sleep foundation
author

Written by

Bill Fish

Are you planning a cross-country move? Or wanting to send a spare mattress to a friend or family member? If so, you might be thinking about the costs and logistics of shipping a mattress. 

Because of their size and weight, mattresses are more complicated and expensive to ship than most other items; however, that doesn’t mean that it can’t be done. With the right preparation and process, you can safely get your mattress from Point A to Point B. 

This guide walks you through that process so that you can understand what it may cost to ship a mattress, whether it’s actually worth having it shipped, specific steps that you should follow to get your mattress ready to send, and alternatives to mattress shipping. 

How Much Does it Cost to Ship a Mattress?

There’s no set price for shipping a mattress; however, you can expect it to cost at least $300. For heavier or longer moves, the price may be two to three times that amount. The actual price will be determined by a handful of variables that include: 

  • How far the mattress is being shipped
  • The size of the mattress
  • The dimensions of the mattress
  • How quickly it needs to arrive

As you would anticipate, the price increases with mattress size, shipping distance, and expedited delivery. 

Beyond the base price of just getting the mattress from one place to another, there are other charges to consider when penciling out the total cost of shipping a mattress. Some of these ancillary costs include: 

  • The price of any packing materials including a box, tape, and material to wrap and protect the mattress. 
  • Insurance that offers protection in case your mattress becomes lost or damaged in-transit. Insurance isn’t required, but if your mattress is worth enough to justify the shipping cost, it may make sense to have insurance just in case. 

Is It Worth It to Ship a Mattress? 

In many cases, it’s not worth it to actually ship a mattress. If the lowest price you can expect for shipping is around $300, then it wouldn’t make sense to send a mattress that is worth around that amount or less.

Of course, you should do your due diligence by finding out what shipping will cost in your specific situation. Once you have a concrete number, you can more precisely evaluate whether you should go through with shipping. Some questions that may help in that thought process include: 

  • Why are you shipping it? Think about the urgency and necessity of shipping the mattress as this will influence whether it’s actually worth paying for.     
  • How old is the mattress? Keep in mind that most mattresses have a lifespan of 5-8 years depending on how they are built. If your mattress is already several years old, it may not make sense to invest a few hundred dollars to ship it. The same holds true if the mattress is showing clear signs of wear-and-tear.    
  • How much did you pay for it originally? There’s a lot more value in shipping a mattress if you splurged on a luxury bed than if it was a bargain buy. Another way to think about this same question is considering what it would cost you to replace the mattress rather than shipping it. 
  • Would you be better served by a new mattress? Reflect on whether your current mattress is actually meeting your needs for comfort and support. A new bed-in-a-box mattress can be purchased online for an affordable price and with free shipping, so if you think it’s time for a new mattress, it doesn’t make sense to ship your old one. 

Shipping a Mattress: A Step-by-Step Guide

1. Get Quotes and Gather Information

Some sites will tell you that the first step is to get your mattress boxed up, but that’s a recipe for disaster. After all, you probably want to keep sleeping on it right up until you have arranged all the shipping details. 

For that reason, your first big step is to get quotes from shipping companies. By getting a quote first, you can make sure it fits your budget and truly determine whether shipping makes sense in your case. 

With most companies, you can get quotes either online or over the phone. To get the most accurate quote, use this checklist to make sure you have all the relevant information handy: 

  • The pickup address
  • The destination address
  • The length, width, and height of the mattress (rounding up since the box will add to these dimensions)
  • The weight of the mattress
  • The date for pickup or drop-off
  • The date when you need the mattress delivered

The best way to get the dimensions of your mattress is to measure it at home. If you don’t have a tape measure, you can get an estimate for length and width based on the standard mattress sizes. 

 Mattress Size  Dimensions
 Twin  38” x 75” 
 Twin XL  38” x 80”
 Full  54” x 75”
 Queen  60” x 80”
 King  76” x 80”
 California King  72” x 84”

 

The weight of a mattress varies considerably based on its thickness and interior construction and materials. 

