A good-quality mattress isn't cheap, but if you take good care of it, it should last anywhere between 10 and 15 years.
If you need to store a mattress, following some basic guidelines will help ensure that it remains clean and comfortable, and has many years of use left, after it's removed from storage.
How to clean a mattress before storing it
It's important that you thoroughly clean a mattress before putting it in storage. Residual dirt, dust mites, other insects and mildew can all wreak havoc on a mattress if left unchecked.
To clean a mattress, use upholstery cleaner to remove any stains, and then allow it to dry fully. If you have a clothing steamer, go over the mattress with it to kill dust mites.
If you're worried about lingering odours, mix a few drops of an essential oil, such as lavender oil, with a box of baking soda and sprinkle this over the entire mattress. Thoroughly vacuum up the baking soda after 30 minutes or so, and repeat on the other side of the mattress.
After you've cleaned the mattress, vacuum it again, using your vacuum's upholstery attachment to get into every seam and crevice.
How to protect a mattress
You can protect your mattress from moisture, dirt, dust, rodents and insects by sealing it in plastic during storage.
Ideally, get a high-quality mattress bag with tiny holes for airflow – these are inexpensive and will allow the mattress to breathe. Otherwise, use light, breathable plastic. Avoid thick vinyl mattress covers because these trap moisture.
Before buying a mattress storage bag, measure your bed (including its depth) to make sure that you choose a bag that's big enough.
Make sure that your mattress is clean and completely dry before sealing it in the bag, and then secure the cover with tape. Always apply the protective cover before removing the mattress from your home – this will keep it clean and protected during transportation, as well as once it's in storage.
Storing a mattress correctly
When storing a mattress, always lay it flat. It's fine to carry or transport a mattress vertically, but it should be stored in its natural position to protect the coils from settling out of place.
Avoid placing anything heavy on top of the mattress. Doing this may strain and damage the springs. A memory foam mattress, in particular, is susceptible to warping, and will conform to the shape of anything placed on top of it.
If you have limited storage space, you can keep a mattress on top of other furnishings – but ensure that the mattress remains flat and level.
Where to store a mattress
The best environment for storing a mattress is one that's not exposed to temperature fluctuations and that's low in humidity. This will safeguard your mattress against moisture damage.
If possible, avoid storing your mattress in an attic, cellar or garage, because these spaces are often humid or damp. If you do have to keep a mattress in this type of environment, it's a good idea to use a dehumidifier to regulate the humidity level.
XtraSpace specialises in providing secure, affordable self-storage units, ideal for storing furniture and other personal items. Contact us for more information or visit our list of branches to find a branch near you.