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How to Tie a Mattress to a Car: The Ultimate Guide

Have you ever had to transport a mattress but didn’t know how to tie it down properly? Whether you’re moving to a new place or just need to bring a mattress home from the store, it’s crucial to secure it safely to your car. Otherwise, you risk causing an accident or damaging your vehicle and the mattress itself. But don’t worry – with the right materials and techniques, tying a mattress to your car can be easy and stress-free.

In this article, we’ll guide you through the process step by step, from preparing for transportation to unloading the mattress at your destination. So, let’s get started and ensure that your next trip with a mattress is smooth sailing!

Table of Contents

Importance of properly securing a mattress to a car

It’s crucial to properly secure a mattress to your car when transporting it. Failure to do so can result in accidents, damage to your vehicle and the mattress, and even endanger other drivers on the road.

A loose mattress can shift or fly off the car, causing hazards for everyone around. Therefore, before you hit the road with a mattress, make sure you have all the necessary materials such as straps and ropes to tie it down securely.

securing a mattress to a car

Common materials used for securing a mattress

Here are the common materials used for securing a mattress.

  • Straps

Straps are the most commonly used material due to their strength and durability. They come in various lengths and widths to fit different sizes of mattresses.

  •  Ropes

Ropes are also popular but require more expertise in tying knots to ensure proper stability.

  • Bungee cords

Bungee cords are elastic and can be easily stretched to fit around the mattress, but they may not provide enough support for heavier mattresses.

  • Ratchet tie-downs

Ratchet tie-downs use a tightening mechanism that allows you to apply intense pressure on the mattress, making them ideal for long-distance transportation or high speeds.

Whatever material you choose, make sure it’s strong enough to hold the weight of the mattress and double-check its stability before hitting the road. With the right materials and techniques, you can safely transport your mattress without any worries!

Preparing for Transporting the Mattress

Before transporting your mattress, there are a few essential steps you should take to ensure that it arrives at its destination safely.

Measure the mattress and your car's roof space

Measuring the mattress and your car’s roof space is crucial to ensure a secure and stable transport. First, measure the length and width of your mattress. Then, measure the length of your car’s roof space to determine if it can accommodate the mattress.

When measuring, be sure to account for any overhang from the sides or front of the car. Remember that a properly secured load should not extend past the front or rear of your vehicle.

If your car doesn’t have enough space for the mattress, consider using a larger vehicle or renting a truck. It’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to transporting bulky items like mattresses.

Choose the right type of roof rack

Choosing the right type of roof rack is essential for securing your mattress to your car. There are two main types of roof racks: factory-installed and aftermarket.

Factory-installed roof racks are designed specifically for your vehicle and can be purchased as an optional accessory. They offer a secure fit and often have weight limits specified by the manufacturer.

Aftermarket roof racks come in various shapes and sizes and can be installed on any vehicle with a roof. They usually require some assembly, but they offer more flexibility in terms of customization and weight capacity.

When choosing a roof rack, consider the weight of your mattress, the type of attachment points on your car’s roof, and the compatibility with your vehicle’s make and model. It’s also important to choose high-quality materials that can withstand wind resistance, vibrations, and other road conditions.

Determine the number of ratchet straps or bungee cords needed

Once you have chosen the right roof rack, determining the number of ratchet straps or bungee cords needed to secure your mattress is crucial. The number of straps or cords required will depend on the size and weight of your mattress, as well as the length and width of your vehicle’s roof.

As a general rule, it’s recommended to use at least four straps or cords to ensure maximum stability and safety. Two straps should be placed in front of the mattress, and two behind it to prevent any movement during transit.

When using ratchet straps, make sure they are tightened securely enough to hold the mattress in place but not so tight that they damage it. Bungee cords can also be used but are less reliable than ratchet straps.

It’s important to inspect all straps or cords before each use to ensure they are in good condition and free from any defects or wear and tear. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using ratchet straps or bungee cords to avoid accidents or damage.

Securing the Mattress to Your Car

When it comes to transporting a mattress on top of your car, securing it properly is essential for safety and preventing damage. Here are some useful tips you can follow.

Place a foam or hybrid mattress in a bag

If you’re looking to transport your foam or hybrid mattress, placing it in a bag can help protect it from dirt, dust, and moisture. First, make sure the bag is large enough to fit your mattress without compressing it. Then, remove any bedding or covers and roll up the mattress tightly.

Carefully slide the rolled-up mattress into the bag and seal it tightly to prevent any air or moisture from getting in. You can also use a vacuum sealer to compress the mattress even further for easier transport.

