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"How Do I Ship That?"

How do i ship a mattress?

Saying goodbye to your bed when you move long distance can be harder than dragging yourself out from under the covers on a cold winter morning. Your bed is your sanctuary, and the last thing you want to do is leave it behind, especially when you’re coping with the stress of managing a long distance relocation. But how exactly do you get it to your new home?

There are several ways to move or ship your mattress across the country. The shipping experts at TSI are here to help. Read our comprehensive mattress shipping guide to learn more about five ways to ship a mattress, or jump directly to special considerations and other important mattress shipping tips and guidelines by clicking the menu below.

1. How To Ship a Mattress

Read about five common ways to ship a mattress, including pros and cons and when to use each method. 

4. Special Considerations

There are many different types of mattress, and each come with their own unique set of considerations for packing and moving.

2. How Much Does It Cost to Ship a Mattress?

The cost of shipping your mattress depends on what shipping method you choose.

5. Mistakes to Avoid

Keep your mattress safe throughout the moving process by avoiding these mistakes.

3. Recommended Shipping Method

Moving locally or long distance? Find out which shipping method is best for your move.

6. How To Pack a Mattress

Pack your mattress the right way with our step-by-step instructions.


How to Ship a Mattress

How To Ship a Mattress

Mattresses are bulky and heavy, and that makes them awkward and difficult to move. If you’re moving long distance and want to ship your mattress across the country, you have five options:

  1. Leave it behind and buy a new one
  2. Rent a truck and move it yourself
  3. Hire professional movers
  4. Rideshare or peer-to-peer shipping
  5. Consolidated freight

Let’s take a closer look at each of these methods:

1. Don’t move your mattress—just buy a new one

As much as you love your mattress, if it’s old or inexpensive, you’re likely better off tossing it and getting a new one in your new home. Chances are, it’ll cost you more to ship your old mattress than it will to purchase a new one, and many stores will deliver them for free.

How much does it cost to buy a new mattress?

Depending on what kind of mattress you want to buy, the cost of replacing your mattress can range from a little as $250 to as high as $5,000. Most people find a mattress that suits their needs for less than $1,000.

When to buy a new mattress

  • Old or inexpensive mattresses
  • Long distances moves

2. Renting a truck and moving your mattress yourself

Renting a truck and packing, loading, and unloading your belongings on your own or with the help of friends and family is a popular choice for local moves, as well as for those who don’t have much stuff to move and are physically able to manage the moving process from start to finish.

Packing your mattress for a DIY move requires more than simply loading it into the back of your truck—you’ll need to acquire specialized packing materials in order to safeguard your mattress, and if you have a king size mattress. You’ll also need to disassemble it to help get it out of your house and onto the truck.

Loading your mattress onto the moving vehicle

Packing your mattress is fairly simple—loading it onto your moving vehicle is where things start to get more complicated. The best way to load your mattress onto your moving vehicle will depend on what type of vehicle you are using:

Van or truck

If you rented a moving van or truck, you will likely want to lay your mattress flat against a solid surface so you don’t compromise the inner support. As long as it’s not a memory foam mattress, you could also lean it upright against the side of the vehicle. Don’t lay things on top of it or lean anything that could damage the sleep surface against your mattress, and make sure there are no sharp points or angles applying pressure to any part of the mattress. Secure it in place using ratchet straps or poly rope so it doesn’t slide around or tip over—this could cause damage to your other belongings.

Pickup truck

Most truck beds are large enough to hold a queen size mattress or smaller. If you are moving your mattress in a pickup truck, make sure nothing that could potentially damage your mattress or box spring is packed above or below them to keep them safe from punctures and other damage to the support system or sleep surface. Secure your mattress by running ratchet straps or durable poly rope over the top of the truck bed in case unexpected air flows lift your mattress.

Car

Moving your mattress on the roof of your car is not recommended under any circumstances. Improperly secured loads are both unsafe and illegal, and will most likely result in damage to your mattress thanks to the rigors of the transport method and exposure to the elements, even if it’s in a mattress bag.

Advantages

Disadvantages

Includes professional moving services for the rest of your stuff Can be expensive, especially for long distance moves
Some moving companies provide basic packing materials, such as moving blankets and hand trucks, at no cost eed to pack most things yourself, unless your moving company offers basic packing services (such as wrapping your couch), or you pay for packing services
No heavy lifting  
No concerns about vehicle size  
Basic moving insurance is often included  

How much does it cost to rent a truck and move your own mattress?

