How to Store a Crib Mattress? Step by Step Guide with Q&A
Once your baby outgrows a crib, both the crib and the crib mattresses can be reused later. But you need to make sure to store them properly. Here are some guidelines and tips to help you store your crib mattress in a way that will maintain its quality and longevity.
To store a crib mattress, follow these steps:
- Clean the crib mattress well
- Air out the crib mattress
- Use a mattress cover
- Find the right storage space for the crib mattress
- Clean the storage space
- Store the crib mattress flat, in the clean, dry, place
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General Guidelines to Store a Crib Mattress
When storing a crib mattress, make sure that it is thoroughly cleaned and is stored in a clean and dry place. Keep in mind that if you want the mattress to maintain its quality and shape, you should not fold it or crumble it up. Storing your mattress properly is the key to maintain its quality and longevity. Below we discuss all the steps that are important for storing a crib mattress properly.
You may also like our article about whether you need a crib mattress and when should you replace one.
Step 1. Clean The Crib Mattress Well
The first and most important step to store a crib mattress is to clean it thoroughly. Remember that mattresses are not meant to be washed and dried; this will destroy the quality of the mattress. What you can do instead is to take off the fabric mattress cover and clean the mattress with a disinfectant wipe.
Make sure that the wipe is not too wet. The moisture level of the wipe should be such that the moisture does not seep into the foam. If your mattress has some stains due to any spillage you can use a sofa or carpet cleaner to take the stain out.
Step 2. Air Out The Crib Mattress
Keep your mattress in a well ventilated room with the fan on, or out in the open. The purpose is to allow as much air to pass through the mattress as possible. This will help you make sure that the mattress is completely dry. If any liquid has seeped into the foam, the process of airing will make sure that no dampness remains.
Removing dampness will keep your mattress safe from bacteria. Bacteria are likely to breed in wet mattresses and can decompose the material of the mattress. Damp mattresses are also prone to mold.
Apart from airing the mattress, we advise you to also use a vacuum cleaner which will not only help in cleaning the mattress but also help in drying it.
Step 3. Use a Mattress Cover to Store a Crib Mattress Long Term
Having thoroughly cleaned and dried the mattress, the next step is to cover it. There are several options available for covering your crib mattress and each option has its own pros and cons.
Plastic mattress covers are the most economical option available for covering crib mattresses but they do not allow air flow and air flow can be very important to keep the mattress in good condition. On the other hand, plastic covers provide good protection from environmental conditions that may affect the mattress.
Tip: You can poke very tiny holes on the surface of the mattress cover to make sure that the air can flow in and out. You can poke holes using a thin needle so that they holes are small enough to keep particles of dust from entering the cover.
Another option is to wrap your mattress in fabric. Fabric will not block the flow of air but you will have to be extra careful about the environmental conditions like moisture or humidity. For example, if someone accidentally spills water in the area where you have placed the mattress, the fabric cover will not be enough to protect the mattress from getting wet.
The third and the best option is to get a mattress storage box. This will provide better protection for your mattress compared to the other methods but it will cost you a bit more.
Step 4. Find The Right Storage Space to Store The Crib Mattress
The next step is to find the right storage space for the mattress. A good storage space for the mattress will be where the mattress can be laid down flat. Folding and crumpling up a mattress can destroy its shape and quality. Since crib mattresses are usually small in size, it should not be difficult to find a place in your house where it can be laid flat for storage. Ideally you should store the mattress in a store room or a garage, but if you live in a small home and you do not have enough space, you can also store it under your bed.
Step 5. Clean The Storage Space
Having found the right storage space, the next step is to clean it. You can clean the space using a mop and some disinfectant or a vacuum cleaner. The important thing is to make sure that the space is clean and thoroughly dry.. You don’t want mold or fungus growing where you are going to store your mattress.
Step 6. Store The Crib Mattress
After cleaning the space, carefully lay the covered mattress down flat. Make sure that there is no pressure on the top of the mattress. In other words, you should not keep other things on the mattress. Storing other things on top of the mattress can make the shape of the mattress uneven due to the prolonged pressure exerted on the mattress.
Benefits of Using Plastic Mattress Covers to Store a Crib Mattress
There are many benefits of using a plastic cover mattress to store a crib mattress. A plastic cover keeps the mattress safe from dirt, bed bugs and all kinds of spillage. Even if you accidentally spill something where you have stored the mattress, the plastic mattress will make sure that the liquid doesn’t seep into the mattress.
Plastic mattress covers also protect the mattress against humidity and are easy to clean. On top of all these benefits plastic mattress covers are also an affordable choice.