Place the mattress flat on your roof rack

If you’re transporting a traditional innerspring mattress, placing it flat on your car’s roof rack is the best option. Begin by securing the roof rack to your car and ensuring it’s level. Then, carefully lift the mattress onto the roof rack.

Make sure to center the mattress on the rack and use straps or bungee cords to secure it tightly in place. It’s important to have at least two straps or cords crossing over the mattress and securing it to both sides of the rack.

As an extra precaution, consider covering the mattress with a tarp or plastic sheeting to protect it from any dirt, debris, or moisture during transport.

Before hitting the road, double-check that all straps and cords are tight and secure. Once you arrive at your destination, carefully remove the mattress from the roof rack and bring it inside.

Use packaging tape to secure the bag if necessary

Using packaging tape is an easy and effective way to add an extra layer of protection when transporting your mattress in a plastic bag. 

Start by placing the mattress inside the plastic bag and sealing it tightly. Then, use strips of packaging tape to reinforce any weak spots or areas that may be prone to tearing.

Make sure to apply the tape evenly and tightly, ensuring that there are no gaps or loose areas. It’s best to apply the tape horizontally and vertically for maximum support.

Once you’ve finished taping the bag, double-check that all sides are secure before loading it onto your vehicle. This will help ensure that your mattress stays protected during transport.

strapped mattress on the car roof

Use ratchet straps or bungee cords to tie down the mattress

When transporting a mattress on your car roof or in a truck bed, it’s important to secure it properly to avoid any accidents on the road. One way to do this is by using ratchet straps or bungee cords.

To use ratchet straps, place the mattress on top of the car roof or truck bed and loop one end of the strap around the mattress and through a secure anchor point. Then, attach the other end of the strap to another anchor point and tighten using the ratchet mechanism until there is no slack left.

Bungee cords are also an option for tying down your mattress. Simply wrap one end of each cord around an anchor point and hook it onto a loop on the other end. Make sure to use multiple bungee cords for maximum support.

Tips for Safe Transporting

Check air pressure in tires before starting

Checking your car’s tire pressure is an essential part of vehicle maintenance. Low or high tire pressure can affect your car’s performance, fuel efficiency, and even cause accidents on the road. Before starting your next adventure, take a few minutes to check your air pressure in tires.

You’ll need a tire pressure gauge and access to an air compressor. Simply unscrew the valve cap from each tire and press the gauge onto the valve stem. The gauge will show you the current air pressure in PSI (pounds per square inch). If it’s too low or high, use the air compressor to fill or deflate the tire accordingly.

It’s recommended that you check your car’s tire pressure at least once a month and before long trips. Properly inflated tires not only ensure safe driving but also improve fuel efficiency and reduce wear and tear on your car. So, take a few minutes to check your air pressure in tires before hitting the road for a stress-free journey!

Avoid busy streets and routes during peak hours

Driving during rush hour can be a stressful experience. Traffic congestion, slow-moving vehicles, and endless lines of cars can make your commute longer than necessary. To avoid this hassle, try to plan your trips outside of peak hours.

Peak hours are typically the busiest times of day when most people are on the road, such as early morning or late afternoon. If possible, schedule your travel for off-peak hours when traffic is lighter, and roads are less congested. This will not only save you time but also reduce the risk of accidents due to heavy traffic.

If you must drive during peak hours, consider taking alternative routes that are less traveled. Use navigation apps to find the best route based on current conditions and avoid highways or main roads that are known for heavy traffic.

Drive slowly and carefully with extra weight on top

When transporting heavy objects on top of your car, it’s important to drive slowly and carefully. The added weight can affect the handling and stability of your vehicle, especially when taking turns or braking.

To ensure a safe journey, start by securing the load properly with straps or ropes that are tight enough to prevent any movement or shifting during transit. It’s also crucial to distribute the weight evenly across the roof of your car to maintain balance and stability.

Once you hit the road, remember to reduce your speed and keep a safe distance from other vehicles. Avoid sudden movements or sharp turns that could cause the load to shift or fall off.

In addition, be mindful of low overpasses, trees, or other obstacles that could interfere with your cargo. Take extra precautions when entering parking garages or going under bridges.

Bring an extra pair of hands to help with lifting and securing

When tying a mattress to the roof of your car, it’s always a good idea to bring along an extra pair of hands to help with lifting and securing. Not only will it make the job easier, but it can also ensure that the load is properly secured and balanced.

Before you begin, make sure you have enough straps or ropes to secure the mattress tightly. Have your helper lift one end while you secure it in place, and then repeat on the other side. It’s important to distribute the weight evenly across the roof of your car to prevent any damage or instability.

Having someone else there can also be helpful when adjusting the load during transit or making any necessary adjustments. Remember to drive slowly and carefully with extra weight on top of your car and keep a safe distance from other vehicles.

