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How to Compress a Memory Foam Mattress at Home

Lara Vargas

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Moving to a new apartment or house is daunting. But it’s even more daunting if you have to move big pieces of furniture like a mattress. Compressing your memory foam mattress not only makes moving the mattress easier, but it also protects your mattress from dirt, stains, and tears during the moving process.

In this article, we discuss how to compress and pack up a memory foam mattress and what tools you’ll need to do it.

1. Gather Your Supplies

Unfortunately, you won’t have access to the compression machine used to wrap bed in a box mattresses at the factory. But with some supplies, you can compress your memory foam mattress DIY-style.

  • Your mattress
  • A plastic storage bag for the mattress
  • A space-saver vacuum bag
  • Vacuum with a removable vacuum hose
  • Duct tape
  • Scissors
  • Ratchet straps

Moving Your Mattress

The first decision is whether you should move your mattress. If your bed is new, a couple of years old, or still supportive, transporting the mattress is the best option. Fortunately, many of the best mattress brands use high-quality foams that can easily be re-compressed. However, if your mattress is older or unsupportive, it may not be worth hauling to your new home.

Plastic Storage Bag for the Mattress

Transporting your memory foam bed in a bag is one of the safest and most inexpensive ways to move a mattress. Placing the rolled-up mattress in a bag will give the bed greater protection during the move, although not all storage bags are created equal. Some bags act more like dust covers. They are thin and tear easily, so it’s a good idea to avoid these bags.

Choose a storage bag designed specifically for your size mattress and make sure it comes with a seal or plastic slide zipper. This helps the vacuum create an airtight seal.

You’ll also want a storage bag with tear-resistant polyethylene, zero vent holes, and reinforced seams or edges. There are eco-friendly and recyclable options available, as well.

A Space-Saver Vacuum Bag

A space-saver vacuum bag is a small bag designed for storing clothes, pillows, or bedding. These bags feature a zippered seal and a valve to connect to your home vacuum cleaner. Because you just need the valve, it only matters that the valve fits your vacuum hose.

Vacuum With Moveable Vacuum Hose

The average household vacuum is powerful enough to extract air from a memory foam mattress. Don’t use a handheld vacuum or battery-powered vacuum; they don’t have powerful enough engines.

Duct Tape and Scissors

Heavy-duty duct tape will attach the valve to your storage bag with an air-tight seal. Don’t use masking tape, packing tape, Scotch tape, or washi tape as they aren’t sticky enough to seal the hose to the valve.

Ratchet Straps

Ratchet straps consist of polyester webbing straps and a piece of hardware. They secure the mattress once it’s rolled up and act as insurance in case the sealed, plastic lining doesn’t hold up, and the mattress starts to expand.

2. Remove All Bedding and Pillows

Before you slide your mattress into the storage bag, remove all bedding. This includes your sheets, comforter, blankets, pillows, and mattress toppers.

You might consider leaving a mattress protector on your mattress for extra protection from dirt and pests. Some mattress protectors cover only the mattress surface, although a zippered mattress encasement covers all six sides of the mattress.

3. Attach the Vacuum Valve on Your Mattress Bag

Attach the vacuum to the valve to extract air and compress the mattress. Use the following steps to create a vacuum mattress bag.

  1. Cut out the vacuum valve from a vacuum bag, leaving enough plastic to secure the valve to the mattress bag.
  2. Cut a small hole in your mattress storage bag and insert the valve into the hole you just made on the storage bag.
  3. Secure the valve with duct tape, ensuring the seal is airtight.

4. Slide Your Mattress Into the Plastic Mattress Bag

Once the bedding is removed and your storage bag is prepared, it’s time to slide the mattress into the bag. We suggest grabbing a partner to help put the mattress in the plastic slip, although it’s still possible for one person to do.

  1. Keep your mattress flat and start from one side.
  2. Raise the end of the mattress a few inches off the bed frame and place the storage bag opening on the mattress edge.
  3. Slide the mattress slowing off the bed base and into the plastic bag.
  4. Once the mattress is completely in the bag, you can set the mattress down.

5. Create an Airtight Seal

Seal or zip up the bag according to the package instructions. Even if the storage bag has reinforced seams, place a layer of duct tape on all seams, zippers, and edges to ensure the bag is airtight.

6. Remove Air

This step is where the magic happens.

  1. Place your vacuum hose over the valve and seal them together with a strip of duct tape.
  2. Turn on your vacuum to begin pulling air out of the mattress.
  3. As the air leaves the mattress, your mattress will start to shrink. Walk over top the mattress to press as much air from the memory foam as possible.

7. Roll Up Your Mattress

Removing the air from your mattress makes rolling the bed possible. Keep the vacuum attached and on during this step as rolling the mattress can squeeze out extra air.

Start at one end of the mattress and roll lengthwise up the mattress. Slowly rolling the bed ensures a greater quantity of air is extracted for a tighter roll.

8. Secure With Ratchet Straps

While this step is not necessary, securing your mattress with ratchets provides easy-to-grab handles and provides security and protection in case the airtight seal breaks or the plastic storage bag is cut during the move.

You’ll need at least two ratchet straps for twins: one for each end of the roll. For full, queen, and king sizes, you might consider adding a third strap in the middle.

Transporting the Compressed Memory Foam Mattress

Once your mattress is compressed and secured, it’s time to move. If possible, transport your memory foam mattress horizontally. This prevents undue pressure on the mattress’s side and any material damage during transportation.

For added protection, consider wrapping the mattress roll in a blanket or a sheet. This will reduce the risk of lacerations on the plastic.

Once you arrive at your destination, unwrap your memory foam mattress as quickly as possible — the less time a mattress spends compressed, the better. If you leave your mattress rolled and compressed for too long, it could damage the foam materials.

Can I Compress an Innerspring Mattress?

Our article teaches you how to compress a memory foam mattress. If your mattress contains coils of any kind, it’s a good idea to skip the rolling step as the coils could become damaged. Always check with your warranty before compressing an innerspring mattress as the contract may void as a result.

Conclusion

The most important part of mattress transportation is protecting it from damage, dirt, and pests. Compressing your mattress isn’t necessary, but it does make moving easier. The plastic linings won’t let dirt or bugs infest your mattress, and are easily removed from the packaging when you arrive at your new place.

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