We spend an average of 26 years of our lives sleeping, so it’s understandable that you’d want to be extra careful when moving your bed (and mattress!). That’s especially true if you’ve invested a good chunk of change into this piece of furniture in order to get a good night’s sleep, night after night.

Mattresses are tricky to move because they’re large, awkward, and more delicate than you might think. In this Tips from the Pros article, we’ll walk you through exactly you need to know to safely move your mattress to your new home, whether you’re headed across your island or across the ocean.

First, let’s look at how to proceed if you’re taking matters into your own hands.

Do-It-Yourself Mattress Moves in 6 Steps

If you’re planning on a DIY local move, we’ve got six simple steps for you to ensure a successful mattress move.

(If you’re doing a more complex move, such as moving from the mainland to Hawaii or moving between islands, we’ve got some tips for you in the next section!)

Step #1: Decide If It’s Worth Moving

Before you move, we always recommend a round of downsizing. By taking a critical look at your possessions, you’ll make sure that you’re only moving the items that you’ll need (and use!) at your new home, which will also help you streamline your costs.

Your mattress is a bulky item that will take up a lot of room. So before you decide to take it with you, ask yourself: Is it time for a new mattress? How old is my current one? Does it have any issues, like popped springs? Does it sag? Does it have any lumps?

You might find that it’s time to toss your mattress, rather than going to the trouble of moving it.

Step #2: Load Up on the Right Supplies

If you decide your mattress is worth moving, you’ll want to make sure you’re well equipped. Having the right tools makes your move easier, and it ensures that your mattress is well protected for its journey. We recommend:

  • A mattress bag – These plastic bags will protect your mattress against picking up dirt and grime during the move.
  • Tape – Mattress bags are usually open at one end, so you’ll use packing tape to seal the bag tightly so your mattress doesn’t slip in the bag, which can make it harder to handle. Don’t be afraid to tape it well!
  • Optional: A mattress box – Mattresses are more delicate than we give them credit for, especially foam mattresses. (More on that below!) If your mattress is traveling by truck across the country, you might want to buy a mattress box to give your mattress a little extra stabilization.

Step #3: Tap a Friend for Some Assistance

cat asking friend for help

Mattresses aren’t all that heavy, but they’re awkward to move. Two sets of hands will make your job much simpler. Before you and your friend attempt the heavy lifting, make sure to walk the exit path through your house or apartment to clear the way. One good flop of a mattress can take out an entire shelf of fragile items, so make sure you’ve got good clearance all the way out.

Insider Tip: You might think that king-size beds are harder to move than queens, but if you have a box spring, you will likely discover the opposite. King-size box springs are usually split into two more manageable pieces, while queens are usually in a single, unwieldy piece. In other words, don’t underestimate what it will take to move a queen-size bed setup!

Step #4: Take Everything Apart Before You Do Any Moving

If you’re doing a local move, you might be tempted to skip a few steps. For example, maybe you decide to only partially disassemble your bed frame. However, that significantly increases the possibility for damage and breakage during your move. Take those extra moments to disassemble absolutely everything. You’ll be glad you did.

Insider Tip: Put any hardware—bolts, washers, screws, etc.—in a dedicated Ziplock bag and label it so you’ll have everything you need at your destination. If you need an Allen wrench to disassemble your bed, put the wrench in the bag, too, to keep everything together.

Step #5: Use a Van or a Truck—and Pack Carefully

We’ve all seen someone driving around with a mattress tied to the top of their car. Yes, it’s possible, but we wouldn’t recommend it. Instead, use a van or a truck and ideally find a way to lay your mattress flat, especially if you’ve got a foam mattress. They tend to lose shape much more quickly. However, if you’re just moving across the island, you’ll probably be okay.

Just make sure to keep your mattress away from sharp, pointy objects (like your disassembled bed frame!) and secure it tightly. You might want to use ratchet straps so it doesn’t flop around during the journey to your new home.

Now, if you’re doing a relatively simple one-day move, keeping your mattress safe is a little easier. However, if your items are getting packed for a longer-distance move—to Hawaii from the mainland or to the Big Island from Kauai—things can get a little trickier, especially where foam mattresses are concerned.

Why Are Foam Mattresses So Tricky to Move?

Foam mattresses, as opposed to their traditional counterparts with springs, don’t have as much structure to stabilize their integrity. They’re also designed to compress under pressure. When your foam mattress is gently cradling you off to sleep, this is a good thing. But when the mattress is left in a position it’s not designed for—such as on its side—it can get misshapen quickly, and it may not spring back. In our experience, this is especially true with multi-layered foam mattresses with layers of different densities.

As a result, if you’re packing away your mattress for several weeks in a container or lift van, you’ll want to be extra careful with to how you store it:

If you’re moving with a container: Our pros prefer to lay memory foam mattresses flat, and ideally on top so it doesn’t get compressed by other, heavier items.

If you’re moving with a lift van: Laying your mattress flat isn’t an option, given the dimensions of a lift van. However, if you have an expensive mattress you just can’t live without, you could choose to have your foam mattress crated separately. For the moves we execute for our military members and families, it’s standard practice to crate foam mattresses separately for transit.

Finally, you always have the option to call in the pros. Our customers who choose our full-service door-to-door options let us handle all the details of moving their mattresses, so they can sleep easy knowing they have the pros on their side.

Moving Mattresses with Ease

Given how much time we spend using them, our beds may be the most important piece of furniture we own. Once you decide you want to move your mattress to your new home, make sure to protect your investment by packing and placing it carefully for its journey to your new home. With these tips from the pros, you’ve got a head start in getting it right—and making your move a little easier.




Want more help from our pros? We’d be happy to help you move all your possessions to your new home, whether you’re doing a local move, an interisland move or a move to/from the mainland. Just reach out to us for a complimentary quote to get started.

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