How to Ship a Mattress


Let's say you are moving cross-country and want to ship your mattress to your new address, or your bed has developed a defect and you need to send it back to the manufacturer for repair or replacement. You could rent a moving truck or large vehicle and transport the mattress yourself, but this method can be expensive and time-consuming. For many, packing a mattress in a box and hiring movers to transport it for you will be the most cost-effective option.

Mattress Shipping Options and Costs

If you're planning to ship a mattress, you can choose from one of two general options. Standard shipping involves movers picking up the mattress from your current location, transporting it to your desired destination, and leaving the mattress on the doorstep. You'll need to package the mattress for shipping before the couriers arrive, then set up the bed at the new address.

If you opt for White Glove delivery, the couriers will pack up the mattress and transport it on a delivery truck or van. They will also unpack and set up the mattress after it reaches its destination. You won't need to prep the mattress for shipping if you choose the White Glove option.

How Much Does It Cost to Ship a Mattress?

Standard and White Glove shipping both typically cost between 50 cents and $3 per mile. Your shipping rate will depend on a few variables.

  • Mattress size and weight: Some couriers will ship mattresses at a flat rate regardless of their dimensions. For other companies, you'll pay more to ship larger, heavier beds than smaller, lighter ones.
  • Shipping distance: Some companies offer flat mattress shipping rates anywhere in the country, usually in the $400 to $500 per-bed range. Others will calculate a per-mile rate based on the distance between points A and B. Although some companies charge higher per-mile rates for shorter distances than longer ones, you'll probably pay much more for the latter as the miles accumulate. For example, shipping a mattress from Los Angeles to San Francisco at a rate of $3 per mile will cost much less than shipping a mattress from Seattle to Miami at 50 cents per mile.
  • Other items: If you're planning to ship a box spring or foundation with the mattress, be prepared to pay extra.
  • Courier: Shipping rates vary by provider. Most major couriers will provide a free quote based on the bed's dimensions and the shipping distance. Remember, full-service White Glove delivery will cost considerably more than standard shipping.

You'll need to measure and weigh the bed, and calculate the shipping distance in order to receive the most accurate quote. Although specific dimensions vary by model, the six standard mattress sizes share the same general measurements and weights.

Size Average Dimensions (Width x Length) Average Weight Range
Twin 38W" x 75L" 45 to 70 lbs.
Twin XL 38W" x 80L" 50 to 75 lbs.
Full/Double 54W" x 75L" 60 to 90 lbs.
Queen 60W" x 80L" 75 to 105 lbs.
King 76W" x 80L" 90 to 130 lbs.
California King 72W" x 84L" 90 to 130 lbs.

You should request quotes from several different companies before deciding on a courier. Also, take a minute to review each company's Better Business Bureau rating and read a few onsite reviews to learn about other customer experiences. Be sure to weigh the shipping costs against the sticker price of the mattress. In some cases, you will actually save money by purchasing a new mattress, rather than shipping your current one.

How to Package a Mattress for Shipping

Use the following step-by-step process to prepare a mattress and other bedding supplies for standard shipping:

  1. If you are shipping a bed with your mattress, strip and disassemble the bed. Remove all screws and other small parts, and store them in a bag or container for safekeeping.
  2. Once the bed's individual components have all been broken down, you can separate them into different shipping containers. Headboards and posts should be individually covered in bubble-wrap or cardboard to protect them from scuffs, scrapes, and other damage. Other components, such as frame slats, can be packaged together.
  3. Cover your mattress in bubble-wrap, as well. You can also invest in a zippered mattress case to protect the bed from damage. These cases are usually made from strong cotton or vinyl and generally cost less than $50.
  4. Whether or not you use a protective case, you'll need to place the mattress inside a cardboard shipping box. The mattress must fit inside the box without protruding from any of the openings. If there is extra space, you can add bubble-wrap or packing peanuts for extra protection.
  5. If the couriers are scheduled to pick up the mattress, make sure the mattress is near your doorway prior to their arrival. Mattresses are generally heavy, so you should ask a friend or family member to help you move the box.

If you opt for White Glove delivery, then you won't need to follow these guidelines. The couriers will enter your home, disassemble your bed, and package all of your items for you prior to shipping. However, keep in mind that White Glove shipping tends to be fairly expensive compared to standard shipping.

The Mattress Shipping Process

After choosing a courier based on shipping quotes and availability, you can call or email the company to make initial arrangements. If the couriers will pick up the mattress from your residence, then you can schedule a date and time. Most companies offer a two- to four-hour window for pickups.

Some couriers do not pick up the mattress, in which case you'll need to drop off the package at a certain location. If this is the case, you'll need to ask about the best drop-off times. Depending on the company, you may need to pay for mattress shipping during your initial order, on the pickup date, or after the mattress has been delivered to its new address. Be sure to inquire about accepted payment methods, as well.

Let the couriers know if there are any special considerations for the delivery destination. For example, you may want the couriers to leave the mattress in a backyard or inside the front entrance if you have security concerns about the neighborhood. If the destination is an apartment or condo, be sure to provide key codes, directions to the front office, and other important details.

If you experience any setbacks or issues with the process while the mattress is en route to its destination, you should immediately contact the company via phone, email, or live webchat.

We strongly recommend purchasing insurance for your shipment prior to pickup. Insurance will cover potentially expensive costs if the mattress is damaged, lost, or destroyed during transport.

How Do Mattress Brands Ship Beds?

Most online mattress companies ship their beds a bit differently. Rather than using oversize shipping boxes, manufacturers will compress the mattress, wrap it in plastic, and vacuum-seal it. This process – known as "roll-packing" – allows the mattress to fit in a much smaller box that can be transported via standard ground shipping. Compression should not harm the mattress. If damage occurs, the company will typically mail you a new bed at no extra cost.

Unless you own an industrial mattress compressor, then you won't be able to ship your mattress in this manner. Forcing a mattress back into its original shipping container is physically impossible, and you can easily damage the bed in the process. As we've discussed above, your safest and most affordable option will be to package the mattress in a full size cardboard box and hire a shipping company to transport it.