Should a Mattress Be Folded in Half for Transport? Safety Precautions

00:08, Saturday 07/01/2023 - Pro Reviewer I have 5 years of experience in blogging...

Everyone needs to relocate their belongings at some point in their lives, whether it's to a new house or a donation center. While packing, you may find that not everything can be stored in the clearly labeled cardboard boxes or that transporting certain items presents some challenges. You might be wondering if folding a mattress in half is the best solution to the problem of transporting it, as this is likely to be one of the items you need to move.  

Innerspring or foam mattresses thicker than 6 inches should not be folded in half. Mattress straps allow thinner mattresses made of memory foam or latex to be folded in half for temporary storage or transport. Instead of folding it in half, a foam mattress should be vacuum-packed and rolled up for transport. Never fold an innerspring mattress because doing so will weaken its framework.  

When Should You Fold a Mattress in Half? It Depends on the Materials Used

The ability to fold a mattress safely depends on the mattress's material. Photo Credit: Joy-Cloud.com

There is no universal pressure or force to which all materials respond the same. Depending on the answer, you'll need to take special care of your mattress during transport. The ability of a mattress to be folded depends on many factors, including the material, the mattress's construction, and the mattress's skeleton. Learn more about the various mattress options available by reading our article on mattress selection for a platform bed.  

Never fold a mattress that has metal or other solid supports. In contrast, latex and memory foam mattresses are often foldable for temporary storage.

Polyurethane memory foam and latex foam mattresses, like the popular Casper mattress, can supposedly be folded and unfolded without losing their shape.

How easily can an innerspring bed be folded for transport?

Never fold a mattress that has metal spirals or supports, as is common with innerspring and hybrid mattresses. As a result, coils can be permanently bowed, and fabric can be ripped. It is possible to permanently distort padding layers. There is no way to get these mattresses back to how they were after folding. Such mattresses are not only ruined by folding, but the warranty is nullified as well.  

It's highly improbable that you could fold one of these mattresses. Don't even try to manipulate it. It's recommended that you use one of the methods that allow them to remain in their normal flat state, such as this mattress moving bag with handles from Amazon.  

What's up with the sides of your mattress? If the edge of your mattress ever gives way, read our companion piece to find out what to do.

Memory foam mattresses that fold up for easy transport and storage

Most memory foam mattresses can be safely coiled for transport because of their pliability. Memory foam mattresses, in particular, can be folded and moved with relative ease. They can be folded in half, but only for a short period of time (a few weeks at most). Keep in mind that the thickness of this mattress determines how difficult it is to fold.  

However, the question of how easily a mattress can be folded and moved is only part of the equation. Folding is possible in some fashion with every foam mattress. The real concern is whether your mattress will remain undamaged, useful, and comfortable after the move and storage. When you read our piece on how long it takes a memory foam mattress to expand, you'll learn some tricks for getting your mattress back to its original form after a move.  

An extended period of bending and storing can cause permanent damage to a memory foam mattress. The convenience of this mattress can be compromised if its memory is damaged and it loses its ability to recover its original shape after being compressed. Gouging and other forms of surface damage, as well as general wear and tear, can result from repeated folding over time.

Foldable Latex Mattresses for Transport and Storage

Some latex mattresses, like memory foam mattresses, can be safely bent or folded because of their similar properties. When folded in half, a latex mattress has a maximum lifespan of three to four weeks. When compared to a memory foam mattress, a latex one may be less flexible. Consequently, there is a possibility that slicing it in half will compromise its softness and durability.

Material and folding recommendations for mattresses, including how long they can be stored that way.

Whether or not a mattress can be folded depends on the type of materials used and the thickness. Amazon is the image source.

What Happens When You Fold a Mattress, and How Thick It Is

It is not advised to fold a mattress due to the potential for damage. There are, however, a few details to keep in mind if you find yourself in such a position.

If it does not have any solid or metal structural components, a foam mattress thinner than 6 inches can be folded for temporary storage. Mattresses made of thicker foam are more easily folded or rolled. Beds with innerspring or pocket springs should never be folded in half.

Keep in mind that there are mattresses that can be folded if you anticipate needing to do so frequently. This foldable mattress is great because it has a non-slip base and can be stowed away easily. Most foldable mattresses are available in four, six, or eight inches in thickness. Unless you plan on taking your mattress camping or storing it temporarily in a guest room, you probably won't ever need to fold it.

