How to Move a Mattress: Expert Tips for Smooth and Simple Relocation

How to Move a Mattress

After spending months daydreaming about upgrading to that luxurious California King mattress, moving day has finally arrived. As you stand there, contemplating the logistics of lugging it down the stairs and out the door, a tiny voice in your head questions the wisdom of your mattress upgrade. Yet, deep down, you know it’s worth it.

Moving a mattress can either be a breeze, taking a mere 15 minutes, or it can turn into an hour-long ordeal that leaves you questioning every life choice. To ensure your experience falls into the former category rather than the latter, How to Move a Mattress:, call in a few favors, and perhaps bribe your friends with promises of pizza. We’ve crafted a foolproof list of eight steps to make the seemingly daunting task of moving your dream mattress unbelievably easy.

What to Know Before Moving a Mattress

Finding a buddy to assist with moving your mattress is a golden rule. The weight of a mattress varies, ranging from a manageable 45 pounds for a twin mattress to a bulkier 71 pounds for a queen size mattress. For the more indulgent choices like a King size memory foam mattress, a California king mattress, or certain specialized mattresses, you’re looking at a weight range of 90 to 100 pounds.

Attempting to tackle the task solo is not just a hassle; it’s a recipe for potential physical injuries, strained muscles, or unfortunate tumbles. Having a partner in this endeavor is not just a convenience but an absolute necessity.

Now, as you contemplate the logistics, it’s crucial to decide on the mode of transportation for your precious mattress. While it might seem like a quick fix to secure it to the roof of your car, this approach poses risks. Exposing the mattress to pollutants and the elements could lead to damage.

The optimal choice is to transport the mattress securely inside a truck or moving van. This method provides comprehensive structural coverage and allows you to properly secure the mattress for a smooth and damage-free journey.

Equipment Needed for Moving a Mattress

Investing in a few extra supplies can significantly ease your moving process and guarantee the safe delivery of your prized mattress. Many of these essential items are available for rent, or you can conveniently purchase them from moving rental companies or online retailers.

Mattress Bag: Shield your mattress from potential damage, dust, grime, and unwelcome infestations by investing in a mattress bag. These protective covers are typically priced between $10 and $25 and can be found at popular retailers like Walmart, Target, Home Depot, U-Haul, or Amazon.

Dolly or Hand Truck: Streamline the mattress-moving process by using a dolly or hand truck. Purchase or rent one from local hardware stores or moving truck rental companies to effortlessly transport your mattress from the bedroom to the vehicle and into your new home.

Ratchet Tie Down Strap: Secure your mattress in place during transit by utilizing a ratchet strap. This two-piece tie-down strap is particularly effective when moving your mattress in a truck bed or moving van.

Nylon Rope: Alternatively, you can opt for a sturdy length of rope to ensure the secure transport of your mattress. Find these ropes at your local hardware store.

Cardboard: For more flexible mattresses, stabilize them with a large, flat piece of cardboard. This simple addition can significantly enhance the ease of transportation.

Tape: Use a strong, durable shipping or packing tape to seal your mattress bag securely. Shipping, masking, and duct tapes are excellent choices due to their waterproof nature and robust adhesives, preventing moisture from entering the bag and causing potential damage to the mattress.

Retractable Knife: A reliable, sharp knife is a must-have for any move. Ensure your knife is well-maintained, and exercise caution when cutting open your mattress bag. Local hardware stores typically carry a variety of suitable knives.

Tool Set: If your mattress is on a bed frame, a set of tools, including wrenches, screwdrivers, and Allen wrenches, can be invaluable for disassembling and reassembling the bed frame as needed.

Sandwich Bags: Keep all crucial parts, screws, nuts, and bolts organized by storing them in sandwich bags. This simple step ensures that essential components are not lost during the disassembly or transportation of the bed.

How to Move Your Mattress

Use a Mattress Bag:

Place your mattress flat on the ground or against a wall.

Lift one end while your partner slides the mattress bag over it.

Ensure all the air is pushed out of the bag.

Fold the flaps down and seal the open ends with tape.

Check for any small holes or rips in the bag and tape them securely.

Clear a Path:

Plan your route to the transporting vehicle and clear away any objects or debris that might obstruct the walkway and stairs.

Ensure that all doors along the path are propped open and are wide enough for the mattress to smoothly pass through, whether carried or wheeled on a dolly or hand truck.

Prepare Your Transporting Vehicle:

Ensure that the doors of your vehicle are open and the interior is clear.

If seats need to be removed or pushed down to accommodate the mattress, complete this process before attempting to move the mattress into the vehicle.

