What Size U-Haul for a King Bed – How to Move a King-Size Mattress

Moving can be an exciting but challenging time in our lives. Whether it’s relocating to a new city, upgrading to a bigger space, or downsizing for a cozier environment, the process involves careful planning and preparation. Among the various items we own, one of the most cumbersome to move is undoubtedly the king-size mattress. Its sheer size and weight can pose a significant challenge, but with the right approach and equipment, you can ensure a seamless and stress-free moving experience.

In this blog post, we will delve into the essential aspects of moving a king-size mattress, focusing on one crucial factor: selecting the right U-Haul truck size. As you plan your move, understanding how to choose the appropriate U-Haul truck can make all the difference in safeguarding your mattress and other belongings during transit.

We’ll explore the dimensions of different U-Haul truck options and provide helpful tips on preparing and packing your king-size mattress to prevent damage. Additionally, we’ll discuss safe loading and unloading techniques, ensuring that your mattress arrives at your new destination in perfect condition.

So, let’s dive in and learn the best practices for moving a king-size mattress with the right U-Haul truck, making your move as smooth and enjoyable as possible!

Understanding the Challenge of Moving a King-Size Mattress

Moving a king-size mattress presents several unique challenges that require careful consideration and planning. As one of the largest and heaviest items in your household, mishandling the mattress during transportation can lead to damages and unnecessary headaches. Here are some key challenges to be aware of:

Size and Weight: 

King-size mattresses are significantly larger and heavier than standard mattresses, making them more difficult to maneuver and transport. Their dimensions typically measure around 76 inches wide and 80 inches long, while weighing between 100 to 200 pounds or more, depending on the type and materials.

Potential Damage: 

Improper handling of the mattress can result in tears, rips, or even structural damage. Mattresses are sensitive to sharp objects and rough surfaces, which can puncture or tear the fabric and upholstery.

Difficulty in Maneuvering: 

Navigating tight corners, narrow staircases, or small doorways can be a real challenge when moving a king-size mattress. Without proper techniques and assistance, you risk damaging the mattress or causing injuries.

Lacking Flexibility: 

The size and shape of king-size mattresses make them less flexible than smaller mattresses, making it harder to fit them into tight spaces or unconventional transportation vehicles.

Vulnerability to Moisture: 

King-size mattresses can be susceptible to moisture and humidity during transit, leading to mold or mildew growth. Protecting the mattress from environmental factors is crucial to maintaining its quality.

To overcome these challenges and ensure a successful move, it’s essential to have a well-thought-out plan and use the appropriate equipment. Selecting the right U-Haul truck size is a fundamental aspect of this process, as it provides the necessary space and security to transport your king-size mattress and other belongings safely. In the next section, we will explore how to choose the best U-Haul truck size for your specific needs.

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Selecting the Right U-Haul Size

Selecting the right U-Haul truck size is crucial for moving a king-size mattress and ensuring a smooth and secure journey. U-Haul offers various truck options, each with different dimensions and capacities. To make the best choice, follow these steps:

Measure the King-Size Mattress: 

Before selecting a U-Haul truck, measure the dimensions of your king-size mattress. Most king-size mattresses are approximately 76 inches wide and 80 inches long. Measure the height as well if it’s thicker than usual.

Check U-Haul Truck Sizes: 

U-Haul offers several truck sizes, such as 10′, 15′, 17′, 20′, and 26′. Visit the U-Haul website or contact your nearest U-Haul location to see the interior dimensions of each truck model.

Allow Extra Space: 

While the dimensions of the king-size mattress are essential, it’s wise to choose a U-Haul truck that provides extra space. This additional room allows for proper positioning and securing of the mattress, preventing damage during transit. Aim for a truck that is at least a foot longer and wider than the mattress.

Consider Other Items: 

If you plan to move other furniture or belongings along with the king-size mattress, factor in their dimensions and weight when choosing the U-Haul truck size. Having enough space for all your items is essential for a successful move.

Seek Professional Advice: 

If you’re unsure about which U-Haul truck size to choose, don’t hesitate to seek advice from U-Haul representatives. They can help you assess your specific needs and recommend the most suitable truck size for your move.

Book in Advance: 

Once you’ve determined the right U-Haul truck size, make a reservation in advance. Truck availability can vary, especially during peak moving seasons, so booking early ensures you secure the truck you need on the desired moving date.

Remember, selecting the appropriate U-Haul truck size is a critical step in moving your king-size mattress safely and efficiently. By having ample space and properly securing the mattress, you can embark on your move with confidence, knowing your prized possession will arrive at its destination in perfect condition. In the next section, we will delve into the preparation and packing tips to safeguard your king-size mattress during transportation.

