How to Move With a Mattress

Even under the best of circumstances, moving from one house to another is a stressful time.

There’s a lot to keep track of, and if you’re looking at this article, you’ve probably hit one of the biggest snags in the whole process – what on earth are you supposed to do with your mattress?

Your mattress is probably one of the bulkiest things you own, and it’s understandable if you’re starting to get a little worried about how you can possibly get that giant thing from point A to point B.

While there’s no denying that moving a mattress isn’t the easiest thing in the world, with the help of the right tools and techniques (plus, ideally, a couple good friends), you’ll be on the road to your new abode in no time.

So, here it is – the complete guide to mattress moving.

Good luck!

The Pros and Cons of Hiring Professional Movers

Alright, let’s be real here.

If you’re looking at an article titled “How to Move With a Mattress,” odds are pretty good that you’ve already decided against hiring a professional moving company.

Professional movers load a truck

This part of the process is really up to you, and honestly, your mattress probably shouldn’t make or break your decision to hire movers.

Still, if you’ve been on the fence hiring professionals, your mattress might give you good reason to sway one way or the other.

On the one hand, hiring movers is a whole lot easier.

These people have definitely moved their fair share of furniture, and no matter how big your mattress is, it’s definitely nothing they can’t handle.

Hiring professionals might save you a few headaches in the long run, especially if you’re having to move multiple mattresses, or if you just really don’t like having to think about this type of stuff.

That said, though, you shouldn’t let the challenge of moving your mattress make you think you have no choice.

If you put your mind to it, you will be able to move that mattress.

Don’t let the bulkiness of it make you feel pressured into making a decision one way or another.

Don’t Move with a Mattress on Your Own

If you do decide to go for the cheaper option and move the mattress yourself, you’re still going to want to enlist the help of at least one other person.

While it is technically possible to move some mattresses on your own, it’s not something you want to have to deal with if you can help it.

Friends help with moving

Most mattresses just aren’t really the right dimensions for you to properly move by yourself, no matter how strong you are.

They’re incredibly bulky, and it’s not like you can really carry them on your back.

In particular, avoid trying to move a memory foam mattress on your own.

They’re much heavier and floppier than innersprings, and if you try to move yours by yourself, there’s a good chance you’ll either get hurt or end up damaging your mattress.

How to Move a Mattress With Two People

If you’ve managed to get a friend to help, the first thing you’re going to want to do is stand the mattress on one end, with one of you on each side.

Decide in advance who is going to be walking forwards, and who is going to be walking backwards.

Both of you should lift up the mattress from the bottom corners simultaneously, lifting with your knees.

Be sure to carry the mattress at around hip level to avoid tiring out your arms, and take extra care around corners and doorways.

Always be sure to keep track of your surroundings when you’re carrying a mattress – if you haven’t moved everything out of your house yet, it’s easy to accidentally bump into things you didn’t want to and end up making a huge mess.

Can I Fold My Mattress?

If you can’t find another person to help you out with your move, or if you’re low on space and need to make your mattress fit properly, you might be tempted to try folding your mattress in half.

Be very cautious about doing this.

Innerspring mattresses in particular should not be folded.

Though you don’t see it, innersprings have a ton of steel pieces inside of them, and folding may do irreparable damage.

You might end up creasing or permanently bending coils, border rods, or other solid pieces of your mattress.

Do not fold an innerspring.

If you have another type of mattress, however – for instance, memory foam or latex – you might be able to get away with folding up your purchase if you do it properly.

Will My Mattress Go Back in Its Box?

If you got a Casper mattress, or some other kind of inflatable bed-in-a-box memory foam mattress, you probably won’t be able to get it back into its original box without going to quite a bit of effort.

They’re not designed to let you do that, although it may be possible if you’re willing to go to a lot of effort.

Basically, it just involves sticking your mattress inside a plastic mattress case, taping it air-tight, hooking a shop vac up to a hole in the plastic, and sucking until the air is all drained out. 

If that sounds like something you’d be willing to do, you can check out a step-by-step process of how one guy did it here.

How to Prevent Damage to Your Mattress When Moving

There’s a lot that can go wrong while you’re shipping a mattress, so you probably don’t want to leave it exposed to the elements more than you have to.

Invest in a mattress bag.

These are basically just plastic covers that will save your mattress from tears, dirt, etc.

You can also try covering your mattress with a tarp, although this won’t be air-tight, and you should definitely think about where you’ve been storing that tarp and what you’ve been using it for before you start getting it mixed up with that thing you sleep on.

If you do go with a mattress bag, you’ll find they’re usually pretty cheap, and it’ll often be worth your while to invest in a fairly sturdy one.

Some mattress bags come with zippers that will let you close them without any hassle, while others will need to be duct taped shut on either end.

How to Move a Waterbed

If you’ve been sleeping on a waterbed, there are some special considerations you’re going to have to take into account before you hit the road.

The good news is, waterbeds can be packed up small, so they’re less of a hassle in terms of storage and space.

The bad news is, all that water can be a royal pain.

 Here’s what you’re going to do.

First, turn off the waterbed heater, since this will protect the mattress while you drain it.

Then, refer to the instructions your waterbed came with.

With some models, you’ll be able to drain them out by yourself without any issues.

For others, though, you’ll have to rent an electric pump.

 Once you’re done draining, roll the mattress up as tight as it will go.

If you’re using a truck, you’re all set.

If you’re going to put your waterbed in storage for a little while, though, you’ll want to get some kind of container to keep the mold out.

How to Move an Air Mattress

If you’re moving an air mattress, on the other hand, your job just got a thousand percent easier.

Just suck out all the air, fold it up tight, and stick it in a box to prevent damage—you lucky duck.

Strapping a Mattress On Top of Your Car

If you’re going really cheap here and want to avoid the cost of a moving truck, movers, or moving container, it’s definitely feasible to move a mattress with just your car alone.

If you have a traditional spring mattress, you’re going to want to avoid getting it too bent out of shape by cramming it in with a bunch of other things.

Van with mattress on top

If you can’t get it to lie flat anywhere inside of your car, you’ll just want to go ahead and strap it to the top.

This is not illegal in most states (although you should double-check to make sure you’re all right).

If you strap your mattress poorly enough, though, you’ll be endangering other people on the road – so please, do not skimp on this step.

Before you begin, realize that this should be one of the last things you do before driving away.

Exactly why this is will become clear in a minute.

  1. Run a length of rope lengthways from the front to the rear of your car. This should be a little more than twice the length of your mattress (so you’ll probably want to have that measured in advance).
  2. Place the mattress on top of the rope.
  3. Have the driver and anyone else who is coming along for the ride hop in the car.
  4. Roll down all the windows.
  5. Pass two lengths of rope through the front two windows, and two through the back to windows
  6. Tie all four ropes into knots on top of the mattress, firmly securing it in place.
  7. Tie the lengthways rope overtop of the four rope-loops.
  8. Reinforce the whole shebang with bungee cords, duct tape, and more rope as needed.
  9. Drive slowly. You don’t want your mattress flying off halfway down the freeway.

If you’re not too handy with knots, ratchet straps are a great alternative to rope for securing your mattress.

Conclusion About Moving with a Mattress

If you’ve read all this and understood it, it’s now about time to hit the road!

Moving a mattress is kind of a pain, but it’s nothing to be afraid of.

You know what you’re doing now, and your mattress is going to get to your new home safe and sound.

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