February 26, 2020

How to Move a Mattress

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Mattresses are bulky, floppy, and downright hard to move. While it might be easier to leave them behind in a move, learn how to bring your mattress along.

Moving a mattress can be a lot of work. Before you get started, you may want to decide if it's worth it. Consider the following factors:

  • How old is your mattress?
    Does your mattress already have a lot of mileage? If you've owned it for 7–10 years, you may be wasting energy and money trying to move it.

  • What's the mattress' condition?
    Consider your mattress' shape. Does it sag, feel too soft, or make your back hurt? If so, this could be a good time to consider purchasing a new mattress.

  • What's the size?
    Don't worry about whether it's a king, queen, or even full mattress. Instead, measure it. Will it easily fit through your doorways or will you have to get creative?

  • Will it fit in your vehicle?
    If you are using your own transportation, determine if the mattress will fit. King size mattresses only fit in moving trucks. Queen size mattresses may fit in vans with the seats down or pickup trucks with nothing else in the truck's bed. And avoid driving with a mattress on top of your car—it's just not safe.

  • Do you have the muscles?
    If several people are helping you move, you'll likely have enough muscle. But what if you are on your own? Consider renting or buying a dolly to help you move the mattress. This will save your back and make the process go faster.

Items You Need to Move a Mattress

Before you move your mattress, prepare yourself with the following items:

  • Mattress Bag
    You sleep on your mattress, so you want to keep it clean. If you put your mattress in a moving truck, for example, it probably won't be. For less than $20, you can invest in a heavy-duty bag that will protect your mattress while you move. We think it's well worth it.

  • Packing Tape
    If your mattress bag doesn't zip closed, use packing tape all the way around the mattress to keep it closed. This keeps out bugs, dirt, and grime that could otherwise get on the mattress. It also helps prevent the mattress from ripping if it hits sharp edges.

  • Rachet Straps
    Once you get the mattress into the vehicle, you'll need to secure it. This is true even if you place it in a van or moving truck. Allowing the mattress to move around while you drive can damage the mattress.

  • Moving Blankets
    If you are short on muscle, you can place the mattress on moving blankets and drag it. You still need at least two people, one at the front and one at the back. But it'll help you move the mattress without hurting your back.

  • Durable Cardboard
    If you have a floppy mattress that doesn't want to stand upright, secure it with durable cardboard on each side. This will keep the mattress in the upright position, preventing more damage to an already flimsy surface.

Steps to Move a Mattress

Once you have your supplies and muscle ready, it's time to move your mattress. Start by making sure you clear a path. It's probably best to move any other bulky furniture first. Leaving the mattress as the last thing means you'll plenty of room to maneuver it.

Follow these steps to move your mattress:

  1. Give your mattress a quick once over with the vacuum. This will remove any loose dirt, bugs, or grime. Do this before you place the mattress in the mattress bag for best results.

  2. Place the mattress in the mattress bag. If there's room, you can also place the mattress pad, topper, and bedding in the bag. Seal the bag tightly either with the zipper or packing tape.

  3. Carefully lift the mattress (with your knees) and carry it to your vehicle. If you must go up or down the stairs, work slowly. And be sure to communicate with your partner should you need a break.

  4. Lift the mattress into your vehicle and use the ratchet straps or poly rope to secure it to the wall. Run straps so that the mattress can't shift, whether you lay it flat or on its side. Make sure not to place anything on top of it and keep sharp objects away from it in the vehicle.

  5. Drive slowly. While it seems sturdy, your mattress is fragile. Large bumps, harsh turns, and excessive speeds can cause items to fall onto the mattress and even puncture it, leaving you with a damaged bed.

Can you fold a memory foam mattress?
Your memory foam mattress arrived compressed in a box, so you can fold it, right? We don't recommend it. Once your bed has fully expanded, folding it could cause the foam to break or crack. It could also leave a crease in the bed. That means you'll have a less than comfortable mattress at your new place. Instead, use the tips above to move your memory foam mattress just like you would any other type of mattress.

Other Ways to Move Your Mattress

If wrapping your mattress up, muscling it out to the truck or van and heaving it into the new place doesn't work for you, consider these options instead:

  • Pay for Shipping
    Many companies will ship your mattress for you. Wrapping it in the mattress bag will still be your responsibility, but the shipping company handles the rest. This includes picking up and delivering the mattress. All you have to do is pack and unpack the mattress.

  • Hire Movers
    You can hire movers for a portion of your belongings and handle the rest yourself. If you want to save money, hire movers for the big stuff, like your mattresses, and do the little stuff on your own. You'll save money on labor and transportation while having the hardest thing—the mattress and furniture—moved for you.

Unpacking Your Mattress

Once you reach your destination, you should unpack the mattress right away. Place it on its side in a room you aren't using yet. If you can, open the windows to let the mattress air out.

Set up your bedroom and then move the mattress into that room.

Before you place it on your bed frame, however, give it a good cleaning. Even if you wrapped the mattress well, it could still have dust mites, dirt, and other grime. Give the entire mattress a once over with the vacuum before placing it on your frame.

Bottom Line

Moving a mattress takes time and preparation, not to mention muscle. Make sure you have adequate help and take the necessary steps to prep the area for the easiest transition.

Write to Kim P at feedback@creditdonkey.com. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for our latest posts.

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