a half hour, and then vacuum it thoroughly. You'll want to do this treatment to both sides of the mattress to refresh it.

Then, you're ready to make up the bed beautifully for you or a guest to enjoy.

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