How To Transport a Mattress: A Simple Guide To Moving Your Own Mattress

It’s inevitable that eventually you will be moving from one location to another, and if you have invested in your favorite sleep surface, then you are going to be moving it with you. If you are lucky, then professional movers have you covered and will wrap and secure your mattress for transport. But if you are reading this, then chances are you aren’t that lucky person, and will need to come up with a plan to move your mattress without damaging it beyond repair.

Thinking back on the awkwardness of getting said mattress into the house in the first place probably has you wondering how you are going to attempt this. But no worries, we have you covered with a brief mattress moving guide to help you troubleshoot your biggest concerns.

What You Need:

Luckily there are some very useful things on the market available to help you keep your mattress clean and well protected no matter how you choose to transport. Ideally a larger moving style truck or van that you rest is the best choice for moving a piece of furniture of this caliber. However, if all you have is a pickup truck, or even just a car, you can still accomplish this task with very little in the way of materials.

A Helping Hand

Let’s face it, trying to lift and move around a mattress, much less secure it and load it, is a little more than awkward. Get yourself a helping hand for the short amount of time this takes to keep from damaging the mattress- or yourself.

Mattress Bag

These are fabulous and worth every penny. Plus they are cheap, and definitely worth purchasing for mattress peace of mind. They are also great for storing mattresses should the need arise.

Tie Down Ratchet Straps or Poly Rope

Ratchet straps are a great investment that you will find yourself using often once you own them. If you plan on moving your mattress using a pickup or car, then you need a way to secure it that won’t have you worried about your knot tying skills. If you ARE confident in your knots, then a good poly rope will also serve you well!

Step 1: Create a Place to Work

As established, mattresses are a bit awkward, and so you really do need to have a workplace to properly get it well protected. Rather than make it one of the first items to remove from the bedroom, rather lean it up against a wall and remove the bed frame and any other furniture you have in the room first. Then take advantage of the floor space you have left for the following steps.

What to rememberIf you try to wrap your mattress in a small area you increase the risk of tearing the bag, or not getting tape over openings without noticing.

Step 2: Slide Mattress Bag Over Mattress

As mentioned, a mattress bag truly is worth the slight investment in cost. Unlike trying to wrap your mattress in plastic, you don’t have to worry about trying to tape off every little opening or finding you cut the piece too small.

With a mattress bag all you have to do is slide the mattress into it. This really isn’t that difficult, even with one person. All you have to do is lay it all out on the floor and then slide each side up bit by bit until the mattress is within the bag.

What to rememberHeavy duty plastic will get the job done as well, but it does come with a cost also, and may not be as easy to get your mattress into. You can also do this with a boxspring if you have one.

Step 3: Secure Bag with Tape

Once your mattress is within the bag, all you have to do is fold over the top and then tape it all the way around the mattress to make sure it is sealed and secure. It’s good practice to also run tape around the mattress a few more time: in the middle, and then again about a third of the way up from the bottom (or top). This way you know that that the bag is snug against the mattress during transport.

What to rememberPress as much air out of the bag before you tape to avoid air pockets that could press out against pressure and make it easier to puncture.

Step 4: Load Mattress onto Vehicle

Depending on the type of vehicle you are using, you may want to do this a few different ways.


Van or Truck

If you are using or renting a van or truck, then you will want your mattress to either lay flat against a fairly solid surface so you don’t compromise the inner support, or upright flat against the side of the vehicle wall. If you place anything up against it, make sure there are no sharp points or angles, or any other type of heavy, narrow, hard surface that could cause damage.



Most pickup beds are large enough to comfortably fit a queen size or smaller mattress flat within the bed, or resting upon the wheel wells. A king size may need to lean against the side, possibly with the tailgate down- but again, it should set within it nicely for transport.

Make sure nothing is below or above the mattress (except [perhaps a boxspring) during transport to keep from compromising your plastic or causing any punctures to the mattress itself.



If you are going to transport your mattress on top of a car, then you will want to make sure to place it up there carefully to keep from ripping the bag on any luggage racks you have, or even bending something on your car you don’t want bent. Many small cars may be too narrow for larger, queen or king sized beds, so be sure to take into consideration size before you commit to this plan.

What to rememberThe most important thing to remember for any of these scenarios is to keep the mattress from coming into contact with items that may damage your sleep surface. If you are taking the time to transport this investment, you want to take the few extra moments it takes to place it upon your transport vehicle correctly.

Step 5: Secure Mattress

Once your mattress is within or on the vehicle it is to be transported in, you need to make sure it is secure to keep it from sipping and sliding, or losing it all together. Inexpensive ratchet straps really do come in handy for this as you can make sure you have it well tightened down with ease. As mentioned, you can use a durable poly rope as well.

For moving van placement, make sure the mattress cannot shift if laid flat. If it is placed against the vehicle wall then you should run a strap across it to keep it flat and from shifting. For truck beds all you need to do is run straps over the top of it, and perhaps along the bottom if you had to lower the tailgate. Most mattresses will stay well within their truck bed confine, but unexpected airflows have been known to lift them, and you’d rather be safe than sorry.

If you are using the car method of transport, then you need to pay close attention to tying down your mattress or you are sure to lose it along the road. Make sure that you tie it down across the width of the mattress in at least two spots – running the straps along the inside roof of your car if possible to keep it snug. You also should run a strap from front to back as well, which can be attached to the car fram itself.

What to rememberIf your straps are ever too short to reach, remember you can combine two together easily by hooking them together without sacrificing over strength.

Step 6: Helpful Tips

There are a few helpful tips that you might want to consider before getting started.

  • The car method has the higher incidence of mattress damage due to how it is being transported and the exposure to elements. You also can cause a pretty wicked accident if you don’t keep it secure enough.
  • If you have multiple mattresses, label them either for movers or yourself for easy placement once you have reached your destination. This takes the guesswork out of which belongs where, especially if you have help.
  • Drive more slowly and cautiously than normal if you are transporting out in the open. Fast speeds can cause wind to get under your mattress and cause a lift, which can be dangerous to both you, or any surrounding traffic.
  • Regularly check your load if you are going any long distance as straps and rope can begin to feel loose as your mattress begins to settle.


Many people choose to leave their mattress behind when moving, or try to sell it off to avoid hauling it with them. But a mattress is often a pretty large investment, and finding one that you are comfortable with can often be a challenge.

Although awkward in nature, with a little patience and some help, you should be easily able to transport your mattress with you to your next destination. An inexpensive mattress bag purchase helps keep it safe from the elements, dirt or dust from the move, and initial protection from anything it comes in contact with. Just remember to keep it well secured during the move no matter what it is being transported in to keep it from shifting or becoming damaged.