Of course, it’s a whole lot easier to move a mattress with at least one other person than it is to move it by yourself. But sometimes, that isn’t an option. Moving your mattress on your own can be as easy as lifting your twin size innerspring by hand or as tough as trying to drag a king size latex mattress onto a cart. The bulkiest and heaviest mattresses may require a helping hand.
However, you can move your mattress by yourself with the right techniques and tools. Let’s talk about how.
Tools You’ll Need
Before you get started, you’ll need to gather a few tools.
You have to protect your mattress during the moving process. If you’re just moving it from one bedroom to another in the same dwelling, you might forgo the mattress cover. But those moving their mattress to a different apartment or house absolutely must put it in a protective bag or plastic wrap to defend it from stains and damage.
Cardboard (or a single sheet of plywood) can be used to stabilize mattresses that bend too easily. You can also lay your mattress on cardboard if you have to drag it across the floor. If your mattress is sturdy enough, you can swap cardboard for a moving blanket.
Rope or Tape
You’ll have to seal your plastic wrapping with packing tape. If you have a zippable mattress bag, you might want to protect the zipper with a piece of duct tape.
A set of wheels can make moving your mattress to and from the moving truck a much simpler process. Wheeling your mattress can also protect it from tears and other damage if you have to go a long distance to your vehicle.
Ratchet straps are nylon straps with a metal buckle that allow you to ratchet them tighter after placing them over your belongings. Alternatively, you can use a rope. But ratchet straps allow better tightening and control. That means you might purchase ratchet straps for your move. They’re not expensive, and they can save you time and property damage.
Steps to Move Your Mattress
Once you’ve gathered your tools, it’s time to actually start the process of moving your mattress.
Prepping the Mattress
If you’re moving your mattress into a storage unit, you’ll need to clean it before bagging it. The easiest way to clean your mattress is to spread a layer of baking soda on it. Let the baking soda sit for at least an hour before vacuuming it off. Make sure to do this on both sides of your mattress. Also, let it air out for a few hours to ensure any moisture is gone.
If you’re just moving your mattress from one bedroom to another, cleaning it is not as important. You can just bag it and be done with it.
To bag your mattress, stand it on its side or bottom and wrap it in heavy-duty plastic. Be sure to tape the seams of the plastic wrap well. Conversely, if you’re using a mattress bag, lean the mattress upright against the wall. Next, slide the bag from the top down to the bottom. Then, lay the mattress flat to pull the bag over the bottom and zip it.
Make sure you push out any air bubbles inside your cover before sealing it. Also, avoid leaving your mattress sitting vertically for longer than necessary. Leaning on its top or side for too long can damage your mattress. So it’s vital to keep it flat as much as possible.
Clearing a Path
Plan your route and ensure all items are moved out of the way before you start moving your mattress. If you have to get the mattress down a set of stairs by yourself, ensure you have enough space to transfer it from the cart to its cardboard/plywood board. Multiple flights of stairs may require two people to pivot around the tight corners.
Lifting the Mattress onto the Cart
Twin through full mattresses are easier to handle alone because they’re not as bulky. Queen and especially king/California king mattresses will likely need two or more lifters. Whether you have a helper or it’s just you alone, always remember to brace your core and lift with your knees and leg muscles. Never lift with your back.
Transportation to the New Location
When you’re transporting your mattress, you have two options. You can slide it on the ground using your cardboard. Or you can wheel it out the door with your dolly. If you have to get your mattress up or downstairs, you’ll need to transfer it to the cardboard and gently slide it up or down. This may mean dragging it on the cardboard is a more convenient option with fewer steps and less lifting.
Whatever you do, never just slide or drag your mattress on the floor. Not only does this drastically increase the potential for damage. It also exposes your mattress to dirt and even pests crawling around down there.
Mattress Sizes and Weights
Different people have different limits to how much they can lift and how much bulk they can handle. If you’re tall and strong and have long arms, you might be able to handle a king bed all by yourself without risking lower back pain and other ailments.
