Menu

Can You Put A Mattress On The Floor? Assessing the Risks and Alternatives

Updated January 14, 2020

Can you place a mattress on the floor? At first glance this question seems to offer a fairly simple yes or no answer, however, the answer is a little more complicated than that. Overall a flat surface is a proper, supportive foundation for your mattress, and placing it directly on the floor shouldn’t be problematic.

But there are a few things you should take into consideration before making this a permanent resting place for your mattress. Sometimes using a traditional bed or mattress platform isn’t possible. Perhaps you just moved and do not have the furniture purchased yet, or maybe it just isn’t in the budget. No matter the reason, there is no reason why you simply CANNOT place your mattress on the ground, but there is a reason why beds, box springs, and mattress foundations are generally a part of the whole sleeping experience.

You might be interested in: How to Store a Mattress: A Simple Guide

 

boxspring (such named because they used to have springs, but many no longer so), or platform is used to provide the proper support for your mattress. Depending on the type of mattress you have, it may require varying degrees of support. For example, a foam mattress requires a platform which has very closely spaced wooden slats for the mattress to rest upon. Whereas an innerspring mattress provides enough internal, support to only need a box spring.

These do more than raise up your mattress to a more comfortable sitting surface, they also allow airflow through your mattress for both comfort and hygienic reasons. This is important because heat and moisture from your body is drawn through the mattress materials and should dissipate into the surrounding environment. Providing proper aeration beneath your mattress is an important part of most mattress air flow systems. When you place your mattress directly upon a flat, unbreathable flat surface, some of this heat and moisture can become trapped, and become a problem over time. This also may void your mattress warranty if proper steps are not taken.

 

Mattress Floor Risks & How to Avoid Them

  • Dust particles, dust mites, and allergens all rest upon the floor. Resting your mattress alongside them puts you in closer contact to this, so you should make sure to keep your floor area well vacuumed and dusted.
  • As mentioned, raising up your bed allows for increased airflow, and when you sleep your body heat and moisture can become trapped within the materials. This is especially true in humid climates. With no place to dissipate, it can cause mildews and molds to form. Make sure to raise up your mattress regularly (at least once a week) to allow moisture buildup to escape.
  • Insects are also more likely to be upon the ground and can more easily make their way into your bed. Snakes also look for areas to hide under or next to (such as between a mattress and a wall). By keeping your area well cleaned and clutter free, you can avoid the worst of the creepy-crawlies, but just take precautions against anything you may not want to be sharing your bed with.
  • You should try to avoid placing your mattress directly on the carpet, or flooring surface, and lay down a buffer of cardboard or even inexpensive foam. This will help insulate against cold and heat during extreme temperatures through the year.

 

What if I Do Rest the Mattress Directly on the Floor?

Although I’ve provided some simple solutions above, you need to further consider the differences between some mattress material and their specific needs.

waterbed mattress

Image Source

If you have a waterbed, using a hard-side waterbed mattress directly on the floor is never a good suggestion. The moisture generated from the temperature fluctuations within the bed is going to become problematic fairly quickly upon your flooring surface.
Tempur-Pedic Mattress

Placing memory foam, or Tempur-Pedic mattresses on the floor will not alter or ruin your mattress support in any way, but remember when I mentioned how your body heat and moisture can become trapped within mattress materials? Foams are particularly susceptible to this, and can even begin to break down if not allowed to breathe. Take extra special precautions to allow regularly added airflow to your mattress to avoid future issues.
latex mattress

Placing a latex mattress on the floor can have similar consequences without the added airflow, so be sure to tip your mattress up against a wall for an extended period at least once a week. This is also a great time to take advantage of cleaning and dusting.

Tips for Floor Care

If you plan on placing your mattress on the floor no matter what, you’ll want to consider overall mattress breathability since this really can be the biggest problem you will face overall. But you also need to consider the resting surface. Dormant mold spores in carpeting and flooring can lead to problems even with proper mattress care habits, and combined with a warmer, more humid environment you will create using a mattress- you’ll want to take extra care.

linoleum surfaces ready for cleaning

Hardwood or linoleum surfaces should be cleaned and dried with a bleach solution to kill off any lingering bacterias. Doing this each time you allow your mattress to breathe out should keep any problems from occurring.

cleaning the carpet

Carpets should be well cleaned and also you need to take care that they are dry before mattress placement

boxspring for airflow

As mentioned, placing a barrier under your mattress is probably your smartest move in order to provide insulation, but it also can add in a bit of airflow, and keep any sort of inadvertent toxins from building up directly upon the mattress bottom.

