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How To Ship A Mattress

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Written by: Alex Savy
Read 9 minLast updated on April 16, 2021

When relocating, some possessions can be of a size that cannot be safely contained in your luggage or car. Hence the need for special transport arrangements. 

The larger size and weight of mattresses make them more complex to arrange to ship. 

Here we will outline a simple procedure you can use to ship a mattress, understand the cost-benefit, and what alternatives you have to shipping.

Steps to Mattress Shipping

1. Take Measurements

Just like when shipping any other package, your provider will want to know the dimensions and weight of the item they will be handling. This allows them to make arrangements such as what space the item may take up in their vehicle or container. 

If you have a queen or king size mattress, know they are often not accommodated by the postal service. You will likely need to engage private trucking companies that can accommodate this as a less than truckload shipment. 

It will also allow for a more accurate quote on how much it will cost to ship. Be sure to add details on the bed frame or box spring if part of the shipment. 

2. Source for Quotes

To find out the best deals you should shop around. Comparison shopping for this service is important in ensuring the shippers get the best value for their money.

Conduct an online search to find out what shipping company websites are top-ranked. Be sure to confirm your shipment matches their services and check out customer reviews both on and offsite. 

There are also comparison websites where you can source quotes from various shippers. You simply need to input the measurements and weight of the item you need to be shipped, the pick-up and delivery locations, and desired dates. 

Some sites may even allow you to set limits on your budget. The lower the amount, the fewer quotes you are likely to get. Or, you may have to wait and see if a provider will offer you a bid or rate. 

3. Prepare Your Mattress for Shipping

You may have a choice between preparing your mattress for shipping or having the provider handle it. Note that leaving this step to the provider will likely cost more. The reasons behind this: the added time, materials, and labor that will be used. The service can however be helpful to those that are physically not able to do the prep work. 

The first step when considering how to ship a mattress should be to strip the mattress of all bedding. If shipping the bed too, you may need to disassemble it. A bed frame is typically held together by small hardware pieces like screws and bolts. Get a zip lock bag in which to place them once the bed is disassembled. 

Then wrap up the bed pieces or box spring in shrink-wrap and bubble wrap or high-density packing foam. This should reduce the risk of damage in case of mishandling or accidents. 

The mattress will require a quality polyurethane encasement mattress bag. This covering is typically two to four millimeters thick. It protects against punctures and liquid damage. 

Be sure to get a mattress bag that corresponds to your mattress size. You should be able to easily find full, twin, king, and queen mattress sizes as standard. They typically come somewhat bigger so you can add extra cushioning within, like a blanket or cardboard to further protect your mattress. 

Once bagged, you can then place your mattress in a mattress shipping box. They also come in corresponding mattress sizes. Once in the box, you can fill up any extra space with cardboard, packing peanuts. Ensure you properly seal all the edges of the box using strong adhesive tape. 

4. Confirm Pick-Up and Delivery Details

This will depend on what service option you have chosen. Providers will typically offer curbside pick-up or have the client deliver the mattress to a pick-up location. 

Be sure to adhere to whatever timing is agreed upon to avoid delays. If they end up having to wait for you, your slot may be canceled or you may be charged extra. Even with cancellation, you may still be penalized financially.

To Ship or Not?

Before you set up a date and time for your mattress pick-up, be sure it is worth it in terms of cost-benefit. This means looking at the cost of the shipping process and compare it with the worth of the mattress. 

For instance, quality hybrid mattresses tend to come at a higher cost given their better health benefits. This type of mattress may be worth much more than shipping it cross-country. However, if the cost is close to the value of shipping, it may be better to simply buy another mattress. 

Some may opt to ship using their car to save on cost. While this may help in cutting expenses, there are certain legalities to be considered. There are no laws prohibiting mattress shipping this way. 

But, you may contravene certain laws if tying the mattress to your car obscures visibility for the driver or exceeds limitations on car length. If the rope comes loose you may also end up penalized for improperly secured loads(1). 

You may need to consult those in the moving business to ensure you do not run into trouble. Or, consider hiring a suitably sized vehicle that can accommodate your bed and mattress for the haul. Also note that tying such a heavy item to your car roof may cause damage to the sunroof, window frame, and door seals resulting in costly repairs. 

Those moving an RV mattress within the vehicle should not have a problem. Since many personal cars cannot accommodate mattresses within, you also have to consider how exposure to the elements may affect the condition and value of your mattress on its journey. Especially If the distance to be traveled is lengthy. In such instances, engaging a shipper or suitable vehicle is best. 

So what do you do if shipping is not an ideal option? If you decide that it is not worth it to ship a mattress, then you will require to make a purchase. Going online is a great way to find a wide variety of options at bargain prices(2).

F.A.Q.

Can I ship my mattress through the postal service?

Different providers have different policies on this. USPS does not undertake the shipping of mattresses. This is due to the larger dimensions and weight of most mattresses. FedEx does accommodate mattresses as part of oversized shipments. They however require it to be contained in a mattress shipping box. 

FedEx and UPS are also unlikely to accept anything bigger than a twin due to similar size and weight restrictions. The cost however tends to be prohibitive making alternative options like buying a new mattress at your destination a better deal. 

If you still prefer to ship, save on costs by considering trucking companies that handle cargo to your destination. They may offer less than truckload (LTL) services that can accommodate your mattress at a better cost. 

How much does it cost to ship a mattress?

The factors applied may vary somewhat from shipper to shipper. Most will however consider:

  • The weight and size of the mattress
  • Date of pick-up and delivery
  • Distance between the pick-up and delivery locations

The location for pick-up and delivery may also matter. Routes that have plenty of clients are cheaper for the shipper to operate along which can mean more savings to the customer. 

This is because the shipper can use a larger vehicle and have you pay for just the space your mattress will take up. It can also mean faster delivery and more flexibility in choosing pick-up dates and times.

Do I need to take insurance on a mattress shipping?

You might be wondering if insurance is a necessity for this kind of shipping. There is always the possibility that something can happen along the way that could lead to damage to your property. This is why you need to consider the reputation of the company you hire. Also, if the value of your mattress is significantly higher than the cost of shipping, insurance should be considered. 

As you work out how much does it cost to ship a mattress, consult the shipper. They can advise you on what reputable insurers cover this or you can opt to simply shop around online.

Conclusion

So what is the bottom line? When you are considering how to ship a mattress, you first need to decide if the cost is worth it. You get free quotes by going online with the measurements and weight of your mattress.

Comparing these cost estimates with the current value of your mattress will determine if you go ahead with shipping. If you do, consider insurance where the value is substantially high. Also, ensure you choose convenient pick-up and delivery locations and times. 

If shipping is not the ideal solution, consider selling off or donating your mattress and buying a new one at your destination. 

Did you find this guide helpful? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below and what else you think would be useful when mattress shipping

References:

  1. United States Government Accountability Office (November 2012). Federal and State Efforts Related to Accidents That Involve Non-Commercial Vehicles Carrying Unsecured Loads. Retrieved from http://www.gao.gov/pdf/product/650049
  2. National Retail Federation (October 11, 2018). NRF study says consumers shop at discount retailers regardless of age or income. Retrieved from https://nrf.com/media-center/press-releases/nrf-study-says-consumers-shop-discount-retailers-regardless-age-or

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