There are, however, some drawbacks. The first drawback of a plastic mattress cover is that it blocks air flow. A plastic cover does not allow the air to move in and out, which is not a very good thing for the mattress. Especially if the mattress has some moisture inside. Apart from blocking air flow, if the quality of plastic mattress cover is not good enough, the plastic may tear, making the cover useless.
|Product on Amazon||Price|
|U Pack It Plastics Crib Mattress Bag||~$13|
|Colgate Zippered Crib Mattress Storage Bag||~$15|
|Caloona Inc Mattress Bags||~$24|
Benefits of Using Storage Boxes to Store a Crib Mattress
Crib mattress storage boxes allow the air to flow in and out better than the plastic mattress covers and the moisture is less likely to be trapped inside. However, these boxes, often made of cardboard, provide less protection from outside environmental conditions as compared to plastic mattress covers.
In case you spill a liquid on a storage box, it may save the mattress from getting wet but it will itself be damaged from the moisture. A great thing about a mattress storage box is that even if you place it on a slightly uneven surface, it will not affect the mattress because the mattress will be laying flat inside the box.
If you do not have enough storage space to store the mattress by laying it flat and you have to store it on the side, a mattress box will prove to be a better option than the plastic mattress cover. This is because the box will keep the mattress from bending.
Can a Crib Mattress be Stored Uncovered?
You can store a crib mattress uncovered if you want to, but you will be doing so at the risk of it getting destroyed. When you store a crib mattress uncovered you are exposing it to the risk of:
- Being attacked by bed bugs.
- Getting dirty
- Being affected by changing humidity levels in the storage space
- Spillage (This can increase the risk of bacteria and mold)
- Wear and Tear
If you need to store a mattress but you don’t have a mattress cover, make sure that the place where you store it is clean and climate controlled. Another thing that you can do is to wrap the mattress in a bed sheet so that it gets some protection before you order a proper mattress cover for it.
Tips For Storing a Crib Mattress in a Garage
Most people use their garages as a storage area and workshop. The reason being that they do not want to create mess in other areas of their houses. While garages are considered ideal for storage, the problem is that they are the most neglected area of the house. People tend to neglect the maintenance of garages, which can be a problem when it comes to storing things like mattresses in the garage.
So it is important to follow these tips if you are planning to store a crib mattress in a garage:
- Make sure that the garage is properly ventilated.
- Make sure that the garage is regularly cleaned.
- Take measures to keep the garage free of rodents and insects.
- Make sure that liquids are not stored near the mattress.
- Make sure that the mattress is stored in a spot where you are not likely to keep other things on top of it..
- Keep an eye on the mattress cover for wear and tear and fix it immediately if you see any damage.
- Clean the mattress thoroughly when you decide to re-use it.
You might want to read about how big are cot beds and crib mattresses
How Long Can a Crib Mattress be Stored?
You can store a crib mattress for 3 to 5 years. This depends on how many years you have used it before storing. A new mattress can be stored for up to 5 years. Mattress storage time also depends on whether or not it is resistant to water and mold.
In case you stored your mattress some while ago and are wondering if it’s too old, here are a few things that will help you determine if you can still use it.
A mattress is too old if:
- It has passed the expiration date given by the manufacturer. (In case you lost the expiration date you can contact the manufacturer or look for other signs.)
- It has become saggy
- It has developed lumps
- The surface is uneven
- It reeks of mold or similar things
- Your baby is not sleeping well on it. (This might be a sign of other conditions but it should also be taken as an indication towards a problem in the mattress)
You might like our article on When should you replace a crib mattress?
How Long Can a Crib Mattress Be Stored on Its Side?
You can store a crib mattress on its side temporarily but not for long.
How long a crib mattress can be stored on the side really depends on the type of the mattress and how long you plan to store it for. If the mattress has springs, storing on the side for long will destroy the orientation of the springs permanently. If it is only a foam mattress, less damage is likely to be done, but it’s still advisable to store the mattress flat.
However, storing a mattress on its side can cause even a foam mattress to become saggy and it can also cause the foam to crack. But if you do not have enough storage space to lay down the mattress and the only option you have is to store it on the side, here is what you can do:
- Make sure to keep alternating the sides of the mattress from time to time. This will keep the mattress in better shape.
- Make sure that while standing on the side the mattress is not bent.
- Use a support on both sides of the mattress while it is standing on its side. This will support the weight of the mattress and keep it from getting ruined.
- Store the mattress in a mattress storage box rather than a plastic cover; this will keep the mattress from bending.