How to Move a Mattress or a Sleep Number Bed

mattress storage

Finding the best mattress that truly gives you a good night’s sleep is no easy task. If you’re planning to move or store your mattress in another location instead of getting a new mattress, transporting that mattress without damage can be difficult, as well. A mattress can be hard to carry, load, and safely move from one place to another. Luckily, a few tools and the right procedure can make the job a lot easier. Follow these steps to learn how to move a mattress safely and without hassle.

Tools and Moving Supplies

A big part of learning how to move your mattress correctly is discovering what DIY tools you need. Those mattress moving tools and materials include:

  • Mattress Bag
  • Packing Tape
  • Bubble Wrap
  • Ratchet Straps
  • Cardboard
  • Helping Hands (optional but preferred)

How to Move a Mattress: Your Step-by-Step Guide

If you’re taking the time to move your spring or memory foam mattress yourself, keeping it in pristine shape is important to you. If you have time, cleaning your mattress before transport will make it fresh for your new space. Taking certain precautions when you pack and move your mattress will keep it from getting damaged during transport. Following these steps can help you understand how to move a mattress without damage.

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1. Create Adequate Working Space

Your mattress is big, bulky, and awkward to move around. Don’t make it the first piece of furniture you move from the room. Move bedside tables, lamps, dressers, and other furniture from the bedroom to provide space to freely move the mattress. You can even lean your mattress against a wall to disassemble and remove the bed frame to provide more floor space.

2. Put on the Mattress Bag

A high-quality mattress bag will protect your mattress from dirt, weather, and other potential risks. Putting on the mattress bag is a bit like packing a giant sandwich. With the mattress lying flat on the floor, simply slide each side up a little at a time until the mattress is fully enclosed. You can take the same steps to protect your box spring. Press any extra air from the bag, then fold over the top and tape the bag securely.

Pro Tip for How to Move a Mattress:

If you’re moving multiple mattresses at once, label the mattress bags for easy sorting and placement when you get to your new home.

3. Transport the Mattress to the Vehicle

couple moving a mattress packed in a mattress bag down the stairs

This is a great time to have those helping hands we mentioned. Having friends, family members, or neighbors to help you with the heavy lifting is the best way to avoid injury to yourself and damage to the mattress. Clear a wide path from the bedroom to the moving truck before lifting the mattress. With one person at each end of the mattress, turn the mattress up on one side and carry or slide it along your cleared path.

Can I learn how to move a mattress by myself?

If you must move the mattress alone, you should reinforce it with cardboard after putting on the mattress bag to increase stability and make it less floppy. Then, slide the mattress onto a furniture dolly and secure it in place with tie-down straps. Be sure to take your time getting the mattress outside to avoid slippage.

4. Load the Mattress

Getting the mattress into your chosen vehicle may be the most difficult task. For the easiest loading and transportation without damage, a moving van or pickup truck is your best choice. However, it’s possible to move your mattress with your own vehicle.

Van , U-Haul, or Moving Truck

While some larger mattresses won’t fit into a van, many sizes will. If you have the space, you can lie your mattress flat on the floor of the van. However, it’s important to remember not to place any heavy furniture or items with sharp edges or corners on top or against your mattress, especially if it’s a memory foam mattress. Consider protecting it with moving blankets. You can also pack the mattress upright against a vehicle wall.

Pickup Truck

Practically any mattress can be hauled safely in a truck. The mattress should lay flat in the truck bed or on top of the wheel wells. It might be necessary to leave the tailgate down if the mattress is a king-size. Avoid placing anything on top of the mattress. You can safely haul the box spring beneath the mattress, but other items shouldn’t be under the mattress during transport.


Transporting a mattress on the roof of a car should always be a last resort. Many cars are too narrow to support a queen-size mattress or king-size mattress, so measure before carrying the mattress outside. Then carefully place the mattress on the roof of the car to avoid puncturing the mattress bag on luggage racks or other protrusions.

5. Secure the Mattress

Ensuring your mattress won’t slip, shift, or fall during transport is a vital step in the process. If the mattress is laid flat and has no room to shift in a van or moving truck, you won’t need to tie it in place. If the mattress is placed against a wall, a strap must be placed across it to avoid shifting.
Even if your mattress seems secure in a truck bed, it’s always best to place a strap across it. Air can get beneath the mattress during travel and lift the mattress out of the truck. If the tailgate is open, also place a strap over the length of the mattress.

If your mattress is on the roof of your car, then this step is vital. While transporting your mattress on the roof isn’t illegal, it can cause you to break other traffic laws like driving with an obstructed view or exceeding the vehicle length limit. Place straps across the mattress in two places. The straps will need to run through the windows across the inside of the car’s roof. Another strap must be placed over the length of the mattress and tied to the vehicle’s frame. For best results, avoid highways and take side roads for slower travel. It’s also a great idea to have a friend drive behind you to alert you if the mattress begins to slip.

Pro Tip for How to Move a Mattress:

If you’re traveling a long distance, stop regularly and ensure the straps remain tight. As the mattress begins to settle, straps or ropes will likely loosen.

How to Move a Sleep Number Bed

Moving the mattress on a Sleep Number bed is considerably different from moving a regular mattress. To move your Sleep Number bed, you’ll need to deflate and disassemble the mattress. Asking a friend to help can make the process safer and easier, but you can manage the task without professional movers. Learn how to move a Sleep Number bed with these steps.

1. Deflate the Mattress

Use your controller to deflate your Sleep Number mattress. Simply press the down arrow until the display reads zero to remove all air from the mattress chambers. If your mattress has a double chamber, you’ll need to press the right or left side button while pressing the down arrow.

2. Disassemble the Mattress

Unzip the mattress while it’s still in a flat position. Remove the hose by gently pressing the gray tab, then simply pull out the hose. Repeat the process on the other side of the bed. Some beds have two hoses per chamber, so you may need to consult your manual to determine how many hoses your mattress contains.

Remove all internal mattress components. Taking a picture of each layer as you remove it can make reassembly a simple process. Unplug the Firmness Control System from the wall and leave the hoses attached.

3. Securely Pack the Pump

The pump to your Sleep Number mattress is fragile and must be packed carefully to avoid damage. Pack it snugly into a box with packing materials to keep it firmly in place. Make sure the pump cannot move freely inside the box.

4. Pack the Mattress

When the mattress is disassembled into large pieces, packing the components is as simple as folding or rolling the foam pads and mattress cover to fit into your chosen containers. Your mattress parts can be packed into hard storage tubs or heavy-duty moving boxes.

5. Disassemble the Base and Load the Parts

Your Sleep Number bed may have a modular base, a flex-fit base, or no base at all. Disassemble your Sleep Number base according to the manufacturer’s instructions. A modular base is heavy and will likely require help to carry and load into your vehicle. Loose parts of a flex-fit base should be packaged securely and placed in boxes or storage bins.

Loading your Sleep Number mattress is as simple as carrying your chosen boxes to the vehicle and securing them safely for transport. Always be sure to have a helper or furniture dolly to move heavy boxes.

Moving your mattress takes a little effort, but it’s worth your time if you love the surface you sleep on. Once you know all the details about how to move a mattress and find a friend to help, the job gets much easier. Once you have your familiar bed in your new home, you can get a good night’s sleep — you’ll definitely have earned it.

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