At some point in my life, I had to move to a new city to look for better opportunities. It was both terrifying and exciting at the same time. What I didn’t realize at the time was the importance of knowing how to wrap a mattress for moving.

So how do you go about preparing a mattress for moving? The best way to protect a mattress when moving is to ensure that it’s packed thoroughly for safe transportation. To take care of your bedding, you might want to buy a mattress bag or cover before your moving day. Bags or covers aren’t necessarily required by some movers, but it’s your best bet when it comes to preventing damages while traveling. Wrapping your mattress will prevent dirt, pollen, and dust from getting into the fabric during the move. And if you happen to be sensitive to certain odors, getting a mattress wrap can help keep out any unwanted odors lingering in an enclosed environment.

Read on to find out what to do when preparing a mattress for moving.

Steps to Wrap a Mattress for Moving

Step 1: Take off your comforter or any sheets from your bed, remove the mattress, and make sure it’s completely dry. To be sure, try placing your mattress in an area with direct sunlight for a good two to three hours.

Step 2: Shop for a mattress cover or storage bag from a furniture store or your local moving company. These bags are available in several sizes and types, so make sure to choose one that fits your mattress perfectly and something that’s made of thick polyethylene. Once your mattress is wrapped, you are guaranteed it’s going to be protected from pests, moisture, dirt, and dust.

Step 3: Check your mattress thoroughly before storing it inside the cover or storage bag. Look for signs of infestations or moisture. Once you’re sure that it’s clean and dry, tape the ends of the plastic wrap shut with a durable tape and make sure that no parts are exposed.

Step 4: When it’s time to take your mattress out of your house, be extra careful when loading it into the moving vehicle. Mattresses are huge, heavy, and bulky, so you should be very cautious when going through tight spaces, downstairs, sharp corners, and all the way to the ramp of the truck.

Step 5: If possible, prioritize your mattress into the moving truck. Make sure it’s one of the first things to be loaded and secure its position so it does not move while traveling. It’s recommended to lay the mattress flat and not put anything on top of it.

Storing a Mattress inside of a Truck

If you’ve rented a moving truck that’s large enough to hold and store your mattress, it’s important to inspect its interior to ensure that your mattress is safe.

  • Prior to your move, it’s important to check beforehand if the unit you’ve rented is clean, has enough air circulation, and is completely dry. Try and as much to rent a unit that’s climate controlled to provide the best environment for your mattress and your other belongings.
  • The way your place your mattress inside the unit is essential if you want to keep it free of any damage. Do not position your mattress on its sides or ends because these areas are not stable enough to withstand its weight. If it falls or topples over, you could damage it and your other possessions as well. It’s better to store your mattress flat on the ground and not place anything on top of it. If you must, however, make sure these things are light.
  • You might be moving somewhere far from your old residence, but once you’ve arrived at your new place, make sure to remove the mattress immediately. Mattresses shouldn’t be kept in storage for a long time if you still want to use it. Storing it long-term will only cause damages to the stuffing and fabric, rendering it completely unusable by the time you want to use it.

Moving Your Mattress by Yourself

If you’re not renting a moving company because of budget constraints, it’s important to ensure your mattress arrives in your new place without rips and other damages. Here are some tips.

Type of Vehicle

  • Regardless of the size your mattress, it will surely fit a pickup truck. If you can rent or borrow one, then you shouldn’t worry about the space your mattress will occupy.
  • If you have a single mattress, it should fit inside a van. Just make sure to remove its seats first.
  • If you can borrow or rent or if you own an SUV, you may be able to carry the mattress on the roof, granted that you secure it properly.
  • A sedan or any small vehicle may carry a small sized mattress on the roof.

Securing the Mattress on the Roof of a Vehicle

If you’re planning a move without the aid of a moving company or been asking “when should I prepare a mattress for moving,” you should have the items listed below in order to make sure that the mattress is secured on top of a moving vehicle. In fact, these items are essentials in any move regardless if you hire a moving company or not.

  • Work gloves
  • Scissors
  • Duct tape
  • Rope
  • Thick mattress bag or plastic wrap sized to fit your mattress
  • Assistance

If you don’t have any access to a van or a truck or any vehicle that’s huge enough to carry your mattress, then you’re left with no choice but to tie it on the roof of the car. Follow the steps below to secure the mattress to the roof of the car.

Wrap the Mattress in Plastic

Purchase the correct mattress bag size and make sure that it’s taped down properly. Be mindful of the wind, as it can easily rip the plastic off especially if it’s too thin or not secured tightly with tape.

Use a Strong Rope

Buy a lot of rope so you can tie the mattress crosswise and lengthwise. Here are things you should remember:

  • Take note of the size of your mattress. For example, if yours is 74 inches long, make sure the rope is long enough — seven feet will be fine. However, keep in mind that you’ll need the extra feet for each end of the mattress. So you should get about 14 feet of rope for a mattress that size.
  • Consider the width of your mattress too. Your rope should be four times longer than the measurement of your bed’s width to ensure that you can tie it securely.
  • You’ll want a sturdy and thick rope, but remember that you need to be able to tie it. Get something that’s not too hard or thick enough so you can still tie it tight.

Positioning the Mattress atop the Car

Make sure that the mattress is placed in the middle of the roof. The first long piece of rope should be tossed over the length of the mattress. Make sure there’s still rope left to be tie under the front of the car and enough at the rear to secure the end under the back of the vehicle. The knots on both ends should be tied taut and secure.

Make sure all the windows are opened except for the one on the driver’s side. Toss the second piece of rope crosswise, then loop it back through the open windows. You should do this two times before tying the ends together inside the car. The driver’s side shouldn’t be tied with rope, as this ensures that you can still open the driver’s door.

When Should I Prepare a Mattress for Moving: Driving Safety

Bear in mind that carry a mattress on your roof can potentially block some of your views. To be on the safe side, you should drive slowly and take back streets or roads if you can. Ask some friends or a relative if they can drive behind you, just so somebody can alert you in case the mattress slips. Your friends can also help you secure your mattress by holding each side of the mattress through the passenger side. This will secure the mattress more apart from the ropes.

What to Do with a Mattress if You’re Not Using it

Mattresses don’t come cheap. In fact, some brands offer mattress up to $1000. It’s a pricey investment, so if you’re not going to take it with you when moving to another state or city, you must decide what to do with it. Below are some of your options.

Take it with you to your New Residence

Even if you’re not going to use it, you can still take your mattress with you to your new home. There’s no reason to leave it to your old residence to rot. You’ll never know when you’re gonna need it.

Place it in Storage

You can also store your mattress in a storage unit for a specific period of time. Storage units can be rented for as long as you want to, but be sure to inspect its interiors and assess for pests, dirt, dust, and other things that may cause damage to your favorite mattress.

Sell it

You can always earn some cash from something you previously owned. Considering most mattresses are expensive these days, you can sell it for a half or a fraction of its price and use the money to pay for your moving expenses.

Either you choose a charity or non-profit organization or give it away to friends or family. Just make sure that the mattress is still usable.

Dispose of it

There are specific ways to dispose of a mattress. You can’t just leave it out in the open. You can start by calling the manufacturer. Some brands offer their customers to have the mattress disposed for them. You can also call a local removal company and have them throw it away or use it for other purposes.


Mattresses are indeed one of the most challenging items to move. They’re huge and also cost a lot of money. These are the reasons why it’s essential to know how to wrap a mattress when moving. Follow the steps above and always know your options, so when moving day arrives, you already know what to do.