How to Move a Mattress When Moving to a New House

Men carrying mattress
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Knowing how to move a mattress is a skill anyone who is moving themselves should know. Not only will this guide ensure your mattress arrives in your new home without a rip, but it'll also keep the roads and highways safe.

Decide How You'll Move it

How you'll move your mattress will determine how you prepare it. If you're planning on securing it to the roof of your car or storing it for any length of time or having a mover ship it with the rest of your things, you should protect it from possible damage by wrapping it in thick plastic or by purchasing a mattress bag from a moving company.

  Most mattresses won't fit inside a car's trunk or hatch. However, if you have a van and can remove its seats, a single small mattress may fit without too much trouble. However, most cars or vans won't accommodate a large mattress.

What You'll Need

The following are the basic tools you should have available. In fact, most of these items should be part of any move you're planning to do on your own without the help of a moving company.  Some of these tools also show up in our list of the top 5 essential tools to help you move.

  • Thick plastic or mattress bag
  • Rope
  • Duct tape
  • Scissors
  • Work gloves
  • Extra pair of hands!

Wrap the Mattress in Plastic

First, wrap the mattress in plastic, preferably in a special sized mattress bag. Make sure that any extra plastic is taped down; the wind can easily rip plastic if it's not properly secured or create a sail that can cause the mattress to come loose.

You'll Need Enough Rope

You'll need enough rope to wrap around the length of the mattress three times (first long piece) and enough to wrap around the mattress width at least three times (second long piece).

This should give you enough extra rope to tie the ends.

Secure it to the Top of the Car

Place the mattress on the roof, making sure it's in the middle. Toss the first long piece of rope over the length of the mattress. There should be enough to secure one end under the front of your car and enough at the other end to secure the second end under the back of your car.

Make sure the rope is tied taut and that the knots on both ends are secure.

Tie the Mattress to the Roof

Next, open all the windows except for the driver's side. Toss one end of the second piece of rope over the mattress's width, then loop it back through the open windows. Do this twice before tying the two rope ends together inside the car. Make sure you leave the driver's side rope-free. By running the rope through the windows, you won't be able to open any doors; keeping the driver's side free will enable the vehicle's passengers to escape during an emergency.

Be Safe

The last piece of advice is to drive slow and take the back roads or streets if possible.  I've also had friends drive behind me to let me know if the mattress is slipping at all.  If you have friends helping with the move, you can also ask them to ride along with you, having each one hold the mattress through the passenger side and back windows.  This provides a little more security especially if you'll be traveling on a busy road, freeway or interstate.

Finally, whenever you're moving yourself and have friends involved, make sure you practice a safe move.  Following a few safety tips and suggestions can prevent unnecessary accidents from happening and help ensure your friends are willing to help you with your next move.