How to Move a Mattress by Yourself

Last Updated December 29, 2023

No one likes moving; shifting roots from one place to another - even for a promising reason - is not frivolous work. And suppose you are someone who ends up shifting places way more frequently for comfort. In that case, you may have figured out the moving process to a tee - even so, you have to agree that moving a mattress is no easy task.

how to move a mattress all by yourself

One has to remember many minute details, and the stake is quite huge - literally - a mattress has a massive size. If you misstep anywhere in the moving process, the mattress can incur damages. You can still work with it if the damage is minor, but in case of significant damage, you may have to replace it with a new one, which entails a massive budget.

We are here to ensure you do not have to face that music! This blog will give you all the information you need to know about moving a mattress - either with the help of friends or if your luck has gone for a toss - by yourself.  Let’s start packing.

latex mattress

Tools you’ll need to move a mattress

There are a few staple tools that you will surely need at some point while moving a mattress. Take note:

1. Cardboard

If you have a floppy mattress, maybe because of its build or age, you cannot transport it as easily as a firm mattress. You have to stabilize the mattress’s core during the moving process by tying it to cardboard and then moving it.

2. Rope or Ratchet Straps

Once you have securely transported the mattress to the carrier vehicle, you have to keep it in place securely by tying it down. We will talk about the different ways you can tie down a mattress in a minute - but you have to keep it stable by tying it down with a strong nylon rope or fastening it with ratchet straps.

3. Dolly

hand truck to carry mattress

This tool will make the moving process from your room to the vehicle and back to your new bedroom streamlined. A dolly, better known as a hand truck, is a professional tool, so you don’t need to buy one. Instead, you can rent it from a moving or trucking company or a local hardware store and pay the rent for the day.

4. Bubble Wraps

Bubble wrap packaging material

By bubble wrapping the mattress, you will add another layer to it while moving, but it is an additional hassle. If you have a luxury mattress or mattress with unique properties like cooling or electric heating, etc. In that case, you must secure the mattress by any means.

5. Mattress Bag

You can pack your mattress in a mattress bag, which you can get for a few dollars at any department store near you. Once you seal the mattresses in these bags, they will be protected from dust, infestations, and potential damage when you start the moving process. You can also store the mattresses within the mattress bags for a long time until you decide to unpack.

6. Scissors or Cutting blade

Scissors icon
retractable blade knife2

You will need scissors when applying tape to seal the mattress or a rope to tie the mattress in place. In fact, a scissor or a retractable knife are those everyday tools you can put to use in any situation. Hop in any local store or stationery store, and you will get ahold of either one of the tools at affordable prices.

7. Packing Tape

You will need professional-grade packing tape while sealing the mattress in your mattress bag. These tapes are water-resistant, durable adhesives that withstand any moving pressures and weather tantrums. You can be sure that your mattress is safe once you have taped and sealed them in mattress bags.

natural and organic latex mattress topper

Steps to moving a mattress

We have outlined mattress moving tips in these 10 steps. These are general information you will find helpful in moving any size of mattress anywhere in the world.

1. Keep your moving tools handy

The moving tools we have listed above will be your best friends during the moving exodus. Throw in a toolbox if you have one, and you will have a set of tools you will find helpful every step of the way.

2. Get a couple of hands for the D-day

Moving a mattress by yourself is not a practical idea. Putting a mattress cover, transferring the mattress inside the mattress bag, bringing the mattress downstairs, then laying the mattress flat on the back of a pickup truck or a proper truck bed will be challenging for even a set of hands.

You have to rely on help from friends or families on the moving day. However, if you come up empty-handed in support, don’t worry. Hiring professional movers will solve your problem. Couple that with the services of mattress shipping companies, and you will find the moving process getting a bit easier.

3. Measure your mattress

Measuring the mattress before starting to pack the mattress will be productive. You must know the exact dimensions - length, width, and thickness of the bed before you can begin.

Measuring a mattress is important because you have to buy the right size mattress bag that can contain the mattress, and you will need to know which kind of vehicle or transportation is appropriate for that size.

measuring a mattress

4. Secure your mattress with a mattress cover

You can either put your mattress inside a cover which we call a mattress bag, or simply bubble wrap the mattress all over, and it will be ready to move.

However, our suggestion would be to bubble wrap the mattress and then put it inside the mattress bag. In doing so, you’ll need a bag that is a couple more sizes bigger than the actual size and thickness of the bed.

Here’s how you can bubble wrap and then cover the mattress:

  • Hold the mattress upright
  • Then use duct tape or packing tape to apply the bubble wrap all over the mattress
  • You may have to keep rotating the mattress on its sides so that you can reach all corners
  • Then open the bag wide enough so that you can slip the mattress inside slowly
  • Once it’s in, seal the bag with the zipper (if it has one) else, duct tape the mouth

5. Clear the pathway through which you will take the mattress 

It is best to keep moving the mattress until the last moment - that way, you will have ample time to pack all the items lining your room and corridor. Then, once the space is free, you can start packing the mattress and then carry it outside.

But if you are not moving yet and need to move only the mattress, you have to figure out the pathway through which you will take the mattress outside. First, open all the doors within the path, and remove the furniture, tables, chairs, lamps, cases, flower pots, picture frames, etc. - all the things that line the interior of your house before you carry the mattress outside.

6. Get the vehicle ready to receive the mattress

Prepare the pickup truck or the moving van by removing all additional items occupying the vehicle's space. For example, prep the truck bed by cleaning the bed of dust and grime and remove things you might have kept there. The same goes for the interior of a moving van - if you are planning to transport it via a van.