Foam mattresses of 1 to 2 inches in thickness can be folded in half with little effort. It shouldn't get damaged during unfolding because it's not very thick. If folded, it shouldn't stay that way for more than three weeks.

A foam mattress no thicker than 3 inches can be folded in half without suffering damage, but it shouldn't be left that way for more than 3 weeks.

You can fold in half a foam mattress that's 4 inches thick, but you shouldn't leave it that way for more than two or three weeks.

A foam mattress that is five inches thick or more can be folded in half, but a mattress that is thicker than six inches should not be folded because it will be significantly deformed. Over two, and no more than three weeks, the mattress should not be stored in that orientation.

The suppleness and portability of a mattress are both impacted by its overall thickness. A thicker mattress provides more comfort at night, but it is also less mobile. A thicker mattress is cumbersome to transport and can't be stored for very long when folded. A thicker mattress is harder to fold and heavier, which could cause more structural damage if the mattress is creased.

The mattress should not be bent or folded for more than two or three weeks, as recommended by any reputable manufacturer. If you can avoid it, try not to fold it at all, as doing so could reduce its quality. The quality and comfort of a folded mattress can be compromised over time, and there is no hard and fast rule about how long this can happen. To learn more about the various mattress depths, read our memory foam mattress guide.  

Consider purchasing a portable mattress for use in the great outdoors. Please read our companion piece for easy instructions on building a cozy truck camping bed before making any final choices.  

Outlined Here Are the Mattress Thicknesses That Should Be Folded and for How Long

Height of a Mattress Covered in Memory Foam Should We Consider Cutting This Mattress in Half? When Will This End 1-2 inches Yes 3 weeks 3 inches Yes 3 weeks 4 inches Yes 3 weeks 5 inches Yes 3 weeks Roll a mattress after sealing it in a vacuum mattress bag to store it safely and make it easy to move. The convenience of foam mattress-specific vacuum bags facilitates transport and storage. Amazon is the original image source.

Moving a Mattress: Some Advice

Every home and person eventually has to relocate a mattress. The difficulty lies in transporting the mattress without damaging it so that it can be used once it is delivered.

Straps can be used to keep a folded mattress from shifting around when being moved. Vacuum bags can be used to compress foam mattresses, making them more manageable for rolling up and storing. To safely transport a folded mattress, you can use either a set of lifting straps or a mattress moving bag. Move that cumbersome mattress with ease by using a dolly or hand truck.

The mattress must be cleaned, inspected, folded or rolled (if applicable), and packed for transport before it can be moved. How to Move a Mattress: Some Suggestions

Tip 1 Fasten a folded mattress with straps.

In order to prevent your foldable mattress from shifting during transport, you should fasten it using straps or belts. Straps can be used to help remove, transport, and store a folded mattress. The mattress is kept in place by the straps, making it easier to move and storing it takes up less room.

To use, merely fold the mattress and fasten the straps around it. The mattress could be damaged if the belts are too tightly fastened. When the belt starts to dig into the mattress, it's time to loosen the knots. Unbuckle your shoulder harnesses Care must be taken to prevent mattress damage. Take care that the strap doesn't slip, as this could cause the mattress to become untucked and cause serious injury.

The number of straps or belts required to secure a mattress depends on its size. Less direct pressure will be applied to the mattress if more belts are used at a looser setting. Mattress packing belts, such as these multi-use extra-large mover bands from Amazon, can be used to safely bind the mattress in its folded or rolled state.  

Tip 2 To reduce the size of your mattress, use vacuum bags.

A foam mattress is best transported and stored when vacuum-packed. Mattress vacuum bags not only help you save space, but they also shield your bed from dust and moisture.  

Any relocation has the potential to kick up a lot of grime and dirt. You shouldn't sleep in the car or truck because any dirt in the vehicle will be transferred to your mattress. Additionally, the day of moving weather may not be on your side. Your mattress can be ruined by even a brief exposure to water or other environmental hazards. Even if the damage to your mattress isn't immediately visible, it will still have an impact on the mattress's durability, smell, and cleanliness over time.

