How to Store a Mattress in a Garage: Practical Advice

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Are you looking to free up some storage space inside your home, but don’t know how to store a mattress in a garage or storage unit?

Storing a mattress in your garage can be a great option, but there are some essential steps to do first to keep your mattress in good condition. 

In this article, I’ll share some tips and best practices for storing a mattress in your garage, including how to prepare it, what to use to protect it from dust and pests, and how to check on it during storage. 

With these tips, it’ll make sure that your mattress stays clean, dry, and in great condition until you need it again.


How to Store a Mattress in a Garage

In the following section, we’ll walk you through the exact steps of how to store a mattress in a garage, ensuring it remains in great shape when you need it next.

Thoroughly Clean Your Mattress Properly Before Storage

Before you lug that heavy mattress into your garage for storage, you need to give it a thorough cleaning first. 

A dirty mattress will attract pests and rodents looking for a new home. Not only will this damage the mattress, but it will create extremely unsanitary conditions in your garage. 

Besides, a dirty mattress emits odors that linger in your garage, potentially damaging other items.

Cleaning your mattress before you store it will also help protect it from mold and mildew growth. Mold and mildew thrive in damp or humid conditions, creating odors that are difficult to remove.

Use a gentle cleaning solution to clean your mattress, avoiding harsh chemicals. These may damage the mattress or leave behind unpleasant odors. 

If you have a mattress topper, remove it before storage. Then, start by vacuuming the mattress with a handheld vacuum or vacuum attachment. This will help remove dust, dirt, or debris.

Next, spot-clean any stubborn stains with a mild detergent and water. Be sure to use a damp cloth and not to saturate the mattress with water.

Baking soda is a great way to deodorize your mattress. Simply sprinkle baking soda over the surface of the mattress, let it sit for a few hours, and then vacuum it up.

For urine or other bodily fluid stains, try an enzyme cleaner designed for household use. Enzyme cleaners break down the proteins in stains and odors, making them easier to remove.

Remember to avoid saturating the mattress with water. Because of how they’re manufactured, excess water can damage the mattress and promote mold and mildew growth.

Mattresses stacked in a garage

Choose the Right Storage Location

There are several factors to consider when selecting where to store your mattress. Whether your garage is a good or bad place to store your mattress depends on how well it meets these criteria. 

Choose a storage area that is dry, cool, and well-ventilated. Avoid damp or humid areas, which can promote mold and mildew growth. 

Temperature fluctuations can also damage your mattress. It’s best to choose a storage area that has a consistent temperature, ideally between 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit.

Most garages are prone to temperature fluctuations throughout the year. Additionally, they may not be as well-ventilated as other storage areas in your home. 

If your garage is not climate-controlled or is exposed to extreme temperatures, it may not be the best place to store your mattress.

Avoid dirty or dusty areas that will attract pests and rodents. A dusty or dirty garage isn’t ideal for storing a mattress you’ll be sleeping on down the road. 

Make sure the storage area is big enough to fit your mattress without bending or folding it. Bending or folding a mattress can damage the springs and make it uncomfortable to use in the future.

Use a cover or bag to keep your mattress clean and protect it from dust, pests, and other potential hazards. 

Finally, you’ll want to choose an area you can access easily. You’ll be checking in on your mattress periodically, and you don’t want to rearrange your entire garage to do it. 

If your garage doesn’t meet these criteria, consider other storage options, such as a spare room or a climate-controlled storage unit.


Use a Mattress Storage Bag in Your Garage

Thoroughly cleaning your mattress is only part of the preparation process. When storing it, you’ll have to protect it from dust, moisture, and bugs. 

There are several items you can use to do that. 

mattress protector or cover is a must-have item. It helps seal your mattress away from dust and dirt, as well as protect it from moisture and pests. 

A good-quality mattress protector should be made from a breathable material that allows air to circulate while fitting the mattress snugly.

If you don’t have a mattress protector or cover, you can use plastic wrap to protect your mattress from dust and moisture during storage. Just be sure to wrap your mattress tightly to prevent air or moisture from getting in.

Another option is to use a mattress bag

Mattress storage bags are made from heavy-duty materials that protect against moisture, dust, and pests. They also typically come with a zipper or closure that seals tightly to prevent pests from getting in.

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If you live in a humid area, consider using desiccants in addition to what we’ve discussed already. 

Desiccants are chemical compounds that absorb moisture from the air, such as silica gel or calcium chloride. You can find desiccant packets at many hardware stores or online. 

Place them around the mattress or inside the storage bag to help prevent moisture buildup.

Finally, using a pest repellent is a good idea to keep bugs and rodents away from your mattress during storage. 

Mothballs, cedar chips, or essential oils are all effective options for repelling pests. Place them around the mattress or inside the storage bag to keep pests away.


Storing Your Mattress Flat vs Upright

Choosing the correct orientation to store a mattress is vital for preserving its shape, comfort, and durability. The decision often boils down to the available space and the mattress type.