Preparation and Packing Tips

Proper preparation and packing are essential to safeguard your king-size mattress during the moving process. Follow these tips to ensure your mattress remains in pristine condition during transportation:

Clean and Sanitize the Mattress: 

Before moving the mattress, clean it thoroughly to remove any dust, dirt, or stains. Use a fabric-safe cleaner or a mixture of mild soap and water. Allow the mattress to dry completely before packing.

Use a Mattress Cover: 

Invest in a high-quality mattress cover or bag designed for moving. A durable cover will protect the mattress from tears, moisture, and dust during transit. Make sure the cover fits snugly around the mattress and seals properly.

Disassemble the Bed Frame (if applicable): 

If your king-size mattress is part of a bed frame, disassemble the frame carefully. Keep all the necessary hardware and components in labeled bags or containers, making reassembly easier at your new location.

Secure the Mattress Inside the U-Haul Truck: 

Place the mattress flat inside the truck, ensuring it doesn’t bend or fold during transit. Avoid placing heavy items on top of the mattress to prevent damage. If you have other items to transport, position them carefully around the mattress, creating a stable and secure load.

Utilize Tie-Downs and Straps: 

Use ratchet straps or bungee cords to secure the mattress in place. Attach the straps to sturdy anchor points within the U-Haul truck to prevent shifting during transportation. Tighten the straps enough to hold the mattress firmly but not so much that it causes undue pressure.

Pad and Protect: 

If you have any empty spaces around the mattress, fill them with soft blankets or padding to minimize movement. This extra protection will prevent the mattress from rubbing against other items and reduce the risk of damage.

Keep the Mattress Flat: 

Avoid placing the mattress on its side or standing it upright during transportation, as this can cause the mattress to bend and lose its shape. Keeping it flat will maintain its integrity.

Seal and Label: 

Once the mattress is safely positioned and secured inside the U-Haul truck, seal the back of the truck to protect the load from any external elements. Also, clearly label the mattress and fragile items to indicate their sensitivity and avoid any mishandling.

By following these preparation and packing tips, you’ll significantly reduce the risk of damage to your king-size mattress during the move. Remember, taking the time to protect and secure your valuable items properly will ensure they arrive at your new destination in excellent condition. In the next section, we’ll explore safe loading and unloading techniques to further ensure a smooth move.

Loading and Unloading Techniques

Loading and unloading a king-size mattress requires careful handling and proper techniques to avoid damage to the mattress and ensure the safety of those involved. Follow these steps to load and unload the mattress safely:

Loading Techniques:

Enlist Help: Moving a king-size mattress is a two-person job at the very least. Enlist the help of friends or family members to assist you during the loading process. More hands make the task easier and reduce the risk of accidents.

Use Ramps or Lifting Equipment: If the U-Haul truck has a loading ramp, utilize it to roll the mattress into the truck rather than attempting to lift it. Alternatively, consider using lifting straps or furniture dollies to move the mattress with less effort.

Lift with Proper Form: If lifting the mattress directly, use the proper lifting technique to avoid strain or injury. Bend your knees, keep your back straight, and lift with your legs rather than your back.

Position the Mattress Flat: Lay the mattress flat inside the truck to avoid bending or folding it. If the mattress is too big to fit lengthwise, angle it diagonally across the truck, ensuring it remains flat.

Secure the Mattress: As you load the mattress, use the tie-downs and straps to secure it in place. Ensure the mattress is snug against the truck’s interior walls and won’t shift during transit.

Unloading Techniques:

Caution During Unloading: Once you reach your destination, exercise caution while unloading the king-size mattress. Ensure there are no obstacles or hazards in the unloading area.

Use the Ramp: If the U-Haul truck has a loading ramp, use it again to safely slide the mattress out of the truck. Make sure someone is guiding the mattress to prevent it from sliding too quickly.

Lower with Control: When lifting the mattress from the truck, lower it down gently using the proper lifting technique. Avoid dropping the mattress or placing excessive strain on your back.

Teamwork for Maneuvering: Work as a team to guide the mattress to its new location. If you have to navigate tight spaces or stairs, use lifting straps or dollies to make the process easier.

Keep the Mattress Flat: Throughout unloading, keep the mattress flat and avoid bending or folding it. Take care to protect the mattress from any sharp edges or surfaces during the process.

By following these loading and unloading techniques, you can ensure the safe transport and positioning of your king-size mattress, reducing the risk of damage and making your move a success. Remember, safety should always be the top priority when moving heavy and bulky items.