Moisture damage, dust accumulation, and bacterial growth can all be avoided with the help of vacuum bags. It's a barrier against dirt and grime that will keep the mattress in pristine condition during transport and storage. This Amazon mattress vacuum bag comes with a leak-proof valve and straps, so it comes highly recommended.

Foam mattresses are easily vacuum packed. Easy! Just pick up one of these mattress-sized vacuum bags. Place the mattress inside the bag and double check that the seal is secure. Suck the air out of the bag and then close the valve using a standard household vacuum cleaner.  

When the mattress is ready to be moved, simply flatten it and roll it up, using straps or tape to keep it rolled and compressed as extra insurance against unexpected inflation. In order to unpack a mattress, simply remove it from its packaging, unroll it, and lay it flat; after a day or two, it will have fully expanded. Because the procedures for safely packing a mattress topper are similar to those for packing a mattress, you should read our guide on how to roll up a mattress topper.  

Tip 3 Lift the bed with the help of moving straps.

Mattresses can be moved from one room to another or from one vehicle to another with the help of a two-person strap lifting system, such as forearm forklift lifting straps or a shoulder strap lifting system. The recommended method for moving heavy items in this article from SunDial Clinics is to use straps like these to keep the load in front of you and prevent awkward twisting.  

These inexpensive straps are made to aid in the lifting of mattresses, appliances, and heavy furniture, protecting both your investment in these items and your friends from strains and injuries as you move and lift them. These adjustable lifting and moving straps are a great investment.  

Tip 4 Avoid scratching the mattress by using a dolly or cart.

A mattress can be safely transported in a dolly or cart whether it is folded, rolled, compressed, or flat, making it easy to move from one location to another. Your mattress can be moved easily by placing it on a suitable dolly or cart.  

If you use a dolly, you won't have to worry about the mattress getting dirty or torn if it falls to the ground. Assuming it is a larger and heavier mattress, this will be especially helpful. Mattresses can be moved with the help of a dolly or hand truck, which are both readily available for rent or purchase from local dealers. This panel cart from Amazon is great for transporting mattresses thanks to its panel bars.

Moving a Mattress: Assistive Devices

Mattress-Related Tools and Equipment What Benefits Does This Item Offer? Price Bag for Transporting a Mattress with Handles Provides a safe haven for the mattress while being moved around the house or stored away, and includes convenient carrying handles. ~$40 An Effortless Moving Strap for Two Users Facilitates the carrying, lifting, and transport of a mattress by two people over relatively short distances. ~$25 Dolly Short-distance transportation of the mattress, such as to and from a car or a house, is possible and secure with this. ~ Plastic Sacks to Use as Mattress Vacuums Use a standard vacuum to compress and transport a foam mattress. ~$35

Self-Moved Mattress: Some Advice

In the absence of more specialized moving or packing straps, a roll of thick adhesive tape, like duct tape, can serve as a makeshift, low-cost replacement. If you want to prevent the tape from sticking to the mattress fabric and ruining the mattress, you can either use a backing material or put two layers of tape adhesive sides together. Although this method is much more affordable than buying straps, it is not nearly as practical, sturdy, or dependable. When the mattress is first covered in plastic, you can use this kind of duct tape to keep it in place.  

If at all possible, you should move the mattress without any other large pieces of furniture or other bulky items. However, if you must transport or store the mattress, do so with extreme caution to prevent any damage from occurring due to shifting and movement.

Remember that dirt, pollution, bad weather, cold, and humidity can all cause serious damage to a mattress, so you should never transport one in an open trailer or on a car carrier. Last but not least, always cover your mattress with a blanket, tarp, or protective casing to shield it from dirt. Wrapping it in painter's drop plastic and securing it with straps or tape will keep your mattress in pristine condition throughout the move. Read our comprehensive guide on how to clean a futon mattress, which also contains useful information for cleaning standard mattresses, if your mattress ever gets dirty.  

Briefly summarizing

Although it's not recommended for mattresses made with a spring or coil inner, memory foam and latex mattresses can be rolled or folded for temporary storage or transport. Vacuum-shrunken mattresses can be rolled up and moved with ease, while conventional mattresses need to be lifted using special carrying straps. Mattresses can be moved safely with a dolly or hand truck whether they are folded, rolled, or flat. For more advice on moving and storing big bedding items, read our article on how to store a latex memory topper.  

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