How to move a mattressMattresses have come a long way from being filled with reeds, hay or wool during the glory days of the Roman Empire or being stuffed with pea chucks, straw or feathers during the Renaissance period. Modern high-quality bed mattresses come in all shapes and sizes: from innerspring mattresses to memory foam and latex ones, there is just the right mattress for every taste and budget.

While getting ready to move out, one question that is sure to come up during the busy preparations is how to pack and move your mattress. Now, don’t underestimate the importance of a high-quality mattress – you may choose not to move your bed due to the huge transportation cost, but you must definitely consider moving the mattress to the new home unless your careful evaluation of the mattress relocation situation indicates that the effort will not be worth it.

Moving a mattress without professional movers is not going to be easy, but you can make it work as long as you follow the packing and moving tips in this guide. If leaving your trusted bed accessory behind is not an option, then you will need to first learn how to pack a mattress for moving, and then how to move a mattress by yourself.

Mattress evaluation: Is it a good idea to move your mattress at all?

A good mattress is an investment that pays off with a better sleep, lack of back pains, stress reduction and a fresh and rested look in the morning. However, before you start worrying about the best way to move a mattress by yourself, you should stop for a moment and ask yourself this very question: will your bed mattress be worth the money, the efforts, and the time to be transported between the two homes?

According to experts in the field, mattresses must be examined every 6-7 years for signs of damage or overall decrease in quality. Of course, you don’t need an expert coming over to your home to assess the condition of your bed accessory simply because you are the best judge of that.

Will you move the mattress to the new home, or will you dispose of it properly and purchase a new one after the house move is complete? Here are a few questions that will help you make the right choice:

  • How to dispose of a mattress before moving

    Be careful how you dispose of your old mattress or else you’ll run the risk of getting fined for illegal dumping of mattresses.

    How old is your mattress? 2 years? 5? More than 10? If you have no idea, maybe it’s time you saved the transportation costs and invested in a brand new mattress after the move.

  • Have you noticed any recent problems with the mattress? Look for worn out, torn or caved-in areas.
  • Do you wake up with backaches in the morning? Backaches could be related to the bad overall state of your mattress.

Provided that you’re happy with your current bed mattress and that it’s relatively new and still in excellent condition, then there’s no doubt that you should start thinking about the easiest way to move a mattress by yourself.

33 moving mistakes to avoid on your next move

How to pack a mattress for moving: Protecting your mattress is key

The obvious reason why you have chosen not to hire professional movers to pack and move your belongings, including the queen size mattress or the king size mattress you own, should be that you’re moving on a budget and you want to save as much money as possible. Professional packing and moving services can be expensive, of course, so you’re taken the DIY approach to moving by relying on your loyal friends to give you a hand when you need it the most.

So, what’s the next step when packing a mattress for a move? It’s time to prepare the required packing materials, of course.

  • Mattress cover. The good news is that the only packing material you’ll need is a mattress bag – a plastic cover that will keep your mattress protected from the elements – water, dust, dirt, and overall wear and tear during the move itself. Such mattress protectors can be purchased for around $10 from any reputable hardware store, furniture store, or home depot store. A decent mattress cover can be found online for a few dollars as well. Visit your local specialized mattress shop and they should have suitable mattress moving bags.
  • Packing tape. One roll of tape should be more than enough

So, a good mattress bag and some packing tape are what you need to protect a mattress when moving. Ready? Follow these mattress packing tips:

  • Step 1. Remove the bedding from your mattress and pack all the bed sheets, covers and pillows separately.
  • Step 2. Take out the mattress from the bed frame but make sure you do it together with at least one other person helping you out. Queen size mattresses and king size mattresses can be rather heavy, so you shouldn’t risk any injury by trying to pull it off all by yourself. Hopefully, yours will be one of the mattresses equipped with handles for easier handling and safer transportation.
  • Step 3. Check the surface of the mattress whether it’s completely dry before slipping a plastic protector over it. If it isn’t, then either leave the mattress to dry out at a sunny and airy place, or use a hairdryer to dry the wet sports.
  • How to protect a mattress when moving

    Don’t forget to slip your mattress into a suitable mattress protector to keep it safe throughout the move.

    Step 4. Take a closer look at your mattress for possible signs of pest infestation. If you do notice something troubling, then consider 1) dealing with the infestation problem appropriately, 2) contacting a pest control service, or 3) changing your mind about moving the mattress altogether.

  • Step 5. Slip the plastic protector completely over the mattress – do this slowly while having another person helping you out.
  • Step 6. Use a bit of tape to secure the mattress cover so that no areas along your mattress remain exposed to the elements. Some more expensive mattress bags may come equipped with convenient zippers, so no need of tape in such cases.

