How To Move a Mattress by Yourself

Written by: Andjela Kastratovic
Updated: 02/21/2023

It’s always better to get some help, but what if you’re in a pinch? If you’re wondering how to move a mattress by yourself, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! 

Let’s learn some valuable tips and tricks for getting that bed from point A to point B. 

What You Need To Move a Mattress

First, you must get proper equipment to make this process a bit easier. Here’s what can be of use. 

Mattress Bag

One of the few things you should worry about when you move your mattress is how to keep it clean. 

When you move your mattress, it’s exposed to dust, dirt, and other elements. Thankfully, a plastic mattress bag can help. 

Mattress bags are available in all standard mattress sizes, and you might find them in a hardware store. Just make sure it can fit the mattress inside.

Bubble Wrap, Tape, and Scissors

And if you can’t secure a mattress bag for whatever reason, you can always turn to the old-school solution – bubble wrap, packing tape, and scissors. 

You can find bubble wrap in most hardware stores, and you probably already have scissors and duct tape at home.

Tie-down Straps or Rope

Securing a mattress to keep it from wobbling and getting damaged can be done with the help of straps or rope. You can also get these at most hardware stores.

Ropes are the way to go if you know how to tie knots, and tie-down straps are a better choice for those who don’t. 

Cardboard or a Mattress Box

A large cardboard box can help you secure floppy mattresses and protect them from damage. Also, you could get large cardboard boxes specifically made to put a mattress inside. 

Those are especially good for transporting memory foam beds, which can get damaged easily.


When you’re moving a mattress by yourself, or even with somebody else, you need all the help you can get. 

Buy or borrow a dolly to move the mattress to the pickup truck, and your back will thank you! 

Old Blanket

And if you can’t get your hands on a dolly or similar helpful equipment, the best alternative is to put an old blanket to work. 

You’ll need to keep the mattress standing and slide the blanket under it, then just pull to get it moving. Use an old blanket because the floor will damage a new one.  

Get the Right Vehicle

You need the right vehicle before you move your mattress any further than the front door.

If you don’t have a big car or a small mattress, you should rent a pickup truck, a moving truck, or any other vehicle big enough to fit your mattress. You could even rent a U Haul.

Remember that sometimes you’ll need to keep a mattress flat so it doesn’t get damaged. So make sure that the truck bed has enough space to fit a mattress inside.

How To Move a Mattress

Now that you have the right tools to make this easier, it’s time to get our hands dirty. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to move a mattress. 

Prepare the Mattress

If you want to transport your mattress safely, you need to get it ready first. 

Remove all the bedding, toppers, and covers and pack them away. Now that your mattress is essentially naked, it’s time to get it out of the bed frame and secure it. 

These steps are essential for a couple of reasons. First, moving can damage and dirty your mattress, so you need to protect it. 

Second, packing your mattress in a certain way can help you move it around. You’ll see what we mean. 

Cover the mattress 

As mentioned before, you need to protect your mattress from dust and dirt, and watch out for water because it can cause mold

That’s why a mattress bag is there to help! Just lean your bed against a wall, shorter side to the floor, and slowly start sliding the mattress bag over the upright mattress. Some mattress bags come with a zipper, but others need to be taped up. 

And if you don’t have a mattress bag, plastic wrap or bubble wrap will do just fine. Cover the mattress entirely, add an extra layer if you want to, and use tape to make it safe and sound. 

Fold Your Mattress

We have to be honest here, folding a mattress is controversial. It’s something people only recommend sometimes, and you have to be careful when doing it. 

It does come with some benefits, though. Rolling a mattress will make it easier to carry, especially if you have a large mattress and need to move it yourself.

You should know that folding a mattress only works on thinner memory foam mattresses. This material is usually soft and durable enough to be folded for a while while you transport it. 

On the other hand, thicker mattresses and mattresses with springs can get really damaged from folding, and you could void the warranty by doing so, so avoid it. The best way to fold a mattress is width-wise, and you should keep the side you sleep on on the inside so it doesn’t get dirty. When you roll it up, use straps or rope to secure it.

Use Cardboard Boxes 

Cardboard boxes and mattress boxes are lifesavers when you have a floppy mattress, especially if it’s a memory foam one. 

A mattress box can really improve the whole moving process. Make sure to get the right size. But if you can’t get your hands on one of these, sturdier cardboard can help you deal with floppy mattresses.  

You can use thick cardboard if you can’t fold a mattress but want to keep it straight and undamaged. Please put it on both sides of the bed and secure it with a ratchet strap, rope, or even by rolling the plastic wrap over it. 

This will stop the mattress from sagging and even getting messed up. 

Clear the Path

Before moving through your home, make sure the path is clear. 

Think of where you will go, and start moving everything in the way. 

Floor lamps or small tables you could bump into on your way out? Move them. Something breakable? Relocate it. Are there any tricky corners or carpets to avoid? Keep them in mind and move them around. 

Next up, ensure all the doors are propped open so you don’t have to stop and do so when you’re already carrying the mattress. Also, open the doors to the moving truck and clear up space for the mattress. 

Clearing the path will help you get that mattress outside as quickly as possible, and you won’t damage it or your body in any way. 

