A mattress is not a small item, and it’s not one that’s easy to move. In fact, it can be one of the more cumbersome items on your packing list when you move, often being the exact reason why you need to rent a larger moving truck.
However, it may be far less of a problem if yours is a memory foam mattress. If you think back to when you purchased it, the chances are good that it came all nicely compressed into a box. And, with a little effort (and a few ‘tricks’) you can get it back into that box, making it far easier to transport.
How To Get Your Memory Foam Mattress Back in the Box
Wondering how you can fit that firm King size mattress back into its box (or another box, it does not need to be the one you bought it in)? Although it might seem like you’ll be trying to pull off something of a magic trick, it’s not as hard as you think:
A Plastic Mattress Bag
A plastic mattress bag is an item you’ll find in many bedding stores and certainly fairly easily online. This is not a mattress cover, but rather a very large plastic bag that is designed to protect your mattress when it is being moved, not when you sleep on it.
Make sure that you buy the specific bag designed for the size of your mattress. You won’t be able to fit the mattress into a bag that’s too small, and if it is too big, the vacuum compression you’ll be trying to accomplish will not work as well as it should.
A Vacuum Bag
As you won’t need the bag, but rather the vacuum nozzle attached to it, you can purchase a small vacuum bag– one designed to hold sweaters out of season is fine. These cost just a few dollars and are easy to find in home stores and online.
The chances are that the vacuum you already have has a simple hose attachment, and, if so, that will be all you need.
Ratchet straps, also known as tie downs, are small plastic ties used to secure things when they are rolled.
You’ll need duct tape to secure your rolled memory foam mattress before you put it back into its box.
If you still have the box your mattress came in, you can make use of that to transport your mattress. A large standard moving box will work too, and, as long as you have the room in your vehicle, you may not even need a box, as your plastic covered, newly compressed mattress may be able to be moved as is.
How It’s Done
- Remove everything from your mattress, including any mattress protectors and mattress covers. For this compression ‘trick’ to work, you’ll need your foam mattress to be back in its original ‘naked’ state.
- Slide the mattress into the mattress bag. Try to ensure that it fits as well as you can possibly achieve. Don’t worry about air bubbles, though, you’ll be dealing with those later.
- Taking the vacuum bag, carefully cut out the valve and set it safely aside.
- Returning to the mattress bag, cut out a hole just large enough for the valve to fit into. Work carefully though, to avoid nicking or cutting your mattress accidentally.
- Place the valve in the hole with the nozzle pointing outward. To ensure the bag is airtight, tape the area all around the valve. Before compressing the mattress bag, you can also apply duct tape to strengthen the edges.
- Now for the magic. Attach your vacuum’s hose to the valve, turn the vacuum on, and then watch as your big, fluffy mattress compresses. Apply gentle pressure as you work to help make the process more efficient, and achieve a more even compression result.
- Once your memory foam mattress is compressed and flattened, you should be able to roll it up and secure the roll with the ratchet ties. Technically, in some cases you may be able to fold it, but you will run the risk of damaging the mattress if you try that. To help ensure that your mattress can be returned to its original condition, rolling it is the best way to go.
Add the wrapped, rolled and secured mattress to your moving pile. When it reaches its destination, you will be able to return it to its original form in the same way as you did when you first bought it: by laying it flat and allowing it to expand for 24-48 hours.
An innerspring mattress cannot be folded or compressed, even if it happens to feature a layer of memory foam, which an increasing number of them do. In this case, you’ll need to figure out how to move your mattress in a more traditional way, such as covering it carefully and then standing it up at the back of the moving truck.
If you are moving a compressed, rolled memory foam mattress, depending upon the size of your vehicle you may be able to fit it across the back seat in some way. Don’t do so if it will impede your view when driving though, as not only is that dangerous but in most states it will get you a traffic ticket if a police officer sees you.
One way some people consider moving their innerspring mattress is by putting it on top of their car. Technically, as long as you make use of a sturdy roof rack, and the mattress is properly secured, you can indeed do just that.
However, in some states there are rules about just how you transport things on top of your vehicle, and the size of the items you can transport. To avoid a ticket, check local statutes in all the areas you will be passing through before you do.
You should also remember that your plastic covered mattress will be slippery, and if it is not very well secured it could easily slide off, putting you and other motorists at risk of serious injury (or worse.)
If you have been making use of a memory foam mattress topper to add comfort and support to your mattress, you should be able to compress and pack it in the same way as you would a full size memory foam mattress. As these are much thinner than a mattress, they will be easier to fold without damaging them as well, should you prefer to do so over rolling it up once it is properly compressed.
If you have been shopping for a mattress recently, you have probably noticed that many companies offer a free XX night’s trial, allowing you to return the mattress within a certain amount of time if you find it does not meet your needs.
What happens to that mattress depends on the company’s policies. Many companies choose to donate these mattresses where they can be of most help, offering them to homeless shelters and refuges. Where this is not allowed (some states forbid it) then the mattresses are cut up, and their components recycled.
However, as far as the FTC is concerned, provided it is properly labeled as such there is no Federal rule about selling a used mattress, and so, in states where such practices are allowed, it may be that the used mattress you are being offered such a great deal on is one of these returns.
As to how you return your mattress, this process once again varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. Some will ask you to compress the mattress and return it via courier, while others will actually come to your home and pick it up. This may be something to take into consideration when shopping for a new mattress, as while getting it back into the box may not be as hard as you imagined, the process of mailing it back is likely to be time-consuming and inconvenient.