When preparing to move or store a mattress, the first step is to give it a good cleaning and air it out. You can then wrap it in plastic to protect it during transport or while it's in storage. If your mattress is destined for a storage unit, make sure you store it flat. While the principles behind moving a mattress are simple, the act itself can be quite cumbersome. Enlist the help of a friend to make the mattress a bit lighter and easier to maneuver. If your mattress is seven years old or older, it's probably time to replace it rather than moving it.
Strip the sheets and bedding from your mattress and stop using it two or three days before your move. If desired, treat the mattress with some upholstery cleaner and a vacuuming to freshen it up, Make sure the mattress is completely dry before proceeding.
Place the mattress in a plastic storage bag and close it securely. You can also wrap your mattress in a clean tarp, but make sure you've covered and protected the entire surface.
Place the mattress into the vehicle you will be using to transport it. If you are using a covered moving truck, stand the mattress against the side of the truck and secure it with bungee cords or by pushing other furniture pieces against it. For pickup trucks, stand the mattress up in one side of the truck bed and secure it tightly.
Although it is easiest to move a mattress with a truck, you can use your car if necessary. To do so, roll down the windows in your car and then center the mattress on the roof. Tie one end of a rope to the grab handle in the back of the car, then toss it to a partner on the other side of the vehicle. Your partner will catch the rope, run it through the car window and hand it back to you from inside the car. Repeat this process until you have securely tied the mattress to the roof of the car. Remember not to run your rope through the driver's door window. If you do, you will tie your door shut and have to get into the car like the Dukes of Hazzard.
Transport your mattress to your new home or to the storage unit. You need not take any special precautions if you're driving a covered truck. If you're driving a car or pickup, however, drive on local streets. Moving more slowly will reduce the amount of lift on the mattress. If you must drive on the freeway, stay in the slower right lane.
If you'll be using your new mattress, unload it, unwrap it, and place it back on your bed frame. If you're storing it, keep the mattress in its protective plastic and lay it flat on the floor of the storage unit. If you need to conserve space, stack boxes to a level height in the storage unit and then lay the mattress flat on top of them. Never place boxes or other items on top of the mattress.