How To Fit A Mattress In A Car Without Losing Your Mind

car open to be loaded

A mattress is unwieldy at best. We explain how to get your mattress inside a car without a fuss!

To successfully place a mattress inside a car, take measurements of both the mattress and cargo area of the vehicle. These two need to match (the dimensions of the mattress must be smaller). A mattress can also be slightly folded to fit in a car.

Do you need to move your mattress to a new house? Perhaps you purchased a mattress from someone. Here’s how to fit the bed inside your car.

How To Fit A Mattress Inside A Car

There are plenty of reasons why someone might want to transport a mattress with a car. But most people doing so for the first time are concerned about whether the bed will fit. The truth is that most cars are not really suitable for transporting mattresses – especially big ones like king-sized or queen-sized. But chin up, all is not lost. You can still fit a mattress inside a car if the latter is more spacious than the dimensions of the bed. 

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The Hard Truth About Smaller Cars

The boot or trunk of a car is designed to hold things like groceries, a couple of boxes, the spare tyre, and so on. Unless you have a car that has collapsable back seats that make the cargo area larger, there is no way that you can stuff a mattress inside the trunk. If your vehicle cannot expand its cargo hold, then you either need to ask a friend with such a car to help or hire a suitable vehicle. 

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How To Measure Your Mattress And The Back Of The Car

measuring tape for mattress

Gather a measuring tape, pen and paper. This part should go quickly but it is an essential part to tell you where you stand. The ideal outcome is when your mattress is smaller than the cargo area of the vehicle. If not, you can still fold the mattress but we will cover that in a short while.

Take the measuring tape and get the measurements of your mattress. Focus only on the length and width. The height is not important. Write down the numbers and go to the car. Measure the inside to see whether the mattress is smaller than the cargo area. If so, then fantastic. If the cargo area is slightly smaller, then you can still fold the mattress. 

How Do I Safely Fold My Mattress?

It is important to understand that folding a mattress is not recommended. But if this is the only way for you to transport the bed, then make sure that the mattress is folded as safely and more importantly; as shortly as possible. 

Mattresses like pocket sprung or hybrid beds might be impossible to fold and should never be forced to double over. Truly, the only mattresses that can be folded safely for a short period of time are those that consist of memory foam or natural fibres. There are special ties for large bundles but you can also use a rope to hold the mattress in place. The best is to fold the bed very loosely and never in a tight roll.

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Prepare The Mattress

Getting your mattress to its location is fine but a few preparations beforehand will ensure that it arrives clean and undamaged. The mattress can undergo a thorough cleaning to get rid of stains and odours. While this is not a strictly necessary step, if you are interested, then grab our free and in-depth guides on how to clean a mattress and how to dry a mattress.

The most important part is to wrap the mattress with a protective covering. There are plenty of choices. Some people prefer using large and thick sheets of plastic while others use rolls of bubble wrap. You can even use both just to stay on the safe side! But the truth is that you do not have to spend any money on a protective covering. You can grab a couple of old blankets and use those as well. Once again, secure the covering in place with ties or rope. 

Prepare The Car

blankets to protect the mattress

Your mattress will also arrive safely if you lay down a couple of thick blankets in the back of the vehicle. They offer a cushioning effect and also reduces sliding. 

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How To Safely Carry The Mattress To The Car

If you are a strong individual and the mattress is small, then the chances are that disaster won’t follow your path from the bedroom to the car. Regrettably, larger mattresses have a bad habit of tipping over while being carried, getting stuck in doorways and crushing fingers. The best thing to do is to get a family member or a friend to help you. When two people carry a mattress, the item will not only get to the car without falling over on your prize vases but teamwork also prevents somebody from getting hurt. 

The correct way to carry a mattress is to keep the item vertical. One person carries the front, hands supporting the bottom corner, while the second individual supports the other bottom corner. Move slowly but surely. 

How To Fit The Mattress Inside The Car

Once you reach the vehicle, take care when you turn the mattress on its side. During this time, the weight will shift to its middle and if tipped too quickly the bed can wrench out of your hands and hit the floor (and your shins). Carefully place the head of the mattress inside before one person climbs inside and pulls the mattress in deeper (while the remaining person pushes). Keep an eye on the protective wrapping and the blankets on the floor to make sure that nothing tears or wrinkles. 

A Quick Summary On How To Fit A Mattress Inside A Car

  • Most cars are not suitable for transporting a mattress. Vehicles that are better equipped include cars with collapsable seats, minivans, and pickup trucks. 
  • A mattress can be folded but this is not recommended due to possible damage, especially to beds that contain coils.
  • A mattress and the cargo area of the car needs to be wrapped in a protective covering. 
  • Get someone to help you when you carry the mattress to the car and also to help you fit the mattress into the cargo bay.