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How to Carry a Mattress Alone

Updated July 18, 2017

Moving a mattress can be one of the most challenging elements of a move. Because of the mattress's awkward shape, even a small twin mattress can be difficult to transport without assistance. King or California King sized mattresses should never be moved alone. Mattresses are easily damaged, and folding or dropping them can render them useless. Before beginning, test your physical strength by moving smaller and less fragile objects. Be sure to note the layout of both the old and new mattress locations to gauge whether the spaces will be navigable for the entire weight and size of the mattress.

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  1. Measure the moving vehicle and doorways and hallways where the mattress will go prior to moving. If spaces are too tight, you will not be able to move the mattress on your own.

  2. Disassemble the bed and separate the mattress from the box spring.

  3. Strip the mattress of all bedding and pack it separately.

  4. Cover the mattress using a plastic mattress bag or wrap it in old blankets or sheets. At the very least wrap the foot of the mattress in padding to keep it clean while being set down. Use tape to secure padding to the mattress.

  5. Lift the mattress, bending at your knees for strength. Always carry by the side, not the flat middle portion of the mattress. Carry it upright to preserve as much of your line of sight as possible when walking with the mattress.

  6. Carry the mattress into the vehicle you are using to move.

  7. Plan your route. Scout out a path for moving the mattress into the new destination before you begin to move the mattress.

  8. Move the mattress in before other boxes or breakables have been placed in the home. Keep as many objects out of the moving path as possible to avoid damages or injuries.

  9. Lay the mattress on the bedroom floor. The mattress can be slid on the ground for short distances, especially if the mattress is well protected and the floor is carpeted.

  10. Tip

    Only set mattress down on its bottom edge, never laying the mattress flat. Never set the mattress in water, even if it is covered in plastic. Wear a supportive back brace while moving to keep your back strong and prevent injuries. Work gloves or mattress straps can improve the grip you are able to get on the mattress.


    Do not move a mattress by strapping it to the top of a car. This is highly unstable, and will often result in a lost or damaged mattress and damages to the car. Never fold a mattress. This will do irreparable damage to the coil system inside the bed. Do not tape any protective covers or padding to the mattress itself. The adhesive will damage the mattress and cause it to become dirty. Moving a mattress alone is a very difficult task. Be sure you are in top physical shape and able to easily lift the weight and size of the mattress before beginning the job. People with injuries, slight builds or other health issues should not attempt to move a mattress without help.

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Things You'll Need

  • Mattress
  • Measuring tape
  • Plastic mattress bag, cardboard mattress box, or old blankets and bedding
  • Moving tape
  • Moving truck
  • Work gloves

About the Author

Chloe Newkirk is a writer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She has been a freelance writer for over five years, and written for a variety of publications. She is a graduate of St. Edward's University in Austin, Texas. Her areas of expertise include crafts, pop culture, the arts, pets, American history and food.

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