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How to Tie a Mattress To Your Car (6 Step Guide)


Ah, the joys of moving a mattress. If you’ve ever found yourself faced with the task of transporting a mattress to a new location, you know it can be a daunting experience. But don’t worry, because I am here to share my wisdom (gained through trial and error) on how to tie a mattress to your car safely and securely.

Before we begin, let me just say that I totally understand the struggle. I, too, have spent countless hours trying to figure out the best way to strap a mattress to my car, only to find it flapping in the wind like a giant kite. But with these tips, you’ll have that mattress secured in no time, and you’ll be well on your way to your next slumber destination.

6 Steps to Safely Securing Your Mattress to Your Car

1. Gather Your Supplies


First things first, let’s gather the essentials. To tie a mattress to your car, you’ll need:

  • A sturdy rope or ratchet straps (preferably with a tensile strength of at least 500 pounds)
  • A tarp or plastic sheet (to protect your mattress from the elements and dirt).
  • A pair of work gloves (to protect your hands during the process)

2. The Pre-Tie Check

Before you begin, give your car a once-over. Ensure the roof is free of debris and dirt, as this can cause your mattress to shift during transit. If you have a roof rack, make sure it’s securely fastened and in good working condition.

3. Wrap It Up

Protect your mattress (and your sanity) by wrapping it in a tarp or plastic sheet. This extra layer will shield it from the elements, dirt, and potential scratches while in transit. Make sure the wrap is secure, with the opening facing backwards so it doesn’t catch air. Use duct tape if needed to hold it in place.

4. Center and Position


Now, let’s get that mattress on your car. Carefully lift it onto the roof, with the help of a buddy if possible. Position the mattress lengthwise, with the shorter side facing the front and back of the car. Ensure it’s centered on the roof to evenly distribute the weight.

5. Tie It Down

NOTE: A parallel style hold works better than an x-shape pattern. An x-shape will leave a gap in the front center of the mattress and will cause the mattress to catch air underneath it.

Here’s where things get serious. Grab your rope or ratchet straps and let’s get to work. First, loop the rope or strap over the front of the mattress and then under the front crossbar of your roof rack. If you don’t have a roof rack, open your car doors and loop the rope or strap through the car.

Next, toss the rope or strap over the mattress and under the other crossbar, or through the car if you’re working without a roof rack. Pull it tight and tie it off, but not so tight that you risk damaging the mattress.

Repeat this process with a second rope or strap, positioning it about three-quarters of the way down the mattress. The goal is to create two solid and secure parallel holds with the ropes or straps, ensuring your mattress stays put during your journey.

6. The Final Check


Before you hit the road, give your handiwork a once-over. Check that all knots are secure and that the ropes or straps are evenly tightened. Give the mattress a gentle wiggle to make sure it doesn’t shift. If everything feels secure, you’re good to go!


Q1: Can I tie a mattress to any type of car?

A: While it’s possible to tie a mattress to most cars, it’s essential to consider the size and weight of the mattress relative to your vehicle. Small cars may not be suitable for larger, heavier mattresses. In these cases, you might want to consider renting a truck or van for safe and secure transportation.

Q2: Is it legal to tie a mattress to the top of my car?

A: In general, it is legal to transport a mattress on the roof of your car, as long as it is securely fastened and does not obstruct your view or pose a hazard to other drivers. However, laws may vary depending on your location. It’s always best to check local regulations before hitting the road.

Q3: Can I tie a mattress to my car without a roof rack?

A: Yes, you can tie a mattress to your car without a roof rack. If you don’t have a roof rack, you can loop the rope or ratchet straps through the interior of your car by opening the doors. Make sure the straps are secure and won’t interfere with your ability to drive.

Q4: How fast can I drive with a mattress tied to my car?

A: It’s crucial to drive at a safe and cautious speed when transporting a mattress on your car roof. We recommend keeping your speed below 55 mph (90 km/h) to prevent the mattress from catching too much wind or becoming unstable. Additionally, avoid sudden movements or sharp turns to prevent the mattress from shifting.

Q5: Can I transport a mattress in the rain or snow?

A: It’s possible to transport a mattress in inclement weather, but you’ll need to take extra precautions. Make sure the mattress is well-protected with a waterproof tarp or plastic sheet, and use additional ropes or straps to secure it. Keep in mind that driving in wet or icy conditions may require slower speeds to maintain control of your vehicle and ensure the safety of your mattress.

Q6: What if my mattress starts to shift while I’m driving?

A: If you notice your mattress shifting during transit, pull over as soon as it is safe to do so. Check the ropes or ratchet straps for any signs of looseness, and tighten them if necessary. If you’re still experiencing issues, consider adding more straps or adjusting the placement of the mattress for better stability.

Q7: Can I tie more than one mattress to my car at a time?

A: While it might be tempting to transport multiple mattresses at once, it’s generally not recommended. Stacking mattresses can make it difficult to secure them properly, increasing the risk of them shifting or falling during transport. It’s safer to move one mattress at a time or rent a larger vehicle if you need to transport multiple mattresses.


And there you have it! With these steps, you’ll be well on your way to safely and securely transporting your mattress to its new home. Remember, practice makes perfect, and you’ll be a mattress-tying pro in no time. Now, go forth and conquer your mattress-moving adventure!

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