Sleep Product Tester
Austin is a professional writer and researcher who has covered sleep science and sleep products for over a decade.
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.
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:
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:
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:
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 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.
|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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.