The cost of renting a truck and moving your mattress yourself will depend on the size and distance of your move. You will pay a day rate based on the size of your moving vehicle, plus mileage and other expenses such as fuel, moving supplies, and insurance:

  • Day rates typically range between $19.99-$29.99 per day for a 10’-17’ truck, or $29.99-$39.99 for a 20’-26’ truck.
  • Mileage often ranges between $0.69-$0.79 per mile during the week and up to $0.99 per mile on weekends, and can be higher during peak moving season.

If you’re moving long distance, you’ll also likely pay extra to leave your rented moving vehicle in a different city than where you picked it up.

When should I rent a truck and move my own mattress?

  • Local or short distance moves

3. Hiring professional movers

Hiring professional movers is ideal for those who have lots of stuff to move, are moving long distance, need help with fragile or valuable items, or simply don’t want the hassle of loading and unloading your belongings.

Advantages

Disadvantages

Includes professional moving services for the rest of your stuff Can be expensive, especially for long distance moves
Some moving companies provide basic packing materials, such as moving blankets and hand trucks, at no cost Need to pack most things yourself, unless your moving company offers basic packing services (such as wrapping your couch), or you pay for packing services
No heavy lifting  
No concerns about vehicle size  
Basic moving insurance is often included  

How much does it cost to hire professional movers?

According to the American Moving and Storage Association, a local move comes with an average price tag of $2,300, while long distance moves cost an average of $4,300.

The exact cost of hiring professional movers depends on how much stuff you have and the distance of your move. Every moving company prices moves differently, so call at least three moving companies to get a quote before you book. Comparing quotes can help you create a moving budget, and is an easy way to reduce your moving costs.

Not sure whether to hire movers or rent a truck and move yourself? Read our guide for our expert advice:

When should I hire professional movers?

  • New or top-of-the-line mattresses
  • Adjustable beds
  • Larger local moves

4. Rideshare or peer-to-peer shipping

When you ship your mattress using rideshare or peer-to-peer shipping services, you are paying someone else who is travelling to your destination with extra space in their vehicle to transport your mattress. You can connect with peer-to-peer shipping partners, including large companies, single-truck owners, and even roadtrippers, using special online marketplaces.

Advantages

Disadvantages

Can be cost-effective for long distance moves You may not be working with a professional—there’s no guarantee of expertise or experience, and there’s less accountability if something goes wrong
Ideal if you are only shipping a few large items and can take the bulk of your belongings in your personal vehicle Need to pack your mattress yourself
Can be used to ship just about any type of large item May need to provide loading and unloading assistance
  May not be able to track your shipment;
  No insurance if your mattress gets damaged

How much does peer-to-peer shipping cost?

Peer-to-peer shipping costs can vary and are often negotiable. Typically, it will cost between $200-$500 or more to ship your mattress using peer-to-peer shipping services, depending on the size of your mattress and whether you need any additional services, such as packing or loading.

When should I use peer-to-peer shipping services to move my mattress?

  • Older or inexpensive mattresses you can’t bear to part with

5. Consolidated freight

When you ship your mattress using consolidated freight services such as less-than-truckload (LTL) shipping, your mattress will share space on the truck with other cargo heading in the same direction. Unlike peer-to-peer shipping, consolidated freight services are always provided by licensed and insured professional shipping companies.

Many consolidated freight providers, including TSI, also offer different levels of service if you are looking for help packing or loading your mattress or want to ensure your mattress is protected with insurance.

Shipping your mattress with TSI

We can ship any mattress or box spring up to 12.5" thick for a flat rate of $399. What do you get for $399?

  • All your packing supplies, including mattress bags, boxes, and shrink wrap
  • Curbside pickup and delivery anywhere in the continental United States

Have more than one mattress or box spring to ship? Each additional mattress or box spring costs $200 (including packing supplies).

Learn more about our mattress box shipping program.  

Advantages

Disadvantages

Safe and convenient—no need to find space in your rented moving vehicle for a bulky mattress Can be costly—not ideal for old or inexpensive mattresses
Can be cheaper than renting a moving truck, especially for long distance moves or if you only need help shipping your mattress Longer timeframes—you might have to wait for your mattress to arrive if there are delays in transit
Ideal for brand new or expensive mattresses Does not always include packing and loading services
Easy to purchase additional insurance  

How much does it cost to ship a mattress using consolidated freight?

The cost of shipping a mattress using consolidated freight will depend on what level of service you choose. If you are able to pack and help load your mattress yourself, consolidated freight can cost as low as $300. If you need help packing or loading your mattress, budget about $700 for your mattress shipment.

