We recognize life isn’t always going to be as carefree as our move management teams tend to make it seem. One day, you’re going to move. Or you’re going to turn that guest room into a game room. Or your teenager will go off to college. The cold-hard truth is, there will come a day when you’re going to need to move a mattress yourself.
We’re sorry. It’s just the way it is
We sat down with one of the foremost experts in relocation logistics, Robert Carucci, to ask him his tips for moving a mattress.
If anybody gets moving, it’s Rob. Carucci serves as general manager of the world’s leading corporate and domestic relocation service, Crown Relocations. His 14 years of scouring over spreadsheets, talking to his team on the ground, parsing through the logistical problems of weather, bugs, and property damage have informed some truly surprising tips to help you move with ease.
So whether you’re schlepping across town or across the globe, putting a mattress in storage or immediately into a new bedroom, here are some tried-and-true tricks that can help you save time and money, and keep your sanity through the process.
Mattress Moving Tip #1: Wrap That Bad Boy Up Tight
After the obvious making sure your mattress no longer has bedding on it and is as dry as humanly possible, Carucci’s first step is to cover that sucker up as thoroughly as possible. There’s a special trick to that, too. “Make sure you use a high-density polyethylene mattress storage bag to start,” he says.
Because the moving process can be particularly unpleasant to mattresses, movers need to consider that the better grade plastic they get, the less damage will likely be doled out. Too often, cheap plastic tears and then proves to do very little in terms of protection, said Carucci.
“And if a mattress gets wet during transportation, there’s a good chance it could get bugs,” he said, adding that that’s a whole other kind of problem.
Carucci said that, even with the world’s best, heartiest storage bag, it won’t mean much if you don’t wrap the whole mattress completely and securely.
“When you cover up your mattress, you need to tape the edges completely shut,” said Carucci. “Every inch of the mattress needs to be covered by plastic. It needs to be form-fitted and sealed. And taped with high-quality tape.”
We guess that’s why it’s called, “Signed, SEALED, and delivered.”
Mattress Moving Tip #2: Plastic Isn’t Enough
After you get that first layer all cinched up and secured, Carucci suggests to put your mattress in a more protective cardboard box. This prevents structural damage in ways that plastic just can’t. The good news here is that many larger retailers offer both size-specific storage bags and boxes, so that will take the guesswork out of what kinds of protection you need.
Once you’ve got it covered, our expert said, you’ll know you’ll know your mattress is protected because there will be a snug fit.
“Just make sure that you get the proper fitting mattress bag to the size of your mattress,” Carucci stressed. “Too small means part of its open, too large means moisture is allowed to condense inside.”
And for those thinking of ignoring Carucci’s advice and plan on skipping a solid wrapping of their mattress, consider that fumigation will cost you far more if your mattress gets wet than a bag ever will.
Mattress Moving Tip #3: Make sure your movers have a box truck
This one starts out pretty simple: “Place your mattress upright in the transportation process,” Carucci said. “Keep it secure and don’t stack anything on top of it.” This prevents structural damage.
But here’s the trick: For even a short jaunt across town bolstered by a forecast of a 0% chance of rain, you should really consider a vehicle that allows you to cover your mattress too. Box trucks, says Carucci, work best at preventing wind shear. A mattress that’s not secure is a mattress that’ll go airborne quickly.
Whatever you do: “Do not strap your mattress to the top of your car,” our expert said. That’s for obvious safety reasons and because it’s illegal in many places, too.
Mattress Moving Tip #4: If you don’t have to take it, consider not
Some 75% of the people who use Crown to relocate domestically will keep their mattress in the move, Carucci estimated.
The others? They use the relocation as a good reason to get out with the old and get in with the new.
“There’s no better time to get a new mattress than when you’re moving,” Carucci said.
In fact, whether your mattress should make the trip with you really comes down to a simple cost-benefit analysis, one based on your answers to questions like: Are you moving somewhere close? Are you traveling internationally? Will you need to store it? How much did it originally cost to begin with?
Most of the time, a short move across town -- without a layover in storage -- is worth the hassle. However, if you’re putting the thing in storage or sending it across a nation’s borders, Carucci says, you might want to rethink how loyal you are to your bed.
Mattress Moving Tip #5: The Less Storage the Better
The value of keeping a mattress in a storage unit depends heavily on how long you plan on keeping it there, says Carucci, and what kind of amenities the storage unit has.
“If a storage unit has good air circulation and is dry, that’s certainly helpful. If the storage unit is climate-controlled -- which will cost you a bit more -- you’ll be able to keep your mattress there for far longer than in a storage facility that doesn’t,” the expert said. “Those are the factors that will determine how long you can keep a mattress in storage without suffering too much structural damage.”
The issue is, though, even if you store a mattress flat as you would sleep on it, without anything on top of it at all (both recommendations of the mattress-moving expert), you’ll almost always get damage over time.
You’re, in essence, paying for something to get worse over time and not getting use out of it. Not the best investment.
Carucci himself caps the time in storage at a year and a half. “At 18 months the structural damage to the fabric and the stuffing start to really deteriorate the quality of the mattress.”
Mattress Moving Tip #6: Internationally, Look Into the Laws
Finally, when it comes to the hassles of international travel or relocation, there are even more costs associated with taking your mattress with you than you might expect, Carucci said.
“Internationally, bringing a mattress with you can result in duties and custom charges, and it can be a huge hassle. It’s one of those occasions when people have to think about the costs to taking it with them and weigh that out with the costs,” he said.
Do your research on your future destination. Many countries won’t legally accept a mattress at all, while other times -- like Canada -- movers will be required to provide proof the mattress was recently cleaned and fumigated, he said. You won’t want to get it caught up in customs, so you should always review the laws of the country you’re moving to before you buy plastic wrap, boxes, or anything else.
“Still, there are instances where you might want to keep it. For instance, you can’t get a California King in many parts of Europe,” Carucci said. “It really just depends on how much you want to spend.”
But are those extra costs worth it dragging your mattress across The Pond?