King Sized Mattress in a Cargo Van? King Sized Moving Guide

King Sized Mattress in a Cargo Van

Purchasing a brand new mattress set is exciting. Everyone looks forward to having a refreshing night’s sleep. However, the mattress that looked manageable in the store suddenly becomes gigantic when it comes time to load it up and take it home. When buyers are unable to get delivery from the mattress retailer, transporting a king-sized mattress suddenly becomes a big problem if a truck is not available for moving the bed.

A king innerspring mattress will not fit inside a cargo van. The inside of a cargo van is 65” high and 55” wide. A king mattress is 76” wide by 80” long. A king foam mattress can fold and fit into the cargo van because the length of a cargo van is 126”. Two trips will haul mattress and box springs.

For those who need to haul a memory foam-type mattress, there is a possibility of carefully fitting it into a cargo van. However, a king-size innerspring mattress will get damaged if it is folded to fit into a cargo van. There are several different types of king-sized mattresses that will fit into a cargo van, and there are ways to ensure that the mattress is not ruined in the process. Read on to learn how to transport a king-sized mattress.

King Sized Mattress That Will Fit into a Cargo Van

When purchasing a new mattress, shop with transportation in mind. Buyers must be able to get the mattress home if the store does not offer delivery, or if the home is outside of the delivery area. If the only vehicle available to move the mattress is a cargo van, and the buyer must have a king-size mattress, then the mattress must be made of a flexible material.

A foam mattress can be purchased in a king size and fit inside of a cargo van for transportation. A king bed rests on two twin-size box springs which are 39” by 75” each. To move a thick mattress, two trips may be needed. One to move the box springs and one to move the folded or rolled mattress. 

An inner-spring king-size mattress is unlikely to fit inside of a cargo van because it is much too big and can not be folded up enough to fit. While someone may be able to stuff it inside of a cargo van like a taco, it will be damaged because the innerspring will bend and break. For someone moving an old bed, this may be okay, but for a new purchase, this is not acceptable.

Instead, when a buyer knows that the mattress has to be transported inside of a cargo van, it is best to shop for a foam mattress. There are various ways to purchase a king bed and also transport it home in a cargo van, and they must be kept in mind while shopping.

  • Purchase a thinner foam mattress that can roll up or fold up and fit into the back of the cargo van. It will rest on two twin-sized box springs that are more easily transported in the cargo van. Depending on how thick the mattress is when it is folded, it may still require two trips to get everything home.
  • Purchase two twin box springs, two twin mattresses, and a king-size foam topper to unify the bed into a single king-size bed. The topper is easily rolled for transportation, and the end result will be similar to purchasing a king-size mattress.
  • Purchase a thinner king-size mattress that can be rolled or folded and a king-size foam topper to add loft after the bed is assembled. These items should be able to transport at the same time in the back of a cargo van, though it will be tight, especially with twin box springs in the van as well.
  • Purchase a latex bed. These are usually made of several twin-size foam layers and a single king-size top layer that can be carefully rolled up and transported. There may or may not be box springs included in a king latex bed arrangement. Latex is incredibly dense and tears easily, so proper packaging is necessary before moving it.
  • A latex bed will include a cover that turns the various layers into a single bed. This cover can not be used to move the bed. The bed will be much too heavy to move. Instead, the cover must be unzipped and each layer of the bed carefully rolled for moving. The mattress topper can be folded in half before rolling to make it more manageable.
  • When purchasing a memory foam or latex bed, ask if there is one available that has not been unboxed. If the retailer has a model in the back room that has not been unboxed, then it can be transported in a compressed and boxed state inside of a cargo van. They will still be miserably heavy, and moving straps are highly recommended.

Not every mattress move involves purchasing a new one. People move all the time, and often that means having to figure out how to move a king mattress across town. If the only vehicle available is a cargo van, and the mattress is innerspring, it may not be possible to move it at all. 

The box springs can be moved, but the mattress will be severely damaged if it is crunched into the back of the cargo van.

A better option would be to properly dispose of the old mattress. Move the existing box springs to the new home and purchase a new king mattress to complete the set. This saves money and ensures that the person moving will not have to sleep on a broken mattress at the end of the move.  

How Do You Transport a King Size?

Transporting a king-size innerspring mattress requires the help of at least one additional person. While they are more rigid than foam mattresses, they are still too big and floppy to be handled by a single person. There are a few supplies that need to be on hand before any attempt is made to move the bed.

  • Mattress bags or boxes. A mattress box is best because even though it is hard to get the mattress in it, it will offer more rigidity which is helpful for moving and loading a floppy mattress. Both bags and boxes are also easier to slide and keep the mattress clean during the move while protecting walls and doors from scuffs and scratches.
  • Packing tape. Good quality packing tape is so helpful to keep the ends of bags and boxes closed. It is frustrating to be pushing a mattress down a flight of stairs while it is sliding out of the bag because the cheap tape lets it loose.
  • A large truck. A king-size innerspring mattress will need to be moved in at least a 10-foot enclosed truck. These can be rented quite cheaply for in-town moves as long as they are returned in a few hours. A cargo van can be used if the mattress can be folded or rolled, and the movers are available if more than one trip is needed to get all of the bed pieces.
  • Moving straps. Moving straps go under a piece of furniture and allow movers to carry items with much less effort, keeping the back straight. They make moving everything so much easier, including mattresses. 
  • Moving blankets. Moving blankets are useful for sliding a mattress down the hall, down the stairs, and keeping it from getting torn inside of the moving van or truck. They should also be placed on doors and thresholds to help avoid scuffing and scratching as items go out of the rooms.
  • Moving rope. Items that are put inside of a moving truck must be secured with ratcheting straps, heavy-duty velcro straps, or rope. Moving trucks provide rails on the inside for attaching straps to stabilize loads. This keeps items from being broken, but it also makes driving safer because it keeps the weight from shifting during turns.

