How To Put A Mattress On A Car?

Placing a Mattress on a Car: An Overview

Putting a mattress on a car might seem like a simple task, but improper handling can lead to damage, both to the mattress and the vehicle, or even cause safety hazards during transportation. To securely place a mattress on a car, you need some basic tools, a careful approach, and, ideally, an extra pair of hands to help. Follow these steps and guidelines for a smooth and safe process.

Choose the Right Vehicle and Mattress Size

Before attempting to transport a mattress, consider the size of the mattress and the type of vehicle you have. If you own a compact car, transporting a king-size mattress will be highly challenging and potentially unsafe. A larger vehicle like an SUV, minivan, or truck is more suitable for transporting bigger mattresses.

Measure Your Mattress

Measure the dimensions of your mattress. Standard mattress sizes in the U.S. include twin (38″ x 75″), full (54″ x 75″), queen (60″ x 80″), and king (76″ x 80″). Using these measurements, compare them with your vehicle’s roof area or interior space to ensure a proper fit.

Choose a Suitable Vehicle

Ideally, use a vehicle with a roof rack for safer and more secure transport. If you do not have a roof rack, using a larger vehicle like a truck bed or an SUV with adequate roof width can serve as a good alternative. Avoid using very small cars, as they might not provide the necessary support and stability required for mattress transportation.

Prepare the Necessary Supplies

Having the right tools and supplies is critical for safely securing your mattress. Here’s what you’ll need:

Straps and Ropes

Heavy-duty ratchet straps or sturdy ropes are excellent choices for securing the mattress to the car. Avoid using weak or thin ropes, as they may not provide enough stability.

Protective Cover

A mattress bag or a large tarp is essential to protect your mattress from dirt, dust, and weather elements during transportation. If you don’t have a mattress bag, you can also use several layers of shrink wrap.

Soft Padding

Although optional, placing a blanket or soft padding between the mattress and the roof can prevent scratches on the car’s paint and provide an additional layer of protection to the mattress.

Preparing the Mattress for Transport

Once you have gathered all necessary supplies, it’s time to prepare the mattress for transportation. This process will help ensure that the mattress remains secure and undamaged throughout the journey.

Wrap the Mattress

Place the mattress inside a mattress bag or wrap it securely with a tarp or plastic wrap. This step will protect it from exposure to dirt and moisture.

Position the Soft Padding

If you are worried about potential scratches or damage to your vehicle’s paint, lay a blanket or any soft padding on the roof of your car. This will provide a cushioned barrier between the roof and the mattress.

Loading the Mattress Onto the Car

Moving a mattress, especially larger sizes, can be tricky. Enlist the help of a friend or family member to make this task easier and safer.

Lift with Care

Proper lifting techniques can help prevent injuries. Bend your knees, keep your back straight, and lift with your legs rather than your back. If you need help, have one person lift one end while the other person lifts the opposite end.

Center the Mattress

Position the mattress so that it sits centered on the roof of the car. Make sure no part of the mattress hangs precariously over the sides of the vehicle, as this can pose a safety risk while driving.

Securing the Mattress

Properly securing the mattress is vital to ensure it stays in place during transport. Loose or inadequately fastened mattresses can shift or even blow off the roof, causing danger to yourself and other drivers.

Top 5 Mattresses Recommended By

Using Straps or Ropes

– Start by wrapping the ratchet straps or ropes around the mattress and threading them through the car’s roof rack, making sure they are snug but not excessively tight to avoid damaging the mattress.
– For cars without a roof rack, thread the straps or ropes through the open windows (not through the doors) and secure them tightly around the center of the mattress.
– Use a minimum of two straps, one at the front and one at the rear of the mattress. Ideally, add more straps along the length of the mattress to further limit movement.

Double Check the Stability

Once you have fastened the straps or ropes, double-check their stability. Try to move the mattress gently to ensure it doesn’t shift. If it moves, tighten the straps further until the mattress is secure.

Driving with a Mattress on Your Car

With the mattress secured, you are almost ready to start your journey. However, driving with a mattress on top of your car requires extra caution.

Drive Slowly and Carefully

Reducing your speed is crucial when transporting a mattress on your car. Driving too fast can increase wind resistance, making the mattress more likely to shift or move. Stick to slow or moderate speeds, especially on highways or busy roads.

Avoid Sudden Movements

Avoid sudden accelerations, sharp turns, or sudden braking. Such movements can destabilize the mattress or the straps, leading to potential hazards.

Stay in the Right Lane

Staying in the right lane allows you to drive slower without obstructing traffic, and it provides an easier way to pull over if needed to re-adjust the mattress or straps.

Unloading the Mattress

Upon reaching your destination, it is time to unload the mattress. This task should be undertaken with caution to avoid damage or injuries.

Detach the Straps or Ropes

Carefully unfasten the straps or ropes, being mindful not to let the mattress slide off the car abruptly. When the mattress is free of restraints, proceed with lifting it down.

Use Help if Needed

As with loading, getting an extra pair of hands can be very helpful. Have someone assist you in lifting the mattress off the roof and carefully placing it on the ground or carrying it inside.

Inspect the Mattress

Finally, check for any potential damage that might have occurred during the transport. If the mattress and its cover are intact, proceed to position it in its desired location.

Finishing Thoughts

Transporting a mattress on a car requires careful planning, the right tools, and a proactive approach to safety. Ensure you have a large enough vehicle, and use strong securing methods like heavy-duty straps or ropes. Always drive cautiously, avoiding sudden movements, and double-check the stability of your load. Enlisting help for lifting and positioning the mattress both before and after transportation can streamline the process and make it safer. By following these steps, you can ensure your mattress arrives at its destination securely and in excellent condition.


  • Aiden Lawrence

    I'm Aiden Lawrence, a certified Sleep Science Coach and senior editor of GoodSleepHub, proud parent of two amazing kids, and a pet lover with a cat and a dog. Join me as we explore the world of sweet dreams and comfy pillows. Let's make bedtime the highlight of your day!

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