How to Move a King Mattress by Yourself: Easy Tips & Tricks


I moved so many king mattresses alone over the past 33 years that I picked up a few tricks. And I used to work part-time for my uncle installing bank vaults with two-ton panels and learned some tricks.

It was pretty amazing and I learned to work smarter, not harder (well, I didn’t really. I know how but I still usually chose harder).

You can move a king mattress using a few tricks: carry it like plywood, with a dolly, strap or rope, lifting one side or corner at a time until vertical, push to slide along the floor, pull around corners, slide downstairs, roll end over end, flip end over end, and pull to a window with a rope.

How do You Move a King Mattress by Yourself?

This is challenging due to the bulk and flexibility of the mattress. The fact that they are heavy certainly does not help. But there are tips and tricks as described below to help you with your move.

After a year of full-time research I recommend two companies (learn why here), Brooklyn Bedding (25% off here) and Naturepedic (20% off here).

Scott Boyd

Move a King Mattress Alone Like a Sheet of Plywood Yourself

A twin and sometimes a full size can be carried like a sheet of plywood following these steps:

  1. Lift the bed up on the long side.
  2. Stand in the middle of the bed.
  3. Place the hand opposite the on top of the mattress. This hand bends the mattress over your head and keeps it from falling over and it helps to control and turn.
  4. Bend over and place your hand that is closest under it (up to your thumb or just the fingers). This hand will have all the weight.
  5. Stand up and start walking. Try not to hit too many objects and people while you move around. And please don’t fall down the stairs.
Similar style of carrying large object

Obviously this method requires a lot of strength so many won’t be able to handle it, so if that is you try one of the other options below.

Don’t spend a fortune on an expensive mattress until you read my article here.

Moving a King with a Dolly

Using a dolly will help in wide-open spaces such as a football field and possibly your driveway. Unless you live in a mansion with an entrance you can drive a tank through I think you are wasting your time.

But if you really want to save your back for the 20” dolly drive to the truck in your driveway then follow these steps”

  1. Lift it onto its side.
  2. Place the dolly in the middle.
  3. Slide the dolly base under. It is easier to top the top back to raise the front edge to allow the dolly base to slide under.
  4. Now you can maneuver with one hand on the dolly and the other hand supports the mattress.

If you have a helper and two dollys you can place a dolly on each end and lift the dolly back slightly and drag and push.

If you are in a large city the local tool rental stores may have a cart designed for mattresses.

One called the BedSledzzz looks pretty cool if you can’t manage the task yourself or convince a friend to come over for “pizza and beer”.

Lift, Push, Pull, Slide, and Flip to Move a King Mattress Alone

It is surprising how much as a person can move alone. I worked on weekends for my uncle installing bank vaults and learned how easy one or two people can move two-ton doors.

So this shouldn’t be too hard right???

Except they flip and flop around as they are not solid. And not everyone has a five-foot pry bar and steel rollers hanging around the house looking for something to do. The process:

  1. Clear everything that you think may get in the way and especially toddlers. You don’t want to be tripping over toddlers or anything else.
  1. Remove all bedding.
  2. Lift it vertically on its side.

Will Folding a Mattress Ruin It?

Folding a mattress can ruin innerspring models by bending the coils and metal rungs, which can damage the foam and fabric with tears and punctures.

Folding a foam mattress won’t ruin it as there are no solid or mechanical parts. Folding, rolling, balling up a foam one won’t cause damage.

However, there are some people who claim that folding won’t do long-term damage if only folded for a short period of time. If you want to try it the video below shows in detail how to do it.

Move a King Mattress by Yourself with a Strap or Rope

If you are lucky enough to convince a friend to help with the move you two can use a strap or rope to make it much easier following these steps.

  1. Lay it flat on the floor and place the strap or rope along the edge.
  2. Lift onto its edge and over the strap.
  3. Make sure the strap is centered and has two or three feet past each end.
  4. Each person grabs the strap in one hand and wraps it around their wrists.
  5. Use the other hand to control the top edge.
  6. Lift with your legs and off you go!

How Much Does it Cost to Move a King Mattress?

If you call moving companies I am sure the cost would be crazy high. But if you look Craig’s List, or Kijiji (in Canada) you will likely find ads for companies with names like “Two Feet and a Heartbeat” or “Two Bros and Ho” or even Jughead’s Jalopy Moving Co”.

