Updated May 14, 2021Of course, the short answer to this question is you certainly can put a mattress on the floor. The real question then is not whether you can put a mattress on the floor but whether you should.The answer to that question is a lot more complex. On the one hand, there are a few advantages to putting your mattress on the floor, including enhancing support and saving space. On the other hand, the drawbacks of your mattress lying directly on the floor might just outweigh these advantages. Let’s talk about a few pros and cons.Pros of Putting a Mattress on the FloorWhile there are a few advantages to putting your mattress on the floor, you should keep a couple of things in mind. First, some mattress materials are better suited for the floor than others. Innerspring mattresses and air mattresses are best for the floor because the open space inside the mattress makes it more breathable, helping it sleep cooler and prevent mold growth. Inversely, memory foam and latex mattresses probably need a bed frame or mattress platform because they’re much denser, and therefore much more prone to retaining both body heat and moisture.Second, your climate will likely be another factor in your decision to put your mattress on the floor. If you live in a dry area, you can probably get away with it, but if you live in a humid environment, it’s best to reconsider having your mattress on a solid surface.Keeping both those factors in mind, we can take a look at some of the advantages of putting the right kind of mattress on the floor.Saving SpaceIt’s no secret bed frames can take up space. If you’ve got a small bedroom, headboards and footboards can suck up more room than they’re worth. Especially when you’re only in a place temporarily (like a college dorm room), the space a bed frame uses and the inconvenience of moving it around can outweigh its advantages.Lower CostIf you’re living on a budget, buying a bed frame is an added expense that might have to wait. Just buying a mattress without the additional expenses of a bed base and bed frame can save you several hundred dollars, making the floor the most inexpensive solution.Cooler AirSince hot air rises, the closer you are to the floor, the closer you are to the coolest air in the room. In warmer climates, even one or two feet can make a huge difference in reducing excessive heat and nighttime sweating, especially in the summer. It might even allow you to save a few bucks by keeping your AC on a higher setting at night.Enhanced FirmnessAs far as bed supports go, they don’t get much firmer than a hard floor. If your mattress has softened over time or was just too soft to begin with, putting it on a hard floor or a bunky board over carpet can be the cheapest, easiest way to take your firmness up a notch.Lower Back Pain ReliefThe enhanced firmness of the floor can help back pain sufferers. According to Harvard Medical School, putting your mattress on the floor potentially offers relief for people with lower back pain because it increases the mattress’ stability and firmness.Cons of Putting a Mattress on the FloorWhile there are a few advantages of putting your mattress on the floor, there are some serious drawbacks as well, and you need to keep them in mind if you want to avoid ruining one of the most expensive pieces of furniture in your home.Possible InfestationPutting your mattress directly on the floor makes it a lot easier for insects and other pests to make themselves your new bedfellows. Bed bugs love to hide in carpet fibers or between the planks of hardwood floors, and laying your mattress on the floor just makes it easier for them to crawl into bed with you. Not to mention if you have rats, millipedes, spiders, snakes, or any other scurrying pest, you’re not leaving much of a buffer between them and your pillow.Reduced Air CirculationOne of the main reasons you need a bed frame is for air circulation. Not only can air movement underneath your mattress help you sleep cooler, it also helps prevent moisture buildup by allowing moving air to wick away sweat and absorbed humidity. When you eliminate this circulation, it can lead to sweatier nights and a more moist mattress, which could cause mold growth, especially in denser materials like memory and latex foams.Water Damage RiskIf your bedroom is at ground level, you leave your mattress more vulnerable to flood damage when you put it on the floor. Even if you sleep on the second floor, pipes can burst, plumbing can fail, sprinklers can malfunction, and any number of other things can happen that leave you with a couple of inches of water on your floor. If your mattress absorbs too much water, it can make it unsalvageable.Warranty IssuesSince the risk of damage is greater on the floor, a lot of warranties state you should avoid putting your mattress there. Doing so in any way can void the warranty. Some warranties even specify what kind of bed base you should use with the mattress. Even if putting your mattress on the floor doesn’t void its warranty, most mattress warranties won’t cover damage directly resulting from the owner’s actions. Since laying your mattress on the floor increases the likelihood of damage, skimping on the bed base or bed frame can wind up costing you big if something happens.Difficulty Getting In and Out of BedIf you’re older, have joint pain, or have a disability that limits your mobility, putting your mattress on the floor can make it harder to get in and out of bed. The bed’s low profile requires more flexibility and strength when you’re lying down on