 

Mattresses to Consider for Floor Placement

Follows is a list of highly breathable mattresses that would do better than others currently on the market to use directly on the floor. The heat retention of materials can be the biggest problem with airflow and some mattress do a better job of releasing heat, and moisture, than others. Innerspring mattresses naturally have more open spaces and may be the better choice over a foam construction as well. Memory foam and foam, in general, is a bit problematic, but there are a few options you can consider. I’ll note here that in some instances without proper base support some of these mattresses may have their warranty voided if this is noticeable.

 

My Green Mattress Natural Escape

OVERVIEW

  • Material: Latex Foam/Spring Hybrid
  • Thickness: 11.5 inches
  • Warranty: 10 Year

Not only is the construction of this mattress environmentally friendly, but it’s also a hybridized latex foam and coiled spring mattress. Latex is highly breathable due to its open-celled creation where the air is blown into the latex to ‘foam’ it, plus channels are cut into the material. Resting on top of an innerspring system allows a good amount of airflow and reviews claim it is a cool night’s rest. This is great news as a choice to use upon the floor since with proper care it should stay well ventilated.

Learn More

Read Our Full Review

Helix Sleep Mattress

OVERVIEW

  • Material: Foam/spring hybrid
  • Thickness: 10 inches
  • Warranty: 10 Year

The Helix Sleep Mattress is another hybridized bed boasting the Helix memory foam combined with a pocketed micro-coil system. What is so dynamic about this particular mattress is how it can be personalized to your individual comfort, and even created with different sleeping styles in mind using a dual comfort process if you have a partner. Because of this, the heat retention may differ from one style to the next, but what is also convenient is that you can make note that you sleep hot in order to have a better cooling material used in its creation.

Learn More

Read Our Full Review

 

Avocado Mattress

OVERVIEW

  • Material: Latex Foam/Spring Hybrid
  • Thickness: 13.5 inches
  • Warranty: 10 Year

Our hybrid mattresses are clear winners in the air circulation department. The Avocado Mattress combines latex and a free-floating innerspring system topped with soft wool for moisture wicking breathability. Most people wouldn’t think wool would be good for a cooling effect, but as a natural fiber, one of the reasons it is so effective is due to how well it breathes.

Learn More

Read Our Full Review

 

Dromma Bed

OVERVIEW

  • Material: Latex/Memory Foam
  • Thickness: 12 inches
  • Warranty: 12 Year

This layered foam boasts both latex and memory foams for a cooling, contouring, and comfortable sleep. An additional gel infused layer is found between the two foams to help dissipate any heat retained from the surface layers. As a mattress made entirely of foam materials, there is no surprise that it does retain heat a bit more than those that contain an innerspring system, but reviews state it sleeps surprisingly cool meaning there is good airflow occurring. As with many comfort levels, the more firm mattress choice seems to stay cooler due to less body ‘sink’ during the night, but even the softer choice sleeps well.

Read Our Full Review

 

Dreamfoam Ultimate Dreams Eurotop Latex Mattress

OVERVIEW

  • Material: Latex Foam
  • Thickness: 12.5 inches
  • Warranty: 10 Year

Latex foam and construction really is a leader in durability and air flow, and this particular mattress is no exception. The top three inches of this foam construct is highly breathable with thousands of air channels to help keep the air moving. It is also covered with a highly breathable bamboo fiber cover, which also has good moisture wicking and heat pulling properties. This may be one of the top choices for floor mattress placement yet simply due to this fact.

Learn More

Read Our Full Review

 

Pangeabed Copper Mattress

OVERVIEW

  • Material: Latex Foam
  • Thickness: 10 inches
  • Warranty: 10 Year

Another top contender for heat release, the Pangeabed Copper mattress was designed for comfort and pain relief in mind since copper ions are known to stimulate blood flow. This is a good choice for anyone looking for pain relief AND a cool night’s sleep since the latex layers are infused with both copper and cooling gel. Surprisingly this is a bit of a softer sleep surface but still provides the foam sink without the heat retention.

Read Our Full Review

 

Aveline Mattress

OVERVIEW

  • Material: Foam/spring hybrid
  • Thickness: 8 inches
  • Warranty: 1 Year

Don’t be fooled by the low profile of the Aveline Mattress. This gel-infused memory foam creation has surprisingly good airflow and cooling for a less expensive, thinner mattress. Typically more layers equal a certain amount of extra room to allow any retained heat or moisture to release without causing damage to the materials. But this thinner choice does well, and maybe the perfect choice for anyone resting their mattress on the floor, albeit knowing it will not be a long term- and not willing to spend outside their budget or purchase anything that may not have used once a more traditional bed system is set up.