First, strip the bed of all bedding, including sheets. These items should be bagged or boxed up separately for moving.

Next, slide the mattress to one side of the bed. If it is a foam mattress, it may be easier to slide it into a box or bag in the lying position by working it into the bag as it is slid off of the bed frame. Once it is bagged or boxed, it can be moved out of the way and leaned against a wall. Slide each box spring into a separate mattress bag and tape all of the mattress bags up securely with quality packing tape. 

Mattresses can be slid across carpeted flooring in bags quite easily, and then carried outside using moving straps. To move a mattress across a hard floor, first lay out a moving blanket. Stand the mattress on its side and center it on the moving blanket. Take up the sides of the moving blanket and use it to slide the mattress across hard floors.

If a 10-foot enclosed truck has been rented, then the mattress can be moved inside the back of the truck by leaning it to one side to get it through the door. Once it is through the door it can be leaned against the side of the truck and secured with moving straps or ropes. The box springs can be moved out in the same way and secured alongside the mattress. If a cargo van is the only vehicle available, the task is harder. We will discuss this next.

Fit a King Mattress into a Cargo Van

When a cargo van is the only vehicle available for moving a king mattress, then some careful creativity must be used to make the move. First, it must be understood that an innerspring mattress can not be moved inside of a cargo van. If it is folded like a taco and jammed inside the cargo van it will break and be unusable.

The only type of mattress that can possibly be moved inside a cargo van is a foam-type mattress. Even a foam mattress must be thin enough to fold, partially fold, or roll. This move will require mattress bags, tape, moving blankets, moving straps, and stretchy plastic film called mover’s wrap.

Foam beds are very dense and heavy. They are much heavier and difficult to deal with than a regular innerspring mattress. This task can be done by two people, but it will be very hard work. Ideally, three or four people can be tasked with moving a king-size foam mattress. It is not necessarily time-consuming, but it is heavy.

Moving a foam mattress in a cargo van will require an additional bit of moving material: a roll of plastic mover’s wrap. This is like the plastic film that is used to cover leftovers in the kitchen, but it is on a half-size roll with a handle that allows it to be rolled over items single-handedly. This plastic film is invaluable for keeping things intact without using tape.

  • Any foam mattress is very fragile and prone to tearing. Never grab the edges of a memory foam mattress and begin tugging. Use the provided mattress cover to aid in maneuvering the mattress. This is part of what makes them so difficult to move. They are heavy, but grabbing the edges will damage the mattress.
  • A latex bed can not be moved inside of the mattress cover, so extra special care must be taken when rolling the pieces and moving them. They can be rolled up inside of a moving blanket like a sushi roll, or they can be rolled up alone, but the ends must be protected from tearing by covering them thoroughly with the plastic film.
  • Carefully bag the mattress first, and get it compacted into a size and shape that will fit in the van before taping the bag shut. This is where additional helpers come in handy. Fold or roll the mattress and then have one or two helpers hold the mattress in place while other helpers tape the bag shut and use the plastic film to secure the mattress.
  • Roll the plastic film around the mattress in the shape that it needs to hold to fit into the van. Thicker mattresses can be folded roughly in half and then rolled with film to maintain the shape. Thinner mattresses can be rolled up like a jelly roll and secured with plastic film. These will be loaded into the van and stacked like carpet rolls.
  • The plastic film should be rolled on tightly, but not so tight that it begins to tear into the foam. Vary the wraps widely so that the tension is more evenly distributed across the surface of the foam. This is especially important when wrapping the various layers of a latex bed. The latex will easily be sliced through by plastic film that is wrapped too tight.
  • Once the bed is in the bag, folded or rolled to size, secured by plastic film, and the bag is taped shut to keep it all clean, it can be removed from the room by one person at each end of the roll. It can be carried by moving straps, but while in the house it is easiest to slide it on a moving blanket.

If the bed includes box springs, then take a quick measurement of the height of both box springs plus the height of the wrapped mattress. If the measurement shows that it will fit into the van, then put the mattress in the van first. It is much easier to wiggle and wedge the sturdy box springs into the van over the top of the mattress.

If the measurement shows that the various pieces will not fit into the cargo van together, then two trips will be necessary for moving to get the entire bed to the new home. If the bed includes a bed frame then multiple trips will be needed to transport the disassembled bed frame anyway. Simply take the bed frame and one box spring in one trip, then the second box spring and the king mattress on a second trip.


When the need arises to move a pre-owned king-size mattress across town, and the only vehicle available is a cargo van, it will only be possible to accomplish the move if the mattress is not an innerspring style. The only type of mattress that can be made to fit inside of a cargo van is a foam-type mattress that is thin enough to be folded or rolled to fit inside. Very thick foam mattresses will be very difficult to fit without damaging the mattress.

When shopping for a new king mattress, knowing that a cargo van is the only way to get it home, buyers must make the choice to buy a thinner foam mattress, two twin mattresses, and a foam topper, or a multi-layer latex mattress. King size beds sit on two twin size box springs. While it is not a problem to fit them into a cargo van, two trips may be needed to get it all home.



Hi there! I’m Alex, the one behind this website. I ran and operated a Local Furniture Store in Southern California. The store opened in 2010, during the “Great Recession,” It is still thriving today; however, I have dedicated my time to helping our online customer base. My primary focus is to help you with all your furniture & mattress questions.

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