How to Compress a Memory Foam Mattress at Home (in 3 Easy Steps!)

Whether you’re moving your mattress to a different state or a different part of town, you may, at some point, need to learn how to compress (and pack up) a memory foam mattress at home. If you’ve ever moved a traditional box spring mattress, you likely know how much of a pain it is.

Luckily, think back to when you first received your brand new memory foam mattress. It most likely came in a compact box, so you know there is a way to get it back down to that size. You might think it’s impossible to do but most of the best mattresses on the market today are made with highly bendable and compressible materials.  In this article, we’re going to help you get the job done quick and easy.

1. Get the Necessary Materials

The first step to learning how to compress (and pack up) a memory foam mattress at home is gathering the materials needed for the job.

Here are all the things you’ll need:

Mattress Bag

You can purchase a new mattress bag from U-Haul rentals and other retailers. These bags are durable and made of a thick plastic that will protect your mattress from the elements.

You’ll need this bag to put the mattress in during the transportation process. The plastic bag will also play a significant role in compressing the mattress.

Make sure you get the right size plastic mattress bag for your mattress. If you have a queen size mattress, make sure you get a queen. If you have a full size, king size, twin, etc. make sure you follow suit.

Ratchet Straps

There are straps you’ll use to secure the mattress and so you have something to hold onto when carrying it. Some might consider these a luxury, but we think they’re a necessity.

Duct Tape

You’ll need something to close the bag and make sure it doesn’t open. Basic packing tape will not cut it, so you want a tape heavy duty enough to get the job done right. Duct tape can fix anything, and even if you have a sealable mattress bag, you’ll still want to add some extra security.

Vacuum Bag

You don’t need to use the actual vacuum bag, but you do need the valve attached to it. This valve will help with removing the air and compressing the mattress. Make sure the valve fits the hose attachment on your vacuum for this step. You can purchase these at any typical retailer like Walmart or Amazon.

Vacuum Cleaner

Finally, you’ll need a vacuum to suck all the air out of the mattress. Make sure the vacuum hose attachment is compatible with the valve from the bag. You can use a shop vac or whatever you need to create an airtight vacuum seal.

2. Setup the Mattress and Turn on the Vacuum

It might go without saying, but we’ll say it anyway. We recommend removing all the bedding from your mattress before trying to compress and transport it. This step will help later on. We would suggest keeping a mattress protector on if you have one. The protector will add an extra level of defense from dirt or water damage.

Now you want to put the mattress in the bag and seal it up with the provided zipper or duct tape. (or both)

Next, take the valve from the vacuum bag and remove it. Place the valve on the mattress bag and draw an outline around it. Cut a hole the same size as the outline so you can insert the valve into the hole. Make sure you don’t do it too big or else air will escape, and you’ll have to start over.

Once you have your hole and valve in place, add some duct tape around the valve to prevent any air from escaping.

When everything is set up, it’s time to fire up the vacuum, connect it to the valve, and watch your mattress get smaller and smaller. We recommend laying the mattress flat on the floor and attaching the valve to the width portion of the mattress.

3. Strap it up

Once you’ve sucked all the air out, you’ll want to start ratcheting the mattress up. These straps will help keep everything together while providing you with an easy way to carry and transport the mattress wherever you’re going.

Now that you understand how to compress (and pack up) a memory foam mattress at home, there are a few extra tips worth mentioning.

Roll it up

Once you’ve compressed the mattress, the easiest way to transport it would be rolled up. Using the ratchet straps also helps with this process. When the mattress gets compressed, you can start to roll it up and then attach the straps. Once you have the straps around the rolled mattress, you can start cranking them until everything is nice and tight. You might even have it compact enough to squeeze into a small box.

If you’re short on space and you need to salvage every square inch, saving room by compressing the mattress will make a huge difference.

Use a Sealable Bag

While it’s not entirely necessary, we would recommend using a sealable bag. The last thing you want to deal with is air coming out of the plastic mattress bag after you’ve compressed it. You’ll end up halfway to your destination only to realize you now have a colossal mattress knocking everything over in the back of the truck.

Ensuring that no air is escaping is essential with compressing and moving a mattress. Get the job done right by having the right equipment from the start.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you compress other mattress types?

Compressing memory foam and latex mattresses are the easiest because these come the same way. We wouldn’t recommend trying to compress traditional mattresses or anything with innersprings because it could damage them.

Will compressing a memory foam bed ruin it?

No, compressing the mattress will not cause any harm, and you may remember that it came compressed when you received it. One exception to the rule is if your mattress is old and has a lot of cracks. If there are many cracks in the foam, you might want to consider it against compressing or folding it.

Is it safe to travel with a mattress on top of your car?

If you’re transporting your mattress on your car, we would recommend taking extra care to ensure you tie it down properly. Depending on how far you’re going, the mattress could loosen from the restraints and become a severe issue if it flies off. Pay extra attention to the compressing process because you wouldn’t want the mattress to start taking air if you’re transporting it on your car.


Knowing how to compress (and pack up) a memory foam mattress at home is a great skill if you’re moving. This step will save you a lot of space and make it easier to move the mattress around from your home, to the car, and to your destination.

Wherever life takes you, have a safe trip, and we hope this DIY guide was useful for you!

Medical Disclaimer: The information contained on the site should not be used as a substitute for the advice of an appropriately qualified and licensed physician or other health care provider. The information provided here is for informational purposes only.

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