Did you know that people spend more than one-third of their life sleeping (or attempting to do so)? Recent studies have shown that the average American will spend no less than 36 years in bed during their lifetime, which can only mean that the importance of a quality mattress should never be overlooked. It is well-known that a good mattress is a valuable investment, especially if you have joint issues or TMJ, one that can last anywhere from 10 to 15 years if properly maintained.
Because it is both costly and time-consuming to find the right mattress that suits your needs, it makes perfect sense that you want to take good care of it and keep it safe when it’s not being used. Whether you’re moving cross-country, renovating or downsizing, there will most likely come a time in your life when you will need to put your mattress in a storage unit. However, incorrect storage without proper protection can permanently damage your beloved mattress. If you want to expand the longevity of your bed, check out the following tips and find out how to store your mattress correctly:
1. Clean it Thoroughly
Just like we regularly wash our bedding, the mattress itself needs some good cleaning as well, especially prior to storing it away for some time. Putting dirty mattresses in a storage unit can easily result in mold or fungus since we know that they are notorious for collecting dust mites and other allergens in their many cracks and crevices. To avoid this problem, make sure to give your mattress a thorough cleaning and airing out.
The easiest method is to vacuum it on both sides once you strip all bedding and remove it from the bed frame. To absorb any lingering odors, you can sprinkle some baking soda on the exterior and let it sit for a little while and then vacuum it again. You can also apply an upholstery cleaner with a brush and then allow the mattress to dry completely, preferably for at least one day.
2. Wrap & Secure It
Once it’s properly cleaned and dry, you should wrap your precious mattress in durable plastic sheets to make sure nothing comes into contact with the surface while in storage. Try getting large sheets that can be folded around the mattress and tape them down as securely as possible, while paying extra attention to the edges and corners since those spots are most likely to be bumped during transportation.
For long-time storage, you should consider purchasing a mattress bag, as it is designed to ensure the product stays dry and no mold appears. Regularly airing out the mattress is also necessary if you’re planning to keep it in storage for a long time, so go ahead and open the plastic wrapping every few months and reseal it entirely afterward.
3. Lay it Flat
You may be tempted to prop the mattress on its side to save space inside the storage unit, but that is a huge mistake that you want to avoid making. It’s okay to transport it upright, but you should never store a mattress in that position for an extended time because it will inevitably settle out of its proper position and the cushion will be permanently damaged. Therefore, once you place your mattress inside the unit, make sure to lay it completely flat to mimic its natural positioning. This will keep the padding in place and prevent the fabric from sagging.
4. Keep the top clear
Keeping a mattress in a storage unit takes up more space than you’d expect, namely up to one-third of an average 10×10 unit. Once again, you will want to save cherished space and store other items on top of your mattress, especially if you lay it flat as it was previously advised – but this is a big no-no. First, it is not a steady surface and objects can easily cause cuts and dents in the cushioning. Moreover, heavier items will cause your mattress to compress over time and it will lead to permanent impressions, making it difficult to use later.
As an alternative, if you are particularly short on storage space, you can try to place your mattress on top of some flat boxes, or purchase a plywood board and rest it on top of not-fragile boxes that can handle heavier weight.
5. Opt for climate-control
The most feared enemy of a mattress is humidity. To avoid this threat, you must make sure it stays dry during its time in storage. The safest option is to choose a climate-controlled storage unit which will ensure your precious belonging doesn’t fall victim to mildew or even freeze damage. A temperature-controlled space will help keep dampness from causing an issue and avoid extreme temperatures altogether, having just enough heat in the winter but staying cool during the summer.
Keeping a quality mattress in a perfectly usable condition for a long time is not an impossible task, and its longevity depends entirely on how well you take care of it. As long as you follow the practices above, you should be able to keep yours safe and intact, and when you’re ready to put it to use again, a quick freshening up will make it look as good as new.