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Outside The Box

A Moving And Shipping Blog

How To Get A King Size Mattress Up The Stairs

Posted in Moving on Sep 18, 2017

You’re tired of being pushed out of bed and woken up at all hours when the kids have nightmares, the dog ends up on the bed again, or your partner starts snoring, so you’ve decided to splurge and upgrade your mattress. The siren song of a better sleep has called to you, and it’s calling for a king size. After all, a bigger bed means more space to spread out on nights that feel a little too crowded. But before you take the plunge, you’ll need to figure out the answer to a simple but often overlooked question: how are you going to move your new king size mattress up the stairs?

If you’re lucky, the company you purchase the mattress from or your moving service will carry it up for you, or maybe you’ll have enough space to get it upstairs with a little pivoting and some help from good friends. But if you’re here reading this post, you are probably not one of those lucky few and are in need of a solution.

One Step at a Time

When it comes to moving a king size mattress up the stairs, there’s really only one method that works—you’re going to have to fold the mattress in half.

The good news is that folding a king mattress isn’t that difficult to do. The majority of king sized mattresses are actually hinged in the middle for this exact purpose, so they can be bent without causing damage.

To do this, use one or two ropes to tie and hold the folded mattress shut, and act as handles to help you haul it up the stairs. Once you have the mattress in place, simply reverse the fold to pop the hinges back.

If the folded mattress trick doesn’t work for you or if you seriously don’t think a folded king size mattress will fit, try getting two twin XL mattresses instead. Many people use this solution and love it. You can easily push two twins together and get a connector (aka “bed bridge”) if you have issues with the gap. Here is an example of one on Amazon.

Now the Hard Part

The box spring is a little trickier. If you haven’t purchased one yet, consider getting a split box spring. The split box spring comes in two pieces, so it’s much easier to get upstairs. If you’ve already purchased a one-piece box spring and there is absolutely no way it’s going to fit, you’re going to have to cut it in half and fold it. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Carefully remove the fabric from the underside of the box spring. You will see a wooden frame with several horizontal pieces of wooden strapping and a metal support bar.
  2. Remove the metal support bar.
  3. Cut the outside wooden frame where it meets the center wooden support strap, about ⅓ of the way in. Be careful not to cut the support strap - you will need it to rejoin the frame later.
  4. Fold the box spring in half.
  5. Tie it with a strong cord and transport it upstairs.
  6. Once it’s in the desired room, unfold it. You may need to straighten out the wires using a hammer and a thick piece of wood.
  7. Rejoin the wooden frame by screwing the cut portion to the center wooden support strap.
  8. Replace the metal support bar. You may not have the tools to do this, but if that’s the case, you can use a wooden support bar instead.
  9. Reattach the fabric using a staple gun.

We highly recommend you check out this how-to video from This Old House to see this method in action before trying it yourself.

Memory Foam & Foam Mattresses

If you have a memory foam or foam mattress, it can be bent in half because there’s no border rod to worry about. Actually accomplishing this, however, is more difficult than it sounds. Manufacturers use special equipment to help them compress, fold, and pack the mattresses into those small boxes, but you probably don’t have access to these tools. There are a few different tactics you can use to get your foam mattress up the stairs, but depending on how dense the foam is and what type of mattress you have, your mileage may vary.

  1. Roll the mattress up and secure it with ropes.
  2. Fold the mattress in half and secure it with ropes.
  3. Put it into a plastic mattress bag, vacuum seal it, and roll or fold it up.

Don’t try this alone - you will most likely need at least one or two people to help you.

PRO TIP: Some memory foam and foam mattresses have multiple layers that can be damaged when folded for extended periods of time, so don’t store it folded for longer than necessary.

Adjustable Beds

Adjustable beds can be daunting to move, especially when they’re king sized. The base frame is typically deep and long and the mechanical parts are heavy, making it difficult to maneuver. You may be better off hiring professional movers who have experience moving bulky, heavy items.

Folding an adjustable king mattress isn't possible, so if you’re set on moving it yourself, you’ll need the help of a few good friends. Depending on how old your adjustable bed is, it might be possible to disassemble it and move the individual pieces. Instructions should be available with the information that came with your mattress; otherwise you’ll be able to find them on the manufacturer’s website.

In the event that it isn’t possible to move the frame up the stairs, you might have to buy a new frame that separates, or opt for a box spring. Try contacting the store you originally purchased the adjustable bed from for advice and see if they offer trade-in discounts.

Sweet Dreams

No matter what size bed you are considering, do you research, speak to the experts at the store you’re buying your bed from or consult your movers, and embrace what’s realistic for your current situation.

Questions? Contact us at 800-626-1257 for advice and a free quote.