When should I use consolidated freight to move my mattress?

  • New or top-of-the line mattresses
  • Long distance moves

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How Much Does It Cost to Ship a Mattress?

The cost of shipping your mattress will depend on what shipping method you choose:

Method

Cost

Don't—buy a new mattress Typically less than $1,000
Renting a truck and moving yourself Depends on size of vehicle and distance of move
Hiring professional movers Depends on size and distance of move; approximately $4,300
Peer-to-peer shipping $200-$500+
Consolidated freight $300-$700+

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Recommended Shipping Method

For short distance or local moves, we recommend moving your mattress yourself or hiring professional movers.

For long distance moves, consolidated freight is the most reliable option for shipping new, expensive, or top of the line mattresses. These services are always provided by licensed and insured professionals, so you can rest assured that your mattress will receive the care it deserves throughout its journey.

When you ship your mattress using consolidated freight services like less-than-truckload (LTL) shipping, it will share space on the truck with other cargo heading in the same direction. This can help keep your costs low, with shipping rates starting around $300. Consolidated freight providers also often offer multiple service levels, including packing, assistance loading your mattress, and additional insurance. If you need help packing or loading your mattress, or would like the comfort of additional insurance, consolidated freight can cost up to $700 or more. 

If you are moving long distance and have an old or expensive mattress, your best bet is to toss it and upgrade to a newer model in your new home.

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Special Considerations for Shipping a Mattress

There are many different types of mattresses available. Different styles use different mechanisms to provide support, and they each offer a unique set of advantages, from isolating motion transfer or diffusing heat to reducing allergens and relieving back pain. Knowing what type of mattress you have will help you determine how to pack and load it properly and safely, how much it will cost to ship, and whether it’s worth moving at all.

These are some of the most common types of mattress:

Innerspring (a.k.a.coil)

Support is provided by interior coils and springs. The quality of the support is generally measured by how many coils there are—the number and distribution of coils determine how well the mattress can contour to the shape of your body. There are many options to choose from, and this style of mattress is often the most budget-friendly if you end up replacing your current mattress when you arrive at your new home.

Pillow top

An additional upholstery layer is sewn onto the top of a mattress (typically an innerspring mattress), providing a very soft and luxurious sleep surface. These mattresses can be longer-lasting than standard innerspring models, and thanks to their thick, cushioned surface, can also help reduce pain. Brand new or high-end pillow top mattresses may be worth the cost of moving or shipping.

Memory foam

Support is provided by high-density polyurethane foam that contours to your body, giving you the feeling of being cradled to sleep. These mattresses isolate motion and can help reduce allergens, and their ability to facilitate proper spinal alignment and provide pressure point relief make them ideal for side sleepers and those suffering from pain. Memory foam mattresses are growing in popularity, and there are many budget-friendly options available for those who are looking at replacing their mattress.

Memory foam mattresses are very flexible and can therefore be difficult to carry. Packing them into a mattress box can help add stability (don’t even bother trying to get it back inside the box it came in), but you can also roll them or fold them in half and secure them with rope. Vacuum-sealable bags are also a good alternative.

Latex foam

These mattresses are similar to memory foam mattresses, but instead of polyurethane foam, they use latex foam. They offer similar superior spinal alignment support, but they are naturally resistant to dust and mold and are cooler and less dense than memory foam.

Hybrid

Hybrid mattresses combine a steel support system with one or more types of foam to help diffuse heat away from the body.

Gel spring

Gel is added to a foam mattress, either in the support system or in the upholstery layer, creating a cooler sleep surface that resists motion transfer and helps to relieve back pain and pressure.

Water

These mattresses use water to provide support, and may also help increase blood flow and regulate body temperature. Free-flow or waveless models are available. Professional moving and shipping companies require waterbeds to be completely drained before they can be moved. Waterbeds are typically the cheapest mattress style available, making them relatively easy to replace if you choose not to ship your bed to another state.

Beyond the challenges posed by their weight and bulk, there are a few other instances when you’ll need to make special considerations for shipping your mattress, including:

King size mattresses

King size mattresses are larger and harder to move than other sizes, and you will almost certainly have to fold your mattress in half to carry it up and down the stairs or around corners. The good news is that folding a king size mattress is actually relatively easy to do, and that most king size mattresses are hinged in the middle exactly for this reason. If you are folding your king size mattress, hold the folded mattress shut by tying it with rope. Bonus: the rope will also act as handles you can use to help carry your mattress.

A king size box spring may pose more complications. If it’s not hinged, you will need to cut it in half to fold it.