Unloading Your Mattress from Your Car

Unloading your mattress from your car can be a challenging task, especially if you’re doing it alone. By following below tips, you can unload your mattress safely and without causing any damages or injuries. Remember to take things slowly and carefully throughout the process.

Remove all ties securely attached to the car and roof rack

Before hitting the road again after transporting a mattress on your car, make sure to remove all ties securely attached to your car and roof rack. Leaving them on can be dangerous as they can get caught in other objects while driving, causing damage or even accidents.

It is also important to properly store any straps or ropes used to secure the mattress during transport so that they do not become a hazard. Taking the time to remove these ties will ensure the safety of yourself and others on the road, as well as prevent any potential damages to your car or roof rack.

Work with care not to damage any parts of your vehicle or other possessions

When tying a mattress to your car for transportation, it is important to work with care so as not to damage any parts of your vehicle or other possessions.

Before attaching any ties or straps, make sure that the area where they will be placed is clean and free from any debris or sharp edges. When securing the mattress, avoid pulling too tightly on the ties as this can cause damage to your vehicle’s roof rack or other parts of the car.

You need to ensure that the mattress is evenly distributed and does not create any imbalance while driving. By working with care and paying attention to detail during the tying process, you can safely transport your mattress without causing any damage to your vehicle or other possessions.


What is the best way to strap a mattress to a car roof?

The best way to strap a mattress to a car roof is to purchase ratchet straps or heavy-duty rope that can support the weight of the mattress. 

Place the mattress directly on top of a protective blanket or tarp and ensure it is centered on the roof. Loop one end of the strap under the roof rack or through the interior of the car, and then loop it around the mattress. Tighten each strap evenly from both sides, ensuring that there are no loose ends flapping in the wind. Double-check that all straps are secure and tight before hitting the road to prevent any accidents.

How to transport a full-sized mattress without a truck?

Transporting a full-sized mattress without a truck can be challenging, but there are a few options available. One option is to use a roof rack or cargo carrier on top of your vehicle to strap the mattress securely into place. Another option is to tie the mattress securely onto your car’s roof using ropes and bungee cords. Ensure that you do not drive at high speeds or take sharp turns, as this could cause the mattress to become loose and fall off.

If neither of these options is feasible, consider renting or borrowing a larger vehicle, such as a van, SUV or pickup truck for transportation purposes.

Is it illegal to put a mattress on top of your car?

It is not necessarily illegal to put a mattress on top of your car, but it can be dangerous and cause safety hazards if it is not properly secured. In some states, there are laws that require proper securing of any items being transported on a vehicle. Violation of these laws could result in a citation or fine.

It’s always best to err on the side of caution and ensure that anything being transported on your vehicle is safely secured to prevent any accidents or damage to other drivers’ vehicles.

What's the best way to transport a king-sized bed?

The best way to transport a king-sized bed is to disassemble it completely. First, remove the mattress and box spring, wrap them in protective covers and secure them using moving straps. Next, remove the headboard and footboard, then disassemble the frame into smaller pieces, such as the rails and slats. These should also be wrapped securely before loading onto a truck or van with padding or blankets to prevent any scratches, dents or other damages during transit. Finally, label all of the pieces clearly so you can easily reassemble the bed once you reach your destination.

Are there any safety considerations I should be aware of when tying a mattress to my car?

Yes, there are several safety considerations you should be aware of when tying a mattress to your car. 

First, make sure the mattress is tied securely to prevent it from shifting or flying off while driving. Use strong and sturdy straps that can withstand the weight and pressure of the mattress. Second, ensure that the mattress does not obstruct your view or affect your ability to drive safely. The driver’s vision should not be obstructed in any way.

Lastly, take proper precautions when loading and unloading the mattress to avoid hurting yourself or others during this process. Always use appropriate lifting techniques and consider having an extra person help with moving it into place on top of the car.


Tying a mattress to your car for transportation can be done safely and without causing damage to your vehicle or other possessions.

By taking the time to clean the area where ties or straps will be placed, avoiding pulling too tightly on the ties, and ensuring that the mattress is evenly distributed, you can transport your mattress with peace of mind.

Remember to always work with care and pay attention to detail during the tying process. With these tips in mind, you can successfully transport your mattress from one location to another without any mishaps.

Author: Jessica

Jessica is a lover of both life and gardening. She loves to share his passion for both on social media. He often posts about his latest gardening projects, as well as tips and tricks for others who might be interested in starting their own gardens. She also frequently posts about the different aspects of his life that he enjoys, from spending time with friends and family to exploring new places.

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