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How to Move a Mattress by Yourself: A Comprehensive Guide

Mattress Resources
Read Time: 5 minutes
  • Preparation is Key: Gathering necessary materials like a mattress bag or alternative covering, tie-down straps, a dolly, and a vehicle is crucial to protect and transport the mattress safely.
  • Protective Measures: Covering the mattress with a bag, bubble wrap, or plastic and reinforcing larger mattresses with cardboard ensures extra protection during the move, safeguarding against dust, stains, and damage.
  • Proper Handling Techniques: Utilizing tie-down straps, a dolly for maneuverability, and loading the mattress onto the vehicle securely while maintaining its position (standing if possible) minimizes the risk of damage.
  • Consider Alternatives: If moving the mattress solo seems challenging, alternatives like hiring professional movers or utilizing shipping services can provide convenience and expertise for a smoother relocation.

Moving a mattress by yourself can be a challenging task, but with careful preparation and proper technique, you can ensure a smooth and hassle-free process. Whether you’re relocating to a new home or simply need to transport your mattress within the same location, this guide will provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to move your mattress safely without causing any damage.

Things Needed to Move a Mattress by Yourself

Before you begin moving your mattress, it’s important to gather the necessary materials and equipment. Here are the key items you’ll need:

  • Mattress bag or alternative covering materials
  • Bubble wrap
  • Cardboard
  • Tie-down straps or ropes
  • Dolly
  • Truck, pickup truck, or van for transportation

Having these items on hand will make the process of moving your mattress much easier and ensure its protection throughout the journey.

Step 1: Assess the Condition of Your Mattress

Before deciding to move your mattress, assessing its condition is essential. If your mattress is more than ten years old or causing discomfort, it may be a good time to consider replacing it. Moving a worn-out or uncomfortable mattress may not be worth the effort and expense.

Step 2: Gather Necessary Materials

Once you’ve determined that your mattress is worth moving, gather the necessary materials and equipment. A mattress bag is the most convenient way to cover your mattress, protecting against dust, stains, and other potential damage. If a mattress bag is unavailable, you can use plastic or bubble wrap as an alternative.

Additionally, you’ll need tape and scissors to seal the mattress bag or wrap. Tie-down straps or ropes will come in handy for securing the mattress during transport, and a dolly will make it easier to maneuver and carry the mattress.

Step 3: Cover Your Mattress for Protection

Cover your mattress with a mattress bag or alternative covering materials to protect it during the move. If using a mattress bag, start by standing the mattress on its side and gradually insert it into the bag. Zip up the bag securely or fold and tape the open ends to ensure proper sealing.

If a mattress bag is unavailable, wrap the mattress with plastic or bubble wrap, ensuring that it is tightly secured. The covering will provide an extra layer of protection against water, dust, and potential damage during transit.

Step 4: Clear a Path to the Vehicle

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

Step 5: Reinforce Larger Mattresses with Cardboard

Managing a larger mattress, like a king or queen size, might pose difficulties due to its floppy nature. To make it easier to carry, reinforce the mattress with cardboard. Flatten large cardboard boxes and place them on each side of the standing mattress. Secure the mattress and cardboard together using tie-down straps or ropes.

The cardboard will provide additional support and stability, making it easier to carry the mattress without it bending or flexing excessively.

Step 6: Utilize Tie-Down Straps and a Dolly

To make the process of carrying the mattress easier and safer, utilize tie-down straps and a dolly. Tie-down straps with hooks and buckles can be attached to the mattress, allowing for secure and stable transportation. If tie-down straps are not available, you can use ropes to tie the mattress to the dolly or vehicle.

A dolly, a platform with wheels, will help you maneuver the mattress more efficiently. Gently lift the mattress about 0.5 inches off the ground and slide it onto the dolly. Ensure that the mattress is securely positioned on the dolly before proceeding to the next step.

