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How to store a mattress in a garage

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If you need to store an old mattress, the garage is often a great place to hide it away until you’re ready to use it again. Knowing how to store your mattress correctly will help keep it in good condition and extend its lifespan.

The garage is a convenient place to store bulky items like mattresses, especially when space is at a premium in your home. Proper mattress storage is essential to maintain its shape, structure and quality. Following a few simple steps when storing your mattress will help keep it in good condition if you need to use it again.

Clean and organised garage

Should you store your mattress in the garage?

First, you must establish whether your garage is a suitable storage location for your mattress. Garages are often exposed to temperature and humidity changes, which can damage your mattress.

The storage location should be cool, dry, well-ventilated and moisture-free. There are several ways to improve the ventilation in your garage:

  • Open windows and doors to allow fresh air to circulate.
  • Use fans to circulate air and keep your garage cool.
  • Install vents on the garage walls or roof to bring in fresh air from the outside and allow stale inside air to escape.

Alternatively, you can store your mattress in a dry, spacious spare room or storage unit.

Prepare the space

Before you move your mattress into the garage, it helps to prepare the space beforehand. And since you’ll need a large area for the mattress, it may be a good opportunity to declutter and organise your garage.

Removing garage clutter reduces the risk of items falling and damaging the mattress. Store paint or hazardous chemicals elsewhere, and ensure sharp items like rakes and shovels are stored safely. You will also want to remove any items or food that can attract insects or vermin.

Keep all walkways through to the garage clear, removing any obstacles or clutter that might be in the way.

Clean your mattress

Over time, mattresses absorb moisture, dirt, dust, bodily oils and sometimes food and drink, all of which provide the ideal conditions for germs, bacteria and dust mites to thrive.

Storing your mattress provides the perfect opportunity to give it a good clean and help reduce the spread of bacteria.

Before cleaning and storing your mattress, always refer to the manufacturer’s care instructions.

  • First, strip the bed and wash all bedding.
  • Use a clean, soft brush to remove dust.
  • Gently vacuum the top surface of the mattress with a clean brush or upholstery attachment to remove dirt and debris. If the mattress contains loose fillings, avoid using a vacuum, as doing so can dislodge the fillings.
  • Spot-clean the mattress where necessary with a slightly damp cloth and mild detergent.
  • Sprinkle a thin layer of baking soda across the surface to soak up and absorb any lingering odours. Let it sit for a few hours before removing the baking soda residue.
  • Allow the mattress to air for several hours.

Protect the mattress

After cleaning your mattress, ensure it is well wrapped to prevent it from dirt, dust, and moisture while in storage. You can cover your mattress with a breathable polythene bag to ensure it remains clean and dry.

Place the bag over the mattress, ensuring it is sealed securely to prevent the bag from slipping off. Some mattress bags have zipped covers or easy-to-seal strips to keep them in place. Otherwise, you can seal the bag with strong, durable packaging tape. Avoid wrapping the mattress too tightly, as this can distort the mattress’s shape, and moisture may get trapped inside the bag.  

Folding or bending the mattress

As tempting as it may seem, avoid folding, bending, dragging or rolling the mattress as this may dislodge the fillings, damage the mattress and invalidate its guarantee or warranty.

Moving a mattress

Moving a mattress from one place to another can be challenging, especially when you have to negotiate doorways, staircases, and tight corners. Don’t move the mattress by yourself. Ask someone to help you with the lifting. Most mattresses come with handles. However, the handles should only be used to position the mattress on its foundation rather than for lifting.

Lay the mattress flat

The mattress should be kept flat and supported at all times. Avoid propping the mattress up on its side. Whilst this may save space, it will put unnecessary strain on the mattress, which may cause it to sag or lose its shape.

You should also avoid placing the mattress directly on the floor, which restricts the ventilation underneath. Poor ventilation provides the perfect conditions for mould and mildew to thrive. Your mattress may also be exposed to bugs, pests, or a damp floor underneath.

The mattress should be raised off the ground and placed on an even surface that allows air to circulate freely underneath. Also, consider placing a breathable blanket or cover on the foundation to protect the mattress.

Finally, avoid stacking other items on top of the mattress. Heavy or sharp items, in particular, can leave permanent marks or indentations. 

Mattress disposal

If you’re unlikely to use the mattress again, there are plenty of ways to get rid of it. If your mattress is in good condition, you could give it to someone. You could also donate it to a local charity like the Heart Foundation.

Another option is to contact your local council, who may dispose of the mattress for a small charge. Finally, you could use a private recycling service, which seems more appealing than a mattress going to landfill.   

Final thoughts

Proper storage ensures your mattress remains in good condition. Remember to check your mattress periodically when in storage to ensure there is no moisture or mould and that everything is ok.

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About the author

Tony Brown is the founder and creator of The Bed Consultant. His career in the bed industry began in 2002. After graduating from university with a degree in Business Administration, Tony joined one of the largest independent furniture retailers in the UK as a bed consultant. Tony has helped thousands of customers find the perfect mattress.

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