What to Use to Tie Down a Mattress: 3 Ways, Tips, Don’t Dos


Saving a few bucks on the cost of delivery for your new mattress feels great, no need to fork out another wasted $50. Or if you are moving and your friends with trucks are magically busy that day you can do this yourself, or with one good friend and a car.

To tie down a mattress on a car, van, or SUV you can choose between ratchet straps, rope, and if there is no other option an electrical extension cord can work.

Use a Ratchet Strap to Tie Down a Mattress

One of the two most common things to use to tie items to the roof of a car or SUV is the ratchet, or cargo, strap. The straps are usually made of a nylon material a minimum of one inch wide with rubber-coated metal hooks. The ratchet is made with metal and some have rubber coatings on the handles.

How to Use a Ratchet Strap

TIP: If you are also moving a box spring then please put the mattress on the roof and the box spring on top of it. The solid construction of the foundation will pin the mattress to the roof evenly. See the video below of the reverse situation and the front of it catching air.

Use Rope to Tie Down a Mattress on a Vehicle Roof

The other common thing to use is a rope. If you don’t have any around the house you can buy it cheap at the local hardware or dollar store. If you have a thin rope that may not be strong enough you can double it up to increase its strength.

How to Tie Mattress to Roof with Rope

This video shows a very easy method to use a rope to fasten a mattress to the roof of a car, van, or SUV. But please add a second rope on the back half of through the back doors or windows.

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Prices pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

TIP: Tie a movers knot with rope to hold it to the roof following the simple instructions in the video below.

Electrical Cord for Super Cheap People

If you don’t have a ratchet strap or rope and are too cheap to buy one of them then this option is for you. If you have an extension cord you can use that in place of rope. Make sure to wrap it around a few times as it is difficult to get it tight to the roof of the car.

TIP: Avoid tying to the roof if you have an SUV by checking out my article here to see if a queen size will fit in your SUV.

What not to Use (Don’t Do)

Hands. Yes, hands. Some have handles and some creative, and cheap, people have tossed it on the roof of the car, reached out, and held onto the handles, and hoped for the best.

Sadly, I know this method, but it was for a assemble it yourself stand-alone closet and it weighed about 100 lbs. I reached up through the sunroof in my Dodge Daytona and held the strap as I drove through the city of Dartmouth. Nobody got hurt, but it was stupid. And it was manual transmission to boot.

Check out the dumb dumbs caught on film.

Don’t be like these idiots (Don’t Do)

Seven on a small car might be a bit too much.

Delivery Dave uses his 2010 Dodge Charger as his delivery truck. Don’t be a Dave.

Please be safe and use ratchet straps or rope to properly tie it to your car, van, or SUV for your safety, and the safety of other drivers and pedestrians.

If you are going to try to squeeze a mattress into an SUV you can see what Queen fits in which SUVs in my article here.

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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