Lift the Mattress:

With one person positioned on each side of the mattress lengthwise, grab the bottom corners simultaneously.

Avoid using your back to lift; instead, engage your abdominal core and power the lift with your legs.

Lift in unison to ensure a balanced and controlled movement of the mattress.

Use a Hand Truck or Dolly:

Stand the mattress upright on its side and carefully place it on the hand truck or dolly.

If the mattress tends to be floppy, provide additional support by securing both sides with cardboard.

Exercise caution if your route involves descending stairs. Before lifting the mattress off the dolly, make sure to come to a complete stop at the top of the stairs. for the descent. Avoid attempting to roll a mattress downstairs using a dolly.

If a dolly or hand truck is not available, lay cardboard along the path to the vehicle and gently slide the mattress across the ground for an alternative method.

Load the Mattress into Your Vehicle:

If you’re using a moving van or pickup truck, lift the mattress off the dolly and place it into the cargo hold of the vehicle.

If you’re transporting the mattress on the top of a car or SUV, use a mattress bag to shield it from the elements. Exercise caution when placing the mattress onto the roof or luggage rack, and carefully check for any potential tears or damage.

If a moving van or truck isn’t an option, refer to the specific instructions for loading a mattress into your particular vehicle.

Secure the Mattress:

Moving Truck/Van:

Ideally, lay the mattress flat in the cargo space, avoiding stacking it on top of other items.

If standing the mattress upright, lean it Secure the mattress against the support wall by utilizing nylon rope or ratchet straps fastened to the support rails. If the length of the ratchet strap proves insufficient, connect two straps to achieve the necessary length.

Pickup Truck:

Ensure the mattress is laid flat in the truck bed.

Fasten one end of the nylon ropes or straps to the D-rings, wrap them over the mattress, and then ratchet or tie them securely in place. (using a “trucker’s hitch” knot) the remaining slack.

If the mattress is larger than the truck bed, leave the tailgate open and secure the back end with rope or a strap in an “X” pattern to prevent sliding.

Car/SUV (with Luggage Rack):

Lay the mattress flat on the luggage rack, checking for any rips or tears in the mattress bag.

Wrap nylon rope or ratchet straps horizontally across the front, center, and back of the mattress. Fasten the mattress to the rack using a robust knot such as the “trucker’s hitch” or a similar secure knot.

Car/SUV (without Luggage Rack):

If your car lacks a luggage rack, lay the mattress flat on the car roof, checking for any rips or tears.

Secure the mattress to the car by employing nylon ropes or ratchet straps placed across its front, center, and rear sections (including corners if available). Thread the ropes through the front passenger door jams and back passenger windows, ensuring they are anchored up to the roof.

Drive Slowly and Carefully:

Driving with a heavy load, especially on the roof or in the back of a vehicle, presents challenges. Proceed at a moderate pace to prevent the mattress from shifting during turns, sudden braking, or acceleration.

If your mattress is tied to the roof, stop periodically to check and ensure it remains securely fastened.

Opt for back roads whenever possible, and stay vigilant for potential shifts in the mattress during the journey. Drive with caution to ensure a smooth and secure transportation process.

Can Folding or Bending a Mattress Damage It?

It’s crucial to note that folding or bending a spring mattress in half can lead to structural damage, potentially compromising the comfort of your sleep or, in severe instances, rendering the mattress unusable. However, mattresses constructed with polyurethane-based memory foam, such as those found in Casper’s mattress-in-a-box, exhibit remarkable flexibility and suppleness. This unique characteristic allows them to easily spring back to their original shape even after being folded or rolled.

Similarly, latex mattresses can also be folded in half without permanent damage, and they typically regain their original shape within a few hours. This flexibility makes memory foam and latex mattresses versatile options that can withstand temporary bending without sacrificing their overall structure and comfort.

General Mattress Moving Tips

When tackling the task of moving a mattress on your own.

Straps or rope



Bubble wrap

Mattress bag or cover

Dolly or cart

Moving blankets

Put a Cover on It:

Even with sheets on your mattress, it’s crucial to ensure it stays clean during the move. Follow these steps:

Remove all sheets, toppers, and pads.

If using a mattress bag, slide it over the mattress starting from the top, then tape the opening shut.

If using plastic wrapping, bubble wrap, or moving blankets, wrap the mattress tightly, leaving minimal air between the material and the mattress.

For extra security, wrap the entire bundle with tape to prevent slipping.

Fold Up Your Mattress:

Folding is particularly useful for larger mattresses, making it easier for a single person to handle. Follow these steps:

Fold width-wise, not height-wise.

