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How to Easily Move a Memory Foam Mattress: A Step by Step Guide


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While a memory foam mattress is a joy to sleep on, it can be a pain to move. Mattresses are huge and bulky, meaning you need 2 or more people to move it.

On top of that, they take up a lot of room. Whether you are moving to a new house or switching out an old mattress for a new, moving a mattress is not an easy job.

That said, it doesn’t mean it’s impossible after all; how do they get mattresses from the factory?

So how do you easily move a memory foam mattress? The answer is simple, compress it. Memory foam is very elastic and when compressed correctly, should pop right back into shape. A compressed mattress is easy to move.

When you get your memory foam mattress, it comes in a fairly compact box that was easy to move around. It fit into that small box because it was compressed under tons of pressure and rolled into a nice bundle.

Since you likely don’t have such a machine at home, here’s a relatively easy, DIY-style way of compressing your memory foam mattress so you can move it easily. 

How to Easily Compress and Move a Memory Foam Mattress

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Before you get started, here’s a fair warning. It is possible to ruin your memory foam mattress if you compress it yourself.

The machines used by mattress packaging companies exert tons of pressure equally on the mattress to avoid damaging it.

The DIY method might compromise your bed’s support leaving you with a mattress that’s lumpy. This might also void your warranty, so make sure you read through it before you move on.

With that out of the way, ask yourself, is your mattress worth compressing and moving in the first place?

If your memory foam mattress is;

  • more than seven years old,
  • uncomfortable; leaves you in pain when you sleep on it,
  • has cracks or tears, and/or;
  • sagging/losing its shape

Then it’s time to get a new one. Luckily you can get it delivered to wherever you are moving to. This will save you a lot of hassle, and you can donate your old mattress to charity.

If you don’t need a new mattress, then here’s the steps you should go through when compressing and moving your memory foam mattress:

Step 1 – Gather Your Materials

You will need:

A plastic mattress bag and a small vacuum seal bag

When moving a memory foam mattress, you need to give it twice as much attention as a regular foam mattress.

Because of how it’s constructed and the material it’s made from, a memory foam mattress is very delicate. A plastic mattress bag is the best way to protect it from the elements, dust, moisture, etc.

These heavy-duty recyclable plastic bags will be the outer shell of your mattress. Make sure you get the right size for your bed. If you’ve got a king-size bed, get a king-size bag, not queen size; else, you will have extra plastic hanging around. While this isn’t a deal-breaker, it does complicate things a bit.

Here’s a great mattress moving bag available in twin, queen and king sizes on Amazon:

You put this bag on your mattress before compressing it.

Then get a vacuum seal bag. This one you will use to compress the mattress with. Make sure the vacuum bag seal fits the vacuum cleaner you are using.

Here’s a great vacuum mattress bag also available in twin, queen and king sizes on Amazon:

Make sure you follow the instructions on the vacuum bag to compress your mattress correctly.

Ratchet straps

Since you don’t have a massive compression machine, your mattress won’t stay compressed on its own. You will need ratchet straps to secure it and prevent it from unraveling after you roll it.

The number of straps you need will depend on the size of your mattress, but about 3 to 4 straps should do it.

Make sure to place some padding such as a cloth between the mattress and the strap. They can cut into the mattress bag, especially if it’s thin. You can use a rope if you can’t get ratchet straps.

If you don’t have ratchet straps at home, go here to see the top ones on Amazon. It’s always good to have a few ratchet straps at home.

Duct tape

You will use the tape to reinforce the vacuum seal and attach the valve for compression. Get tape that’s sticky but not too sticky as it might damage the mattress bag. Remember, you need it to remain undamaged to create a vacuum.

A vacuum cleaner

A standard vacuum cleaner is powerful enough to suck out all the air from the bag. 

A box (optional)

This will provide extra protection to the compressed mattress and also keep it from unrolling. It’s not necessary to use a box if you’ve strapped and duct taped it well. But, it makes it a bit safer and easier to move.

