How to Move a Mattress Without Help

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There are plenty of bulky items in your home, which require a team of people to maneuver them around or out of your house or apartment, but “the mattress” is a conundrum. On looks alone, it appears to be an entity that one person could simply lug out of the house, but it is not always true, and there are few things more comical than someone attempting to balance a big and bending mattress and carry it to a waiting vehicle all by themselves.

The average weight of a twin mattress is 45 pounds and a full-size is 56 pounds, while a queen size averages 71 pounds and a kings around 92 pounds. As the mattress gets bigger, the weight becomes more cumbersome, but it is the length of the bed and its habit of collapsing that makes the feat of moving a mattress alone so difficult. The dimensions of a twin mattress is usually 38″ by 80″ and a full is 53″ by 75″, while a queen is 60″ by 80″ and a king close to a perfect square at 76″ by 80.”

The dimensions and weight of mattresses call upon more than one person to move it, but if you are determined to do it by yourself, we have put together some tips and techniques to reduce injury to yourself and your mattress.

Evaluate Your Mattress Before Moving It

Is your mattress worth moving? Is your mattress a foamy and springy collection of bacteria? Does your mattress provide a place for you to sleep well, or have you always struggled for comfort while on it? Maybe it is time to reevaluate your mattress before you make the ultimate backbreaking decision to move it yourself from your old to new residence.

A quality mattress should last you a decade, but it is best to inspect it closely every five years for damage and normal wear. A study by Oklahoma State University found that people who switched to a new mattress every five years slept better and had less back pain, so consider your options.

Do you wake up sore, stiff, or with back pain? Does your partner complain about the mattress? Do you sleep better on the couch, on guest beds, and in hotel rooms? These are signs that it might be time to change your mattress. Structural damage to mattresses occur over time, which causes the overall integrity of it to degrade. When this occurs, the support and comfort levels decline in a gradual way through the years, so you do not readily realize it is the mattress that is causing your back issues. In particular, if you go to bed with a perfectly good back and wake up in tears, you have to consider that the cause of it is your worn out bedding. You spend a third of your life on your mattress, so get one that makes you happy.

Is your mattress sagging in areas? Is it lumpy? Inspect your mattress for tears and wears. Look for damage and degradation. If you spot any of these things on your mattress, it influences how well you sleep and you should consider getting a new one.

Finally, your bed is a sponge for dead skin and body oils, and dust mites love to chow on that sort of thing. A typical mattress provides the home for up to 10 million microscopic bugs, according to experts at Ohio State University. Additionally, these bugs do their bathroom business in your bed as well. All of this contributes to allergies. So, if you have sneeze a bunch, and frequently have a runny nose and watery eyes, coughing, or sinus pressure, and you are clueless to the source; well, it might be your mattress.

Protect Your Mattress with Proper Packing

If you have decided to keep the mattress, and you insist on moving it without professional help, you will need to pack it well, so that you do not damage it in the process. If you are moving it up and down stairs, it becomes very problematic, but even if you are not, it could possibly scrape the ground or find a puddle of water or oil as you struggle with getting it into your ride.

Use the following steps to pack your mattress before you move it:

  1. Remove the sheets and comforter from the mattress and make sure that it is completely dry before you begin to pack it. Mold spores require humidity and warmth to survive and these things occur when you wrap your damp mattress in plastic, which is your next step. Everyone sweats at night, some more than others, so it is best to remove your bedding and let the mattress sit against a wall for a few hours, preferably in the direct sunlight before packing it.
  2. Purchase a mattress bag, which should run you under $10 from a furniture store, hardware store, or local moving company. For example, U-Haul sells mattress bags from $2.95-$4.95 depending on the size you need. Find a bag that is made of durable polyethylene plastic that will protect your mattress against dirt, dust, moisture, and pests. Then, secure your mattress inside of it.
  3. Tape the ends of the mattress protector shut with quality packing tape, making sure that no part of the mattress is unprotected from the elements. Expensive mattress bags have zippers, so tape is not required for them.
  4. Your mattress is now ready for transport.

Move Your Mattress by Yourself

It is time to move the mattress, but there are things to consider and items you will need before you can begin the heavy lifting. First, you will need a vehicle that can hold a mattress properly. An SUV or car will normally not cut it. Some SUVs and passenger vans are large enough when your remove the seats or fold them forward, but your mattress will probably have to be folded in half, if it is flexible enough.

