How To Move A Mattress By Yourself

Carrying a mattress by yourself can be a difficult task because mattresses are big, bulky, and sometimes super heavy. Friends, family members, or co-workers can help you move a big…

Last Updated On May 3rd, 2022
How To Move A Mattress By Yourself

Carrying a mattress by yourself can be a difficult task because mattresses are big, bulky, and sometimes super heavy. Friends, family members, or co-workers can help you move a big piece of furniture like a mattress. If for some reason, none of them are available or you don’t have time to wait for them, you may have to move a mattress by yourself.

While moving a mattress, it’s crucial to be careful, otherwise, you may damage your mattress or injure yourself. In this article, we share some tips to help you move your mattress carefully without ruining it.

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Things Needed to Move a Mattress by Yourself

Before you decide to move your mattress, consider whether you really need to. If you are waking up with pain or your mattress is more than 10 years old, then it’s probably time to replace your mattress.

Mattresses are expensive and most quality mattresses last at least 10 years. If your mattress is in good condition, you’ll want to take it to your new home. Buying a few things such as a mattress bag, bubble wrap, cardboard, and a dolly will make it easier to move a mattress by yourself.

Mattress Bag

Mattress bags are plastic, heavy-duty bags big enough to envelop your mattress. They are available in all standard mattress sizes. You can find them in hardware shops or stores selling moving supplies. They are not expensive, ranging between $5 to $10.

Bubble Wrap, Tape, and Scissors

Bubble wrap provides an extra layer of protection to your mattress. You can wrap it around an upright mattress, leaned against a wall. You’ll need tape and scissors to seal the mattress bag or bubble wrap before moving.

Tie-Down Straps

Use tie-down straps to make it easier to carry the bed out to the vehicle. Tie-down straps are available in any hardware store. Tie-down straps come with hooks and buckles, making it easier to secure things. You can use ropes if you are good at tying knots or you don’t have the time to buy tie-down straps.


You may or may not need cardboard depending on how you decide to pack your mattress. But it’s good to have it handy in case you need the cardboard to reinforce your mattress.


You can buy or rent a dolly, a platform with wheels, to carry the mattress from your house to the vehicle.

A Truck, Pickup Truck, or Van

You will probably need a big vehicle such as a truck, pickup truck, or van that has enough space to accommodate your mattress. Small size mattresses such as a twin, twin XL, or full can fit inside a van if you can fold down the seats.

Steps to Move a Mattress by Yourself

The thought of moving a mattress by yourself may be intimidating. But here we break it down for you in a few simple steps. Before you start, it’s best to remove all bedding accessories, such as sheets, mattress toppers, or pads.

Cover Your Mattress

Mattress bags are the most convenient way to cover your mattress. To put the mattress inside the bag, start by standing your mattress on its side. Then gradually insert the mattress into the bag. If the bag is zippered, you don’t have to tape it. But if it’s not, you can fold the open ends of the mattress bag and tape it down neatly. You can run the tape all around the mattress, securing the mattress inside the bag.

If you can’t find a mattress bag, pack your mattress with plastic wraps, available in most hardware stores. You can also bubble wrap your mattress for an extra layer of protection.

During moving, your mattress will most likely brush against the floor, stairs, walls, doors, and the insides of your vehicle. Covering your mattress properly protects it from water, dust, stains, or other damage.

Clear A Path to the Vehicle

Once you’ve covered your mattress, you can check the route from your bedroom to the vehicle. Moving any boxes or furniture such as small tables, chairs, or floor lamps out of the way eliminates the risk of bumping into an obstacle and breaking something. Prop any doors open, such as the bedroom door and main door, so your way is clear.

Sometimes king and California king sizes come in split versions, giving sleepers the liberty to choose mattresses with different firmness levels on their respective sides. A split king or split Cal king bed includes two small mattresses adding up to the size of one big mattress. Carrying these split mattresses is easier because the weight is divided into two smaller mattresses, instead of one big mattress.

Carry Your Mattress to the Vehicle

Larger sized foam mattresses may be floppy. Reinforcing them with cardboard will ease the process of carrying your mattress to the vehicle. You can use large cardboard boxes (30 inches by 30 inches by 30 inches). Once you disassemble and flatten the cardboard boxes, place one on each side of the standing mattress and tie the mattress and cardboard together using ropes or tie-down straps.

After you secure your mattress between cardboard, you can gently lift it about 0.5 inches off of the ground and slide it onto a dolly. To prevent the mattress from sliding off of the dolly, you can gently roll the dolly out of the house to your vehicle.

Drive to the Destination

Choose the right vehicle to accommodate your mattress size. Mattresses are best carried on their sides for easy maneuvering. While loading a mattress, keep it standing on its side, preferably leaning against a wall. If you don’t have space to keep a mattress standing up, we suggest laying the mattress down flat. Be careful not to stack anything on top of it, though, as excess weight on the mattress can cause sagging.

Other Ways to Move a Mattress

If moving a mattress by yourself still seems too difficult, hiring professional movers or shipping to your destination may be an easier option. Both these options will cost more money than moving your mattress by yourself.

Shipping a Mattress

You can ship a packed mattress anywhere in the country for around $300 to $700. The cost of shipping depends on how large your mattress is and how far you have to ship it. Shipping a mattress is a convenient option, especially when you are moving to a new city or state.

Hiring Professional Movers

Hiring professional movers is another option because it saves you the hassle of packing and carrying a large piece of furniture, such as a mattress.

How To Move A Mattress By Yourself

These professionals know how to best move your things without damaging them. But hiring professional services can be expensive.


Is it legal to tie your mattress to the top of your car?

Tying a mattress on top of your car is not illegal in the United States unless you haven’t tied it tightly. If the mattress is not tied properly, it may slide off the car, risking your life and the lives of others. You may be pulled over by the cops for not tying your mattress to the top of your car properly, and if your mattress falls off the roof, you can be faced with fines.

How can we move box springs or foundations?

We recommend packing them up with plastic wrap, followed by a layer of bubble wrap. Then, load the box springs on a dolly and carry them to your vehicle, just as you would do with your mattress.

Can we move a queen size bed in a van?

Queen size mattresses don’t fit inside most vans, but if you can fold them they might fit. It’s best to check with the mattress brand if you can fold your mattress without causing damage. Sometimes folding your mattress can lead to a voided warranty.


Moving a mattress by yourself requires a lot of hard work, but it is doable. If you prepare yourself well by gathering the required equipment, you may be able to move your mattress without much hassle or any help.

About the author

April Mayer has a degree in exercise physiology and is a firm believer in the power of a good night’s sleep. She spends her days reading, researching, and writing about sleep, and her nights, well, sleeping. April’s passion lies in helping others lead more productive lives by helping them get sound, restful sleep every night. April primarily writes about foods and vitamins for better sleep and has written several “better sleep guides” covering a wide variety of topics in her time with Early Bird. She's been a member of the team since March 2020. Additionally, as a sleep expert, April has been featured in various publications including Forbes, Greatist, Real Homes, Thrillist, Tom's Guide, and Eat This, Not That.

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