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Key Takeaways
  • Prepare in advance by gathering essential supplies
  • Make sure you have access to an appropriately sized vehicle
  • Use a mattress bag and heavy-duty tape to protect and secure your mattress
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help with your move

At first glance, moving a mattress might seem simple enough. In reality, though, given the size and weight of a mattress, moving it without a plan can risk mattress damage, physical injury, or both. 

A mattress is a big investment and is important for your nightly sleep, so it’s worth taking extra care to transport it properly. Knowing how to move a mattress and preparing in advance — including lining up the right supplies, vehicle, and helping hands — can make everything easier on moving day.

Preparing for the Move

Relocating a mattress requires managing a lot of moving parts. By adequately preparing before the move, you can make the process easier and protect yourself and your mattress from damage.

Gather Your Supplies

The first thing to do when preparing to move a mattress is get all your supplies together. While certain supplies may not be necessary for every situation, a few items tend to be helpful to have on hand when it comes time to transport your mattress.

  • Tape Measure: When moving a mattress, it’s important to know its exact size. A tape measure can get you an accurate measurement of your bed, ensuring that it fits in your mattress bag, your vehicle, and your new bedroom.
  • Mattress Bag: A plastic mattress bag can protect your mattress during a move. By fully covering your mattress with a specially designed bag, you can keep it safe from dirt, debris, and scratches on the way to its new home.
  • Heavy-Duty Tape: To keep your mattress secured within a mattress bag, you may want to seal the bag’s opening with heavy-duty tape. Packing tape or duct tape are strong and sticky enough to keep a mattress secured in a mattress bag or other plastic packaging even if it’s a bumpy trip.
  • Cardboard: Depending on the materials inside your mattress, it may not keep its shape well when being moved. If your mattress is on the floppier side, attaching pieces of cardboard on both sides can help stabilize it, making it easier to carry and load into a vehicle.
  • Furniture Dolly: By loading your mattress onto a furniture dolly, you can avoid bearing its full weight for too long and instead wheel it to and from your vehicle.
  • Rope or Ratchet Straps: Nylon rope and ratchet straps are sturdy and can help tie a mattress to the roof of a car, the bed of a truck, or the inside of a moving van.
  • Scissors: When you arrive at your new bedroom, you’ll need to take your mattress out of its protective covering. A good, sharp pair of scissors can cut through tape and a mattress bag. Scissors can also come in handy when cutting pieces of tape or rope to secure your mattress earlier in the moving process.

Ask for Help

Moving a mattress is usually at least a two-person job. Larger mattresses or those made with latex or coils tend to be heavy. Even if your mattress isn’t heavy, it can be unwieldy, tough to get your arms around, or floppy and hard to maneuver. 

For these reasons, trying to move a mattress by yourself can involve significant physical strain that could cause an injury. The risks may be even higher if you have to move a mattress up or down stairs or hoist it into a moving van.

If you don’t have a friend or family member available to help haul your mattress, you may want to consider hiring movers. Get quotes from different moving companies so that you can find the best deal.

Measure Your Mattress

Moving your mattress requires fitting it into a lot of different spaces, including a mattress bag, a vehicle, and your new home and bedroom. It’s advisable to measure the length, width, and thickness of your mattress to confirm it will fit where it needs to go on moving day. 

Find the Right Transportation

The three most common vehicles used to move a mattress are cars, trucks, and rental vans. Cars can be good for short distances but usually require securing a mattress to the roof. This can be problematic during inclement weather and may be challenging for longer trips. 

Trucks or moving vans, on the other hand, provide more stability and space for longer trips. A tarp can protect your mattress from rain in the bed of a truck, and a moving van offers secure interior space to keep your mattress out of the elements.

Best Tips for Moving a Mattress

When it comes time to move your mattress, it’s not as simple as just lifting it and walking out the door. There’s no one best way to move a mattress, but there are certain things you can do to make sure you have the smoothest experience possible.

Consider Your Mattress Type

Every mattress type poses different issues when it comes time to move, making it important to think about what you’ll need to successfully transport your specific model. 

Latex mattresses tend to be heavier and more unwieldy, so they can require up to four people to move them properly. Hybrid mattresses and other models with coils maintain their shape better, but that can make it harder to move them around tight corners or through narrow doors or hallways. Coil-based mattresses are also relatively heavy and tend to require two or more people to lift them. 

Most memory foam mattresses are lighter and easier to maneuver. Sometimes they can even be partly folded for simpler transport. Make sure the mattress isn’t bent for too long, though, since it can damage the materials. 

Regardless of your mattress type, it’s advisable to follow any manufacturer instructions regarding transport and storage.

Strip the Bed

Before you start moving your mattress, it’s important to remove sheets, mattress protectors, and any other bedding you use. This provides the cleanest and easiest surface for wrapping your mattress and helps ensure that your bedding doesn’t fall off and get dirty or damaged. After removing your bedding, pack it up so that it doesn’t become a tripping hazard when moving your mattress.

Wrap Up the Mattress 

Once you’ve stripped the bed, your mattress is ready to be wrapped in a protective covering. While you can create your own covering out of plastic wrap, it’s generally easier to purchase a disposable mattress bag. All you have to do is lift your mattress slightly and slide it all the way inside the open bag.

When your mattress is inside the bag, tape the opening shut to ensure the bag won’t open during the trip. The mattress bag can also keep your mattress clean if you’re putting it in temporary storage. 

Turn the Mattress on Its Side

After your mattress is safely sealed, it should be flipped on its side lengthwise, as this is the easiest way to maneuver it through standard doorways. However, certain mattresses struggle to stay upright when positioned on their side. By using cardboard reinforcements on both sides, you can help stabilize the mattress and make it easier to lift and move.

After it’s moved, don’t leave your mattress on its side. You should always store a mattress lying flat. That’s because some mattresses can suffer permanent weakening or damage from spending too much time upright.

Lift Carefully 

When you’re ready to lift your mattress, make sure to get a firm grip. Some mattresses or mattress bags come with handles, but cardboard, straps, or tape can also provide a grippier surface. Once you have a steady hold on your mattress, bend and lift with your legs to avoid strain on your back. Communicate clearly with whoever is helping you so that you lift and move in unison.

If you are using a furniture dolly, position the dolly so that you only have to slightly lift the mattress to position it. Depending on the size of the mattress and the dolly, you may want to use a strap or bungee cord to hold the mattress on the dolly.

Secure the Mattress Properly 

If you’re using a truck or a van, take the necessary time to secure the mattress inside the bed of the truck or the interior of the van so it doesn’t shift during transport.

If you’re strapping the mattress on top of a car, center it on the roof of the vehicle and ensure it doesn’t obstruct the windshield or rear window. Use sturdy nylon rope, ratchet straps, or other specialty mattress moving straps and make sure the mattress is completely secured on all sides before starting the trip.

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