Yes, you can put your mattress on the floor. However, it’s important to weigh the possible benefits and drawbacks of doing so.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as medical advice.
When moving into a new bedroom, it can be tempting to put your mattress on the floor and leave it that way. Is the bed frame really necessary? After all, in many cultures, it’s standard to sleep on a thin mat or floor mattress. Some people even find benefits in sleeping directly on the floor.
But say you want to keep the cozy mattress, minus the foundation and bed frame. Whether or not it’s okay to put your bed on the floor depends on your mattress type and room environment.
We’ll explain the pros and cons of sleeping sans bed frame and discuss which mattresses can and can’t go directly on the floor. Then we’ll talk about tips for protecting yourself and your mattress.
Some people tout the health, comfort, and convenience benefits after moving their mattress to the floor. Here are some possible pros of snoozing close to the ground.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that, like snoozing on the floor or sleeping without a pillow, placing your mattress on the floor can improve back pain for some people. Because a mattress on the floor will feel firmer, sleeping this way can potentially relieve back pain and keep your spine straight at night.
Alternatively, if you think your mattress is causing back pain, you may just need to purchase a newer mattress that better fits your sleep needs.
We’ve all learned that hot air rises while cool air stays low to the ground. The same applies for mattresses — some hot sleepers may find that sleeping closer to the floor feels more comfortable because they have access to that cooler air.
However, the advanced technology of modern cooling mattresses can regulate your temperature and help you sleep cool all night without having to put the bed on the floor.
Forgoing the bed frame and base can certainly save space in the bedroom. A headboard has pros and cons, too — and one of the cons is that it takes up wall space. Placing a simple mattress directly on the floor results in a clean look that can make a small room look larger.
Another minimalist, low-profile (or low-to-the-floor) option is a stylish platform bed.
Finally, skipping the bed frame and sticking with just the mattress can save money. It’s true that you may go easy on the budget by opting out of a bed frame — but the trade-off is that you might end up degrading your mattress faster because it’s not protected.
There are also cons to putting your mattress directly on the floor. Here are several things to consider before writing off the bed frame and foundation.
Bed bases like box springs and foundations with slats help the air flow through your mattress. When it’s placed directly on the floor, air circulation gets cut off. Sweat and body oils can get trapped inside the mattress. This can lead to mold and mildew growth, especially in humid environments. Mold exposure can worsen allergies, cause asthma attacks, and irritate your eyes, nose, and skin.
When your bed is so low to the ground, it can be awkward to get in and out of bed. Plus, if you are elderly or have mobility problems, getting in and out of a really low bed can be difficult or even painful. Hopping in and out of bed feels more natural with the added height of a bed frame.
While the firm support of a mattress on the floor may feel comfy for some, side sleepers might find it hard and painful. If you sleep on your side, you’ll need a soft mattress that will contour your shoulders and hips. A too-firm floor mattress could put uncomfortable pressure on those areas.
Plopping your mattress on the floor might make allergies in the bedroom worse. The floor accumulates dust, dirt, mites, and skin cells that can trigger allergic reactions at night. You may end up suffering from itchy eyes, a runny nose, or trouble breathing, all of which seriously interfere with a good night’s sleep.
Bed bugs are drawn to the moisture on your body. If your bed is on the floor, pesky bed bugs could have easier access to you and your bed. Other creepy crawlies like mites, spiders, and ants may also have an easier time finding their way into a bed that’s sitting on the floor.
Because most mattresses are designed to sit on a bed frame or bed base, putting them on the floor could damage them quickly. Most brands will recommend against putting your mattress on the ground. Doing so anyway runs the risk of voiding your mattress warranty.
Some mattresses are made specifically to go on the floor. These are typically several inches thick and don’t require a bed frame or box spring. Here are the most common types of floor mattresses:
Folding mattresses are typically 4-6 inches thick and made of high-density foam. This makes them very comfortable to sleep on, and they provide good support for your back. They can be folded into thirds or quarters, making them easy to transport and store. This makes them perfect for guests or for temporary use, such as when you are staying at a hotel or when you are camping. When not in use, they can be easily stored away in a closet or under a bed.
Similar to futons, rolling mattresses can be rolled up and stored. They are thin, compact, and can even be used for camping trips. They are a great option for people who are looking for a versatile and affordable mattress. They are also a good choice for people who live in small spaces, as they can be easily stored when not in use.
