Been There, Done That: How to move a mattress

The mattress on our bed is from the turn of the century — we got it in 2000. A king-size pillow top for our California King waterbed frame. We’d have still been using our full-wave waterbed if it hadn’t been for moving into a house that was built close to the turn of the last century.

No way were Dave and I going to put 1,000 gallons of water in our upstairs bedroom. That’s a potential tidal wave that would have wiped out our entire kitchen below if there was a breach.

I asked our son if he could help us flip our mattress as the top was looking a bit rough. Apparently this wasn’t the first time I had that thought as the bottom looked worse than the top. We needed a new mattress and those big ones really put a dent in a budget.

As it turned out, someone our son knew was getting rid of a king-size pillow top mattress with very few miles on it, so to speak. Awesome! We stored it all summer in his covered trailer, waiting for some big schmuck to come along and help us get the old one out and the new one in. There was no way Dave and I could handle that by ourselves.

We had recently decided to do away with the queen-size bed in our football room (half Browns — half Steelers). We have very few overnight guests – definitely not enough to warrant having a bed set up and ready 24/7/365. Our queen-size blowup mattress will suffice for those few days we do need it.

Taking that queen mattress and box spring out was a total nightmare.

So we waited and waited but no giant wandered into our yard to help us swap out the king-size mattresses. And eventually, our son needed to use his trailer. It was up to the three of us to do this.

I did what I thought would be my only duty. I cleared the path for the exchange. I took down all the coats from the rack behind the back door and moved the little stool.

I removed all the photos from the end tables, got rid of the little table and lamp on the lower landing and took down the clocks at the top and bottom of the stairs. I put our bedroom TV in the football room and cleaned off the end of our dresser.

OK boys, have at it. Dave and our son have a clean path to “git r dun.” They’re both strong like bull, this should go well — or not. They needed help. Well, now what? I’m not big enough to be of much help. But as it turned out, I was able to get things moving, just that little extra oomph and we were able to drag our old mattress up and out of the bed frame, down the hall and down the steps.

At the bottom, we sort of had to lay it flat and slide it sideways over the edge into the living room. We pushed and pulled and tugged and swore a bit and finally it was in the driveway. Dave said anything that big should have a motor on it. Good point. I was whupped and we needed to bring in the new one.

Never mind, I don’t need a mattress, I’ll sleep in the bed frame.

Dave wasn’t having that, so we started the reverse process. We pushed and pulled and tugged and swore some more and finally got that mattress upstairs and in the bed frame. I figured I’d let it air out a bit and busied myself replacing all the things I had taken down. Then I got out a fresh set of sheets and started in on making the bed — with one big problem.

This mattress is huge. Even without a box spring, it sticks up 8 inches higher than the frame. The sheets don’t fit and our Beagle Boy Cletus is having a hard way to go to get up on the bed. Never mind him, I thought I was going to need a rope ladder to get in bed.

We had already bought Cletus a little set of steps/ramp for just such an occasion (he is 11 now). But he doesn’t want anything to do with the steps. He stands in the doorway and gets a run at it and he’s in. I don’t need to get a run at it, but there have been times I thought about using his steps. The good news is, if it lasts as long as its predecessor, Dave and I won’t be asked to help in the next swap out, whatever century that may be in.

Laura Nethken
+ posts