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New Space, Old Mattress: How to Tackle Moving Day Like a Champ

Here are the ultimate questions you should ask before moving your mattress.

Arielle Burton Associate Content Manager
Arielle Burton is an associate content manager on CNET's Performance Optimization team. She graduated from Hofstra University in New York. Prior to joining CNET, she worked with legacy news (ABC7NY and Fox Business Network) and tech companies (Mashable). She specializes in crafting compelling alerts, building community engagement on news platforms, and optimizing CNET's content for all audiences. Ultimately, Arielle is a digital media professional by day and a fierce chef by night.
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Arielle Burton
4 min read
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Moving to a new place can come with a whirlwind of emotions. It's an exhilarating and stressful experience all wrapped up in one timeframe. The most vital thing you want to ponder for a successful moving day is where you will lay your head to rest after a long day of moving. Having a foolproof moving day strategy is key, of course, and making a solid mattress moving plan for your big day can give you the quality rest you earned after a long day. 

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When brainstorming the perfect moving plan for your mattress, consider these two questions: 1) how old it is and 2) what condition it is in. On average, mattresses last about seven to ten years (with some making it to 20), depending on mattress materials and the level of care you take. The ultimate question you really need to answer is if you need to trash your old mattress and get a brand new one for your new place or keep your current one. That one decision will dictate how you execute your moving day plans.

If you decide your mattress is good enough to move, here's what you need to know. Follow the steps below to prevent damage and wasted time.

Make a mattress plan once you know your move date

The type of mattress you have will dictate what kind of heavy lifting needs to be done. If you have a queen- or king-sized mattress, you might need someone to help you navigate your way out of your old place into your new one. It's best not to bend your mattress to avoid ruining its springs and/or firmness.

Now things can get tricky when determining how to transport a bed frame and mattress. With bed frames, you have to consider if it's worth breaking down and then putting it back together or if the frame can be moved whole. Then, if you decide to move it together, will it even fit through the door frames from one location to the next? If you have a platform frame, especially with those storage spaces, it might be a good idea to break it down, but if you have one of those portal frames you may get away with just folding it in half to relocate it. Finally, you need to decide whether you will have transportation that's big enough to accommodate your needs.

Hashing these details out ahead of time can save you from headaches and wasted time. However, if you decide to have professionals take care of the nitty-gritty details of how to move your mattress that's an option too.

Read More: Trusted Moving Companies: How to Find Movers You Can Rely On

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Get a mattress cover for moving

No, this step is not mandatory, but it's highly recommended. Purchasing a mattress cover can limit damages to your mattress during the move, such as tears and stains. 

While there are other clever hacks -- like taking sheets and wrapping them around your mattress -- covers for moving mattresses are fairly inexpensive. You can buy plastic covers at your local department store and trash once you use it. You can also get reusable covers from Amazon to keep and store for your next move.

While you are shopping for a cover, consider adding tie-down straps to the cart, too. These straps make a world of difference when securing your mattress inside a truck or van to keep it in place while driving.

Video: CNET's Sleep Expert Guesses Mattresses Completely Blindfolded

Strip your mattress of all bedding before moving

Now that you have a solid moving plan in place with your mattress cover and supplies, these are the steps you should take for your mattress move. You'll want to remove your sheets, comforter, pillowcases and anything else on it. It's highly recommended that you wash your sheets and comforter before packing them. This keeps everything fresh and clean when you unpack in your new place.

Read More: The Best Way to Machine-Wash Your Sheets, Comforter and Pillowcases

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Next, clean your mattress

After stripping off all the bedding, you want to make sure to clean the mattress thoroughly. Over time, your mattress will accumulate germs, and dust bunnies so vacuum it well and then wipe it down with warm water and a touch of dish soap. For a fresh aroma.

Read More: How to Clean Your Mattress at Home

Clear your walkway to make space for your mattress

In the rush of moving sometimes clearing a walkway is the last thing on your mind. To ensure safety for you and your helpers, make sure youy have space to navigate your mattress through your old spot.

Transporting your mattress on moving day 

Now it's execution time. All of the brainstorming and shopping has come to this moment. Load your mattress into your transportation vehicle with the help of others, if need be. 

For mattresses with coils or springs, transport them positioned on their side, ideally between large furniture for extra stability. Most memory foam mattresses should be transported flat, though you should definitely check with your manufacturer for specific recommendations for moving. 

Read More: How Big a Moving Truck Do I Need? Get the Right Size Rental Truck

Most moving experts do not recommend strapping a mattress to the top of a car. Along with the very real danger of the mattress falling or flying off, it's also much more prone to scratches, tears or damage to the coils or springs.

Now you're at the final stretch. Upon arriving at your new spot and getting your mattress into your new place, be sure to wipe it down again and give it a quick clean. During the move, dirt and germs can accumulate. Once you have cleaned surfaces, now it's time to unpack and get settled into your new pad. But rest assured, you'll have a comfy fresh place to lay your head after all your moving activity is done.