Air mattresses are inflatable beds that can be set up quickly when needed. They are not designed for extended use but are perfect for occasional guests. Ensure they are fully deflated and stored properly to prolong their lifespan.
All are portable, light, and ideal options for camping or hosting guests. However, they are all temporary solutions for sleeping on the ground. So what about everyday mattresses?
In theory, you could place nearly any mattress, like an innerspring, on the floor. But that may not be best for the mattress long-term — you could end up damaging it or degrading it more quickly than if you supported it with a bed frame and foundation.
However, there is one type of mattress you should never put on the floor.
Foam mattresses like polyurethane and memory foam should not be placed on the floor. That’s because the foam can trap heat and moisture when the airflow is restricted on the floor, leading to mold and mildew growth.
You also risk damaging the foam material when you put it on the ground. A foundation helps protect a foam mattress by absorbing some of the weight and shock. On the bare floor, the foam mattress will crush down and degrade quickly. High-quality foam is supremely comfortable, but will wear out faster if not supported with a proper foundation.
We designed our mattress foundation with perfectly spaced slats and easy, no-tool assembly for effortless and sturdy slumber.
Casper mattresses, many of which are designed with foam layers, are crafted with high-quality construction and ultimate comfort in mind. Therefore, we don’t recommend placing your Casper mattress on the floor. Instead, check out our Casper Foundation or Platform Bed to properly support and extend the life of your bed.
Set on sleeping with your mattress on the floor? Here are some measures to take to protect yourself and your bed.
It’s always a good idea to check your mattress warranty before sleeping with it on the floor. Some manufacturers may void your warranty if you sleep with your mattress on the floor.
A mattress on the floor is at risk of mold and mildew, which thrive off of moisture. To prevent moisture buildup, you should frequently prop your mattress against the wall to let both sides air out.
Keeping everything around and underneath your sleep setup is key if you put your mattress on the floor. You should dust, vacuum, and mop the floor at least every four weeks. If you mop the floor, make sure it’s completely dry before you put the mattress back down. It also helps to clean your mattress often.
Carpet can accumulate moisture and lead to mold and mildew faster. Instead, if you can, place your mattress on a finished surface like tile or hardwood.
Place a layer of plywood, foam, or cardboard between the floor and mattress. This way, you can keep your mattress from touching the floor directly while still keeping it low to the ground.
While many mattresses can be placed on the floor, some are more suited for this setup than others. Innerspring and hybrid mattresses often fare better on the floor compared to polyurethane and memory foam mattresses, which can trap heat and moisture. If you’re keen on a memory foam mattress, consider those with perforated layers that promote better airflow.
A good way to decide if your bed is too high or too low is to sit on it and observe the angle of your knees. If your knees are at a 90º angle with your feet on the floor, it’s the perfect height. If your knees don’t reach the floor, the bed may be too tall. If your knees are bent upward, the bed may be too short.
Your mattress will typically sit on a bed frame (a metal or wood structure) and a bed base (a mattress-shaped support layer). The bed base depends on the mattress type:
Yes, you can put a box spring on the floor. If you have a bed that is compatible with one of the different types of box springs, this can help protect the mattress better than placing the mattress on the floor on its own.
While you can sleep on a mattress topper on the floor as a temporary solution, you shouldn’t rely on it long-term. A mattress topper is meant to provide an extra layer of cushion and support on top of a mattress. On their own, some mattress topper s won’t have ample support for your back and muscles.
Whether your mattress is on the floor or on a bed frame, there are measures you can take to keep it from sliding or rolling around. Try placing a non-slip mattress pad underneath the mattress, for example. You can also try vacuuming the floor to get rid of dust or other particles that may be causing the mattress to slide.
A low-profile bed is a bed that sits low to the ground. The Casper platform bed frame is one example — you place the mattress directly on top, no box spring or foundation required. The result is a chic and minimalist bed that sits comfortably low without actually resting your mattress on the floor.
In the end, whether you sleep with your mattress on the floor or sitting higher is up to you. However, to keep your mattress in tip-top shape, you might want to consider a bed frame.
At Casper, we designed our bed frames to suit a variety of different needs. From upholstered to wood and minimal looks to grand headboards, our options will support your mattress in style. Here’s an overview of each:
If you’re looking for a combination of comfort and support, the right bed frame can raise the game (and your mattress) for your best night’s sleep.