It's a common problem: Your mattress just won't stay put. It slides from one side of the bed to the other, creeping an inch or two each night. Sometimes it creeps so far that you roll off the bed and onto the floor.
There's no reason to live with a sliding mattress. We've compiled some of the best solutions to keep your mattress from slipping around on your bed frame or box spring. We'll start with some inexpensive DIY methods to fix the problem and then move on to the most drastic — but also most permanent — solution: replacing your mattress.
1. Use Rubber Matting or Foam
Rubber has a natural grip, making it perfect for keeping your mattress in place. This is an economical way to solve the problem of a sliding mattress. You don't need to source and buy a piece of rubber just for this purpose. Look around the house for any of the following:
- A thin yoga mat
- A clean rubber welcome mat
- Shelf liners or matting (the kind meant to help dishes in your cabinets stay in place, often sold at home improvement stores)
- Non-skid rubber area rug pads
The next step is to put one of these materials between your mattress and your bed frame or box spring. You'll want to make sure any item you choose is flat enough not to create any lumps or bumps in your mattress.
If you can't find any of these, you can purchase foam rubber strips from Amazon. One side of these strips has an adhesive. Place the sticky side on the top of the box spring or bed frame so the rubber side is in contact with your mattress to keep it from slipping.
2. Try Adhesive Hook-and-Loop Material
This is otherwise known as Velcro. Your local fabric or craft store should sell adhesive hook-and-loop strips. Like everything else these days, they can also be ordered online if you can't find them in-store.
Use a few hook-and-loop strips strategically placed around your mattress. A set of strips on each corner of the mattress and one or two in the center is a good start. If this doesn't work, you can add a few more. A twin size bed will need less Velcro to stay in place than a California king size mattress. Peel the paper backing off of the hook side and the loop side and then carefully press one side onto your mattress and the other onto the slats of your bed frame or box spring.
When applying the hook-and-loop strips, it is important to be precise. If the hook sides don't meet the loop sides, the velcro won't work. This is why adhering the strips to the mattress corners is a good strategy –– it's easier to match up each side of the Velcro.
Although you will sometimes see double-sided carpet tape recommended to keep mattresses in place, we recommend using Velcro instead. Carpet tape has strong adhesives which may damage your mattress by pulling threads from the fabric cover.
3. Vacuum Under Your Mattress
Don't laugh. It might sound silly, but it works. Sometimes dust, crumbs, and other debris accumulates between your mattress and your box spring or bed frame. This debris can cause your mattress to slip around on the bed.
Get out the vacuum cleaner and do a thorough job vacuuming the underside of your mattress. Get into every nook and cranny to remove as much dust as you can. Then do the same for your box spring or bed frame. While you have the vacuum out, you might as well vacuum the top of your mattress too so the dust on that side doesn't find its way to the underside in a few weeks.
4. Buy a Non-Slip Pad
When the cheaper DIY options don't do the trick, consider buying a non-slip mattress pad made for the purpose of stopping mattress sliding. These thin foam or rubber pads come in sizes for every mattress, from twin to California king. One popular brand of slip-resistant mattress pads is Gorilla Grip.
Using these pads is similar to the process for using rubber matting or foam––lift your mattress and place the non-slip pad onto your bed frame or box spring. Then put the mattress on top of the pad. If needed, you can trim your non-slip pad with scissors if it’s larger than the size of your mattress. Many non-slip pads can be washed if they get dirty, too.
5. Upgrade Your Mattress
We know you might not want to hear this one, but it's true. Sometimes when your mattress won't stay put, it's a sign you need to buy a new mattress. More on this below.
Why Do Mattresses Slip?
We've discussed five of the best solutions for slipping mattresses. Now let's talk about why even the best mattresses might slip in the first place.
Your Mattress Is Old
If you've had your mattress for years, odds are it has accumulated a layer of body oil and dirt over time. This layer of gunk at the bottom of the mattress is difficult to remove and it can cause your mattress to slip and slide. Mattresses should be replaced every 10 years. If you don’t use a mattress protector under your fitted sheets to protect it from body oil and dead skin cells, your mattress may need to be replaced sooner.
Your Mattress Is Two-Sided
Many consumers prefer a two-sided mattress. They want to have the ability to periodically flip their mattress over. This helps increase its longevity and prevent any one side from becoming too worn out. The downside of a two-sided mattress is both sides are designed to be slept on and there simply isn't enough friction to keep the mattress in place.
Memory foam mattresses and pillow tops are solid choices for single-sided mattresses. If you're not willing to switch to a one-sided mattress, using a non-slip mattress pad or rubber material will help prevent your mattress from sliding around on the bed.
Your Bed Frame Is Bigger Than Your Mattress
When there's a gap between your metal bed frame and your mattress, it's natural that the mattress will slide around a bit. Non-slip mattress pads, rubber, and hook-and-loop strips will help with this. Another solution is to fill the gap between the mattress and your bed's metal frame with wood planks or rolled-up towels to keep your mattress secure.
You Have a Platform Bed
Many people wonder how to keep a mattress from sliding on a platform bed. It's not impossible. Hook-and-loop strips or a non-slip mattress pad are your best bets for keeping your mattress perfectly centered between the headboard and footboard.
You Use a Bed Skirt
Bed skirts can hide an unsightly metal bed frame, but they can also create a slippery layer between your mattress and box spring or frame slats. If removing the bed skirt isn't an option for you, try choosing one made with cotton, which has a bit more friction than synthetic materials, or using a non-slip mattress pad between the top of the bed skirt and your mattress.
You're a Jumper or a Flopper
This often applies to children but sometimes to adults, too. If you jump on your bed or flop onto it after an exhausting day, the force will cause the mattress to shift. This is especially true if it rests atop a box spring. You could stop jumping and flopping onto your mattress, or try hook-and-loop strips to keep it in place.
Common Questions About Slipping Mattresses
Here are some frequently asked questions people have about sliding mattresses.
How do I keep my futon mattress from slipping?
Using a rubber mat or velcro strips will help stop your futon mattress from slipping. You can also buy specialized futon slip stopper pads to keep your mattress in place.
How do I keep my mattress from sliding off the box spring?
When a mattress rests on top of a box spring, it is more prone to sliding than if it's nestled inside a bed frame. A non-slip mattress pad, a layer of thin rubber, or hook-and-loop strips can keep your mattress in place.
Why does my mattress move when I sleep?
If your mattress moves during your sleep, there's not enough friction to keep it stable. This could be because your mattress is old and has accumulated a layer of body oil and debris, or it could be because you have a two-sided mattress, which is more prone to sliding.
How to Keep a Mattress From Sliding: The Bottom Line
There are many reasons why a mattress may slide around on your bed. Older mattresses are more prone to sliding, as are flippable, or two-sided, mattresses. Simple solutions to keep your mattress in place include using thin sheets of rubber, hook-and-loop strips, and non-slip mattress pads. When all else fails, it may be a sign you need to invest in a new mattress.