it or standing up from it, simply because you’ve got to move your body farther than you’d have to with a standard-height bed.If you’re not able to support yourself getting up and down, laying your mattress on the floor can increase your likelihood of a fall or other accidental injury. Even a bed frame can feel too low for some sleepers with movement difficulties, and they may need a set of bed risers for more comfortable mornings.Additional Cleaning WorkIt’s always a good idea to keep your floors clean, but if your bed sits directly on the floor, it’s even more important to maintain clean floors, and it can increase your cleaning requirements substantially. Since you’re closer to the floor—and thus all the dirt and allergens accumulating on it—you’ll probably need to sweep or run the vacuum cleaner more frequently to keep your mattress clean and your airways clear.It’s also not a bad idea to lean your mattress diagonally against a wall or table for a few hours every week to help air out the bottom of the mattress and prevent mold growth. This means you’ll be lifting and moving your mattress frequently, which can be challenging if you’re not very tall or strong.FAQsWhat types of flooring are best to put a mattress on?It’s usually best to put your mattress on a hard floor. However, not just any old hard floor will do. Finished surfaces like treated hardwoods, tiles, polished concrete, and similar flooring are best to put your mattress on because they offer the most support and stability and don’t retain as much moisture as linoleum or unfinished plywood.It’s generally better to avoid putting your mattress directly on a carpeted floor, as carpet can increase the odds of mold growth and musty smells. So if you have carpet, make sure to lay a bunky board, rubber mat, or some other type of barrier between it and your mattress. Also watch out for older hardwood floors, since these might be untreated or at least less-effectively treated. Loose boards can also provide better hiding places for pests.Are there bed frames that offer similar support to the floor?Yes. Both mattress foundations and platform beds can offer a close match to the firmness and support you’d get from the floor. Both of these options come with wooden slats to support the mattress as it sits on top of them. These slats are usually interspersed at intervals of 2 to 3 inches. But if you get a foundation with more slats or even a solid plank in place of slats, it will offer you similar support to the floor without all the yuckiness that comes with actually putting your mattress down there. For extra support, you can also slide a bunky board between your mattress and your bed base.Should I slide a bunky board or other buffer between my mattress and the floor?It wouldn’t hurt, especially if your floors are less-than-ideal for mattresses. Bunky boards, tatami mats, or even a plastic tarp can help provide a buffer between your mattress and the dust and dirt accumulating on the floor. Keep in mind no matter what kind of buffer you use, it’s no substitute for keeping the floor around your mattress clean as a whistle.Can I put my box springs or foundation on the floor and then set the mattress on them?Sure you can. While box springs and foundations do better in a bed frame because it provides a barrier to prevent them from sliding around, it’s still possible to put these bed bases on the floor. If you’ve got the base already (or the money to spend on it), putting it as a buffer between your mattress and the floor might be a better option than just laying your mattress directly on the floor.How should I prepare to put my mattress on the floor?You never want to place a mattress on a dirty floor, so it’s good to do a deep clean of the floor that’s going to be directly under and immediately around your mattress. Vacuum, dust, and scrub thoroughly to ensure any lingering mold spores or hiding bed bugs and dust mites are removed before you lay your mattress down. It’s also a good idea to get a quality mattress protector to help protect your mattress from dust, bugs, and moisture in case you wind up skimping on the cleaning for a little too long.How can I keep my mattress from sliding around on the floor?The easiest way to keep mattresses stationary on the floor is with a non-slip pad or rubber mat. A lot of these products are made to put between the bed base and mattress, but they work quite well on the floor too. They’re also cost-effective, normally running around $20.Bottom LineWhile there are some advantages to putting your mattress on the floor, they’re not really outweighed by the negatives. Further, most of the pros of the floor can be matched by a really solid mattress foundation or platform bed.If you’re dead-set on sleeping on the floor, remember to take the proper precautions. Keep your floor clean, use a mattress cover, flip or air out your mattress often, and make sure to put it on the right flooring or floor-level support. That way, you can keep your sleeping surface at optimal cleanliness for great sleep.About the author Jasmin LeeJasmin Lee is dedicated to helping others get better sleep—when she’s not napping, you can often find her researching the latest in bedding and mattress technology. Her fascination with sleep fuels her drive to connect readers with the resources they need to improve their night’s rest. Find more articles by Jasmin Comments Cancel replyLeave a CommentYour email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * Comment Name Email I agree to the Terms and Conditions of this website.