Is It Safe To Have My Mattress Outside?

Is It Safe To Have My Mattress Outside?

January 16, 2017
In the Bedroom

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

While it is not okay to place ordinary mattresses outside, there are a few situations in which having a mattress outside is an attractive idea. Daybeds, Treehouses, outdoor patios, or covered pavilions are cool alternative seating and lounging choices. The problem is, that most mattresses are made of materials that easily absorb moisture. A wet mattress quickly becomes a giant moldy, mildew-covered, fungus-ridden sponge and it isn’t just those located near swimming pools. So is it safe to have my mattress outside?

Although it can be difficult to protect and maintain an outdoor mattress, having access to the luxury of outdoor relaxation that it provides is well worth the effort. Time put into selecting and protecting your new outdoor retreat that can handle moisture, humidity, and exposure not to mention UV Sunlight can pay off in overall longevity, cleanliness, and safety.

The key to safely keeping a mattress outdoors is making certain it is dry, protecting it from insects, and harmful sunlight. This is easier said than done, many outdoor creatures are skilled at getting past plastic coverings and can squeeze through the tiniest of spaces. There are a few ways to protect your mattress that will be discussed in further detail later.

Check Out The Benefits Of Certain Bedding

Does The Mattress Really Need To Stay Outdoors?

One of the first things to ask yourself before attempting the task of protecting a mattress against the elements is whether or not you really need to leave the mattress outdoors. In many situations, it is easier to store the mattress in a garage, pool house, or other well-protected shed or storage area and only bring it outside when it will be in use.

Mattresses that are to be kept out on an enclosed porch like all all-season rooms can be picked up and leaned against a wall at night or during inclement weather, doing so will help to prevent water from soaking into the mattress. You can even purchase plastic mattress bags for under 12.00 from moving companies to help keep them safe during longer storage periods.

Whenever possible, it’s preferable to keep your mattress, or any outdoor furniture for that matter, under some sort of protection from rain. Moisture and humidity is the main enemy of outdoor furniture, so every little bit of protection helps. This can be as simple as setting up a pop-up canopy over the mattress, or as complex as a wooden gazebo built specifically to house such furnishings.

While it may be tempting to have an outdoor mattress, it’s always much easier to manage one in a semi-enclosed space. The extra protection will add time to the mattresses life, and help prevent the buildup of mold and mildew. That being said, it’s possible with considerable effort to protect a mattress to the point where it’s safe to keep outside.

Choosing An Outdoor Mattress

Some types of mattresses fare better outdoors than others, which is important to keep in mind when choosing your outdoor mattress. The optimal mattress for outdoor use is one that is durable and totally protected from moisture. It may seem like foam and memory or gel foam mattresses would be the better choice because they are lighter and more mobile. For instance, you can move it over here or over there which is really nice for impromptu gatherings of friends and family in an area of the yard where furniture isn’t located.

Coil Spring mattresses are another great solution. Just like mattresses for the bedroom, there are various coil designs: Pocketed, wire tied, etc, The easiest solution is to find a mattress that is comfortable, supportive, and durable just if you were buying one for your bedroom. Note outdoor mattresses are often much thinner.

Think campers and camping for outdoor waterproof mattresses. There are many brands and types available and we all know that these are very mobile and easy to store when you are ready to put them away for the night, week, or season.

Latex mattresses are another good choice. There are both natural, blended, and synthetic choices available. These can be more costly but also offer greater comfort, support, and durability. One concern is exposure to UV light. Be sure to discuss sunlight exposure with your sales representative for solutions.

Inflatable car mattresses or those used for overnight guests in your home can be a very inexpensive solution. These days many are quite comfortable, adjustable, and easy to put together. Great for those nights or days when you just sitting or laying around relaxing and being lazy for the day, simply inflate or deflate.

Whatever mattress you select our recommendation is to use a waterproof outdoor mattress. Should you choose to use a normal indoor mattress there are a few ways you can do to protect it from moisture and critters, but note most are applied chemical treatments and sprays that are considered by many to be unhealthy and not very effective. A plastic encasement is another option, however, bugs can chew through the material and set up homes inside the hollow areas of the mattress.


How much you spend is really up to you because outdoor bedding and covers like anything else are available in different sizes, styles, materials, and constructions all of which can affect the price we pay. This all plays out in how much your new relaxation station will cost you. Know that you can spend under a hundred for low-cost inflatables and up to a few hundred for higher-end models.

Coil springs and memory foam are the most popular ranging from a couple hundred into the thousand dollar range. Finally, quality natural latex mattress waterproof outdoor mattresses can start in the 1500.00 range and go up from there. An entire article could be written on outside mattress prices because there are literally thousands of choices that are available.

Protecting Your Outdoor Mattress

In A Partially-Enclosed Deck

This is the optimal place for an outdoor mattress since it can be easily isolated from moisture and bugs outdoors. Mattresses that are to be used on an enclosed porch or deck should be protected by a thick plastic mattress cover at all times and should be leaned against the wall whenever there is a risk of rain or snow.

In A Fort or tree house

A mattress in the cabin, a fort, or a tree-house can be a lot of fun for children and adults alike, but special care needs to be taken to protect the mattress. A thick plastic mattress cover should be used to keep out moisture and insects, and there should be a way to close any openings to the treehouse at night to prevent additional critters from getting in. Something as simple as a mesh screen on the windows and doors of the treehouse should be enough to prevent most bugs and small pests from entering and chewing through the plastic covering.

Other Tips & Tricks

  • Take every opportunity to dry the mattress in direct sunlight out of the plastic covering. Not only will this prevent the buildup of mold and other bacteria, it will help to get rid of any odors that have formed from being outside.
  • Look into using an outdoor color waterproof mattress protector or encasement
  • Use high-quality PVC outdoor mattress covers
  • Pay attention to any signs of pest infestation, as many pests would love to make a home inside an outdoor mattress. Pests can both ruin the mattress and cause potential health problems for humans.
  • Occasional treatments using baking soda will help to get rid of mites and can also serve to deodorize the mattress.
  • A mattress left outside will likely not last nearly as long as an indoor mattress.
  • Consider specific outdoor furniture or waterproof fitted mattress covers. Many are hypoallergenic anti-dust mites and made of comfy terry cloth

Is It Safe To Have My Mattress Outside?

Yes, we think so, especially if you are using a purpose-built mattress that can resist the harsh elements. By following some easy protection tips and buying just the right mattress your outdoor retreat will be ready for you and your friends to enjoy without troubles or worries.

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