Heavy Lifting

The mattress and the path are ready, but is your back? 

This is no joke; moving a larger mattress alone can get you a quick ticket to the closest medical professional if you aren’t careful. 

Here’s how to carry a mattress carefully without causing back pain or severe injuries. 

Rule number one: lift from your knees, not from your back. When lifting heavy things, you’re supposed to keep your feet shoulder-width apart, squat down, engage your stomach muscles, and raise the object slowly while holding it as close to your body as possible. 

Carry it without bending forward or to the side, and don’t lift anything heavy above your shoulders.

All of these rules also apply when you’re putting that mattress down. Remember, don’t bend forward!

We want to keep our spine healthy and whole!

Take Your Mattress to Point B

The best thing you could have to help you move a mattress is the assistance of another person, whether friends or family members. But we know that’s not always possible. 

So the second-best thing is to get a dolly to help you out. Just clear the path, set the mattress on the dolly, and gently roll it to the moving van. 

But what if you have to carry the mattress downstairs or can’t get your hands on a dolly? Then an old blanket will be your best friend. 

Put an old blanket under the mattress and use it to pull it around to the moving truck. This can help if you’re moving a big mattress or if the stairs are in the way. 

Once you get the mattress into the cargo van, pack it nicely. For example, you’ll need to lay a memory foam mattress flat if you don’t want it to get damaged, so don’t even think about putting it upright to save space.

Also, make sure you get a proper vehicle for this. Tying a mattress to the top of your car might seem like the easiest and cheapest way to go, but it can mess up the mattress and even cause accidents. 

Now you’re ready to get that mattress to wherever you need to get it! 

Alternatives for Moving a Mattress

So what do you think? Is moving a mattress by yourself something you can do? 

If the answer is no, don’t fret. You can do other things instead of following all the steps we listed. 

However, keep in mind that some of them are more expensive than others. 

Ship a Mattress

If you need to move a mattress over a longer distance, shipping it is the best option.

You’ll need to find a company online, gather data about locations and mattress sizes, and get different quotes. 

But shipping a mattress isn’t just about that. You’ll also need to prepare it for shipping and take care of some other things. 

Sounds overwhelming? Don’t worry; we have a mattress shipping guide to help you finish it in no time. 

Hire Professional Movers

Hiring professional movers to take care of your stuff and your mattress might be the best choice if you’re moving your entire home. 

Regarding packing a mattress, some companies offer to handle that if you pay extra, but most don’t come with this option. 

However, hiring professional movers is only worth it if you’re moving more than just your mattress. 

Compress Your Mattress at Home

Can you compress your mattress at home? Sort of.

Not every mattress material can be compressed. For example, you could do this on softer memory foam, but most latex and innerspring mattresses don’t work the same way.  

Put a mattress in a tightly sealed plastic bag and use your vacuum to get as much air out as possible. 

Watch out! If you do it wrong, you could even void the warranty. 

Also, know that you can’t compress a mattress as well as a mattress company can. After all, they have all of the professional equipment, and you don’t. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Tie Your Mattress to the Top of Your Car?

Technically speaking, you can, but there are better choices. 

If a mattress size is small enough to fit on the roof of your car without flopping too much, you can secure it with rope or tie-down straps. 

However, this isn’t safe for the mattress or for you. You have to keep the bed completely dry and out of direct sunlight. It could even cause a car accident if it isn’t secured properly.

In addition, you could get pulled over if a mattress is too floppy and obstructs your vision. 

What Mattress Is Too Heavy To Move by Yourself?

If you’re wondering how to move a mattress by yourself when it has excess weight, like a King or Queen size, know that it will be difficult. 

Mattress weight depends on mattress size, materials, and other factors. 

You need to know how big your mattress is and how much it weighs beforehand and determine whether you can handle it by yourself. 

Does Folding a Mattress Damage It?

It depends on the mattress. Folding a bed isn’t the best choice, but some can handle it while others can’t. 

For example, you can’t fold innerspring mattresses, and it can void the warranty.  

However, softer memory foam mattresses can be folded, which can even help with transportation. 

How Can I Move Box Spring or Foundation?

Moving box springs or foundations is similar to moving a mattress. It would help if you protected them; the best way to move a box spring is to use bubble wrap and tape. All of the other steps are the same as with regular mattresses. 

Final Thoughts

Moving a mattress can get messy, and you should get help if you can. And if your family members or friends can’t join, at least use a dolly. 

Other than that, moving a mattress is a simple but tricky and dangerous task. If you think you can’t do it, it’s time to research some alternatives. 

Or you could even get a new mattress for better sleep.

Good luck and get a good night’s sleep! 

Reviews written by:

Andjela Kastratovic - Co-editor

Anđela is a content writer by the day and an Illustrator by night. She loves anything creative, but sleep takes the cake – that’s why she enjoys writing for Anatomy of Sleep so much!

While in high school, she got accepted for her dream job – a ‘professional sleeper’. Her job was to test new mattresses from a local mattress brand and write reports on the quality of sleep. Ever since then, she’s been in love with reviewing mattresses and putting her compelling research into ultimate buyer’s guides. While not exploring the latest brands, she likes to illustrate and spend time with her dog and friends.