One of the most common questions we hear about mattresses is, “Can I put my mattress on the floor?’ Whether people want to save on the cost of a bed frame and box spring or just like the look of a mattress directly on the floor, many want to know if it’s safe and hygienic to sleep like this.
The short answer is that, yes, you can put your mattress on the floor, especially for the short term. If you sleep better with it down there or you’re waiting for the rest of your bed, there’s no reason to miss out on using your nice mattress. However, there are also some issues with putting your mattress on the floor. Let’s dive in.
Mattresses are known for collecting dust and dust mites, which are small bugs that feed off the dust. When you put your mattress on the floor, you’re putting it that much closer to where the dust collects. A raised mattress will collect dust more slowly, simply because it’s not on the ground where dust settles.
Dust and dust mites can cause severe allergic reactions in some people and moderate allergies for many. Even if you don’t have allergies, inhaling all of that dust can leave its mark on your respiratory system.
If you choose to put your mattress on the floor, be prepared to clean your bed often. You’ll also want to vacuum around it rather than sweeping, so you don’t raise even more dust that can then settle on your bed.
Another danger of putting your mattress on the floor is that it will get moldy. This is particularly true for beds that don’t breathe well on their own, like memory foam, latex, or hybrid beds. However, if you live somewhere humid, even an innerspring mattress, which usually has good airflow, can end up moldy. Not sure how a mattress would get moldy? Well, most people sweat in their sleep. Even if you’re not aware of it, you likely sweat at least a little. When you’re in deep sleep, your body lowers its temperature, and one of the most efficient ways for it to do that is for you to sweat out the extra heat.
If your bed is raised and on a box spring or a platform that allows for proper ventilation, the sweat will dry. But if the moisture can’t escape your bed, it can stay there and, over time, help produce mold and mildew.
This can be exacerbated by putting the bed on an older floor. Old floors may hold dormant mold spores. Putting the bed on these and adding moisture can be a bad combination.
If you’re going to put your mattress directly on the floor, at least put it on top of a layer of thick cardboard. This won’t help it air out, but it can help keep mold spores from getting to your bed.
If your bed is on the floor, it’s that much more accessible to pests. This includes bugs, rodents and, in some locations, even snakes. They may be attracted to the scent of sweat coming from your bed, or any moisture that’s there, or to the warmth. No matter the reason, you probably don’t want to sleep with these critters!
You will be more likely to get pests in your bed if your room is on the ground floor, if it is close to a kitchen or pantry, and if you don’t clean often.
In fact, you can go far towards keeping the animals away by making sure your mattress and the area around it stay clean. This means cleaning up any late-night snacks, or even not eating in bed at all. It also means a commitment to keeping your room clean, so there’s nothing in there to draw the pests in.
If you want or need to put your mattress on the floor, you can. Just take the above things into consideration first. Make sure you put your mattress on a layer of something, rather than directly on the floor. Plan to clean the mattress often, and keep the area around the bed clean. Then, see how it works for you!