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How To Move a Mattress by Yourself: A Comprehensive Guide

By: Christina Davies
Updated on: April 05, 2024

  • Moving a mattress by yourself requires careful planning and preparation to ensure both your safety and the mattress’s protection.
  • Gather essential tools and materials, including a mattress bag, bubble wrap, tie-down straps, cardboard, and a dolly, to safeguard your mattress during transportation.
  • Clear a path from your bedroom to the vehicle to ensure a smooth, unobstructed passage for moving the mattress.
  • If your mattress is large and floppy, reinforce it with cardboard to add stability and prevent bending during transportation.
  • Consider alternative options like shipping your mattress, hiring professional movers, or compressing it at home if moving it solo is too challenging.
  • Properly secure the mattress in your vehicle using tie-down straps or ropes to prevent shifting during transit.

Moving a mattress by yourself can be a challenging task. Mattresses are often large, bulky, and heavy, making it difficult to transport them without help. However, there are situations where you may not have access to assistance or need to move a heavy mattress very quickly. In this comprehensive guide, we will provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to move a mattress by yourself safely and efficiently.

Move a Mattress by Yourself

Moving a mattress by yourself requires careful planning and preparation to ensure the safety of both yourself and the new mattress itself. While it may seem daunting, you can successfully transport your mattress to a new location with the right tools and techniques.

It’s important to note that before you decide to move your mattress, consider whether it’s necessary. If your mattress is old, worn out, or causing discomfort, it may be a good time to replace it. However, if your mattress is in good condition and you want to take it with you to your new home, follow the steps outlined in this guide.

Things Needed to Move a Mattress by Yourself

Before you start the process of moving your old mattress down, gather the following tools and materials:

Mattress Bag

A mattress bag is a plastic, heavy-duty bag that is large enough to envelop your mattress. It provides protection against dust, water, and other potential damages during the moving process. You can find mattress bags in hardware stores or stores that sell moving supplies. Make sure to choose a bag that fits your mattress size.

Bubble Wrap, Tape, and Scissors

Bubble wrap is an additional layer of protection for your mattress. It provides cushioning and helps prevent any bumps or impacts during transportation. Wrap the bubble wrap around the mattress and secure it with tape. Scissors will be useful for cutting both the bubble wrap and the tape.

Tie-Down Straps

Tie-down straps are essential for securing the mattress during transportation. They come with hooks and buckles, making it easier to secure the mattress to a dolly or vehicle. If tie-down straps are not available, you can use rope packing tape to tie the mattress securely.


Cardboard can be used to reinforce your mattress and provide additional protection. It’s especially useful for larger foam mattresses that may be floppy. You can use large cardboard boxes or flatten and disassemble them to create a protective layer around the memory foam mattress itself.


A dolly, also known as a moving van or a hand truck, is a platform with wheels that makes it easier to transport heavy items. It will help you move the mattress from your house to the vehicle without straining your back. You can buy or rent a dolly from hardware stores or moving equipment rental services.

A Truck, Pickup Truck, or Van

You’ll require a vehicle large enough to accommodate the dimensions of your mattress. A truck, pickup truck, or van with enough space is ideal. Ensure that the vehicle has a clean and cleared-out cargo area before loading the whole mattress inside it.

Steps to Move a Mattress by Yourself

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Now that you have assembled the necessary tools and materials, follow these step-by-step instructions to move your own mattress cover all by yourself:

Step 1: Cover Your Mattress

Start by covering your mattress with a mattress bag or plastic wrap. If using a mattress bag, stand the mattress on its side and gradually insert it into the bag. If the bag is zippered, you don’t need to tape it. However, if it’s not zippered, fold the open ends of the mattress downstairs in the bag and tape it securely.

If a mattress bag is not available, you can use plastic wrap or bubble wrap to cover the mattress. Wrap the mattress flat over it tightly and secure it with tape. This layer of protection will prevent dust, water, and other damage during the moving process.

Step 2: Clear a Path to the Vehicle

Before you start moving the mattress, clear a path from your bedroom to the vehicle. Remove any obstacles, such as furniture, boxes, or other items that may obstruct your way. Prop open doors to ensure a smooth and unobstructed passage.

If you have a king or California king-size mattress, check if it comes in split versions. Split mattresses are easier to carry as the weight of a queen-size mattress is divided into two smaller mattresses. If applicable, disassemble and separate the two halves of the mattress for easier transportation.

Step 3: Carry Your Mattress to the Vehicle

If your mattress is large and floppy, reinforce it with cardboard. Place large flattened cardboard boxes on each side of the mattress and secure them together with ropes or tie-down straps. This will add stability and prevent the foam mattress itself from bending or flopping during transportation.

