Should Mattresses Be Placed Directly on the Floor?

Most mattresses sold today can be placed directly on the floor without a boxspring, frame, or other type of foundational support system, and there are some benefits associated with sleeping on this type of surface. However, there are also drawbacks to placing a mattress directly on the floor and, in some cases, doing so may void the owner’s mattress warranty.

Below we will look at the pros and cons of sleeping on a mattress without foundational support, as well as some tips for sleepers who prefer their mattress on the floor.

Pros of Sleeping Directly on the Floor

Benefits of sleeping on a foundation-less mattress include the following:

  • Placing a mattress directly on the floor often helps cold air circulate across the surface of the bed, allowing sleepers to remain cool throughout the night.
  • Many sleepers find that mattresses placed directly on the floor require less effort to get on and off. This can reduce bodily strain over time.
  • Most foundations, bases, and other support systems cost at least $150 to $200. By sleeping directly on the floor, mattress purchasers can cut their up-front costs.

Cons of Sleeping Directly on the Floor

Drawbacks of sleeping on a mattress directly on the floor include the following:

  • Mattresses that lay on the floor are at risk of exposure to dust particles and dust mites, particularly if the floor is not cleaned regularly.
  • Sleeping low to the ground can restrict airflow and cause the mattress to absorb body heat and moisture. As a result, mold and mildew may accumulate. This is especially true in hot or humid climates.
  • Insects — particularly bed bugs — can easily gain access to mattresses that lay on the floor, leading to potential infestations that require thorough cleaning. In some cases, infestations can completely ruin the mattress.
  • As mentioned above, dust, mold, and infestations are three potential disadvantages of sleeping directly on the floor — and all three of these issues can lead to the mattress manufacturer voiding the owner’s warranty.

Tips for Sleeping Directly on the Floor

In order to ensure a healthy, comfortable sleep experience and a long mattress lifespan, mattress owners should take the following precautions before sleeping directly on the floor:

  • Sweep, vacuum, and/or disinfect the floor regularly to prevent dust buildup. Make sure the floow is completely dry before setting down the mattress.
  • Lift up the mattress periodically and allow it to air out. This will reduce mold and mildew accumulation over time.
  • Keep the area around the mattress clean to ensure that bed bugs and other insects don’t infest the bed.
  • Place a thin layer (such as cardboard or foam) beneath the mattress for added insulation when temperatures are low.
  • Utilize a fan during hotter times of the year. This will reduce body heat and cut down on sweat during the night.
  • Double-check the terms of the mattress warranty, since some manufacturers do not permit placing the mattress directly on the floor.