But you don’t have to worry about a vehicle if you plan to employ shipping companies. They, in turn, employ professional trucking companies who have ample cargo space to carry the mattress safely.

7. Lifting the mattress

A mattress is heavy, and if you are not careful, you can throw your back trying to lift it. There is a safe way to lift a mattress - bend your knees and lift it. You will avoid hurting your joints with sudden heavy lifting when you lift with your knees. Just bend your legs and squat - it will activate your core and enable you to channel energy to your arm muscles and lift the heavy mattress.

Your legs and hips will remain in a stable lock, generating energy that will help you pull the mattress up. Just make sure you are as close to the mattress as possible and don’t try to get the work done hastily.

lifting your mattress

8. Transport the mattress by placing it on a dolly

Once the mattress is up, transfer it to a dolly by placing it in an upright position. If you are working with a floppy mattress, you have to reinforce a cardboard structure to prop the floppy mattress up and then hold it in place with tie-down straps.

Once the mattress is secured, you can roll the dolly down the hallway and approach your vehicle.

9. Load it on the vehicle

As a rule of thumb, place the mattress flat on a surface and don’t keep anything on it when you are moving the mattress. We’ll tell you why.

When placing a mattress in an upright position, you are subjecting it to jerking and tossing - which is inevitable during a road journey. In addition, the mattress, even though suspended in place, may bounce, damaging the edges and compromising the integrity and firmness of most mattresses.

But if your mattress is traveling in a tight space with a few more items, you can keep it standing upright as the surrounding elements will hold it in place.

It would help if you did not place anything atop the mattress for the same reason - heavy objects will exert pressure and dent your bed permanently.

10. Depending on the vehicle you have, secure the mattress

Once you reach the vehicle, you must load the mattress in the cargo area of your vehicle.

In case of pickup trucks - place it flat on the truck bed and tie it down with nylon ropes.

If you are using a van  - harness it to the cargo space by propping it upright

If you are using an SUV or a car - place the mattress in the luggage rack. But if your vehicle is missing a cargo space, you have to tie the mattress to the roof.

securing and moving a mattress

Moving a mattress - Do's and don'ts

There are certain do's and don'ts you need to know when you are moving a mattress. They are not rules, but if you remember them while packing, it will save you a lot of hassle, remorse, and money.


Let us tell you what you must do:


You cannot ballpark the measurements of your mattress when you are out buying a mattress bag. You have to know the exact measurements of your mattress - length, breadth, and height before you bring a bag home. If the mattress fits the bag just about right, you should discard the bag and get a bigger one where the mattress packs loosely.

If tightly packed, even a good quality mattress bag will not provide enough protection during moving. To be on the safe side, get a bag one size bigger than the size of your mattress, and double bag your mattress.


Please take note of the mattress size and then choose a car that is best suited to transport it. You must understand that you cannot 'manage' to haul a king-size mattress tied to your Prius's roof. An oversized mattress will need to be transported by truckers or shipped, while a small mattress can be moved with the help of a van, car, or pickup truck.

When in doubt, always seek the help of moving truck rental companies. They'll know how to transport your mattress in the best possible way, even if you don't.


When traveling long distances, it's best to ship the mattress rather than try to move it yourself. Then, in exchange for a few hundred dollars, you can let go of the headache, and the mattress will reach your new address safely.

You can also ship your mattress while moving short distances, provided you have packed all your belongings in a couple of borrowed cars. Still, you need more space to fit a mattress. So save the mattress from damage and ship it!


Now, beware of the don'ts - if you value your mattress, please follow the don'ts:


Contrary to what anybody tells you or what you might read online - never fold your mattress, even if it's an old one. When you fold a mattress, you are damaging the coils, springs, and layers of latex foam within the mattress or a pure foam mattress, if you have one.

If you have a memory foam mattress, rolling will ruin the natural support and firmness of the mattress and disturb your sleep experience. Ideally, memory foam mattresses should be transported in a flat package and on a flat surface.


If the mattress is not fastened tightly to the roof, a sharp brake will throw it off the top, or it will slide off into the road even if you were driving slowly and had to brake suddenly. Such a situation will damage the mattress and put you and your co-riders at risk on the road.

natural and organic pillows

Related blog posts:

1. Twin Vs. Twin XL - Mattress Size Comparison

twin vs twin xl mattress size comparison

2. Awesome Sleep Apps That Will Help Improve Sleep Quality

3. Full Size Bed Dimensions: Mattress Measurements in Inches, Cm, And Feet

4. 5 Signs That Shows Its Time For A New Mattress

5. How To Care For Your Latex Mattress Topper

You will go right with the steps we have outlined here - these are the basic instructions you must follow for any mattress.

Special mattresses like box beds, memory foam, latex, hybrid, temperature cooling, etc., have a unique set of instructions that you must follow. Directives for these mattresses will contain just a few more pointers you must follow if you intend to keep using them for the long run.

The bottom line is - a mattress is heavy, and moving it is not a one-person job. So get help from friends or mattress movers if you have to, but make sure your mattress reaches your new home safely - where you can soon rest your head after a long and tiring moving process.

Disclaimer: What is said in this article has been referenced from multiple sources and is intended only for educational and informational purposes. Please note that no content in this article is a substitute for professional advice from a qualified doctor or healthcare provider. Always consult an experienced doctor with any concerns you may have regarding a health condition or treatment, and never disregard any medical suggestions or delay in seeking treatment because of something you read here.