When possible, store your mattress flat rather than upright. 

It ensures an even weight distribution across the mattress, preventing it from shifting or sagging. Unfortunately, this will take up more space, which may not always be available, especially in smaller garages.

When storing a mattress flat, always support it evenly to prevent sagging or bending. 

Place the mattress on a flat surface, such as overhead storage racks or pallets, to provide support if possible. 

Storing a mattress upright can save space, but there are concerns with this method, especially if you’re storing the mattress long-term.

Over time, the internal layers of the mattress might shift, leading to uneven wear.

This is especially important for a memory foam mattress. Over time, the foam layers can easily compress and shift, potentially leading to permanent deformities.

If you must store your mattress upright, make sure that it is well-supported and not leaning against anything. A mattress stand will help ensure it’s not leaning or bending out of shape.

Similarly, never roll up a mattress when storing it.

Most mattresses are designed to be shipped, stored, and used flat. Rolling them up can cause the springs to become misaligned or compressed.


Check on Your Mattress During Long-Term Storage

It’s a good idea to check on your mattress in storage every 3 to 6 months, especially if it’s being stored for an extended period. This helps ensure it remains in good condition and doesn’t become home to any rodents or bugs. 

When checking on your mattress, examine it for any signs of damage, such as sagging, tears, or stains. Look for any signs of pest activity, such as droppings or damage to the mattress cover. 

If you notice any damage or signs of pests, address the issue immediately. Don’t wait.

Airing out your mattress during these check-ins is also a good idea. This will help remove any moisture that may have accumulated during storage. 

Generally speaking, most mattresses can be stored for 5 to 7 years without damaging them. 

However, it’s important to note that some types of mattresses, such as memory foam or latex mattresses, may be more susceptible to damage if stored for long periods.

Mattress stored in plastic bag

Can I Store My Mattress in a Storage Unit?

Yes, you can store a mattress in a storage unit. 

In fact, a climate-controlled storage facility can be an ideal place to store a mattress. It offers protection from the elements and pests while maintaining a consistent temperature and humidity level. 

Here are some tips to keep in mind when storing your mattress in a storage unit:

  1. Choose a climate-controlled storage unit: To protect your mattress from fluctuations in temperature and humidity, it’s crucial to choose a climate-controlled storage unit.
  2. Clean your mattress: Before storing your mattress, be sure to clean it thoroughly to remove any dirt, stains, or odors. This will help ensure that your bed remains in good condition during storage.
  3. Use a protective cover: Cover your mattress with a protective cover or bag to protect it from dust, dirt, and pests while in storage.
  4. Don’t stack heavy items on top: Avoid placing heavy objects on top of your mattress, as this can cause damage to the springs and affect its comfort.
  5. Store it flat: Store your mattress flat on a platform or pallet to prevent it from bending or folding, which can cause damage to the springs.
  6. Check on it regularly: Check your mattress regularly to ensure it remains in good condition during storage.

Can a Mattress Get Bed Bugs in a Garage?

Hopefully, this will never happen to you, but it’s worth mentioning. 

If you suspect your mattress has bed bugs, your primary goal is to prevent the infestation from spreading. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has very thorough guidelines about treating a mattress for beg bugs.

Start by isolating the mattress. Move it to a separate room, away from everything else in your home. 

Thoroughly vacuum the entire mattress surface. Pay close attention to seams and crevices where bed bugs may be hiding. 

When you’re finished vacuuming, immediately dispose of the vacuum bag in a sealed plastic bag.

Next, use a steam cleaner on the surface of the mattress. The high temperature will kill the bed bugs and their eggs. 

I highly recommend consulting with a professional pest control company if the infestation is severe or you can’t control it alone.

If the mattress is heavily infested, dispose of it. Be sure to wrap the mattress in plastic and label it as infested to prevent someone from mistakenly taking it.


Wrapping It Up

When storing a mattress in the garage, it’s essential to prepare it properly to help keep it in good condition. 

To do this, you should start by cleaning the mattress and removing any stains or odors. Next, you should protect the bed from dust, moisture, and bugs by using a mattress protector or cover, plastic wrap, or storage bags designed for mattresses. 

Desiccants and pest repellents can also protect the mattress during storage. When storing the mattress, it’s best to keep it flat on a platform or pallet to provide even support and prevent any sagging or bending.

We recommend inspecting it every 3 to 6 months for any signs of damage or pest activity. 

By following these tips and best practices, you can help ensure that your mattress remains in good condition during storage and is ready to use when you need it again.

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Tim Wells

Tim Wells, the founder of Garage Transformed, has been featured in dozens of home renovation publications, including BobVila.com, Home Stratosphere, House Digest, Livingetc, and SFGate. Since 2018, he has helped over two million people transform their everyday garages into something they can be proud of. He lives in Central Florida with his wife and bulldog.

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