I have moved more beds than I care to count over the past 35 years and I learned a few tips and tricks along the way and I am sure they can help you save your floor, back, and pride.
How to move a bed across the room with a few tips, and materials. Tips like using household items such as sweaters, robes, creepers, lumber, carpet, cardboard, bath mat, magazines, and buckets. Less force is required to pull a bed versus pushing. Use hockey stick, bat, straps, barbell for leverage.
Pull or Push
It is easier to move a bed yourself by pulling rather than pulling. So pull as much as possible until you get the bed against a position against a wall where you need to push it to get it into the final position.
If it is very heavy and you think it would be a challenge to push it you can use lumber, a hockey stick, a barbell, or anything else you have around the house to use as a pry bar. Place the pry bar about a foot under one end and lift it up to slide it forward. Use a towel, rag, sheet, etc. between the pry bar and the bed so you damage it (I am looking at us… men!)
If you use a pry bar make sure to also protect the floor by placing cardboard, a book, a blanket, etc on the floor first.
TIP: According to the study Study on Push-Pull Analysis Associated with Awkward Postures Among Workers an object requires approximately 9% less force to pull compared to pushing.
Items to Place Under a Bed to Move it Yourself
If you have a carpeted floor and the legs will only be sliding over the carpet then you can use the following common and not-so-common household items.
Crazy carpet for my fellow snow-loving Canucks, northern American neighbors, and other snowy countries lucky enough to know what a crazy carpet is haha.
Odd Things Around the House
Many items around the house will work including upside down carpet,
Place the fuzzy side down and this allows the sticker side to grip onto the bottom of the legs and hopefully not get left behind. Of course, there are at least four legs on the bed, but if you have two bath mats you can do the two rear legs and lift and pull the front.
Or better yet use other household items under the remaining two or three legs.
Robe, and Sweater
A robe and a sweater can work better than an upside-down piece of carpet because the carpet may stay behind while the bed legs scratch or tear the floor. Tie the arms around the leg above the bed frame to prevent it from sliding down the leg.
If you are not like me and actually have nice clothes and don’t want to ruin them you can use an upside-down piece of carpet and fasten the side facing the direction of the move using rope, string, staples, etc.
TIP: If you don’t have any spare carpet lying around you can to a flooring or home improvement store and ask for a carpet sample. Then cut it into four pieces.
Rope, sheet, or cargo strap around legs and pull up with both arms and use one foot to slide something underneath the leg. Repeat for each leg. If you cannot get to the legs against the wall you will have to use one of the other tricks here, such as a pry bar.
These are easy to make and cheap to buy (like this style that is only $40 for two). They are low to the ground and have four casters (wheels) that rotate 360 degrees. To make these work a spacer between the mover/dolly and the bed frame is needed, such as lumber, books, bucket, etc.
Place the mover/dolly beside the frame, get a spacer (books, lumber, bucket, etc) that is at least one inch higher than the bottom of the bed frame. Have a friend or use a pry bar to raise that side high enough to slip the mover/dolly underneath.
Do the same to the other side and now you can easily roll it around the room by yourself.
Check out some cheap options below:
Everyone should have at least four of these around the house as it makes moving furniture super easy and cheap. They are like the furniture coasters that slip under the legs of beds and other heavy furniture. These great inventions are made from a material that slides across carpet, tile, and even cushion floors without causing damage.
And the bed slides easily too and since everyone moves their beds for cleaning, rearranging, etc. it is a good idea to just leave the magic sliders under the legs forever! They are pretty simple looking and cost less than $18 with delivery to your door here.
Shoulder Dolly Straps
This is a strap system that you can make with rope or straps you have around the house or you can buy them cheap like these from Amazon. There are two ways to use the shoulder moving straps:
- You can use one by yourself by slipping a slippery material under two of the frame legs and pulling it to the new location in your room
- You and a friend can use two and lift the entire bed and walk it to its new location. There is actually more challenging than the first option since the headboard and footboard are likely too low for you to place your hands in the correct location. Also, if yours is against a wall and your friend is thicker than a piece of paper there is no way to get between the wall and bed unless you slide it away from the wall first.
And if you have to move it away from the wall first you may as well keep on sliding it to its new location in the room.
I don’t recommend pulling studs out of the wall for this method, but if you have a 2×4 and 2×6 lying around these make very good pry bars. There are two ways to pry one side up:
- Extend about one-third of the lumber under the middle of one side. Carefully lift it up until the two legs come off the floor. Either have someone slide the… sliders under the two legs. Or if you are by yourself you can rest the lumber on a chair, milk crate, bucket, etc.
- The second option requires a second person as this time the stool, milk create, or bucket is placed three or four feet from the frame. The lumber is inserted about one foot under the middle of the bed frame and angled up and set on top of the milk crate. Push down on the end farthest from the bed and it will raise. The second person can now slide the Magic Sliders (or whatever) under the legs.
This one is for the backyard mechanic and weekend oil changer. Rather than spending $40 bucks on furniture movers, you can use your car creeper (looks like this) the same way.
Two sheets tied around the foot legs and a magazine under one/both head leg/s and lift with two hands and rotate or drag.
I am guessing the women reading this likely won’t like this option, and a warning to use men… Don’t do this and get caught using good towels haha. Many men I know have a habit of grabbing anything from the house to use for… projects other than what they were intended for haha.
This is the only method I was familiar with for too many years. But a bad back made me think more creatively. And also installing bank vaults with panels and doors that weighed as much as two-ton each and we moved them with pry bars and steel pipe.
When considering this method please consider the potential issues by reading this study: Lifting an Unexpectedly Heavy Object: The Effects on Low-Back Loading and Balance Loss
Beds with Center Leg
If the bed has center leg support in the middle and does not want to scratch the floor the task is much more difficult. Remove the sheets, mattress, box spring, and have a friend or two lift one side and slide cardboard, carpet, etc. under the center leg.
If you are like me and have no friends around you can use a piece of lumber as a pry bar to lift one side of the bed and set the lumber on a bucket, bench, or chair to keep one side elevated while you slide something under the center leg (Warning: I do not recommend this method due to safety concerns. I am just listing options that I have used in the past)
It is important to fold the cardboard or carpet up on the side facing the direction the bed will be moved.
Then fasten the cardboard or carpet to the center leg using rope, string, or staples to prevent it from staying behind will the center leg scratches the flooring while you slide it across the room.