Learn More

Read Our Full Review

 

Alexander Signature Series

OVERVIEW

  • Material: Memory Foam
  • Thickness: 13 inch
  • Warranty: 20 Year

This series of memory foam beds come in soft to firm choices, and although each of the comfort layers is infused with a gel that is supposed to aid in cooling, only the firm option seems to deliver cooler sleep. Since memory foam has a more enveloping quality that wraps itself around you, retaining heat can be an issue for the softer version. If you have a tendency to sleep hot this can be problematic, especially as you sweat. That heat and moisture may not dissipate as quickly as needed to keep your mattress fresh.

Learn More

Read Our Full Review

 

Novosbed

OVERVIEW

  • Material: Memory Foam
  • Thickness: 13 inch
  • Warranty: 15 Year

As a memory foam product, this bed has low heat retention and sleeps fairly cool. It also has a removable cover that can be washed, which is definitely a good perk for a mattress you may have resting upon the ground. This is a product that can only be purchased online but does come with a comfort guarantee that has the company shipping you comfort kits to adjust your plush or firmness levels.

Learn More

Read Our Full Review

 

Floor Mattress Alternatives

If laying your mattress on the floor is simply a temporary solution to a larger decorating idea, be sure to apply the above-mentioned tips to avoid any long-term issues. But if you have no plans to provide the proper type of bedding anytime soon, or are simply keeping a mattress around to provide a guest bed, then you may want to consider that there are mattress designs out there specifically created for sleeping up the floor. Both folding mattresses and rolling mattresses are designed to be both portable and lightweight and come in a variety of sizes to meet your needs. You may want to consider one of these over a traditional mattress if long-term floor use is in your future.

 

Folding Mattresses

Also known as tri-fold mattresses, these are generally found in single to queen sizes and are popular for guests, as well as travel. Made from a variety of varying quality foams, they are also budget-friendly, especially if you don’t plan on spending years sleeping upon it. They also fold up and store well, and make a great solution for smaller living spaces.

Some of the more popular choices include the Milliard Tri-fold 6 inch mattress and Magshion Tri-fold, which comes in a variety of color choices and are popular for travel and dorm use. Plus, either works well for small living situations where it can be folded up and placed to the side each night, or even double as a low profile chair.

 

Rolling Mattresses

Rolling mattresses are also referred to as Japanese beds or tatami rolling mats, and are exactly what they sound like- a mattress that can be rolled up when not in use. These mattresses truly are not for long term use and are minimally padded, but do serve as a comfortable sleeping surface when in need. Both of these are three inches thick and roll up for easy transportation. When not in use keeping them unrolled will help extend their usage as the foam will be better able to expand and breathe.

Highly rated are the D&D Traditional Japanese Floor Mattress and Magshion Tatami Floor Mat for more than just a quick bedding solution. Due to how they roll up tightly, store well, and are lightweight- they are a perfect solution to travel or even camping comfort. Their 3-inch profile makes for a comfortable enough temporary solution but does better upon another surface, or even an inexpensive foam layer to provide more support if used long term.

You might be interested in The Best Folding Beds

 

My Suggestions

If you are thinking of using a mattress on the floor for any reason, be sure to take into account the issues that could occur without the proper care and cleanliness. The biggest risk to both you and your materials is retained moisture created from heat and humidity that your body creates while you sleep. Issues surrounding the can be avoided if you are sure to use a mattress that provides better airflow, or a product made specifically for flat, non-breathable surfaces.

Of the mattresses suggested, keep in mind that resting them upon the floor and taking no precautions against moisture may result in avoiding of your warranty. My suggestion? If you have a decent mattress you’ve invested in but do not have a good, supportive surface that provides airflow, do your best to get it off the ground in some manner.

Pallets are cheap and easy to find and can create the perfect mattress platform for anyone who needs to raise up their sleeping surface. A quick sanding to keep any rough surfaces from damaging your materials and you have a breathable space for little to no cost. Plus they look pretty neat. Cinder blocks or cinder block and pallets can make a cool looking rustic platform as well, plus provide the airflow and breathability needed. If you aren’t the DIY type, you may also want to consider investing in an inexpensive metal bed base. Many of these also come ready to attach head or footboards when you make your decision concerning those. Just make sure that the type you purchase is supportive enough for the type of mattress you have.

You might be interested in Sleeping on the Floor: Bad or Good?