Moving a Memory Foam Mattress
Table of Contents
Memory foam mattresses can be very heavy. King sized memory foam beds often weigh over 100 lbs and are unwieldy given their size.
Moving a foam mattress is best handled by 2 or 3 people, not a single individual.
Unfortunately, there are occasions when nobody is available. You could always hire a professional mover, but this can get pretty costly, especially if your mattress is the only piece of furniture that has to be moved.
Having said that, if you live alone and need help moving a mattress, this page will give you practical advice on the best way to move a memory foam mattress on your own while keeping you safe from injury.
Whether you are moving latex mattress or a memory foam bed, these suggestions should help you save your back in the process.
Should You Move Your Mattress At All?
If you're facing the possibility of having to move a mattress on your own, it is worth asking: should you really move it?
Most mattresses have a lifespan of about a decade, after all – maybe yours is just past its prime.
If your memory foam mattress is sagging, has indentations or tears, or you are simply not getting a great night's sleep, it may be time to buy a new mattress and have it delivered to your home. Online bed-in-a-box memory foam mattresses exclude the middleman and can be found for less than $500.
If replacing your bed is not an option, then you'll have to move it.
So here are my best tips on how to move a memory foam mattress by yourself – without breaking your back.
General Mattress Moving Tips
While you can get more creative with your mattress moving methods, here are some basic tips for moving a mattress on your own.
Tools & Materials to Have Handy
Before we get into the various methods, the following materials and tools will help you move a mattress safely:
- Bubble wrap
- Dolly or cart
- Mattress bag or cover
- Moving blankets
- Straps or rope
1. Put a Cover on it
You'll want to cover your mattress to protect it from dirt, rain and stains during the move. While moving, the sides and tops of your mattress will most likely come in contact with stairs, floors, the exterior ground, or the interior of your moving van or truck.
Before you begin, take your sheets, pillows, topper, etc., off your mattress, then cover your mattress in plastic wrapping or a mattress bag. This will protect your mattress through the move.
If this is your first time wrapping a mattress for transport, then is a quick summary of the procedure:
- Remove all the sheets, toppers, and pads on your mattress.
- If you use a mattress bag, place your mattress against the wall, with the long side standing up. Slide the bag over the mattress. Drag the mattress on the floor and closely tape the opening closed.
- If you are using bubble wrap, plastic wrapping, or moving blankets, then place your mattress in a manner that makes it effortless for you to wrap it. Wrap tightly, leaving as little air as possible between the material and your mattress.
- Cover the whole bundle with tape for additional coverage as soon as you're done to maintain the bag or substance from slipping off.
2. Fold Your Mattress Properly
Folding your mattress will make it easier for one person to move, especially if you're moving a larger mattress like a queen, king, or California king.
Folding your mattress properly is probably the best tip we can provide for how to maneuver a king-size mattress. Folding it will decrease the width and height so that it is less flimsy, too.
Folding a mattress will only work if you've got an all-foam mattress that is moderate to thin in thickness (8-12″ thick). We don't advise folding a mattress that is thicker or contains coils or innersprings, as you could damage your mattress and void the warranty.
With that said, here is how to fold a memory foam mattress:
- Bend it width-wise.
- Maintain the side of the mattress which you sleep facing inside, so it will not get dirty.
- Make sure the top and bottom of the mattress foundation are touching.
- Once folded, bolster it with ratchet tie-downs or straps so it does not open.
3. Stiffen a floppy mattress using cardboard
If folding your mattress is not an option, try to reinforce it with a slat or two of cardboard.
Secure the mattress on the cardboard with straps or ratchet tie-downs, which will help keep it from flopping around as you move.
4. Lift using your knees – not your back
To protect yourself and not throw your back out, do not use your back to lift anything substantial, including your mattress.
To do this correctly, try not to lean forward when lifting – ever.
Instead, bend your knees and hips to squat down with your back completely straight and vertical; then, lift the mattress while keeping it as close to the body as possible and using only your legs to lift. Additionally, make sure not to lift above shoulder level and avoid turning or twisting your body.