Show me how to fold my king size box spring. 

Memory foam mattresses

Memory foam mattresses are very flexible and can therefore be difficult to carry. Packing them into a mattress box can help add stability (don’t even bother trying to get it back inside the box it came in), but you can also roll them or fold them in half and secure them with rope. Vacuum-sealable bags are also a good alternative.

Adjustable beds

Adjustable beds have many mechanical parts, which makes them especially complicated and difficult to move. If you’re moving an adjustable bed, it’s best to hire a professional moving company or consolidated freight service to handle your move.

Mistakes to Avoid When Shipping Your Mattress

  • Not packing your mattress properly: Don’t skip bagging your mattress. Mattress bags are inexpensive and easy to find, and they will keep your mattress clean while protecting it from other damage.
  • Not properly securing your mattress in the moving vehicle: If you don’t secure your mattress in place in the back of your rented moving truck using rope or ratchet straps, your mattress may shift or fall during transit, which can cause damage to the mattress as well as other nearby belongings.
  • Renting the wrong moving vehicle: Nothing can derail your moving day like finding out your stuff won’t actually fit in the moving vehicle you’ve rented. Save yourself the hassle and expense of finding a properly-sized vehicle at the last minute by measuring your mattress before you sign a rental contract. Your mattress may take up more space than you expect—for example, a twin size mattress will easily fit inside a moving van, but a queen size mattress won’t fit unless you bend it, which can cause irreparable damage to the support system.
  • Storing memory foam mattresses upright: Memory foam mattresses should never be loaded or stored in an upright position for more than a few minutes. This can cause the layers to separate, leading to irreversible damage.

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How To Pack Your Mattress

Packing materials

  • Mattress bag
  • Mattress box (optional)
  • Packing tape
  • Ratchet straps or poly rope (to secure your mattress inside your moving vehicle)
  • Moving straps, dolly, or hand truck (to load your mattress onto your moving vehicle)
  • Permanent marker
  • Labels

Packing instructions

Once you’ve acquired the necessary packing materials, you can begin packing your mattress. Follow these steps:

  1. Remove your mattress from the bed frame and lean it up against a wall. Dismantle your bed frame—this will give you enough floor space to properly pack your mattress.
  2. Slide the mattress into a mattress bag, or wrap it securely in heavy-duty plastic. Press as much air out of the mattress bag as you can before you tape it. Air pockets are easy to puncture, and can also lead to condensation, moisture, and damage to your mattress.
  3. Seal the mattress bag or plastic with packing tape. Tape all open edges, as well as around the mattress a couple of times (once in the middle, and once more elsewhere). This helps eliminate air pockets.
  4. Slide the bagged mattress into a mattress box. Seal the mattress box using packing tape.
  5. Wrapped the box with shrink wrap for added protection.
  6. Label the mattress. Label the box clearly with the destination address as well as according to what room it belongs in. Label each side of the box, or in at least two locations.

Depending on what shipping method you’ve chosen, there are other packing considerations you will need to keep in mind:

  • If you’re renting a truck and moving yourself: In addition to the standard mattress packing supplies, you’ll also need to ensure you’ve rented a large enough moving vehicle. Queen size mattresses and larger will not fit vertically or on the floor of a standard moving van.
  • If you hired professional movers: Most moving companies require you to box your mattress. If you have to box your mattress, slide the bagged mattress into a special mattress box. Seal the mattress box using packing tape.
  • If you’re using peer-to-peer shipping: Depending on your agreement with your shipping partner, you may also need to pack the bagged mattress into a mattress box. If so, slide the mattress into a mattress box and seal it securely using packing tape.
  • For consolidated freight: Depending on the service level you’ve selected for your shipment, you may have to pack your own mattress, as well as help carry and load it onto and off of the moving truck. If you don’t want to worry about packing or loading, you can upgrade to White Glove shipping services.

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Conclusion

Mattresses are heavy, bulky, and difficult to move, especially if you’re moving long distance. If the prospect of leaving your mattress behind is just too painful to consider, you have four options for moving or shipping your mattress across the country:

  • Renting a truck and moving it yourself
  • Hiring professional movers
  • Peer-to-peer shipping
  • Consolidated freight

The best shipping method depends on your moving budget, your mattress, and the unique circumstances of your move.

If you’re moving a new or top-of-the-line mattress, consolidated freight is the safest, most reliable method of shipping your mattress. TSI can help—our experienced logistics coordinators and extensive nationwide network of shipping experts can help you create a shipping plan that works for your schedule and budget.

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