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The Wrong Way to Transport a Mattress

Whether you are buying a new mattress or disposing of an old one, you will be met with the challenge of how to transport this large and bulky item. Even small twin mattresses are too large to put inside most passenger vehicles. Faced with this challenge, some people get resourceful and even creative with their moving solutions. However, incorrectly secured mattresses can cause major safety issues, as well as damage your vehicle.

Follow these tips on what not to do when transporting a mattress to avoid any injuries, accidents, or damage when moving your mattress.

Don’t Tie the Mattress to Your Car’s Roof
Is it safe to tie a mattress to the roof of your car? This creative solution is a go-to for many do-it-yourselfers. But, it’s also risky and could have unforeseen consequences. Don’t tie a mattress directly to the roof of your car. Securing the mattress by running a rope or twine through the windows or doors of your car can result in broken door seals and warped window frames. It can cost up to $1,500 to fix this damage. The safest way to use this method is with a roof rack.

Don’t Bend Your Mattress
Folding or bending the mattress can break the springs and filling, causing irreparable damage to your new purchase. New foam mattresses are able to bounce back better than traditional spring mattresses, so keep this in mind as you choose your transportation method. Some foam mattresses may be folded to fit in the back of large SUVs or vans, but this should not be attempted with other mattress types. If you do fold a mattress in the back of your vehicle, make sure it doesn’t obscure the drivers’ vision out of any windows, as this is a safety violation and can lead to a ticket. If you use a roof method, the mattress can also be bent as a result of the force exerted on it by the wind when you are driving. Below are two extreme example of how this bending can be caused by loose ties or failing to secure the mattress at multiple points.

Don’t Leave your Mattress Unprotected
Prior to moving your mattress, purchase a plastic bag or cover to protect it during the move. These bags are relatively inexpensive and protect your mattress from becoming soiled or torn. See these inexpensive bags on Amazon as an example.

Don’t Use Rope or Twine
If you do secure your mattress to a roof rack, or safely in the bed of a truck, strap it down with ratcheting straps. Mattresses are large, bulky, and can pick up resistance from the wind. This will stress any knot, no matter how securely tied. Ratcheting straps are much less likely to fail when moving a bulky item like a mattress. Prior to starting your journey, do a few gentle brake tests in the parking lot to make sure the mattress doesn’t shift or become loose. Secure the mattress at least three points, the front, middle and end.

Avoid Overhang
If you’ve attached the mattress to your roof rack, make sure to avoid any overhang that might obscure the driver’s vision. Never use bungee cords. In most states, drivers are required to have clear vision through all windows of the vehicle. If the mattress hangs down in the back or over the windshield, you may be violating state law and could receive an expensive fine. Worse, you may get in an accident because of impaired visibility.

Don’t Drive on Highways
Stick to backroads when driving. Highway speeds can test even the most secured of cargo. The high speeds can cause the wind to catch under your mattress, pulling it against the bindings and potentially damaging the item. If your mattress comes loose at highway speeds, not only will it destroy the mattress, it could lead to a crash. In the last four years, 39,000 injuries and 500 deaths occurred as a result of dangerous debris on roadways. Mattresses are one of the culprits behind this statistic, leading to real and serious injuries. As a rule of thumb, drive like your family is in the car behind you.

Want a safe solution? GoShare’s delivery pros have large pickup trucks and box trucks that can safely transport your mattress without incident. Better yet, they’ll do all the heavy lifting. Simply tell them where you want your new mattress to go.