Putting a mattress directly on the floor is not really all that uncommon. Sometimes people prefer to be lower to the ground, sometimes it’s more comfortable to sleep, and sometimes you simply don’t have the money to do anything else. Whatever the case, there are ways to make the most of the situation if your mattress is on the floor. Before we get to that, though, we want to discuss the pros and cons of putting a mattress on the floor. We’ll then provide you with tips for having your mattress on the floor and let you know what we really think about all of this. Keep reading to learn more.
Why is it Bad to Put a Mattress on the Floor?
While it may seem harmless to put your mattress on the floor, it can actually be really problematic for several reasons. Not only could it be uncomfortable for you, but it could actually really damage your mattress. Here are some of the issues you might experience.
Mold and mildew
Your bed frame and box spring do more than just provide a platform for your mattress. They also allow for airflow, without which your mattress can get mold and mildew buildup from your bodily fluids.
Dust and allergens
You’re much more likely to find dust and particles on the floor than you are in a bed frame. When you have a mattress without a bed frame and on the floor instead, it can attract all these allergens much more easily, which can make it harder for you to breathe or cause an allergic reaction.
Mattresses aren’t made to be used on the floor, so if you do that, you could be voiding the manufacturer warranty should there be any issues. These warranties are only valid if the mattress is used properly, and on the floor is not a proper usage in many cases.
Uncomfortable for side sleepers
When you’ve made your bed on the floor, there’s less give to it because there’s no box spring or bed frame to allow it to move more. This can prove uncomfortable for side sleepers who need their mattress to allow space for their hips to sink into the mattress properly.
Hard to get up
Some people might enjoy being super low to the ground. Maybe they’re the type of people who quite literally roll out of bed in the morning. For others, being that low can make it hard to get in and out of bed, especially if your joints aren’t in superb condition. If you have a fairly thin mattress, that makes it even harder.
That being said, there are a few benefits if you sleep on a mattress on the floor, and it’s largely about sleep position, though there are a couple of other benefits.
You’re actually much more likely to find that you sleep cooler when your mattress is directly on the floor. Floors are generally cooler (thanks to hot air rising), so being closer to the ground will help you find that coolness. This isn’t necessarily a good thing in the colder months, but if you’re a hot sleeper, this can be a benefit no matter the time of year.
Many believe that without the added cushion of a box spring or bed frame, the spine is in a more natural alignment that can ease any pressure you usually feel. While you may not necessarily experience this if you’re a side sleeper, back and stomach sleepers may find more comfort.
Less neck and back pain
This is not a guaranteed benefit, but Harvard has acknowledged that putting your mattress directly on the floor has the potential to ease some of that neck and back pain you experience while sleeping. When your mattress is directly on a hard floor, it’s a more firm support system while you sleep.
We get that sometimes a box spring or bed frame isn’t part of the budget. Putting your mattress directly on the floor is a fine solution if that’s the case. The mattress is the most important piece of the bed puzzle, and maybe the rest of the bed may come later. For now, focus on getting the right mattress for you and taking care of it until you can put it on a bed frame.
Verdict: Is It O.K. to Put Your Mattress on The Floor?
Though your own personal comfort comes into play here, the fact of the matter is that there are a lot of drawbacks to having your mattress directly on the floor. It can damage the mattress, it can welcome bacteria and allergens into your mattress, and it can be plain uncomfortable to sleep. Though this option might bring you some cool air, that’s most likely the best benefit you’ll find. Unless a bed frame is out of your budget or you just don’t have the option to get your bed off the floor, we don’t recommend doing it.
Tips for Placing Your Mattress on The Floor Safely
- Keep the floor clean: One of the biggest issues with having a mattress on the floor is cleanliness. By keeping the area around your mattress clean all the time, you’re lessening the chance of the mattress attracting too much dirt and dust.
- Let the mattress air out: When your mattress is on the floor, it doesn’t get as much airflow — unless you allow it. Once a week, either flip the mattress to stand up or just prop it aside up on the wall. No matter how you do it, expose the bottom of the mattress so some air can move through. This is also a good time to thoroughly clean the floor under the mattress.
- Put something between the mattress and the floor: Consider large pieces of cardboard to place between the mattress and the floor. This can be especially useful in the cold months when you don’t want all the cold air coming from the floor.
- Check the warranty: If you can do this before you buy a mattress, that’s ideal. Check the manufacturer’s warranty to see if having the mattress on the floor will void it. If that’s the case and you can buy a different mattress instead, opt for that.
Putting your mattress directly on the floor isn’t necessarily the best idea for the quality of the mattress, but sometimes it’s the only option you have. If that’s the case, follow our guide for the best way to have your mattress on the floor to minimize dirt and allergens and maximize the lifespan of your mattress. And if you find that having your mattress on the floor provides you with a more comfortable sleeping experience? Then do what’s best for you and your lifestyle.