I am not sure I would pick a local company with names like these, but I am sure you can find a reputable small company to move your mattress.

Costs are usually about $50/hour for two movers and a truck, van, or jalopy with a trailer.

There is likely a minimum charge for short moves like if you are moving across the street, within the same subdivision, or within 10 km.

I checked with 8 small moving companies and the average minimum charge is $100 for moving 10 km or less. This was for a king but the minimum applied to all sizes.

“The cost to ship a bed varies depending on the dimensions and weight of the bed and mattress and the distance of transport.

The average cost to ship a bed is $0.70 per mile for longer transport and $2.50 per mile for shorter transport” according to uShip”

source
couple working on bed frame height

Can UPS Ship a Mattress?

UPS can ship one to any location in the world and offer a flat rate fee of $475 USD for this service. (source).

Table 1. Mattress Shipping Costs with UPS

SizeWeightFromToUPS $Days
Twin35NYMiami4063
Full42NYMiami4063
Queen48NYMiami4063
King65NYMiami4303
Twin35NYChicago2772
Full42NYChicago2772
Queen48NYChicago2772
King65NYChicago3012
Twin35NYDallas4443
Full42NYDallas4443
Queen48NYDallas4443
King65NYDallas4683
Twin35NYLA5564
Full42NYLA5564
Queen48NYLA5564
King65NYLA5804
Twin35NYAtlanta2912
Full42NYAtlanta2912
Queen48NYAtlanta2912
King65NYAtlanta3152
Twin35NYBoston2571
Full42NYBoston2571
Queen48NYBoston2571
King65NYBoston2811

Rates provided courtesy of UPS using Class 200 UPS Ground with Freight Pricing.

How do You Transport a King Mattress?

In the video below they show how to fold, wrap, and transport a foam model. One lady says you can do this with an innerspring model, but do this at your peril. She works for a transport company and is in the business to get’r done and she does not own these. So keep that in mind.

They show a couple of methods and options for each so it is worth watching.

Grizzly Adams has a good video on strapping one on a Toyota Prius. He claims to have transported more than one thousand mattresses so he should know what he is doing. This is must-watch TV if you are going to use your toy car as a truck.

The next video shows some dumb-ass driving with the mattress flipped up 90 degrees and he has no idea haha. Thanks for the uploader and great Stevie Ray Vaughan on the stereo.

Another oblivious dumb-ass who’s mattress turns into a kite and flew out of the back of the truck. I can call him a dumb-ass because I did the exact same thing. Except it was a one-piece tub with a roof.

Heavy as hell and we loaded into the truck with a forklift. But the wind sucked it out and it did a few turns and hit a height of about twenty feet before landing flat on the Trans Canada Highway haha. Do you remember that Fred?

This next video by tattoo blondie (Sarah Eyk) shows how to suck the air out of a king-size and wrap it up for protection in $20 of rubber.

Moving a King Mattress Down the Stairs

The easiest way to move a king mattress down the stairs is precisly shown in the below video.

The nightmare of all moves. This next video is shot by folks who have obviously lived in big cities their entire lives as the lady continued filming as though nothing was happening. While painfully loud sirens continue to get closer.

I am a country bumpkin and if this crap happens we all stop what we are doing and try to find out WTF is going on. Wow, What a waste of 14:40 of my life. I cannot believe 49,000 idiots liked this BS.

The 8-second intro is the only time in the video show the mattress going down the stairs!!!

And the TITLE is Moving a Mattress Down the Stairs! OMFG SMH.

If you want to waste 8 seconds or 14:40 minutes of your life you can do it here:

Moving the King Mattress up the Stairs

Moving the mattress up the stairs is much easier if you have the proper moving straps. You can see how they work here:

Even easier is to bypass the stairs completely by opening a window or door on the top floor and pulling it up the exterior wall.

Scott Boyd

A semi-retired workaholic in Thailand is a challenge. It is too hot to keep building adobe and earthbag buildings so a new project was needed. I became interested in bed frames after purchasing a bamboo bed frame from a local supplier here and I learned there is little information about them on the Internet. So now I spend my days researching, testing, and reporting my findings to help others while having an occasional beer and istening to 60s and 70s B side rock, blues, and much more.

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