How to Compress Your Memory Foam Mattress

Okay, so you got all the things you need to start compressing, here’s what to do:

1. Prep the mattress

Start by setting up the mattress and preparing it for compression. Remove all the bedding such as sheets, comforters, and mattress toppers. The mattress should be completely bare. Keep the mattress protector on.

Next, put the mattress in the plastic bag. Remember to get the right-sized bag, so it fits snuggly. You may want to get some help for this part. Start from one side and proceed slowly until the mattress gets in.

This way, you won’t damage the bag. Zip it up, reinforce the seal with duct tape, and then lay the mattress flat on the floor for the next steps.

2. Attach the valve

Cut the valve from the vacuum bag but leave enough plastic around it to help secure it with tape.

Next, cut out a hole in the mattress bag or along the edge where you sealed the mattress.

Slip the valve into the bag and put the valve through. Tape the hole and make sure it’s airtight.

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3. Suck out the air

With the mattress flat on the floor, attach the vacuum hose to the valve and secure it with tape.

Turn on the vacuum cleaner and watch your mattress get compressed as the air gets sucked out.

You can help move things along by walking or moving on top of the mattress. This will help get the air out faster.

4. Roll up the mattress

After all the air is out, start rolling the mattress from one end but don’t turn off the vacuum cleaner. It will suck out any air released as you roll the mattress.

Don’t go too fast; you might trap some air bubbles. Instead, do it slowly to get a snug, tight bundle. Turn off the vacuum cleaner when you are done rolling the mattress.

5. Secure the mattress

Once you have rolled the mattress, get your ratchet straps and wrap them around the meters. Remember to place something between the straps to prevent them from eating into the mattress bag.

Keep the rolled mattress horizontal to prevent it from getting damaged during transport. You could also place it in a box if you have one. Label the box so you know what’s inside.

How Long Does it Take For a Memory Foam Mattress to Expand?

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After safely transporting your mattress, you could be wondering how long it will take to get it back to its original size. It’s best to open it up immediately after you get it to where you were going and lay it flat.

Memory foam can take anywhere between 4 to 6 hours to regain about 90 percent of its original size and another 4 to 6 hours to expand completely. So it’s best to wait about 12 hours before lying on it.

It’s recommended to wait about a day to three before sleeping on the mattress. This will allow the mattress to expand completely and regain its structure.

Sleeping on it too early won’t damage it, but it won’t feel as great. After enough time has lapsed, it will regain that memory foam feel that you love.

Waiting until it has fully expanded will allow you to see if any damage occurred during the compression process. Tears and cracks aren’t very visible until the mattress regains its original shape.

Mind The Temperature

Memory foam is temperature-sensitive. This means in cooler rooms, it might stay stiffer for longer and take even longer to expand back to its original size.

If it is chilly outside, consider raising the room temp a few degrees higher. After the mattress warms up, it will expand faster. Your body heat can also aid in the expansion process.

Other Factors That Might Affect The Expansion Rate

Other factors that might affect the expansion rate include the density of the mattress and its thickness.

The more dense or thicker the mattress, the longer it will take to expand. A dense mattress is also more likely very firm, meaning it will be very uncomfortable to sleep on until it fully expands. 

Conclusion: Easily Moving a Memory Foam Mattress

Moving a memory foam mattress is pretty straightforward once you get it compressed. The next time you are thinking about moving your mattress, follow these steps for a hassle-free time.

Instead of taking hours and loads of manpower, you can cut all that in half by compressing it. Once compressed, memory foam mattresses are easy to transport.

Niklas Lampi

My name is Niklas and I'm the author and content operator at The Bedding Planet. I've always had a big interest in bedding and more specifically sleep. If I find something that makes me sleep better, whether that's a lifestyle change or a better bedding environment, I'm ready to share it with the world!

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