If you bought a mattress at the local mattress store, you may be wondering how to transport it home. While some stores offer delivery, others do not. Tying a mattress to the roof of your car is an option, but it should be done carefully. By properly tying down your mattress, you will ensure your safety, and the safety of those around you.

To safely transport a mattress follow a few simple steps:

  1. If you plan on purchasing or moving a mattress, make sure you have the proper materials. The tools you will need include: a mattress bag, packaging tape, rope, scissors, work gloves, and a little extra help.

  2. Once you have all of the tools, wrap the mattress in plastic. Tape the plastic down so there are no loose ends flying around. The wind from the roads or highway can easily rip through the plastic if it is not properly secure.

  3. After the mattress is secure in the plastic, place the mattress on the roof. Center the mattress in the middle and put the rope over the length of the mattress. Secure the front end of the mattress, and then the other end of the mattress. Pull the rope tight so there is no extra slack.

  4. Once the rope is tightly placed on the mattress, open all of the windows except the driver’s side. Now secure the width mattress with the rope by going through the windows. Keep in mind the driver’s side should be rope free. Furthermore, once you run rope through the windows, you will not be able to open any doors. You and any passengers will have to enter and exit through the driver’s side door.

    Note: While driving with a mattress on top of your vehicle, it is a good idea to stick to the back roads and stay off of busy streets just in case something happens. In addition, keep an eye on the mattress so you notice if it starts to slip, a rope comes loose, or the plastic breaks. If this happens, pull over to the side of the road and make the appropriate repairs.

Driving with a mattress on the top of your roof is safe if it is done properly. Make sure you have the proper tools and help when securing the mattress to the top of your roof. Furthermore, stay off busy roads and highways. If you do not have the proper tools, your best bet may be to find a way to have the mattress delivered, or borrow a pickup truck or larger vehicle that can more easily transfer the mattress.

This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as Is it Safe to Drive With a Mattress On Your Roof? and was authored by Valerie Johnston.


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