As you can see, packing a mattress for moving is pretty straightforward. In fact, it’s the next stage in the mattress moving task that you should really focus on.

NOTE: If you happen to be moving in a hurry and you don’t have sufficient time to look for a special mattress cover, then you can use thick blankets to keep your bed accessory protected throughout the move. Moving blankets will work great, but ordinary household blankets will get the job done as well. Simply cover the big mattress completely and fix the blankets in place using tape or pieces of rope.

The best packing tips when moving house

How to move a mattress by yourself: The requirements

Here’s what you’ll need to complete successfully the mattress moving job:

A moving vehicle

One thing is clear – you’re going to need a moving vehicle to transport the mattress.

  • Pick-up truck. If the weather is nice and you have access to a pick-up truck, whether it’s your own vehicle or you can borrow it from a friend, then you have little to worry about because most mattresses of any size will usually fit into a standard pick-up truck.
  • SUV. Large SUVs may be able to fit almost any mattress provided that the back seats are folded forward and the mattress can be folded in half.
  • Moving truck. Of course, your safest bet is to rent a moving van from a local truck rental agency, in which case you should be ready to pay the moving truck charge, the per-mile charge, and the fuel cost. A moving van is also the best vehicle to move a queen size mattress or a king size mattress.

Moving equipment

Due to the substantial weight and enormous size of your mattress, sheer physical strength may not be enough to move a queen size mattress by yourself – or worse, a king size mattress. That’s right, you’re going to need a piece of moving equipment as well.

How to move a mattress alone

When your dear cat is the only one willing to help you move your mattress, then you must do the right thing and hire movers.

Moving straps or rope. Luckily, this time a set of moving straps should be enough to move your mattress safely out of your home and load it into the moving vehicle. Such straps can be found at home depot stores, but you can always substitute them for two long pieces of regular rope. Read on to learn how to use those straps or rope to make the mattress moving task easier and safer.


Not hiring professional movers to move your bed and your mattress will save you money, but the thing you must remember is that you can’t and you shouldn’t attempt to complete this task entirely on your own. Instead, gather a few reliable helping hands and get down to work.

How to save money when moving

How to move a mattress by yourself: The moving steps

Now you know how to cover a mattress for moving so that is stays protected until the new home’s bedroom is reached. The next step is to move the mattress safely without hiring the services of professional movers. Depending on the size of your mattress and the number of helpers you can gather, moving a mattress can range from being almost a breeze to being as tough as a moving task can be.

  • Step 1. Take a walk along the move-out route of the mattress and clear any obstacles that may be in the way. Open doors, remove packed or empty boxes, clear out any furniture pieces. Also, make sure there are no wet spots or dusty areas along the exit path.
  • Step 2. Place the mattress on the ground, standing sideways on its longer side.
  • Step 3. Position one moving strap (or piece of rope) under one corner, then have your helper do the same from the opposite corner.
  • Step 4. Signal to your helper and lift the mattress off the ground at the same time. The weight alone should keep the mattress well-balanced on the straps or rope. Keep your hands on the mattress to keep that initial balance.
  • Step 5. Start walking along the exit pathway and in the direction of the awaiting moving vehicle outside. Keep your postures straight to avoid hurting your back. Walk slowly and be extra cautious when going down the stairs.
  • How to move a king size mattress

    Are you really up to the challenge of moving your king size mattress?

    Step 6. Load the mattress into the moving vehicle using all the manpower available at that moment. Remember that the best place for your protected mattress is against the wall. Gel mattresses and memory foam mattresses must be transported flat because of the moveable foam pieces inside. All other types of mattresses should be positioned and moved sideways.

  • Step 7. Use pieces of rope to immobilize the mattress you have just loaded – any shifts during transport are not desirable.

How to move a memory foam mattress? As a thumb of rule, memory foam mattresses weigh more than standard mattresses, and they are more easily damaged either. Therefore, the best way to move a memory foam mattress is to buy a special mattress shipping box (contact your local mattress shop) and place it inside the cardboard box together with bubble wrap as a space-filling material. This way, the shape of the cardboard will keep your memory foam mattress from losing its shape (flopping) during the move.

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you’re thinking of strapping your big mattress on the roof of your car and transporting it that way to your new home, then think again. Moving a mattress on the top of a car is always a bad idea regardless of the move distance. Why? You already know the answer: a bulky and heavy mattress that is not secured well on the car roof could fall off, causing a car accident or injuring someone. If the police pull you over, you’ll probably get fined for unsafe driving.

Don’t risk it! Instead, borrow a pick-up truck or a large SUV from a friend, or rent a moving van to move the mattress to the new home. Naturally, the best way to move a mattress is to hire professionals who know exactly how to protect your investment. Get a quote and see how much you will get charged to have your valuable mattress moved quickly and safely.

How much does it cost to hire movers?

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