Conversely, if you’re small and not much of a lifter, even a twin might be a challenge and an unexpectedly heavy object. Only you can decide what your limits are.
Mattress Weights by Size
It goes without saying that smaller mattresses will weigh less than larger ones. But it’s not quite that simple because some materials weigh more than others. For instance, a full size latex mattress could easily outweigh a queen size innerspring one.
That means you need to be aware of your mattress’s size and material to make an educated guess as to its weight. If you don’t know your mattress’s size, you may need to measure it before moving so you can be aware of its length and height when on its side.
- Dimensions: 38 by 75 inches
- Weight Range: 40 to 105 pounds
- Dimensions: 38 by 80 inches
- Weight Range: 45 to 110 pounds
- Dimensions: 54 by 75 inches
- Weight Range: 50 to 150 pounds
- Dimensions: 60 by 80 inches
- Weight Range: 70 to 170 pounds
- Dimensions: 76 by 80 inches
- Weight Range: 130 to 220 pounds
- Dimensions: 72 by 84 inches
- Weight Range: 130 to 220 pounds
Mattress Weights by Material
As we discussed above, some materials are much heavier than others. If you have a smaller innerspring mattress, for example, you might be able to just lift it up and carry it out in hand. A latex mattress, not so much.
Innerspring mattresses are typically the lightest beds. They’ll weigh in anywhere from about 40 pounds for a twin to 130 pounds for a king.
Memory foam is a bit trickier because it has such a wide range of densities. Depending on your memory foam mattress’s density, size, and thickness, it can weigh anywhere from 50 to 180 pounds.
Hybrids are like memory foam in the sense that they have a wider, less predictable weight range. Coil count, foam type, and comfort layer thickness all play a role in deciding how much your hybrid weighs. Depending on all that, it could weigh in between 70 and 200 pounds.
Latex is heavy. So heavy you might feel like you’re trying to move the earth instead of a mattress. Latex mattresses will generally all weigh over 100 pounds, and larger sizes can easily top 220.
Though the heaviest mattresses will probably require two people to move, there are plenty of mattresses you can move by yourself. You just need to ensure you’re taking the correct precautions to protect yourself from injury and your mattress from damage.
Frequently Asked Questions
Transporting a mattress on its side is generally not a good idea. Mattresses are made to lie flat. So when they get bounced around in the back of a truck, they’re already under stress. Add being leaned on their side into the mix, and you’ve got a recipe for warped mattresses and damaged internal support cores.
This is especially true for mattresses with springs. Pure foam mattresses might handle gentle transportation over short distances on their sides if you have absolutely no other option. But any time on its side can damage the spring system in a hybrid or coil mattress. Protecting your mattress’s internal structure is also why you should avoid folding it during transport.
It’s never a good idea to load a mattress on top of your car. Not only are you exposing your mattress to things like dust, dirt, and wind damage. You’re also setting yourself up for a nasty accident that could damage more than just your mattress.
It’s easy for the wind to get up under your mattress and flip it off your car. When that happens, the mattress is almost certain to be damaged beyond repair. It could also hit other vehicles and cause serious accidents. That’s why you should always move your mattress to its new home in a large SUV, a moving van, or a pickup truck with a bed cover.
Yes. You should use a mattress bag anytime you move your mattress farther than from one bedroom to another in the same house. Though it’s more of a hassle to get the bag or plastic or bubble wrap on the mattress, it’s worth it because it can save your mattress from scratches, tears, and other damage during the move.
If you’re putting your mattress into storage, then yes, you do need to clean it. Not doing so exposes your mattress to everything from bacteria and mold growth to odor development. Enough time stewing in a cocktail of pests, microbes, and stench can ruin even a new mattress. That’s why cleaning is so vital before you store your mattress.
If your mattress is made of foam, it could be pretty easy for you to vacuum pack it. Head to the hardware store and grab a mattress bag with a valve. You’ll use this valve with the hose attachment on your vacuum to suck all the air out of the mattress. Once the air is out, your mattress will be much thinner and easier to move. Keep in mind this only works with foam mattresses. Mattresses with springs are a lot more complicated to pack than this.