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How to Move a Mattress By Yourself (Tools and Step-By-Step Guide)

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Written by: Alex Savy
Read 7 minLast updated on August 3, 2021

Moving into a new house is exciting…

…when you know that the moving company will come in to take the heavy lifting off your hands.

But what if you have to do all the moving on your own? How do you manage to transport your beloved mattress without damaging it or yourself?

Today’s post will explain how to move a mattress conveniently, in the safest way possible.

How to Move a Mattress

Essential Tools Needed to Move a Mattress

Let me start by listing what you will need:

  • Physical strength.

First things first, since you are going to be moving a mattress — which is considered a piece of heavy furniture — you need to be physically strong. If you are not in good shape or you are sick, this might not be the best time to move a mattress all by yourself. Which leads us to the second point.

  • Assistance.

You definitely need help with carrying your big mattress from the bedroom to the car or truck. And this is where extra hands come in handy. Asking your family, friends, or a neighbor to assist you will go a long way in ensuring safety. Also, you will need just as much assistance when bagging or packaging the mattress before the move.

  • Wrapping tools.

These can be a plastic wrap, a mattress bag, or some old thick blankets that you don’t particularly care for anymore.

Both the plastic wrap and the mattress bag are very cheap and can be found at your local store. You will also need some duct tape for extra security no matter what wrapping tool you use to protect your mattress. If you opt for the blanket option, make sure you have at least two of those to throw over both ends of the mattress and then secure with the duct tape.

Now, whether you are moving a memory foam mattress, an innerspring one, or an airbed, ensure that the type of wrapping tool not only will protect your mattress but also will not damage it.

  • Scissors.

Okay, it only makes sense to have a pair of scissors in place when working with duct tapes. You may also use your teeth or a knife, but I doubt this is safe for the teeth, and knife accidents are also common.

  • Ropes.

Finally, you need ropes or straps. This equipment does not apply to those who are moving without a car. I mean, if your new apartment is a walking distance away, then disregard this point. However, if you will move your mattress on top of a car or truck, then get some straps/ropes to fasten/tie your mattress to the vehicle. Make sure the rope is thin enough to tie securely but strong enough to not break easily.

Now that you have all the necessary tools needed, how do you go about using them?

Steps On How To Move A Mattress Safely

Step #1 — Create Enough Space

Yes, you need to make sure you are working in a spacious area before you start getting your mattress ready for the move.

So, the ideal thing to do would be to carry the mattress out to your front lawn or your garage where there is enough room to secure your mattress safely. In both cases, you will need a floor covering to place your mattress on, to prevent it from getting soiled by dirt.

Or, if you insist on working from the bedroom, then make sure the mattress is the last thing you try to move from that room. This way, you have cleared up sufficient space for you to work conveniently.

Step #2 — Wrap the Mattress Up

For this next step, there are a couple of things to consider.

The first thing is to avoid bending your mattress, as this can deform its construction, making it unable to properly support your body at night.

Secondly, determine the size of your mattress bag so that you knew if you should place the mattress vertically or horizontally. In case you are using blankets or a plastic wrap to cover your mattress, the positioning does not really matter.

Now, lift the end of your mattress to an angle that is enough to easily slide the mattress moving bag over it. Once the mattress is neatly inside the bag, you want to keep going until it is securely enclosed and then use the duct tape to seal it.

If you opt for the blankets and wrap sheets, then you have to carefully make sure no openings or holes are left unwrapped. This is probably one of the drawbacks with wrapping sheets, as any opening is potentially exposing your mattress to dirt and dust.

Step #3 — Drag Your Mattress Downstairs

The first milestone you need to overcome is transporting a mattress from your bedroom to your vehicle. You can approach this task in two ways:

  • For a foam mattress. If your mattress doesn’t have coils, you can temporarily fold it in half and secure it with the straps. This will allow you to move the mattress through the staircase and doorways more easily. Once you’ve reached the garage or your front lawn, unstrap and unfold the mattress, and proceed to the next step.
  • For a mattress with coils. Hybrid and innerspring mattresses cannot be folded because it will damage the spring layer. Plus, these mattresses tend to be pretty heavy, which complicates the transportation further. To move such a mattress, you can use blankets or sheets. Wrap the mattress in blankets from both sides and tie them up to create a loop. Use loose ends to drag a mattress to a vehicle. It’s preferable to use old blankets, so you won’t feel sorry about throwing them away in case they tear down.

Step #4 — Pick the Right Vehicle for Transportation

Not all vehicles are created equal, and, in case of the mattress transportation, the differences become especially visible. 

Of course, you can transport the mattress on top of your car, but this creates additional obstacles for other participants of the traffic and can be even considered as a traffic violation in some states.

To save you some time and nerves, these are the top three options you can use to move a mattress by yourself.

A Moving Truck

A moving truck packs plenty of space to locate the mattress horizontally and properly secure it. Although, you can also tilt it against the truck’s wall if you’ve got a lot of other large items. You can rent a truck for moving if you don’t have it: there are a lot of companies that offer these services.

Securing a mattress inside the truck is pretty easy: just lay it flat in the cargo area and be sure to not stack any other items on top. 

If you need to place a mattress vertically, lean it against the support wall of the truck. Then, use the straps to tie them around the support rails. You might need to clip two straps together so that they can go under your mattress, or use a long piece of rope.

A Pickup

If you’re using a pickup to transport your mattress, make sure that you position it as flat as possible, so it won’t slide off the truck bed. 

If you’re moving a mattress that’s bigger than the truck bed, you might want to open the tailgate and use the ratchet strap to secure the back end. Create an X-shaped loop with a rope or strap and put it through the hoops on the tailgate to prevent sliding.

As for the mattress, you should secure both its ends and the center to the D-rings in the truck bed and tie it with a ‘trucker’s hitch’ knot to prevent loosening.

Step #5 — An SUV with a Luggage Rack

Finally, you can move your mattress on top of your SUV, if it has a special rack. Lay the mattress flat on the rack and secure both ends and the center part horizontally, using the straps or pieces of rope. Clip the straps or tie the rope using a sturdy knot, and you’re all set.

Conclusion

Moving into a new place might feel like a tedious adventure. Still, the feeling you get from knowing that your cozy mattress will arrive in the best condition makes it worth it. If you can afford a moving company, go for it. But if you are a DIY sort of person, then hopefully this guide gave you enough insight on how to complete your mattress moving task.

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