Step 7: Load the Mattress onto the Vehicle

When loading the mattress onto the vehicle, consider the size and type of vehicle you’re using. Larger mattresses may require a truck, pickup truck, or van with sufficient space to accommodate them. Smaller mattresses, such as twin or full-size, can fit inside a van if the seats are folded down.

Keep the mattress standing on its side during loading whenever possible, as it allows for easier maneuvering and minimizes the risk of damage. If space constraints prevent you from keeping the mattress upright, lay it flat, but be cautious not to stack anything on top of it, as excess weight can cause sagging.

Step 8: Secure the Mattress during Transport

After loading the mattress onto the vehicle, it’s essential to securely fasten it to avoid shifting or damage while in transit. Utilize extra tie-down straps or ropes to firmly secure the mattress, ensuring it stays stable throughout the journey.

If you’re using a truck or van, consider using furniture pads or blankets to create a protective barrier between the mattress and other items in the vehicle. This action will lower the chances of scratches or impacts while transporting.

Alternative Options: Hiring Professional Movers or Shipping

If moving a mattress by yourself seems too challenging or time-consuming, alternative options exist. Engaging professional movers can ease the strain and physical exertion involved in moving sizable furniture items such as mattresses. These professionals have the expertise and equipment to handle the job efficiently and safely.

Another option is to ship your mattress to the desired destination. Shipping services can transport your mattress securely, saving you the trouble of handling it yourself. While this option may incur additional costs, it can be convenient, especially when moving to a different city or state.

FAQs about moving a mattress by yourself

How do I move a memory foam mattress by myself?

To move a Memory foam mattress solo, start by clearing a path and removing bedding. Then, place the mattress flat on the floor, secure it inside a mattress bag, and use packing tape to seal it. Gently roll the mattress from one end to the other, keeping it snug to avoid damage. Once rolled, use straps or ties to keep it in place. Remember to lift with your legs, not your back, to avoid strain.

Can I move a heavy mattress alone?

Moving a heavy mattress solo is possible with the right technique. Start by ensuring the path is clear, and prepare the mattress by removing bedding. Stand with your feet apart, position shoulder-width, and bend your knees. Lift the mattress using a steady and controlled motion. Secure it inside a mattress bag and gently roll it onto its side, using straps or ties to keep it in position.

Where can I find mattress bags for moving?

You can typically find mattress bags suitable for moving at most hardware stores or stores that specialize in moving supplies. These bags are created to safeguard your mattress while moving, preserving its cleanliness and shielding it from potential damage.

Is it better to move a mattress upright or flat?

While it’s generally recommended to move a mattress flat to avoid damage or distortion, there are situations where moving it upright may be necessary, especially if space is limited. If moving it upright, ensure it’s adequately secured and supported to prevent it from flopping or getting damaged.

Should I disassemble my bed frame before moving the mattress?

Yes, disassembling the bed frame before moving the mattress can make the process smoother. Remove the bedding and the mattress from the frame first, then disassemble the frame itself. This makes the mattress easier to handle and helps navigate doorways and stairs, especially when moving it downstairs or into a moving truck.


Moving a mattress yourself requires careful preparation and proper technique to protect it during transit. Following the steps outlined in this article, you can successfully move your mattress without causing any damage. Remember to gather the necessary materials, cover the mattress for protection, clear a path to the vehicle, reinforce larger mattresses with cardboard, utilize tie-down straps and a dolly, load the mattress onto the vehicle securely, and consider alternative options if needed. With these guidelines in mind, you can confidently move your mattress by yourself and make your relocation or transportation process much smoother.

Christine Lapp is a full-time graduate student and part-time freelancer for Sleep Junkie. Since she was a little girl on the soccer field, Christine has had a love for sports, and she believes everybody should get up and get moving once a day. Now, she incorporates her love for exercise into her studies, pursuing a degree in exercise physiology. Christine understands that what you do during your waking hours has a direct impact on your night’s sleep. In our better sleep guides, she offers advice for developing healthy daytime habits to nurture a more peaceful slumber.

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