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Lifestyle & Life Moments

Moving? How to Safely Transport Your Mattress

A stack of boxes in a white room beside a chair.
Moving concept
Getty Images / Moment RF

At some point in your life, you’ll be faced with a challenging task: moving. Whether it’s into a dorm, an apartment or a brand new house, moving can be a tiring event. It can also feel chaotic and overwhelming. Since you’ll soon be sleeping in a new environment, moving is a great opportunity to check in on your current mattress setup to make sure it’s supporting your best sleep and ideal for your new sleep space.

Mattress Firm Sleep Expert® Jill Smith from Gulf Breeze, Florida, shares important tips about how to safely move your mattress to a new home, how to decide the correct size mattress to fit in your new bedroom and how to know when it’s time for a fresh mattress.

How old is your current mattress?

Smith says most mattresses have a lifespan of seven to 10 years. If your mattress is within this range, it’s time to consider replacing it. Why is it important to replace an old mattress? First, our bodies can evolve significantly over several years, necessitating bed changes to support changing needs. Additionally, an old mattress likely harbors a lot of evidence of its use over the past decade, including sweat, dander and allergens collected from the air. An old mattress could also be a culprit of aches and pains. Smith points out that if your mattress has visible sagging, it’s definitely time to upgrade your bed.

Smith also says moving is the perfect time to check out your mattress base. If you’re using a box spring, make sure the cover isn’t ripped and all structural and wood elements are still in good shape. If anything is bent or broken, it’s time for a replacement or even an upgrade to an adjustable base. Living in humid conditions in Florida, Smith said the weather can also wear down mattress bases, so it’s wise to check before hauling it to a new home.

How to move your mattress and base with care

If your mattress is moving with you, you’ll want to be sure that you’re moving it in a way that preserves its form and coils, and keeps the base intact. After all, after a long day of moving, it's where you'll want to collapse for some well-earned rest. The last thing you want is to discover your mattress didn’t fare well in the move. From rips in the foam to strange creases to broken legs or a missing remote of an adjustable base, a lot can happen, even in a short move, so it’s worth taking extra care when moving your bed.

Smith recommends wrapping your mattress in strong plastic before moving since it’s likely to get exposed to dust and dirt in the relocation process, and it’s less likely to sustain damage if it’s wrapped. There are bags made for just this purpose, and if you’re using a moving company, they can further wrap it in blankets. Once you arrive, unwrap it carefully—believe us: We've heard plenty of horror stories involving boxcutters and slashed pillow tops—and allow it to air out before making it up with your sheets.

Whether you’re hiring a moving company or have bribed strong, wonderful friends to help out, be sure the crew understands any special instructions related to moving your bed setup, including how to disassemble an adjustable base. Smith says if you were around to watch the Mattress Firm team install your adjustable base, you might remember how to disassemble it. But if not, call your local Mattress Firm for help to ensure your base makes the move unscathed.

Before you move, measure doorways, hallways, and stairwells to be sure the dimensions of your bed are suitable—it’s better to know ahead of time if your boxspring is going to get jammed on the stairs than to find out when you’re already mid-move.

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Buying a new mattress and base for your move?

If your relationship with your mattress has been on the rocks or you’re switching sizes, moving is a convenient time to invest in a new bed and foundation. Both in-store at Mattress Firm locations and online, we have a wide range of mattress types in all budgets to help you get the best sleep possible.

Keep in mind when shopping for a new mattress that your preferences in type and firmness might have changed since you last bought a mattress. If you’re struggling with any of the main sleep disruptors like snoring, pain, tossing and turning, or acid reflux, it’s worth looking into an adjustable base which could help lull you off into restful slumber.

Shopping in-store allows you the option to try out our showroom models to get the best idea of how it’ll feel to sleep on each night. Consider it a bit like paint color swatches—it’s good to narrow it down to a few options and then carefully consider each option.

Always remember we’re an empathetic bunch at Mattress Firm, and we understand that moving comes with a lot of uncertainties. Smith points out that if your moving date changes and you then need to adjust your mattress delivery date, don’t stress. Just give us a call and we’ll reschedule to suit your availability.

How to find the right size mattress to suit your bedroom

If you’re opting for a new mattress to go along with your new home, consider which size will work best for your bedroom. Smith recommends opting for a size that allows for three to four feet of space on each side of the bed to accommodate nightstands and have easy access to get in and out of bed with no stubbed toes.

If you’re buying a new mattress for a growing kiddo, consider if their bedroom can accommodate a full- or even a queen-size bed that’ll be big enough as they get older.

Don’t forget the pillows and bedding

Once your bed is installed in your new room, you’ll want to make it up with sheets and pillows. Think ahead and reward your future self: One of the best gifts you can give to yourself post-move is freshly laundered sheets that are ready to go onto your bed. Pack them into a suitcase or zipped bag that you keep with you in the move, so that you don’t risk misplacing them.

A move is also the best time to take stock of your pillows. The average lifespan of a pillow is only about 18 months, so it’s likely time to grab a new headrest. If you’re shopping in-store for a bed, seek out a Sleep Expert® for a pillow fitting that factors in your sleep style and specific needs, to help you get the sleep you need.

How to break in a new mattress and find the best accessories

Like adjusting to the layout of the new kitchen cabinets, your new mattress will take a bit of getting used to. Smith says it’s common for a new mattress to feel firmer than it did when you tested it out in our showroom and that’s because the showroom mattresses are broken in.

To help break in your new mattress, add some pressure by sleeping on it every night, gently walking around on it in your socks, or placing heavy items on it like boxes that have yet to be unpacked.

A new mattress also necessitates some great accessories to make your new bedroom a haven for ideal sleep. A set of cooling TENCEL or bamboo sheets is a great place to start and don’t forget to keep your investment safe with a mattress protector.

If you’re not in love with your new mattress, our Love Your Mattress Guarantee shows you how confident we are that you’ll sleep happily. Sleep on it for a minimum of 21 nights, up to 120 nights to decide if it's the perfect fit. If not, we’ll work with you to find a better fit. Our team of Mattress Firm Sleep Experts® is always available to match you with the right mattress.

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