How to Transport a Mattress

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Moving a mattress is a daunting task that comes with a lot of questions. Is it going to fit in your car? Are you going to need to rent a truck? Are you able to move it by yourself? 

That’s why we’re breaking it down for you in this guide. Here’s everything you need to know about how to transport a mattress.

Bottom Line: How Do You Transport a Mattress? 

When moving a mattress, you need to secure the mattress to your vehicle for safety, whether this comes from cables and rope on the roof of a vehicle or anchoring the mattress on the wall of a moving truck. It is important to ensure the mattress will not fall out of the vehicle and cause accidents. This goes in hand with avoiding highways and taking back roads. Additionally, protect the mattress with a mattress bag and take breaks during the move to check on its state.

5 Easy Steps to Transport a Mattress with a Car

1. Make sure your car works

In order to move your mattress, your car needs to move. If your check engine light is on, or you’re not sure if your car is in tip-top shape to make the trip, make an appointment with your local car shop to get it checked.

2. Prepare the vehicle

Moving a mattress in your car

Make sure there is ample space for the mattress to fit. This can entail putting the seats of the car down or clearing other items out of the way. 

Moving a mattress on your car

If you are choosing to put the mattress on top of the car, make sure the roof is big enough to fit the mattress. You may also want to assess potential damage to the roof of the car from the mattress and its supporting equipment before you commit. 

3. Prepare the Mattress 

When moving your mattress to another location, you need to take proper care of this step. Slide your mattress into a mattress bag, to ensure it remains clean, dry, and, critter-free during transportation. These bags are relatively inexpensive and there are options available on Amazon.  

 4. Transport the mattress to the car 

As mattresses can weigh up to 100 pounds, depending on the size, it is important to be prepared to handle that much weight. Come prepared on moving day with a dolly or hand truck to make the process easier. And remember to also always lift with your legs, not your back, to help prevent any injuries.  

5. Load the mattress

Moving a mattress in your car

If you are transporting the mattress in your car, you want to carefully place the mattress flat inside the vehicle. This will ensure that it maintains its shape and won’t be damaged in the move. 

Moving a mattress on your car

If you are securing the mattress on top of the vehicle, such as a car’s luggage rack or a truck bed, there are some additional precautions you want to take. 

The first step is to ensure you securely anchor the mattress on top of the car, as you don’t want a loose mattress on the road. Tie down the load with a rope, netting, or straps. Always remember to take your car and mattress for a test drive before beginning your journey. 

While traveling, try to avoid highways because of the risk of causing road debris. AAA states that in previous years, road debris has caused hundreds of thousands of car accidents. During the trip, check on your mattress and its anchors frequently to make sure it hasn’t come loose or fallen off. 

How to Move a Mattress in a Moving Truck

1. Make a reservation for moving truck

This may seem like a no-brainer, but you don’t want to end up without the right vehicle on moving day. Whether you are hiring a team to professionally move you out or you are driving the truck yourself, be prepared. There are countless resources to rent trucks from if you want to drive yourself, such as U-Haul, Budget truck rental, and Penske

2. Prepare the Mattress 

To protect your mattress while moving, place it into a mattress bag to protect it from contamination and from damaging the truck. 

3. Load the Mattress into the Moving Truck 

To ensure you make the most of your space, place the mattress in between two large furniture items or secure it to the wall with rope or cables. This will keep the mattress on its side to allow more space and proper protection from other items. 

Other Tips

How to move a mattress by yourself 

Consider the size of your mattress before committing to moving it alone. Depending on the size and weight of the mattress and the person moving it, more help may be needed. Below is a list of approximate weights:

Twin: 45 – 50 lbs

Full: 55 – 60 lbs 

Queen: 70 – 75 lbs 

King: 90 – 95 lbs 

When you are ready to move, prepare the mattress by placing it in a mattress bag. These bags are inexpensive and can protect the mattress from water, dirt, and bugs. It is especially important to ensure you have a clear path if you are working alone, so as not to trip or cause injury. 

How to unpack a mattress

Once you make it to your new home, it is time to unload your mattress. Begin by safely removing the mattress from the car or truck and using a dolly (if available) to bring the mattress inside. Remove the mattress from its mattress bag and examine it for damage from the trip or contamination by bugs. 

It is important that your mattress has a proper foundation when you set it up in your new place. Look into the recommendations from your mattress’s manufacturer on what the foundation should be, such as box springs, platforms, slats, and adjustable frames. 

See: Mattress Care and Cleaning Guide

FAQs on How to Transport a Mattress

Is it OK to Transport a Mattress on its Side?

It is okay in all situations to transport a mattress on its side if it is a short journey. It is okay to transport a mattress on its side if it is made of box springs, traditional innerspring, or encased coil. However, there are some instances when moving a mattress on its side could potentially damage the materials. This may happen if the mattress is made of memory foam or is a hybrid.

Can You Transport a Mattress on a Car?

You are legally allowed to transport a mattress on top of your car in all 50 US states. However, it is illegal if you do not secure the mattress properly because you are endangering yourself and all other passengers on the road. This is very common if the inside of your car is not large enough to fit your mattress. Just remember to protect the mattress with a mattress cover to prevent damage or contamination.


The most important thing to remember while transporting a mattress is safety. Make sure that if you are transporting a mattress on a car or in a truck bed, it is anchored with ropes or cables to prevent it from falling into the road and causing an accident. When driving, try to avoid highways and opt for back roads, with frequent stops to check on its security. No matter the method of transport, purchase a mattress bag to prevent damage or contamination from dirt, water, and bugs. 

Source List

  • Belt, J. Is it Illegal to Tie a Mattress to Your Car? (US & World).,life%20of%20other%20road%20users.
  • How to Steer Clear of Road Debris. (n.d.).
    Ireland, E. (2023).
  • How to Move a Mattress By Yourself.
  • Keight, A. (2023). Moving a Mattress? Tips for Moving and Storing Your Mattress Without Ruining It.