How to Move a Mattress by Yourself in 3 Easy Steps

Ok, so you need to figure out how to move a mattress by yourself.

And if you’ve already seen the WikiHow guide that advocates casually strapping the thing to the top of your truck or car as though physics and passing police officers aren’t going to be a problem – then you’re probably looking for a safer solution.

That’s why I’m going to show you how to move your mattress in three simple steps. This guide can be used if you’re simply moving your mattress across the street – but I’ve assumed the worst case scenario where you’re going to have to move it a much further distance.

However, before we jump in, I’d like to say that if you can get a friend to help – or even hire a professional moving service – shifting your mattress is going to be infinitely easier.

(You might also want to check out my guide to shipping a mattress and bed too).

But if that’s not an option – then read on.

How to Move a Mattress in 3 Steps

Right, before you do anything – you need to go and check what type of mattress you have.

Because the strategy below involves folding your mattress – which isn’t advisable for all mattress types.

More specifically, you should AVOID folding your mattress if it’s made from the old-style steel coils. Because folding a mattress that uses a ‘continuous’ or ‘Bonnell’ coil unit – where the steel coils are connected with wire – will not only prove to be very difficult, it will more than likely void the warranty.

If you have a pocketed coil construction mattress, you MIGHT be able to fold the mattress without issue – if the border rod is either absent or flexible.


If you’ve ever bought a memory foam mattress online – then you might have been surprised to see that it arrived in a relatively small package.

And whilst the bad news is that the manufacturer was able to do this only by using machines that can generate a lot of force – it does illustrate that memory foam mattresses can be folded without damaging them.

So, if you have a solid foam, memory foam mattress – or even a solid latex mattress – that’s around 8-11 inches thick, then you should be able to fold your mattress without a problem using the strategy below.

The only time I would exercise caution is if the memory foam layers are stacked without adhesive – since folding the bed may make it look like you’ve damaged it due to the layers shifting around.

However, in all cases, I would only fold a mattress for the shortest amount of time possible to avoid warping the material.

Before you begin – here’s what you’ll need…

In order to move your mattress, you’re going to need the following items:

  • Mattress bag – crucial for protecting your mattress and keeping it clean.
  • Ratchet straps – these are the most reliable way to hold your folded bed.
  • Tape – used for keeping your mattress bag in place.

1: Cover and Seal

Ok, so you’re going to move your mattress by covering it up to protect it, fold it to make transportation easier, and then actually move it.

But before you do any of that, you need to decide if you can easily move a folded mattress out of your room and outside to your vehicle. If not, put the mattress vertically up against the wall and clear some space in your room.

Done that?

Then take your mattress cover – and use the tape – to seal the mattress to protect it whilst you move it.

You’ll want to ensure that there are no open ends, and make sure you tape around the middle and the upper and lower thirds.

Make sure to tape in the opposite direction too – this way the mattress will remain secure even if it moves around in the bag.

2: Fold and Tie

If you have a mattress type that cannot be folded – then you’ll have to skip this part.

Otherwise, you’ll want to fold your mattress in half width-ways and then secure it in the most compact position using the ratchet straps.

If you’re trying to fold a twin mattress then you can probably get away with using one strap. But you’ll probably need to use two or three ratchet straps if you’re trying to fold a queen, king, or full size mattress.

Now, this is easier said than done – if you don’t have someone to help hold the mattress in its folded position whilst you tie it in place.

One strategy for doing this if you’re trying to move a mattress alone is to lay the mattress on top of the ratchet straps with the ends visible at each end (or use rope if they’re not long enough).

Then push one end of the mattress up against the wall, and use it as leverage so you can fold the mattress in half – taking the straps with you.

You should now be able to make the ends of the straps or ropes meet so that you can secure them together.

And hopefully, the end result will be a mattress that’s folded up securely whilst also being wrapped up in its protective cover.

That’s the hard bit done!

3: Move and Load

Next, simply pick up the mattress by using the straps from the ‘mouth end’ of the mattress – so that you can easily get your hands around the straps.

Then carry the mattress outside to your vehicle of choice.

Now, if you’re trying to move a mattress with a car, hopefully, you’ll be able to get it in the back by lowering down the seats.

If this doesn’t work, I strongly suggest hiring a van or using a site like uShip to find someone to ship your mattress because I would NOT recommend trying to tie the mattress to the car or use a roof rack – too much can go wrong and you might even get a ticket.

The same applies if you’re unable to fold your mattress. Try and get a truck or van that’s going to allow you to transport it unfolded.

Mattress Moving Tips

Ok, so hopefully those three steps will have helped you shift your mattress without a whole bunch of hassle.

If not, then I really recommend enlisting the help of a friend, family member, or a professional to help you get the job done right.

But before you head off, I’m going to close out this short post by answering some specific questions and providing you with a few tips.

Lift Sensibly

Always remember to protect your back when lifting anything.

To lift with proper form and reduce the chance of injury, make sure you bend and drive through the knees, keep your shoulder blades tucked, brace your abs slightly to avoid a hernia, and keep the object close to you for maximum leverage and to avoid falling over.

If you have any heart problems, make sure that you do NOT lift anything overhead – since this can put huge strain on the cardiovascular system.

If possible, make use of a dolly to move the mattress if you’re alone.

How to Move a Memory Foam Mattress

Moving a memory foam mattress should be the least troublesome out of the different mattress types due to its properties.

So, you should be fine by following the steps above.

But just remember that if there’s no adhesive holding the foam layers together – these may move around as a result of the folding.

How to Move a Mattress Upstairs or Downstairs

If you’re able to fold the mattress using the above strategy then you should be able to move your mattress upstairs or downstairs without too much of a problem.

But if your mattress cannot be folded (or you can’t fold it for whatever reason) then things get a little tricky if you’re on your own.

So if possible, I would definitely try to get someone to help you if the mattress needs to be moved upstairs.

I’ve attempted this before on my own when the mattress needed to be moved both upstairs AND around the corner into the bedroom immediately.

This meant that I had to bend the mattress around the doorframe AS it was still on the stairs steps – it was an absolute nightmare and I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone!

How to Move a Mattress Without a Car or Truck

If you need to move a mattress a significant distance without a car or truck then I strongly suggest that you use a shipping service.

But just to make sure that I wasn’t missing anything, I consulted Reddit on the best way to move a mattress without a vehicle, and the best answer was:

‘Duct tape it on top of 23 cats and leave a trail of Fancy Feast leading to your new apartment’.

Is it Easier to Just Buy a New Mattress?

Is your mattress between 7 and 10 years old?

Then it’s probably time to get a new one.

Especially if you’ve NOT been cleaning your mattress the recommended 4 times each year to help increase its lifespan.

So if you’re moving house, then it might actually be easier to have your old mattress collected and then ship a brand new mattress to your new address.

But what’s the best mattress to get?

Well, for a comfier night’s sleep – I’d recommend getting a memory foam mattress.

And if you end up moving again, things will be a lot easier with a memory foam mattress next time because as I’ve already said – you can fold them up with greater ease.

If you’re interested in buying a memory foam mattress – click the button below to view the AS range from Amerisleep.

Where you’ll be able to use my guide pick from their 5 mattresses to find the one that’s perfect for your sleeping position and style.

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