Eachnight may earn commissions for products you purchase through our links. Our articles and reviews include affiliate links and advertisements, including amerisleep advertising. Learn more Updated September 29, 2021One of the trickiest items to move from one place to another is the mattress. It usually requires the help of at least two people and takes up a lot of needed moving space in a truck. What if you don’t have a truck, van, or SUV, and instead have a car? How will you be able to fit your mattress into your car with your other valuables?If you have a memory foam mattress, you’ll remember that when you received it, the mattress came compressed, sealed in airtight plastic, and rolled up in a box. While you may not be able to replicate that exact packing method, you can get close to it with this handy DIY technique.Materials You’ll NeedMattress BagPlastic mattress bags are available in most stores and storage facilities. Aim for a recyclable, heavy-duty plastic bag that’s sealable for better security and to make packing the mattress easier. Make sure to choose the right size mattress bag— the bag size should match the standard size of the memory foam mattress.Ratchet StrapsRatchet straps, or tie-down straps, are fasteners used to hold down large items like mattresses. Ratchet straps are commonly made out of nylon because of how flexible and durable the material is.Once rolled up, ratchet straps can prevent the mattress from unraveling. Ratchet straps are pretty inexpensive— it costs less than $20 for a good-quality ratchet strap. Three ratchet straps are best for a mattress— one placed on each end of the rolled-up mattress and one down the middle.TapeYou can use either duct tape or packing tape to reinforce the edges of the plastic bag and help secure the rolled-up mattress. If you’re planning on saving the bag to use again, make sure the tape isn’t too sticky, otherwise you risk tearing the mattress bag during the packing and unpacking process.Vacuum BagChoose a smaller, cheaper vacuum bag— you won’t be using the bag itself, only the valve. Make sure before buying a vacuum bag that the valve fits your vacuum hose, otherwise the compression process won’t work.Steps to Deflate Your Memory Foam MattressRemove BeddingBefore placing the mattress inside the plastic mattress bag, remove all bedding except for the mattress cover that came with the initial purchase. This includes comforters, mattress protectors, and memory foam mattress toppers. These items need to be packed separately from your memory foam mattress.Slip Inside BagSlip the bare memory foam mattress inside the plastic mattress bag. Avoid purchasing a mattress bag bigger than your actual mattress, otherwise, you’ll find yourself having to deal with the extra plastic. Plus, the extra plastic could take up needed space for other valuables.Seal ItCut out the valve from the vacuum bag. Cut a hole in the mattress bag, about the same size as the valve. Push the valve through the hole so that the nozzle is pointed outward. Seal the area around the valve with tape to make sure the bag is airtight. You can also use tape to reinforce the edges of the mattress bag before compressing it.VacuumUsing a regular vacuum or shop vac, attach the vacuum hose to the valve. Turn on the vacuum and watch your mattress compress. Gently press on the surface of the mattress while the vacuum is on to help flatten the mattress.Roll ItKeeping the mattress horizontal, begin to roll up the compressed mattress. Keep the vacuum on and firmly attached to the valve to prevent air from getting into the bag. You may need more than one person to roll up a memory foam mattress if it’s bigger than full-size.Secure ItOnce rolled up, use the ratchet straps to secure the rolled-up mattress. The ratchet straps will keep the mattress together and prevent the mattress from unraveling.Extra TipsAfter rolling up the mattress, keep the mattress horizontal during transportation to prevent possible damage.As an extra precaution, wrap duct tape around the rolled-up mattress to reinforce the roll. Use as much as necessary.The DIY method can be applied for a twin size, full size, queen size, king size, and California king size mattress.Other Things to ConsiderCan you fold a memory foam mattress?Yes. Solid memory foam beds can be safely compressed and rolled up for easy transportation.When should I replace my memory foam mattress?If you wake up sore most mornings and start to see a noticeable sag in the mattress, it’s time to get a new bed. Most beds will last 7-10 years, so if it’s been that long since you got a new mattress, it may be time to replace it.Can an innerspring mattress be rolled up?No. Attempting to compress and roll up innerspring beds or traditional mattresses can cause damage to the structure and materials.How do you shrink a memory foam mattress?If you’re moving and need to make your mattress “smaller” for easier transporting, you can put it in a mattress bag and vacuum seal it. Look for mattress bags with valves on them that you can use with the hose attachment of your vacuum.Research MethodTo write a high-quality and credible article, we read several dozen reviews and articles and spent over 17 hours researching, writing, and editing.ConclusionWe hope this handy DIY guide makes moving a mattress into a new place an easier process. Note that this guide is for the compression and packing of a solid memory foam or latex mattress only. Innersprings should never be compressed and rolled up. When it comes to folding up hybrid mattresses, contact the mattress company for recommendations— some brands might hold up well in this process, but others may not.Follow proper handling instructions to prevent damage to your bed. Once your memory foam mattress is rolled up and packed in the vehicle, you’re ready to go.About the author Rosie Osmun CERTIFIED SLEEP COACH Rosie Osmun is a Certified Sleep Science Coach. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Government from Arizona State University College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.For more than 13 years, she has been involved in the beauty, health, sleep, and wellness industries. Her work has been featured and published in Byrdie, Lifehacker, Men’s Journal, EatingWell, and Medical Daily. Find more articles by RosieAuthor Social Links Follow: Author Linkedin Author Twitter CommentsLeave a comment Yvonne M Washington September 19, 2020 at 10:53 am ReplyHow can I ship my foam mattress back for my return.I cant use the bag and have no vacum.i need another box JP November 27, 2020 at 9:06 pm ReplyHow long does it usually take for the vacuum to remove all the air? Marie December 6, 2020 at 4:28 pm ReplyCan I fold a memory foam mattress every day and use it with folding rollaway cot? eachnight December 7, 2020 at 8:36 am ReplyHi Marie,Good question! You should not fold a memory foam mattress because it’ll create cracks and creases in the foam. Foam can be compressed and rolled (safely and strategically), but should not be folded in half. We hope this answers your question 🙂 Angie January 5, 2021 at 7:47 am ReplyI’m moving long distance and had to compress my Matress myself for moving storage. How long can I keep the Matress compressed? eachnight January 12, 2021 at 12:45 pm ReplyHi Angie,Good question! Some mattress retailers will say their beds can remain compressed for 3 to 6 weeks, others will say a couple of months. However, we suggest unpacking your re-compressed mattress within a couple of weeks, or ideally, as soon as possible, to minimize the risk of damage. Leave a comment Cancel replyLeave a CommentYour email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * Comment Name Email I agree to the Terms and Conditions of this website.