What you really need is a cargo van or a truck. An 8-foot truck is capable of holding a twin size bed, and a cargo van can hold a queen or king mattress. There are ways to transport a queen or king mattress with a truck, but straps and tie-downs are a must and it will presumably still hang over the edges of the bed of the truck, or reach into the heavens if you stand it on its side. A wide and long trailer works well.

A 10-foot enclosed moving truck will hold all mattress sizes and is big enough to hold the possessions in a one- or two-bedroom house or apartment. You can rent any of these vehicles from U-Haul and at other vehicle rental companies like Budget and Penske if you, your friends, or family do not have one. These places require a deposit, as well as a per-day rental fee and a charge per mile.

Furthermore, you will need a furniture dolly, which is a wooden rectangle with four wheels on its bottom, as well as ropes, straps, or large bungee cords. Once you have your vehicle, furniture dolly, and straps, you are set to begin.

Use the following steps to move your mattress:

  1. Before you move the mattress, walk the path you will take to your waiting vehicle to ensure there are no obstacles along the way. Scout out the best path with the least amount of resistance. Try to avoid tight spaces and corners, narrow hallways, and steep stairs.
  2. Even king size mattresses should be able to fit through most doorways. However, you will need to slide it because mattresses of this size cannot sit on a dolly and roll through the door. There will not be enough clearance. Luckily, you have your mattress covered with a mattress bag, so you should not experience any great damage. Once it is to the sidewalk or stairwell, you need to maneuver it onto your furniture dolly. This balancing act is tricky, so use precaution.
  3. Once the mattress is stable on the furniture dolly, you can begin to cart it down your path to the waiting vehicle or stairs. If you have stairs to maneuver down, you will have to lose the furniture dolly and slide the mattress carefully down the stairs until you reach the bottom. Once you safely find your way to the end of the stairs, you can reposition your furniture dolly and continue to roll it with caution to your vehicle.
  4. If you have a van or moving truck, and you have other items to load onto the vehicle, then place the mattress against the wall in an upright position. You still want to strap the mattress to the wall of the truck, but putting it in an upright position saves you room and keeps your mattress safe from damage as other items are loaded on the truck. If you have a standard pickup truck, it is safest to lay it flat in the bed and secure it with straps, ropes, or bungee cords across the top of it to immobilize it completely.

Other Options for Moving Your Mattress

The process to move a mattress is not complicated, but if you are attempting to do it without any help, it becomes difficult quickly. There are only a few reasons to move a mattress by yourself, and they are because you are flat broke, have no family in your area, and are friendless, which cannot be true, because you are awesome. Remember, if you are isolated from friend and family, it only takes one other person to make moving your mattress a breeze, and in today’s world, hiring someone for an hour or more of work is a smooth process.

The following are some ideas for getting help:

  • Convince a friend to help by giving him or her plenty of notice before the move. It might even be best to let your friend choose the day and time. Provide them with food and beverage during the move, and use their favorite meal and beer as a bribe to show that you are in serious need of help and that you appreciate them. In the end, one meal and a six-pack is less expensive than hiring someone.
  • If you hire a professional moving company like Royal Moving, you have nothing to worry about because pro moving companies are equipped to keep your possession safe and secure, and they provide their customers with moving insurance. In other words, Royal protects you against any damage that might occur during the transport of your mattress and other possessions. Royal also has the proper equipment, big trucks, experienced moving crews, and packing supplies, which all come with one simple flat rate. If you are in one of Royal Moving’s service areas, which are up and down the West Coast from Washington state to San Diego, California, they can help with loading and unloading your belongings, as well as packing and moving. Whatever your moving needs, Royal will supply them.
  • If you have the vehicle required to move a mattress, but you need another set of hands, there are plenty of options available on the Internet. Here are some places to begin your search to hire a person to help you:

    HireAHelper (connect to: provides labor-only moving assistance when you need help loading and unloading. There are 3,400 searchable companies in 48 states, and you can see up-front pricing for every labor professional. You can book a job in 10 minutes or less after reading through reviews to make your decision easier. Additionally, HireAHelper provides complimentary mover’s insurance when using the service to hire someone.

    MovingHelp (connect to: is similar to HireAHelper by offering an online marketplace to search and find moving help in your area. The site ranks the moving helpers based on a star rating, so you know you are getting reliable service. The process begins by entering the day of the move and your zip code, and the search engine will take you to a page of available candidates in your area.

Follow our simples steps or hire some help and you will find success moving your mattress without damaging it or losing it on a highway to your drop-off location. Be safe and happy moving!

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