Safety Measures During Transit

Ensuring safety during transit is crucial to protect your king-size mattress and other belongings, as well as the people involved in the move. Follow these safety measures to have a smooth and incident-free journey:

Secure the Load: 

Double-check that the king-size mattress and other items are securely tied down and properly positioned inside the U-Haul truck. Avoid overloading the truck, as it can affect its stability and handling.

Drive with Caution: 

Drive at a safe and steady pace to avoid sudden stops or sharp turns. Accelerate and decelerate smoothly to minimize any shifting of the load. Drive within the speed limits and adjust your driving according to weather and road conditions.

Monitor the Load: 

While driving, periodically check the rearview mirror to ensure the load is stable and hasn’t shifted. If you notice any movement or signs of instability, pull over safely and resecure the items.

Avoid Extreme Temperatures: 

Try to avoid extreme temperatures, as they can affect the quality of the mattress. If you can’t avoid extreme heat or cold, consider using climate-controlled storage or covering the mattress with an insulating blanket.

Park Safely: 

When making stops during the journey, park the U-Haul truck in safe and secure areas. Avoid parking on uneven or sloped surfaces that could cause the load to shift.

Lock the Truck: 

Always lock the U-Haul truck when you leave it unattended. This prevents unauthorized access to your belongings and ensures their safety.

Avoid Excessive Moisture: 

If you encounter rain or other sources of moisture, make sure the U-Haul truck is properly sealed to prevent water from entering and damaging the mattress.

Plan Rest Stops: 

Take regular breaks during long-distance moves to rest and stay alert. Fatigue can impair your driving ability and increase the risk of accidents.

Emergency Kit: 

Keep an emergency kit in the truck, including items like a first aid kit, flashlight, water, and basic tools. In case of any unforeseen situations, you’ll be better prepared to handle them.

Follow U-Haul Guidelines: 

Familiarize yourself with U-Haul’s safety guidelines and recommendations for transporting your belongings. Adhering to their guidelines can help prevent accidents and protect your property.

By following these safety measures during transit, you can significantly reduce the risk of damage to your king-size mattress and ensure a safe and successful move. Prioritize safety at every stage of the journey to make your moving experience as stress-free as possible.

Alternative Options for Moving a King-Size Mattress

Moving a king-size mattress with a U-Haul truck is one option, but there are alternative methods you can consider based on your preferences and circumstances. Here are some alternative options for moving a king-size mattress:

Professional Moving Services: 

Hiring professional movers can be a convenient and efficient way to move your king-size mattress and other belongings. Professional movers have the expertise, equipment, and experience to handle large and heavy items safely. They can disassemble and reassemble your bed frame, pack and protect the mattress properly, and handle all aspects of the move for you.

Renting a Moving Container: 

Another option is to rent a portable moving container. These containers are delivered to your location, and you can load your king-size mattress and other items at your own pace. Once you’re done, the container is picked up and transported to your new destination. This option provides flexibility and reduces the need for driving a large truck.

Mattress Shipping Companies: 

There are specialized mattress shipping companies that focus on transporting mattresses and other large items. These companies use proper packaging and handling techniques to ensure your mattress arrives safely at your new location. While this option may be more expensive than other methods, it can be suitable for long-distance moves or if you need extra care for a valuable mattress.

DIY Trailer or Roof Rack: 

If you have a trailer or roof rack on your vehicle, you may consider transporting the king-size mattress yourself. Ensure the mattress is properly secured and protected from the elements during the journey. However, be mindful of the mattress’s exposure to weather and potential risks during DIY transportation.

Selling or Donating: 

If moving the king-size mattress becomes too challenging or costly, consider selling or donating it at your current location. This way, you can purchase a new mattress at your new destination, potentially saving on transportation costs.

Ultimately, the best alternative option depends on your budget, time constraints, and personal preferences. Consider the distance of the move, the condition of the mattress, and the logistics involved before making a decision. Whether you choose a professional moving service, a moving container, or another alternative, prioritize the safety and protection of your king-size mattress throughout the entire moving process.


Moving a king-size mattress requires careful planning and preparation. Select the right U-Haul truck size with extra space. Clean and protect the mattress with a cover, and disassemble the bed frame if needed. Secure the mattress inside the truck with tie-downs and straps. Load and unload with caution, using proper lifting techniques. Drive safely, monitor the load, and avoid extreme conditions during transit. Consider alternative options like professional movers or shipping companies. Prioritize safety to ensure a smooth move and protect your valuable mattress. Happy moving!

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