Here are some quick tips on the best way best to lift using the knees in the U.S. National Library of Medicine:
- Spread your toes shoulder-width apart to get a broad base of support
- Get as close as possible to the object you're lifting
- Bend at your knees. Keep in mind not to bend at your waist or use your back
- While you lift, tighten your abdominal muscles or core
- Lift the thing slowly, using the muscles in your hips and knees
- Don't bend forward as you stand up with the thing
- Keep the object as close to your body as you can when carrying it out
- Avoid turning your back when lifting or carrying the thing
- Squat down as you set down the object, using the muscles on your hips and knees and keeping your spine straight
5. Move the mattress to your vehicle
Once you have your mattress wrapped/folded and secured, it's time to transfer it to your car.
The best way to do this is with assistance from someone else.
If you cannot recruit someone, the next best solution is to use a dolly – especially if stairs are involved.
Most solo people don't own a dolly. You can either buy one from a big box retailer like Home Depot for about $100. Or, you can rent one from a moving company like U-Haul. Some home goods stores also offer dolly rentals.
Clear a path and gently roll up your mattress to your car.
You may also need to rent a bigger vehicle to transport your mattress. Again, moving companies or home improvement stores sometimes have trucks you can rent.
Key Tips for Moving a Mattress by Yourself
Get the right vehicle.
Forget placing a heavy bed on top of your car – you're going to need a truck or a moving van to move your mattress.
Experts don't recommend securing a mattress on the top of a regular vehicle, as it will damage the mattress and possibly your car in the procedure. The mattress also has a high probability of slipping off your vehicle, leading to accidents.
Most beds should also be loaded and moved on their sides rather than flat. They should also be fastened down correctly with straps.
If you do not have access to a truck, then you borrow one or rent a U-Haul or another moving van/truck.
Ship Your Mattress
If you're attempting to move your mattress a long distance but do not have a truck or the money to rent a moving van to travel hundreds of miles, you can always ship your mattress.
First wrap it properly, and find a business on the internet that will ship a mattress for you. For example, we like uShip.com. Just enter the size of your mattress and how far you want it to go. They'll provide you several quotes to pick from; and, if the quotes are too costly, you can tell them your budget and see if any of the shipping companies are prepared to come down.
Use a Cart or a Dolly
Always use wheels to help you transfer your mattress from your room to the car, especially if you're moving it on your own. This tip is especially important if you carry a mattress up a flight of stairs.
Clear The Path
Ensure you have a clear path laid out before transferring your mattress. You don't need to step on something on the way or hit obstacles with your hands full.
You might encounter an obstacle trying to receive your mattress through the front door, and if you do, you will most likely have to angle around it, which can cause a back injury.
Consider carrying your mattress sideways or at an angle to make it match.
Drag Your Mattress
If you don't have wheels to assist, then the next best solution is to drag it on a blanket.
Find two big blankets that'll fit on top of and beneath your mattress. Place your mattress in the center of one and tie the top and bottom blanket together. From there, drag your mattress to where it needs to go (after hauling it in a car, of course).
You need to use blankets that you can part with if destroyed, especially if you're trying to pull your mattress across a rough surface.
Unpacking and Setting Up Your Mattress
Once your mattress arrives at your new location, here is how we finish the set-up:
- Unwrap the mattress immediately after delivery, even if you don't plan to use it right away. You don't want condensation getting caught between the wrapping and your bed.
- Prop the mattress on its side against the wall to let it breathe. If you have space, then temporarily store it in another room while setting up your bed frame and other bedroom furniture.
- This is an excellent time to give your mattress a deep clean because it has probably gathered dirt from the moving process and years of use.
- As soon as you've cleaned it (or vacuumed it), you can set up your bed frame or base and place your mattress on it.
We also recommend leaving the sheets off of your bed for as long as possible, because it gives your mattress a bit more time to air out.
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