Mattress Transportation 101: How to Move a Mattress

We receive free products to review and participate in affiliate programs, where we are compensated for items purchased through links from our site. See our disclosure page for details.

Mattresses are large, heavy, and often take two people to lift. Because of this, they can be a bit tricky to move.

Luckily, a few simple strategies can make it easier to transport your mattress (without throwing out your back). We’ll share some tips and tricks for how to move a mattress yourself or with professional movers.

1. Take Off Your Bedding

Taking a few minutes to prep your mattress will make it easier to transport. Make sure you remove all of your bedding, including any mattress toppers. This will shed excess weight and make it easier to grip the mattress.

Brooklyn Bedding Aurora Mattress Review

2. Cover Your Mattress With A Protector Or Mattress Bag

Another important preparation strategy is to cover the mattress with a mattress protector. This will help keep your mattress clean and protect it from scratches, stains, and other wear and tear during the move. You could also invest in a dedicated “mattress bag” for your mattress.

3. Choose How To Move Your Mattress

There are several options for moving a mattress. You can choose to move a mattress yourself by placing it on top of your car, inside of your car, or by renting a moving truck. Alternatively, you could hire professional movers to move your mattress.

There are pros and cons to each option, and you will want to consider which will work best for you.

Moving Method Pros Cons
On top of a car
  • Save money
  • Can be very dangerous if you do it incorrectly
  • May be hard to move your mattress yourself
Inside of a car
  • Save money
  • Need a large enough vehicle (i.e. SUV, pick-up truck)
  • May be hard to move your mattress yourself
Renting a moving truck
  • Cheaper than hiring professionals
  • You have to spend money
  • May be uncomfortable driving a rental truck
  • May be hard to move your mattress yourself
Professional movers
  • Professionals do it all for you
  • Most expensive option

How To Move A Mattress On Top Of A Car

Make sure the mattress is safely secured to the roof with sturdy rope; this will help ensure it doesn’t fall off and potentially cause an accident.

moving a mattress on a car

The Spruce says the exact length of rope required will depend on the width of your mattress: “Mattresses are 39 inches (twin) to 76 inches (king) wide. It’s a good idea to measure the width of your bed, then multiply that number by four to get more than enough rope. For example, 50 inches times four is 200 inches, which translates to a 16-17 foot long rope.”

When you are tying the mattress, make sure it’s centered on the roof of the vehicle, that your knots are secure, and that you don’t tie any rope through the driver’s side window so that the driver can enter and exit the vehicle safely. And of course, drive safely.

How To Move A Mattress In A Car

The main thing to figure out is what kind of vehicle you need to safely move your mattress. Depending on the size, the mattress may fit in the back of an SUV or hatchback (with the back seats down), a pickup truck, or a van.

As with the other moving strategies, make sure to read the manufacturer’s label to see if there are any instructions regarding how to transport the mattress.

How To Move A Mattress With A Rental Truck

Make sure you have a friend or partner to help you load and unload the mattress.

Just as you would if you had hired movers, make sure to read the mattress’s manufacturer’s label to see if there are any specific instructions for how to transport it. Make sure to follow those instructions carefully to avoid voiding the warranty.

If there are no specific instructions on the manufacturer’s label, aim to prop the mattress sideways against one wall of the truck. If you are moving more than one mattress, keep the mattresses stacked together.

RELATED: Best Online Mattresses

How To Hire Professional Movers To Move A Mattress

Once the mattress is ready to go, make sure it’s labeled so the movers can deliver it to the correct room.

Then, check the manufacturer’s label to see if there are any specific moving instructions. (For example, some mattresses need to be moved flat, some you can roll up, and so on.) Make sure to relay any specific instructions to your movers. This is important, because it helps you avoid accidentally voiding your warranty by failing to support the mattress correctly.

Final Thoughts

No matter how you choose to move your mattress, make sure you do it safely. If you are moving a mattress on top of your car, be sure you’re tying it correctly to ensure it will stay on the vehicle during transport. If you have to move a heavy mattress by yourself, be sure you have a partner help you, or hire professional movers.

And don’t forget to protect your mattress from damage while you move!


Is it legal to move a mattress on top of your car?

Yes, it is legal to move a mattress on top of your car. However, if you do not properly tie the mattress to the top of your car, that is illegal because you are endangering the life of yourself and others on the road. Specific laws vary by your geographic location, so be sure to check with your state and city laws before tying a mattress to the top of your car.

How much does it cost to move a mattress?

The cost of moving a mattress depends on your method of transportation. If you move a mattress yourself on top of or inside a car, you won’t have to pay anything unless you want to purchase moving equipment like a handheld truck or mattress bag to make moving easier. If you purchase a rental truck to move a mattress, that typically costs around $20-$30 per hour, plus an additional fee based on how far you drive the vehicle.

Do you need a mattress bag to move your mattress?

A mattress bag isn’t required for moving your mattress, but it has many benefits. A mattress bag will keep your mattress safe from dirt, water damage, bed bugs, and other potential causes for damage. You can also use a mattress protector.

How do you move a mattress upstairs by yourself?

Moving a mattress upstairs by yourself can be tricky and nearly impossible if your mattress is very heavy or large. If you have to move a mattress upstairs by yourself, you could drag it up the stairs by placing a blanket underneath it and pulling the blanket, or with the handles if your mattress has handles.

Featured image: pen kanya/Shutterstock

Gravatar for Joe Auer

Joe Auer

Joe Auer is the editor of Mattress Clarity. He mainly focuses on mattress reviews and oversees the content across the site.

He likes things simple and take a straightforward, objective approach to his reviews. Joe has personally tested nearly 250 mattresses and always recommends people do their research before buying a new bed. He has been testing mattresses for over 5 years now, so he knows a thing or two when it comes to mattress selection. He has been cited as an authority in the industry by a number of large publications.

Joe has an undergraduate degree from Wake Forest University and an MBA from Columbia University.


Can’t keep up with all things sleep? Our email newsletters gives you the latest on upcoming deals, giveaways, and sleep health articles.