8 Tips for Moving a Mattress the Right Way

Kaitlyn Pacheco
Written by Kaitlyn Pacheco
Updated January 11, 2022
A bedroom with natural light
Photo: Joe Schmelzer / Corbis Documentary / Getty Images


  • Use the exact dimensions of your mattress to purchase the right size mattress bag.

  • Enlist a second person or a professional moving company to help move your mattress.

  • Consider using packing tape, a hand truck or dolly, tie-down straps, and ratchet straps to assist with your move.

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If the idea of moving your mattress makes you think, “Pivot! Pivot!” thanks to the pivotal scene from “Friends,” it’s time for a new perspective. 

While transporting your mattress from one place to another is no small feat, there are plenty of ways to make the task more manageable through handy packing materials and tools. Let’s take a look at eight tips for moving your mattress—without getting it stuck in a stairwell.

1. Start by Measuring Your Mattress

While you may know what type of mattress you have—twin, double, full, queen, king—do you know its dimensions? The exact measurements of your mattress will determine what size mattress bag to buy, the amount of storage space required, and, most importantly, whether it can fit through the doorway of your new home.

Use a tape measure to determine the length of the mattress from head to foot, and the distance from side to side for the width. That way, you can refer back to the exact dimensions whenever you need them.

2. Find the Right Mattress Bag

Whether you’re planning to move your mattress directly into a new home or temporarily put it in storage, protect it from the elements by wrapping it in a mattress bag. While it may look like a simple plastic bag, a high-quality mattress bag helps prevent stains, rips, and pests.

There are many different types of mattress bags on the market, but you can narrow your options by choosing one that matches your mattress size. When comparing bag options, consider the thickness of the materials, measured in millimeters (ml). The higher the thickness level, the higher the protection level.

3. Don’t Move a Mattress Alone

Couple carrying mattress in room
Photo: Cavan Images / Cavan / Getty Images

As a rule of thumb, you need at least two people to successfully move a mattress from one place to another. Even professional moving companies use multiple people to transport a mattress, especially if the trajectory requires maneuvering through stairs or tight doorways.

If you’re moving by yourself, enlist the help of a friend, relative, or neighbor to assist you with this step in the moving process. Or hire hourly professional moving help to ensure that your mattress makes it safely to its next destination.

4. Collect the Necessary Supplies

So, once the mattress is secure in its mattress bag, it’s ready to move, right? Not so fast. You will likely need a few more supplies to ensure your mattress makes it into the moving vehicle and stays protected throughout the move.

You’ll need to use packing tape, and possibly stretch wrap, to secure the mattress bag to start. You should also consider renting a hand truck or dolly to help transport your mattress from your old home to the loading area of your moving vehicle to avoid dropping it on the ground. Once the mattress is in the moving truck, you’ll want to keep it in place with ratchet or tie-down straps.

5. Clear a Moving Path

When you and your moving team are ready to carry away your mattress, the last thing you want to encounter is a blocked path to the doorway. Before moving your mattress, clear all items, including moving boxes, out of the way to create a wide walkway that leads out the door. 

That way, your moving team doesn’t have to dodge unnecessary obstructions while hauling your mattress.

6. Carry the Mattress by Its Edges

Mattresses are typically easier to move if you flip them horizontally. If you attempt to carry it while it’s vertical, the unsupported top of the mattress will flop around and make it difficult to see your moving path.

Instead, carry the mattress by its horizontal edges, with one person looking ahead and providing directions out to the moving vehicle. 

7. Strategically Load Your Mattress

Once you’ve successfully carried your mattress out of the house, it’s time to load it into your waiting moving vehicle. The best way to position and secure your mattress depends on whether you’re using a moving truck, moving van, or a pickup truck.

In a moving truck or van, you should push the mattress against the vehicle’s side wall, and push it to the back. Or you can position the mattress to act as a cushion between two large pieces of furniture, such as a couch or bookcase. Remember to secure the mattress with straps, so it doesn’t move during the drive.

If you’re transporting your mattress with a pickup truck, lay it flat on the truck bed and cover it with a tarp. Another option is to place the mattress on its side on one end of the truck bed. Use rope, tie-down straps, or ratchet straps to ensure it stays in place.

8. Consider Getting Moving Insurance

Moving insurance protects your belongings if anything is damaged, lost, or broken during your move. By purchasing a moving insurance policy, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that you’re entitled to some form of reimbursement if something goes wrong in your move.

However, check carefully to ensure that your moving insurance policy covers mattresses and box springs. Some policies specifically exclude mattresses or have specific requirements for how to pack them to qualify for coverage.

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