The Dangers of Placing a Mattress on the Floor

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Placing a mattress on your bedroom floor sounds like a great way to save money and create a minimalistic aesthetic. However, there are several risks associated with sleeping on a mattress on the floor for long periods of time, which have been highlighted by social media. 

Potential Risks of Placing a Mattress on the Floor

A viral TikTok uploaded by Ellie Peach, who goes by the handle @eswift95, spreads awareness of the potential danger of keeping a mattress on the floor for six months without airing it out. After lifting her mattress off the floor, she discovered “mold everywhere” on the mattress and on her carpet, which was emitting a foul odor. 

Peach said she ended up spending money to professionally clean her carpets because the mold was so difficult to remove. She also said she did not feel safe sleeping in her bedroom in fear of mold inhalation and that she began to sleep on a new mattress in her living room. 

@eswift95 i love being an independant 20 something teenager x #mattressmould ♬ original sound – ELLIE 🍑

Some TikTok commenters could relate to Peach’s predicament and found mold under their mattresses after sleeping on the floor for months or years. Others who said they currently sleep on a mattress on the floor became worried that the same thing could be happening to them without them knowing. 

How to Prevent Mold Growth on Mattresses

The primary reason why Peach’s mattress grew mold was because there was a lack of airflow throughout the mattress. Mattresses absorb sweat and moisture that evaporate into the air during the day. But having the bottom of the mattress against a solid base will only allow the mattress to accumulate moisture and allergens. This damp environment is ideal for mold spores to form and reproduce quickly. 

Some environments are particularly risky for keeping a mattress on the floor. Humid climates promote mold growth indoors, especially in areas of the house where there is limited airflow. In a follow-up video, Peach said that living in a humid part of Australia could have contributed to the mold growth in her home. 

Elevating a mattress off the ground using a bed frame and or box spring is the most straightforward way to promote air circulation. The key is for the base of the mattress to be against a slatted surface with open space rather than a solid surface. 

RELATED: Do You Need a Box Spring?

How to Safely Sleep on the Floor

Although there are risks to placing a mattress on the floor, including mold growth, it can be done safely with the proper maintenance. Here are some general tips:

  • Air out your mattress: Let your mattress rest on its side against a wall for several hours periodically. 
  • Clean your floors: While your mattress is airing out, thoroughly clean your floor and ensure the surface is completely dry before placing it back.  
  • Use a mattress protector: A mattress protector shields your bed from allergens and moisture, preventing mold growth. 

Final Thoughts

If not done safely, sleeping on a mattress on the floor can be a risky decision. Going months or years sleeping without a bed frame or box spring can potentially lead to dangerous mold growth. Mattresses need air to circulate through them to dissipate allergens and moisture that is absorbed every night. It’s recommended to keep your mattress elevated off the floor to promote airflow and prevent mold. 

Celeste Parler

Celeste is an editorial intern for Mattress Clarity and a current senior at Texas State University studying digital media innovation. After graduating in December 2023, she hopes to work in the realm of content marketing and SEO and become a content creator. In her spare time, she enjoys supporting local musicians and watching reality TV.