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How to Store a Mattress

Krista Diamond | September 12, 2017 @ 9:34 AM

Mattresses are essential and expensive, and yet they end up discarded in the strangest places. You see them slumped against dumpsters or strewn about in downtown alleyways. Sometimes they even wind up on the side of the highway. If you’d like to spare your mattress from meeting a similarly bleak fate, it’s important that you not only choose a great storage facility when the time comes to store it, but that you know how to store it correctly in the first place.

From cleaning to transporting to choosing the right storage unit, here’s everything you need to know about storing your mattress.

Clean It

Admit it; you’ve never even thought about cleaning your mattress. It doesn’t fit in your washing machine, there’s no way to reach the inside of it with a sponge and it’s not exactly a piece of furniture that’s meant to be aesthetically pleasing in the first place.

But before you store your mattress, you’ve got to clean it. Fortunately, the process is actually insanely easy. Just remove the linens and cover and do the following to each side:

  • Vacuum

  • Sprinkle baking soda and let sit for 15 minutes

  • Vacuum again

  • Spot clean stains with detergent, water and a sponge

  • For tougher stains, use hydrogen peroxide mixed with liquid dish soap and the rough side of a sponge

After cleaning, let the mattress air dry for several days in the sunniest room of your house.


Cleaning the mattress is the most important part of the storage process, and that’s already over! Now it’s time to buy a mattress cover that’s specifically meant for storage. You can use heavy duty plastic, but mattress covers are crazy cheap and more effective.


To avoid the whole mattress on the side of the highway fiasco, take the time to know what you’re doing when you transport your mattress to your storage unit. Or if you have little confidence in your abilities (no judgment), hire a moving company or rent a truck from your storage facility.

If you have no choice but to transport your mattress by strapping it to the roof of your car, here’s how to do it:

  • Buy enough nylon rope to wrap around the length of your mattress at least three times

  • Place one piece of rope lengthwise on top of your car

  • Place mattress on top of your car (and on top of that first piece of rope)

  • Roll down windows

  • String ropes through each window and tie horizontally on top of the mattress

  • Weave the first lengthwise rope through the horizontal ropes and tie on top

  • Reinforce with tape and ties

If you fail to do this correctly, you may get a ticket—or worse, the mattress may fly off of your car.

Once you’re 100% sure that the mattress is 100% secure, drive to the storage facility. Drive slowly and take back roads, or at least surface streets instead of the highway.

At The Storage Facility

Store the mattress flat. This will preserve its shape. You might consider storing it on top of something, like a wood pallet or other items in your storage unit. If in the rare event that water or pests enter your storage unit, this will keep the mattress safe. Consider a storage unit with climate control to prevent any moisture from damaging your mattress. Most importantly, don’t put anything on top of the mattress. This will help it last as long as it’s supposed to.

Alternatives to Storage

If you’re storing a mattress that you probably won’t use again, there are other options besides letting it sit in your storage unit for years.

If the mattress is clean and in great shape, contact a local women’s shelter or a charity that helps homeless people find transitional housing. Often, these organizations will be glad to take your mattress off of your hands.

Another option is to recycle your mattress. Get in touch with your town’s recycling center to see if they accept mattresses. You might also look into less common options, like this company that turns used mattresses into casket linings.

If you’re not sure which charities or recycling centers to reach out to, ask your storage facility’s manager for suggestions. You might even find that your storage facility partners with a few local charities or recycling programs.

In any case, getting rid of a mattress you no longer need will free up room in your storage unit so that you can use that space for something you actually want to store. That’s just self storage common sense.

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