If you are planning to move or otherwise need to ship a mattress and bed frame, proper packing is imperative to keeping your items safe while in transit.  Mattresses are at risk of getting dirty, ripped, wet, or misshaped if not packaged correctly or placed in an awkward position. Furthermore, if heavy items are piled on top of your mattress, the springs can bend and break. Follow the steps below to learn how to ship a mattress and bed frame to ensure their safety in transit.

Step 1- Setup a Clean Work Space

To start the process of shipping your mattress, you will need a large, clear space to work. This is essential for keeping track of all your items and materials, and to ensure proper packing. Open floor space works best for packing a mattress.

Step 2- Acquire Your Materials

Making sure you have the proper materials to prepare and pack your bed frame and mattress is essential to limiting damage to your items during transit. For the security of your item – and in order to insure it through your chosen carrier – you must use new packing materials. You can get these packing materials at a box store, self storage place, or from a moving company. Packing materials needed include:

  1. Stretch wrap
  2. Bubble wrap or high density packing foam
  3. Polyurethane mattress moving bag 2-4mm thick
  4. Packing peanuts
  5. Mattress box
  6. Pressure sensitive packing tape
  7. Plywood the same size as the packed mattress (optional)

Measure your mattress and bed frame so you know the size, type and quantities of materials you will need. Once you have measured your items, find a box that is at least 3 inches larger (internal measurements) on every side than the widest part of the mattress. (Note that these measurements apply to the wrapped dimensions, so you may want to measure when Step 3 is completed).

Step 3 – Prepare the Bed and Mattress For Shipping

Disassemble the Bed

When shipping a mattress and bed frame it is important to disassemble as much as possible. Remove the headboard, footboard, side rails, mattress, box spring, and any other pieces that can come apart. The more you can break down your bed the easier, safer, and perhaps even cheaper shipping will be. Keep all pieces neatly organized to ensure they end up in the packed box. Contain all hardware (screws, etc.) in a labeled ziplock bag. Attach the bag to one of the pieces of the bed, such as the back of the headboard.

Wrap the Bed

As with most furniture, wrap all pieces with a protective plastic wrap, such as shrink wrap. For pieces susceptible to damage, use a second layer of bubble wrap or packing foam. Wrap entirely until you can no longer feel the furniture underneath.

Bag Your Mattress

While a mattress may not seem like a fragile object, it is! Punctures and structural damage can ruin your mattress while in transit.  To ensure your mattress is in the same shape and condition when it arrives at the final destination, you must prep and pack it accordingly. First, bag your mattress. Purchase a professional grade polyurethane mattress moving bag of 2-4mm in thickness to serve as your mattress cover for moving. These bags seal and protect your mattress from liquids and other potential surface damage. Mattress covers for moving are not tight fitting, so you have room to add extra padding. Use cardboard or packing foam on the corners and edges of your mattress to protect the structure during transport. Another option is to entirely wrap your mattress in a thick blanket before placing it in the moving mattress cover. Once bagged, use packing tape or stretch wrap to reinforce the seal so that it will not accidentally open during transit.

Box Your Mattress

Next, place your bagged mattress into a mattress shipping box. There are mattress boxes available that will fit most standard sized mattresses, and special boxes for thick, pillow top style mattresses.  Measure your mattress once it is wrapped to make sure you buy the right sized box. Once the wrapped mattress is in the box, fill in any additional empty space with void fill, such as packing peanuts, until it can’t shift around. When done, close and seal all the seams of the box using pressure sensitive packing tape.

Step 4 – Pack Your Bed and Mattress

Depending on the weight and dimensions of your bed pieces once disassembled, you may be able to put some or all pieces together in one box.

Continue to fill your box with items as they fit (making sure to not exceed the weight capacity of the cardboard). Remember that no two items can touch and you must have a minimum of two inches void fill between all items. It’s typically best to ship your bed in multiple boxes for the safety of your items.

Continue filling your box with void fill, shaking gently to allow the material to settle. Once the box is completely full, shut and seal with pressure sensitive packing tape.

Step 5 – Ship Your Bed and Mattress

Always ensure that your mattress is laid flat while in transit to prevent the mattress from warping or losing its shape.  Before placing heavy items on your mattress, lie a quarter inch thick piece plywood on top of it. This will allow you to place things on top of your mattress without damaging it.