 Mattress Size  Weight Range
 Twin  40 to 55 pounds
 Twin XL  45 to 60 pounds
 Full  50 to 75 pounds
 Queen  60 to 110 pounds
 King  85 to 125 pounds
 California King

 85 to 125 pounds

 

In general, all-foam mattresses are the lightest while all-latex and hybrid mattresses weigh more. If you know the brand and model of your bed, you can contact the manufacturer or look on their website to see if a specific weight is listed. 

If you’re going to ship your bed frame, make sure to account for its added size and weight when you are compiling this information for the quote. 

When you go for a quote, ask about factors that may affect the price. If you have a flexible delivery date or are willing to bring the mattress to a drop-off point, it may bring your price down. 

There are a number of companies that you can contact for a shipping quote: 

  • FedEx
  • United Parcel Service (UPS)
  • UShip
  • GoShip
  • TSI Shipping
  • Freight Pros

With any of these companies, make sure to confirm how long the quoted price remains valid. You can ask about price matching or discounts as well. 

The last thing to confirm when getting a quote is whether the shipping company has any specific requirements for boxing up the mattress and preparing it for shipment. 

2. Package and Box Your Mattress

Once you’re ready to prepare your mattress for shipping, the first thing to do is strip the bed completely. If you’re mailing the frame, take it apart and store all the small parts together. 

Before putting the mattress in a box, you want to protect it. You can do that with a mattress encasement, also known as a mattress protector, although this comes with an added cost. You can also use shrink wrap or bubble wrap. 

The next step is to put the mattress into a cardboard box. If there’s open space around the mattress, fill it with packing foam. Once the mattress is securely in the box, tape the box shut, making sure to secure all flaps and corners. 

3. Coordinate The Pickup or Drop Off

If you’re taking the mattress to a drop-off location, carefully move the box out of your home and into the vehicle you’re using for transportation. 

If the shipping company is picking up the mattress, make sure you’re home at the scheduled time. Before they arrive, clear a path so that they can remove the bed from your home without damaging any other furniture. 

For either drop-off or pickup, it’s important to get confirmation that proves that possession of the mattress was transferred to the delivery company. 

Alternatives to Shipping a Mattress

If you’re having second thoughts about shipping a mattress, it can be helpful to consider your alternatives. 

Renting a moving van is a solid option if you need to transport other items along with your mattress. Upgrading to a larger van that accommodates a mattress will cost more but still may be more cost-effective than shipping the mattress separately. 

If you aren’t up for driving a moving van, you can use a shipping pod. For these, you put your items into the pod, which is normally stored in a driveway or on the street in front of your home, and the company picks up and moves the pod on a pre-arranged day. As with a moving van, this option makes the most sense if you are moving numerous boxes or pieces of furniture. 

Buying a new mattress is often a viable alternative to shipping your old one. The price of mattresses online has dropped in recent years while the number and quality of options have expanded. There is great value to be had with online mattress shopping, and these mattresses almost always come with free delivery, as well as a sleep trial that lets you test out the mattress with the option to return it if you aren’t satisfied. If you go this route, you can try to sell your old mattress or donate it to a local charity.

How Do Mattress Companies Compress and Ship Mattresses?

The shipping process for a mattress company is quite different than for an individual. The main difference is that mattress companies have access to equipment that can safely compress a mattress without damaging the materials. 

With modern compression technology, even coil-based mattresses can be dramatically reduced in size right as they are produced. That compressed mattress is sealed in plastic, which allows it to hold its compact shape, and then put in a box for shipping. 

While still heavy, the shipping box is of a manageable size, allowing it to be delivered to your doorstep. When it arrives, all you need to do is bring the box to the bedroom (which may take two people) and remove the packaging. The mattress will regain its full size within a span of a few minutes to a couple of days. In most cases, you can sleep on the mattress immediately, although sometimes you may be advised to wait a few hours before using the bed. 

Because the mattress is compressed right after being made, some volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from manufacturing get trapped in the plastic. These VOCs can give off a mild odor when you first cut away the plastic, but they’re generally considered to be harmless. As long as your bedroom is relatively well-ventilated, that “new mattress smell” should fade within a few hours or at most a few days.