How to Move Your Mattress

By Elizabeth Petty

Moving a mattress may not sound like a hard task, but there are plenty of things that could go wrong. You are moving a 100 lb hunk of foam and springs, after all.

We’re here to tell you the most important factor in moving a mattress is preparation. If you haven’t properly planned for your move, you may end up with a damaged bed, home, or person. Yikes.

That’s why we did the heavy lifting for you by crafting this guide on how to move your mattress the fast and risk-free way. Trust us, we have moved hundreds. No seriously, our team has unboxed and moved over a hundred mattress—via multiple flights of stairs, elevators, dollys, cars—you name it, we’ve done it.

First things, first.

Decide if your mattress actually needs requires your time and manual effort for moving. Sometimes an old mattress isn’t worth the cleaning, wrapping, loading, and moving when you could just donate it to a charity who will pick it up for you or a junk removal service which will help you recycle it.

If you’ve decided to get rid of your old mattress, check out our mattress disposal guide. For everyone that’s left, here is our step-by-step guide to properly move your mattress.

Step 1: Take Care of Hygiene

Before you wrap up the mattress to go, it’s best to give it a thorough inspection for rips, stains, or signs of bed bugs before proceeding. According to the home cleaning professional Ryan Nicholas, the time prior to the relocation is the perfect opportunity to thoroughly clean the mattress and get rid of any pests that may have accumulated over time.

Step 2: Gather the Proper Materials

What you’re going to need to move your mattress:

  • Plastic mattress cover
  • Tape
  • Ratchet Straps
  • A large vehicle

A Quality Mattress Cover

Getting a quality cover is an important task that doesn’t take much time or money. In fact, if you call any major mattress retailer in your town, they likely have a plastic mattress cover you can have for free.

Investing the time into finding a quality mattress cover will protect the item from dust, dirt, moisture, and pests both at home and during your move.

Tape

Once your mattress is in it’s cover, secure it with a bit of tape. Packing tape or good old duck tape will do the job just fine. Secure the corners, both the vertical and horizontal side, so there’s no way for your cover to slip.

Ratchet Straps

Like the cover, ratchet straps are also a vital part of moving a mattress. After all, you don’t want all that hard work of packing up a mattress to go to waste because you lost it on the interstate. Use ratchet straps to secure the mattress down to the vehicle you are planning to use for transportation. Ratchet straps are pretty inexpensive. You can buy a pack of 4 for about $15-20 online or at Walmart.

A Large Vehicle

Mattresses are definitely one of the bigger items that you can find in a house, which means that in order to move one, you’re going to need the appropriate vehicle.

If you are a proud owner of an SUV, for example, you’ll have fewer troubles fitting the mattress inside the vehicle (just make sure to lower the seats). Otherwise, we would recommend using a truck. But don’t be fooled. The pros at Mattress Advisor (aka regular ‘ole people) have found ways to fit mattresses into both Mazdas and minivans. (However, our professional opinion still remains: use a truck. This will keep your mattress in tip-top shape.)

Step 3: Recruit Some Manpower

You can’t move a mattress on your own. We’ve tried.

Mattresses can be extremely heavy, and even if they don’t weigh much, they can be difficult to grasp and maneuver. Do your back a favor and recruit some friends to help you out. Even just one extra set of hands will do.

Step 4 – Prepare the Mattress

Once you have properly planned for the move  by gathering the supplies you need and an extra set of hands, it’s time to move the bed.

Start by stripping the mattress of all bedding and making sure that the surface is completely dry. Whether you can tell or not, mattresses easily build up moisture so it may be a good idea to position the mattress in direct sunlight for a couple hours so it can dry out.

Once the mattress is dry, pack it inside the mattress cover and tape it shut.

Step 5 – Load Your Mattress

We like to think we have mastered the art of loading a mattress into a car but here’s some expert advice from Kate Hart, a professional mover from London:

  • For starters, place the mattress standing up on it’s longer side. After that, get your moving buddy to stand at one end of the mattress, while you do the same at the other side.
  • Next, grab the bottom corner of the mattress while kneeling. Make sure that you maintain a strong grip. Carefully stand up using your legs, not your back, and lift the bed. Now that you’ve got the mattress in the air, it’s time to actually move it.
  • Walk the mattress to your vehicle. Make sure to take careful steps and to move slowly. Keep the item at hip level. This way you won’t get tired. Communicate verbally with you helper at all times in order to avoid unexpected turns or one of you carrying more weight. If you get tired, place the mattress on the ground to take a small break and continue afterwards.
  • Once you’ve reached the car, place the item on the long edge of the vehicle in an upright position.

We don’t advise stacking other possessions on top of the mattress or placing the bed item on top of other heavy objects.

Step 6 – Secure the Mattress to Your Vehicle

Once you’ve successfully loaded your mattress, you’ll need to properly secure it. Here’s how:

  1. Grab your ratchet straps and set your mattress in place.
  2. Lay the straps over your mattress and secure it into place by hooking the straps to the designated grooves of your truck bed or moving van.
  3. Crank the ratchet straps to tighten your cargo into place. Be careful not to over-tighten as this could damage your mattress. A good rule of thumb is to make sure you can fir one finger in between the strap and your cargo.

Final Tips For Moving Your Mattress

  • Make sure to wear-closed toed shoes when moving your mattress. Sandals or flip flops increase the chances of tripping.
  • Be mindful of the weight and size of your mattress. Moving a twin mattress is much different than moving a king.
  • Weigh the pros and cons of using your own vehicle versus hiring a professional moving company. If you are transporting a mattress across town it should be easy to do it yourself. If you are moving cross country, you may want to hire professionals.

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