Bed-in-a-box mattress on the floor

Is It Okay to Put Your New Mattress on the Floor?

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Feature image credit: Thomas Duff, Flickr

The best place to put your new bed-in-a-box mattress is on a foundation.

Depending on your preferences, the type of the mattress and its weight, it can be a box spring, a flat platform, a slatted foundation or an adjustable base.

But what if you have none of those? Can you set up your new online mattress on the floor?

In most cases yes, it is perfectly okay to put your new mattress on the floor as long as it is a completely flat and dry surface.

But check the manufacturer requirements before you do so. More specifically, check the warranty.

Some manufacturers specify what kind of setup you should have for the warranty to be valid.

Some warranties require a specific kind of foundation while most give customers the option of using any kind of foundation as long as it provides sturdy support.

If your mattress is thick and heavy, the warranty most likely requires that the foundation have center support. It may also recommend against a conventional box spring.

If the warranty says that the mattress must be on a stable and study foundation, don’t put it on the floor. It will void the warranty and you may not be eligible for a free return.

If the warranty says you can use it on the floor or doesn’t specify any setup requirements, you can go ahead and sleep on the floor.

If you decide to put the mattress on the floor, there are a couple things to keep in mind.

Mold and Mildew

The main disadvantage of putting a mattress on the floor is reduced airflow.

On a foundation or platform, the mattress can breathe from all sides including the bottom. This maintains good airflow, ensuring you sleep cool and preventing moisture buildup in the mattress.

Moisture creates an environment for mold and mildew which can cause headaches, a stuffy nose, watery eyes and dry skin.

To avoid this, occasionally air the mattress by leaning it vertically against the wall. Make sure the room is well ventilated.

Also consider leaving the mattress uncovered on some days to let it breathe from the top.

Bacteria and Allergens

Dust mites are common unseen allergens in mattresses.
Dust mites are common unseen allergens in mattresses.

The other risk of putting the mattress on the floor is critters and allergens.

Your mattress will have a larger population of dust mites, pet dander, pollen, dust, bacteria and fungi compared to a mattress on a foundation.

I highly recommend using a mattress protector. It will prevent most of these allergens from settling in your mattress and you can easily wash it as often as necessary.

Get a waterproof mattress protector that is also anti-allergen and antibacterial.

On those days when you don’t wash the mattress protector, run over it with a vacuum cleaner fitted with an upholstery attachment.

A small handheld vacuum cleaner also works great for capturing tiny allergens.

Make sure you also keep the floor itself clean. Vacuum it regularly. If it is a hard floor, mop at least once a week.

Staying Warm

Sleeping on the floor is going to expose you to lower temperatures especially if it is a tile or vinyl floor. Spaces under doors can also carry cold drafts into the room.

The best way to keep the cold down is to use a buffer between the mattress and the floor. A piece of cardboard should help.

You can also try putting the mattress on a carpet or rug instead of directly on a hard floor.

Frequently Asked Questions about Sleeping on the Floor

Will putting the mattress on the floor affect its comfort or firmness?

No, it will not. The mattress will feel just as soft or firm as it would have felt up on a platform.

But that doesn’t mean the sleeping experience will be the same.

You might feel colder (for reasons mentioned above) and you may experience allergy-like symptoms because of the dust, pollen and dust mites.

Will putting a mattress on the floor reduce its lifespan?

Not really. The floor provides the same level of support as a foundation.

The only thing that might slightly reduce lifespan is the lack of airflow. Some foams and particularly memory foam can deteriorate when there’s too much heat.

Remember to raise your mattress regularly to air it out.

Will sleeping on the floor cause any damage to my mattress?

If you are not careful, your mattress can get mold and mildew damage because of trapped moisture. This can void the warranty.

That’s why you should regularly air the mattress.

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