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How to Store a Mattress: A Quick Guide

Your quick guide on how to store a mattress – essential reading for anyone in the process of moving (or who needs to clear up some bedroom space, stat)!

How to Store a Mattress

Whether you’re in the process of moving or simply want to clear up some space, knowing how to store an item as big (and expensive) as a mattress can feel intimidating. If you live in a small space, storing an extra mattress can seem impossible. For the best easy hacks (that don’t involve costly storage garages) to get your mattress safely out of sight and out of mind in no time at all, follow these tips:

  • Use a plastic bag. Make sure the bag is tight (not loose). If you can’t find a bag tight enough for your mattress’s size, it may be easier to source a large sheet of plastic to wrap around the mattress with packing tape (as tightly as possible). Storing a mattress in tight plastic will help ensure that environs like dust don’t get trapped in the mattress. Also, make sure the type of plastic you use is thin enough so that the mattress can still breathe (while being wrapped tightly). (In case we forgot to mention it: wrap the mattress tightly!)
  • Store it flat on the ground. It’s tempting to want to prop the mattress upright on its side (as you, perhaps, would with a mattress topper). The importance of keeping a mattress flat, though, can’t be overstated, especially if you’re working with an innerspring mattress: springs, affected by gravity, can loosen, slide around, or, even worse, fall out of place.
  • Store it under your bed. For this method, you’ll have to have a high-enough bed. (Don’t bother trying to squeeze your mattress in – doing so will just damage the structure). If your bed isn’t high enough, consider bed risers, which you can read more about here.

Can You Fold a Mattress?

Technically, you can, but realistically, it’s hard – and actually not widely recommended due to the potential for damage. If you’re dealing with an innerspring mattress, the answer is a blunt ‘no,’ since innersprings are not designed to be bent out of their natural shape (and doing so will destroy the composition). If you’re dealing with a memory foam mattress, the answer is a bit vaguer.

Memory foam mattresses aren’t composed of a steel framework like innerspring mattresses are. Instead, they contain layers of foam (and sometimes gel). This makes maneuvering memory foam mattresses easier, since foam is light, soft and moldable. If you are wondering if you can fold a memory foam mattress, whether for storage or moving purposes, first and foremost, check the mattress’s tags, manual and any other warranty or general documentation it came with – follow the manufacturer’s recommendations; if they say folding is not recommended, then don’t fold.

If nowhere on the foam mattress’s instructions does it say you can’t fold the mattress, then folding is possible. Just make sure the mattress isn’t considered “thick;” the thinner your foam mattress, the easier and safer it will be to fold. (Before folding, be advised: folding any type of mattress, whether foam or otherwise, can compromise structural integrity; fold at your own risk, and limit the time the mattress is folded.) To fold a memory foam mattress: After placing the mattress over a piece of storage plastic large enough to cover the entire mattress, fold the mattress and wrap the plastic over it. (To limit the risk of injury, have someone help you fold by sitting on or holding down one end of the mattress while you fold over the opposite end.)

How to Store a Mattress Topper

Mattress toppers are great for adding extra support or comfort to a mattress, and generally make an old mattress feel new again without having to spend a boatload. Toppers are also the perfect solution for overnight guests who may not feel accustomed to the mattress you have for them. (Perhaps the mattress is too firm or soft for their comfort.) If you own a topper for occasional use (such as when guests arrive), you may need to keep it in storage for extended periods. Whatever your reason for owning an extra topper, storage is simple; in fact, storing a mattress topper is the easier way (when compared to storing the actual mattress). If you have to choose between storing or moving a mattress or topper, go with the topper – it’s slimmer, lighter, and easier to maneuver.

To store a mattress topper: Keep it in the vacuum-sealed bag it came in, and if you don’t have the original packaging, a plastic mattress bag will also work. Keep the topper in a flat position (try not to bend it) upright against a wall or horizontal on the floor. The best places for storage will be anywhere that’s out of direct sunlight and away from dust and mildew, such as a clean closet or under-bed compartment.

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Editorial Disclaimer: Articles featuring tips and advice are intended for educational purposes and only as general recommendations. Always practice personal discretion when using and caring for furniture, decor and related items.