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Bed Basics

Why You Shouldn’t Keep Your Mattress on the Floor

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If you have recently purchased a new mattress, you may be wondering if you can have your mattress on the floor. Many people choose this option for comfort, safety, or aesthetic reasons. Whether you’re in the middle of a move, facing furniture delays, or looking for a way to keep your toddler from falling out of bed, you've probably considered keeping your mattress on the floor.

However, keeping your mattress on the floor presents a set of issues that may not be what’s best for your health or the health of your mattress. Mattress Firm experts Holly Farina and Dustin Blakeman weighed in on this topic with their many years of experience around health and sleep.

Drawbacks of Keeping Your Mattress on the Ground

It can be very tempting to keep your bed on the floor since it is easier and more cost-effective. But there are some serious drawbacks to this decision, such as getting poor quality of sleep. One of the main reasons for this is that keeping your mattress on the floor does not allow for proper ventilation. Many people tend to sleep hot and can quickly overheat and feel uncomfortable.

Another critical downside to be aware of is that your mattress will be exposed to bugs. Bugs can access your mattress even if it's elevated, but this becomes much simpler if you keep it on the floor.

Is It Bad To Have Your Mattress on the Floor?

Sleeping with your mattress on the floor will expose you to all kinds of contaminants and insects as you sleep. This is especially unhealthy for those struggling with allergies or those who struggle to get restful sleep. Farina weighed in on this point, saying, “It’s closer to the dust mites and the mildew,” which will only inflame allergies.

For many people, this is also less comfortable since the bed does not have any give, making it feel more rigid. It may be harder to sleep in certain positions since there is more pressure on areas like your hips, shoulders, and back. “Not having a solid foundation like a steel grid foundation could result in a lack of proper support, causing your bed to dip or sag. Not to mention, a customer could be at risk of losing a warranty by not placing it on a “proper” foundation,” Blakeman says.

Your mattress on the floor could even cause dizziness since you are lying so low to the ground. This can make it disorienting if you need to get up in the middle of the night or get up too quickly.

Why You Shouldn't Keep Your Mattress on the Floor

Whether you are worried about your health or the quality of your mattress, there are many reasons why you shouldn't keep your bed on the ground. It's important to remember that mattresses were initially designed to be elevated, so it is always better to have them situated on some kind of bed frame.

Dust and Allergen Accumulation

No matter how often you clean, the floor of your home is where all kinds of allergens accumulate, like dust, pollen, pet hair, and other types of debris. If your mattress is on the floor, you will be sleeping right in the middle of these allergens, breathing them in throughout the night. These allergens can increase allergy symptoms and are especially bad for those with conditions impacting their ability to breathe, such as asthma. Farina warns that the side effects of being exposed to these allergens can begin in as little as 1 to 2 months of keeping your mattress on the floor.

Moisture and Mold Issue

When asked why people shouldn’t keep their mattresses on the floor, Farina said, “The main reason is that it doesn’t allow proper airflow.” Mattresses need to have circulation in order to stay clean and fully functioning. When your mattress is on the ground, it cannot get air circulation like it would if it were on box springs or a bed frame. Because of this, the possibility of mold and mildew developing is significantly higher.

Mattresses absorb moisture from the air as well as from your body while you sleep. If the moisture does not dissipate, mold or mildew will develop, attracting things like bed bugs. This will also decrease your mattress's lifespan, creating issues like staining, bug infestation, and unpleasant odors.

Difficulty Getting in and Out

Beds were designed to be elevated to keep mattresses healthy and make getting in and out of bed easier. If your mattress is on the ground, you may struggle to get up without feeling disoriented or losing balance. This can be especially risky for those who are elderly or have mobility issues.

Temperature Regulation Challenges

The floor of your home is not temperature-regulated since it will fluctuate depending on your home's temperature. Because of this, your mattress may cause you to overheat throughout the night during warmer times of the year. You may also experience the opposite problem during winter when the floor is cold, causing the warmth of your mattress to escape throughout the night.

Benefits of Elevating Your Mattress off the Floor

Research shows that keeping your mattress elevated is the best option for your overall health. It can be tempting to keep it on the floor, but the many drawbacks to this eliminate any of the benefits it provides. Here are some reasons why having your bed elevated is preferred.

  • It keeps your bed clean and reduces the chances of you breathing in dust and allergens throughout the night.
  • It improves the hygiene of your mattress since air can circulate, helping to evaporate moisture.
  • It provides a softer sleeping surface, allowing you to get comfortable and feel less stiff in the morning.
  • It helps your body regulate its temperature since there is air circulation, and the floor's temperature doesn't impact it.
  • It reduces the risk of bugs getting into your bed or nesting in the mattress.

The Best Options To Sleep Better and off the Ground

Now that you know why having a mattress on the floor is bad, what are your options? The good news is that you can elevate your bed in several ways that align with your health and budget.

Sleep expert Blakeman says, “I personally would recommend the Ergo 3.0. Starting with the simplistic design of the remote, this base provides premium features without a premium price tag. Another fan-favorite feature is the ‘memory’ setting. This feature allows you to customize your very own ‘personal’ favorite sleeping position, giving you the best night's sleep based on your sleep needs.”

Base Beds

One option is a bed base, which is a basic frame covered in fabric or upholstery that your mattress sits on. The purpose of this is to provide structure for your mattress, keeping it off the floor and providing circulation.

Box Springs

Mattress Firm provides multiple options for box springs, a type of mattress support with coils or springs embedded in the frame. This frame is covered in fabric and provides a platform between your mattress and the floor.

Platform Beds

Another option Mattress Firm provides is platform beds, which create a sturdy base for your mattress. This base does not require additional support and helps keep your mattress off the ground, providing circulation and height.

For the average sleeper, Farina recommends the Regular Ergo Base, while the Ergo Pro Smart Base is Farina’s personal favorite!

Sleep Properly With the Best Bedding Options

If you want to improve your sleep environment to get the most restful night's sleep, you need to purchase the right bedding options. Mattress Firm provides new mattresses and things like box springs, bases, platform bases, and adjustable bed frames. You can also shop for the best pillows, bed sheets, and comforters for a relaxing sleep environment.

Mattress Firm is a match-you-with-the-right-mattress business, allowing you to find your perfect fit. The sleep experts at Mattress Firm have 80 hours of training and provide top-quality assistance, helping you find the right sleep options. This includes having a Love Your Mattress Guarantee® so you don’t have to settle.

Frequently Asked Questions About Mattress on the Floor

Is it okay to leave my mattress on the floor temporarily?

If you just bought a new mattress or moved into a new home, you may not have a proper place for your mattress. If this is the case, there is nothing wrong with temporarily having your bed on the floor until you find the right platform or box springs.

Can a mattress on the floor cause back pain?

When you place a mattress on the floor, you take away any flexibility the mattress has, causing it to feel more rigid. Some people enjoy this feeling, but most find it causes discomfort and stiffness. This can be especially true if you already struggle with back pain or stiff muscles.

Can I use a mattress topper to mitigate the drawbacks of a floor mattress?

Mattress toppers are great for creating a softer surface to sleep on, which is why they can also be helpful if your mattress is on the floor. But this can only do so much, as it isn't going to improve the flexibility of your bed since it is on such a solid surface.

Do floor mattresses have an impact on mattress lifespan?

If you keep your mattress on the ground, it will become dirtier since it is exposed to contaminants on the floor. Plus, your mattress can't breathe while on the ground. These things could easily cause your mattress to need to be replaced sooner than if it were elevated.

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