Once the mattress is reinforced, gently lift it about 0.5 inches off the ground and slide it onto a dolly. Use the dolly to transport the mattress from your house to the vehicle. Be cautious while maneuvering an upright mattress and ensure the mattress is stable on the dolly.

Step 4: Drive to the Destination

Choose the right vehicle that can accommodate the size of your mattress. Large mattresses are best carried on their sides to make maneuvering easier. If your mattress cannot be kept upright, lay it down flat in the vehicle. Be careful not to stack anything on top of the mattress, as excess weight on a floppy mattress can cause sagging or damage.

Secure the mattress in the bed frame or vehicle using tie-down straps or ropes. Make sure it is stable and won’t shift during transit. Drive carefully and avoid sudden stops or sharp turns to prevent any damage to the mattress.

Other Ways to Move a Mattress

Moving a mattress solo can be quite challenging, especially for those with limited mobility. Here are some alternative approaches to relocating your bed without the assistance of a partner

Consider Shipping Your Mattress

Shipping your mattress becomes a practical choice, especially when moving long distances. You can arrange to have your mattress shipped anywhere in the country, typically costing between $300 to $700, depending on its size and the distance involved. Some companies even provide the convenience of curbside pickup from your home.

Hire Professional Movers

Opting for professional movers can alleviate the stress of packaging and transporting your mattress. These experts are well-versed in handling your belongings with care, ensuring they reach their destination intact. Moreover, professional movers are trained to handle heavy items safely, making this option ideal for those with joint pain or mobility limitations.

Compress Your Mattress at Home

If you’re looking to make your mattress more manageable during a move, consider compressing it at home. The process involves vacuum-sealing your mattress in a bag, flattening it, and then placing it inside a suitable moving box. While this can be effective for short-distance moves, it’s essential to note that leaving the mattress rolled up for extended periods or not compressing it properly can lead to damage.

Invest in a New Mattress

It might be worth contemplating whether it’s time for a replacement for mattresses that have seen better days. If your mattress displays signs of sagging, lacks support, has unsightly stains or odors, or simply isn’t comfortable anymore, moving it may not be worthwhile. Instead, take the opportunity to explore new mattress options, many of which can be conveniently purchased online without leaving your current residence.

Moving your mattress can be a challenging task, but these options allow you to select the method that fits your requirements and situation.


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

Tying a mattress to the top of your car is generally legal in the United States as long as it is properly secured. However, it’s important to ensure that the mattress is tightly tied to prevent any risks or accidents. Improperly tied mattresses can slide off the car, endangering your life and the lives of others. Check local laws and regulations regarding mattress weight and vehicle securing loads to avoid legal issues.

How can we move box springs or foundations?

Box springs or foundations can be moved to a moving truck using similar techniques as mattresses. Pack them with plastic wrap or bubble wrap for protection, and secure them with tie-down straps or ropes. Use a dolly to transport them to the vehicle. Make sure they are stable and won’t shift during transportation.

Can I move a mattress in a car?

Yes, you can move a mattress in a car, but it’s essential to secure it properly and protect it from damage. Consider using a roof rack or a mattress carrier if your car has the space.

Do I need a special mattress bag?

Yes, using a quality mattress bag is recommended to protect your mattress from dirt, dust, and moisture during the move.

Can one person move a king-size mattress?

While it’s possible for one person to move a king-size mattress, it’s safer and more manageable with assistance due to the mattress’s size and weight.

How do I clean my mattress after the move?

After moving, allow your mattress to air out and breathe. If necessary, spot-clean any stains with a mild detergent and water mixture, then let it dry thoroughly before using it again.

Can I bend a memory foam mattress to fit it through doorways?

It’s not advisable to bend a memory foam mattress, as it can damage the foam and affect its comfort and support. Consider removing the door or disassembling the bed frame if necessary.

How can I protect my mattress during rainy weather?

If you’re moving in rainy weather, use a waterproof mattress bag and cover the mattress with a tarp to prevent moisture from seeping in.


Moving a mattress by yourself is a challenging task, but with good planning and the right tools, it can be accomplished safely and efficiently. Remember to gather the necessary materials, such as a mattress bag, bubble wrap, tie-down straps, cardboard, and a dolly, to ensure the protection and stability of the mattress during transportation.

Follow the step-by-step provided in this guide, and consider alternative options like shipping or hiring professional movers if necessary. By following these guidelines, you can successfully move your mattress to your new home.


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