How to Move a Mattress Without Professional Help?

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It’s common knowledge that moving is not fun. But, in the real world, moving from one location to another is inevitable especially if your job demands it.  One thing that can dictate how you move to your next home is your mattress.

On one side, a high-standard supportive mattress can make a huge difference in the quality of your sleep. It offers immense support that keeps your body rested and refreshed throughout the night. On the other hand, such a mattress can turn to be a real hassle when it comes to transporting it.

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Now, moving a mattress isn’t a difficult endeavor when you have friends and family around. But, imagine everyone is occupied and there’s no one to help you. Well, some people might consider taking the route of hiring professional movers. But, imagine the service is too pricey and way out of your budget.

In these scenarios, taking the burden on your shoulders is the only option which according to experts is very possible. In this guide, we will offer you a few simple strategies that will make it easier for you to move a mattress without hiring professional help.

Should You Move Your Mattress in the First Place?

Before you can proceed to move a mattress to your new house, you need to ask yourself whether it’s really logical to transfer it. You see, mattresses can be expensive and special care should be observed when transporting them. Now, most manufacturers market their mattresses to have a shelf-life of about 10 years.

Although that’s the case, examining the overall condition of your mattress is highly necessary as it will help you determine whether to move with it or simply get rid of it altogether. If your mattress is torn, curved in, worn out, or has become less supportive, then it’s better to just dispose of it and purchase a new one when you get to your new place.

What Will You Need?

Now that you’ve decided to move with your mattress to your new location, the next step is to think of useful ways to keep your special mattress clean and well protected against possible wear and tear during the transport.

1. Get a Helping Hand

Let’s face it, trying to move a hefty queen mattress will definitely be impractical for one person to do it alone. So, in such a case, you’ll ultimately need help from a friend, a neighbor, a family member, or simply someone walking across the street.

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If your mattress is heavy, you might get injured in the process if you’re moving it all by yourself. Also, if the mattress is expensive, you’ll need to protect it from external damage which can’t be accomplished if you’re alone.

2. Mattress Cover

A mattress cover is a fabulous and worthy addition that makes moving a mattress easy and safe. For just a few dollars, you can purchase a plastic mattress bag to seal your expensive bed and to protect it from dust and damage during transportation.

3. Wrapping Materials

As soon as you’re done packing your mattress on your pickup truck or van, make sure to tie it on to prevent it from flying out of the vehicle. Ratchet straps and poly ropes are perfect options you can consider. These items are affordable, very strong, and reliable particularly when securing a mattress on top of a car.

4. Tape and Scissors

When you wrap your mattress with a quality cover, the next thing you’ll need is a tape to secure the ends vertically and horizontally.

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Finally, we have the scissors. Although they’re always overlooked, make sure to have a pair of scissors on hand, as this will come in handy when you cut the rope and the tape to keep the package neat.

Some General Mattress Packing Tips You Should be Aware Of

Cover the Mattress

When moving your mattress, the tops and the sides are most likely to get into contact with the stairs, the floor, and the ground outside. So, to keep it from getting torn and collecting stains, wrapping it in a plastic mattress bag or even with bubble wrap will prove to be a good idea.

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Lifting the Mattress

Since you’re doing things all by yourself, you need to maintain perfect posture when lifting the mattress from the ground. Make sure to bend your hips and your knees then squat a bit to lift the bed safely.

Folding Up the Mattress

If you’re moving a large bed such as a Quee, King, or California King size mattress, folding it to reduce its height and width is one way to ensure that the package is less flimsy.

How Do You Move Your Mattress Without any Professional Help?

Step 1: Prepare Your Space

Now that you’re well equipped with every bit of information, it’s time to get ready to move your mattress to its new place. The first factor you need to think of is how you’ll create a space large enough to wrap your mattress.

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To do this, you need to lean the mattress against the wall to remove the rest of your furniture such as your bed frame.

Step 2: Envelope It In a Heavy-duty Mattress Bag

Take advantage of the floor space you’ve created to seal your mattress. Here, you can use a plastic mattress bag to wrap your mattress. Wrapping the mattress is not entirely a difficult task as you only have to lay it on the floor then slide it up bit by bit until you’re done.

Step 3: Seal the Mattress Cover

When you’re done wrapping the mattress, the next step is to seal the open ends using tape. Since the mattress is likely to shift from one side to another during transportation, make sure to wrap the tape around the mattress both vertically and horizontally so it fits snuggly against the bag.

Step 4: Ask Your Pals for Help

Some beds such as King and Queen size models are quite bulky to move all by yourself. So, in such a scenario, you have to call for some backup to help you move the mattress.

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But, what if you’re entirely on your own and you can’t afford to pay for U-Haul to do the job for you? Well, you can improvise by using caster wheels or by dragging the mattress with the help of old blankets.

Step 5: Time to Load the Mattress on Your Car

The next step, which by the way happens to be the toughest, is getting the mattress on top of your car’s roof. But, depending on the type of vehicle you’re using, you may need to do this in a few different ways.

  • If you’re using a car, you need to be really careful as some mattresses are quite large to be transported in this way. To keep the bed’s position stable, make sure the mattress is well-balanced on the center of the roof.

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  • If you’re using a van or a moving truck, the mattress should either lay flat on a hard even surface or simply lean it upright against the vehicle’s wall. If there’s limited space and you need to place other items on top of the mattress, just make sure they’re not sharp, heavy, or too narrow to compromise the inner support of the mattress.
  • Pickups are perhaps the safest when it comes to moving mattresses. If your mattress is a double or single model, you can easily lay it flat on the canopy. However, if the mattress is a King or a Queen Size model, you’ll need to lay it at an angle against the wheel wells. To avoid compromising the inner supports, make sure that you don’t place heavy or sharp items on top or below the mattress.

Step 6: Secure the Mattress Safely

So, once you’ve loaded it on top, the final step is to secure your mattress perfectly to ensure that it doesn’t shift unnecessarily when the vehicle is in motion. Remember, if the mattress is loosely tied, it can easily get damaged or break free causing havoc to oncoming vehicles.

Ratchet straps are some of the best to consider as they strap the mattress tightly in place. It will protect your mattress from any possible shifting. If you don’t have these straps with you, you can consider using ropes instead.

Step 7: Drive Safely to Your New Home

If you’re using a car, driving with a mattress on the roof can be pretty dangerous especially if you’re a fast driver. So, to stay safe, you need to drive slower than normal to avoid risking your life and that of other road users.

If you’re driving alone, remember to keep an eye on the rear mirrors to detect any problems. If you have friends around, you can request them to drive behind you so that they can monitor your mattress.


So, if you’re planning to move your mattress without the help of a professional moving company, asking a friend to help you through is the best approach as it will save your mattress from potential damage.

A mattress is a considerable investment and finding one that suits well your level of comfort can be quite difficult. Although some people might opt to leave their mattresses behind when moving, following this guide closely will save you the cost and the hassle of purchasing a new one after moving to your new home.

Additional Resources

Henry Carlson
Henry Carlson

Henry’s first job was in the furniture and mattress industry as a sales associate. From there, he moved up to merchandising specialist for several years and then became an assistant manager. Working in the industry gave him access to a lot of products and also helped him gain in-depth knowledge.

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