8 Things You Should Know Before Sleeping on a Mattress on the Floor

Sleeping with your mattress directly on the floor has become increasingly popular in recent years. For one, forgoing a base or bed frame is a way to save money. A mattress on the floor also has a unique aesthetic appeal, giving your bedroom a minimalist feel. However, this sleep setup has significant drawbacks.

Nolah highly discourages sleeping with your mattress on the floor, regardless of the mattress brand, type, or model you own. Mattress foundations provide the necessary structure, support, and hygiene. All mattresses need to rest on a flat, elevated surface to support your body properly, distribute your weight, and keep dust mites and other allergens away from your face while you sleep. Sleeping with your mattress on the floor doesn’t provide these benefits and likely voids your mattress’s warranty.

In this guide, we’ll take a deep dive into the ramifications of sleeping with your mattress on the ground. That way, you can make an informed decision about your sleep setup. And if you decide to keep your mattress on the floor, you’ll know what precautions to take. 

So, without further ado, here are eight things to keep in mind about sleeping with your mattress directly on your bedroom floor. 

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1. The Surface of the Floor 

Especially if you live in an old house with warped hardwood or outdated carpet, your bedroom floor may not be totally flat. For proper weight distribution and spinal alignment, you need to place your mattress on a firm, even surface. That’s why a mattress foundation is so important, even if it’s just a simple solid or slatted platform. 

2. Health Benefits and Risks 

Are there health benefits to sleeping with your mattress on the floor? Unfortunately, there’s not enough research to support this idea. However, some sleepers anecdotally report that sleeping with their mattress on the floor or directly on the floor helps reduce back pain and improve posture. 

Before ditching your bed frame, you should also consider bed accessibility. Sleeping with your mattress on the floor may be unsuitable if you have. If you have limited mobility, chronic pain, or any illness that makes it challenging to get in or out of a low bed. 

3. Allergic Reactions to Dust 

Even if you maintain a shoe-free household, floors get dirty fast. Not to gross you out, but hair, dead skin cells, dust mites, mold, and more all gather on your flooring or carpeting. If you sleep with your mattress on the floor, there’s little separation between you and these unpleasant elements. Sleeping with your mattress on the floor can expose you to allergens and irritants, and dust mites are a leading household trigger for allergies and asthma.  

If you must sleep with your mattress directly on the floor, you can take precautions to protect your mattress and minimize allergens. It’s not as effective as elevating your mattress, but using a waterproof mattress protector can go a long way to keep your mattress clean and dry. Bamboo is a great mattress protector material because it’s highly durable, moisture-wicking, and naturally antibacterial. 

4. Beware of Mold 

Mattress ventilation is a primary purpose for a mattress foundation. Elevating your mattress with a platform, bed frame, or base lifts it from the ground, letting fresh air flow in from all sides. This helps keep your mattress fresh and dry, preventing humidity buildup that harbors mold and mildew. If you sleep with your mattress directly on the floor, your bed doesn’t have room to breathe. Instead, the mattress absorbs moisture that’s stuck in your carpet or flooring. Not only is this unhygienic, but bacteria can damage mattress foam. 

5. Allow for Air Circulation 

As explained above, mattresses need to breathe. If you do choose to sleep with your mattress directly on the floor, take precaution and air out your mattress periodically. We don’t recommend beating your mattress to free it from dust, but you can prop it up on its side for a few hours to let air circulate. It’s far from a perfect solution, but it’s better than letting mold grow. 

6. Creepy Crawlies 

Arachnophobic folks, beware. Being so close to the floor makes it easy for those creepy crawlies to climb into your bed. Spiders, ants, fleas, termites, roaches, beetles, silverfish, and bed bugs are all common household critters you don’t want to wake up next to. 

7. Temperature

Hot air rises, so it follows that your floor may be the coolest part of your bedroom. However, this isn’t a good reason to ditch your bed frame and sleep closer to the ground. There are plenty of cooling mattress options out there that can help you battle night sweats and stay comfortable all night long. For example, our Nolah Evolution hybrid mattress features graphite-infused AirFoamICE™, a heat-escape border gusset, and a moisture-wicking cover to keep sleepers cool. 

8. What Type of Mattress 

Again, we highly recommend using a base or foundation regardless of what type of mattress you own. That said, some mattress types are better suited for use on the floor than others. Innerspring and hybrid mattresses have more built-in structure than their foam counterparts, and their coil layers are well-ventilated. On the other hand, heat-sensitive memory foam mattresses need a completely flat surface and are particularly vulnerable to humidity, which attracts bacteria. 


Will Putting My Mattress on the Floor Void My Warranty?

Yes, sleeping with your mattress on the floor may void your warranty. Many mattress companies, including Nolah, specify in their warranty terms that you must use your mattress with a proper foundation.

How High Should the Top of Your Mattress Be From the Floor?

Your ideal mattress and foundation height depends on your body type, health, and personal preferences. If you have any mobility or pain issues, you may want to invest in a mattress with enhanced edge support so you can comfortably sit on the edge of your bed, making access easier. An adjustable base may also improve accessibility. 

How to Prep Your Floor for Your Mattress

If you choose to sleep with your mattress on the ground, you want to make sure the floor is as clean as possible. To prep, mop the floor or use a carpet cleaner to ensure a fresh sleep space. Then vacuum the entire area and the mattress. 

Can You Put a Box Spring on the Floor?

Box springs are designed to be used with a bed frame, so it’s advisable to put your box spring directly on the floor. 

Can You Put a Mattress on Slats Directly on the Floor?

It is inadvisable to put your mattress on the floor directly on top of slats. Slats are designed to be incorporated into a frame; slats alone under the mattress will not provide enough stability or support for your mattress.

How to Stop My Bed From Rolling

If you keep your mattress on the floor without a base, it may slide around, especially if it’s on tile or another slippery surface. Consider putting a rug or mat under the mattress to keep it in place. But remember, you need to keep the rug or mat clean and dry.