Keep the sleeping side facing inside to prevent dirt.

Ensure the top and bottom of the mattress base are touching.

Reinforce the fold with straps or ratchet tie-downs.

Reinforce Floppy Mattresses with Cardboard:

If folding isn’t an option, reinforce the mattress with a slab of cardboard. Secure it with straps or ratchet tie-downs to prevent movement.

Lift from the Knees:

Protect yourself from injury by lifting correctly:

Spread your feet shoulder-width apart for a stable base.

Bend at the knees, not the waist.

Tighten your core as you lift and keep the object close to your body.

Avoid lifting heavy objects above shoulder level or twisting your back.

Take Your Mattress to Your Vehicle:

Recruit help or use a dolly to move the mattress.

Clear a path and gently roll the mattress to your vehicle.

Consider renting a larger vehicle if needed from moving companies or home improvement stores.

By following these steps and utilizing the suggested equipment, you can successfully move a mattress on your own while minimizing the risk of damage and ensuring a smooth process.

Unpacking And Setting Up Your Mattress

When your brand-new mattress arrives at your new home, it’s crucial to kick off the setup process promptly for optimal comfort. Start by carefully unwrapping it as soon as it’s in your space to prevent any potential moisture buildup between the wrapping and your bed.

After unwrapping, prop the mattress up on its side against a wall, allowing it to breathe and settle. If you have the extra room, consider temporarily storing it in another area while you focus on assembling your bed frame and arranging other bedroom furniture.

Take advantage of this moment to give your mattress a thorough cleaning, as it may have accumulated dirt during the moving process and years of use. Cleaning methods vary based on the mattress type, so consult our handy cleaning guide for specific instructions.

Once your mattress is spick and span (or at the very least, vacuumed), proceed to set up your bed frame or foundation and carefully place your mattress on it. This ensures a fresh and inviting sleep space in your new home.

How Heavy is Too Heavy to Transport By Yourself?

For those who may be uncertain about tackling the challenge of moving a mattress solo, a common question arises: “How heavy is too heavy?” The answer hinges on various factors such as age, physical fitness, and overall strength, turning what might be a daunting task for one person into a manageable endeavor for another.

Size Matters: Larger mattresses, particularly king-size ones, naturally weigh more than their smaller counterparts. Additionally, thicker mattresses tend to be heavier than their thinner counterparts.

Material Impact: The type of mattress also plays a crucial role. Memory foam, hybrid, and latex mattresses typically carry more weight than traditional innerspring mattresses.

To assist you in gauging whether a solo move is within your capabilities, refer to the following mattress weight charts:

Mattress Sizes and Weights

Twin: 38 inches by 75 inches, weighing 40 to 45 pounds

Twin XL: 38 inches by 80 inches, weighing 43 to 48 pounds

 Full: 56 inches by 75 inches, weighing 50 to 60 pounds

Queen: 60 inches by 80 inches, weighing 120 to 160 pounds

King: 76 inches by 80 inches, weighing 130 to 180 pounds

California King: 72 inches by 84 inches, weighing 130 to 180 pounds

Mattress Types and Weights (for a Queen)

Hybrid: 100+ pounds

Innerspring: 70 pounds

Latex: 140 pounds

Memory Foam: 75 to 90 pounds

Air Mattress: 12 to 25 pounds

With this information at your disposal, you are equipped to make a well-informed decision. About whether to enlist help or tackle the task of moving your mattress solo, ensuring a smooth transition to your new space.

How to Store a Mattress After Moving It

When it comes to storing your mattress for an extended period, opting for a climate-controlled storage unit is the wisest choice. Fluctuations in moisture and temperature can foster the growth of mildew and bacteria, potentially compromising the integrity of your mattress. If, however, an attic or basement is your sole storage option, consider placing a dehumidifier beside the mattress to regulate moisture levels.

Ensure that your mattress is laid flat within its mattress bag, mimicking its position on a bed frame. Avoid placing any objects on top of the mattress, as this can harm its structure. If space conservation is a priority, it’s acceptable to position the mattress flat on a platform, pallet, table, or a similar surface.

Undoubtedly, moving to a new home is a taxing experience, and maneuvering a mattress adds an extra layer of complexity. Given the likelihood that you’ve invested in a high-quality mattress, the thought of discarding it is likely out of the question. While linens and bedding can be replaced, your mattress is irreplaceable. Take the necessary steps to safeguard your investment and ensure it reaches its destination unharmed, preserving both its quality and your peace of mind.

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