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The Best Way to Ship a Bed Across the Country & 10 Tips to Reduce Shipping Costs!

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Are you moving?

Relocating across the country can be tough, especially when you have kids.

Your hands will be full as it is, without having to worry about the logistics of shipping your entire home to your new destination. 

For a lot of people, this can be a challenging task.

You too may be wondering what is the best way to ship a bed.

Don’t worry!

The Best Way to Ship a Mattress in 5 Steps​​

No panic attacks or stress here. 

With this easy-to-follow 5-step guide, shipping your mattress for your new home will be a breeze!

1. Measure & Weigh your Mattress

1. Measure & Weigh your MattressBefore you ship your bed somewhere else, you need to take it apart and pack the components in the right boxes.

The only way you’ll be able to do this correctly is if you know the measurements of your mattress.

So, the first thing you need to do is measure the dimensions.

A measuring tape is good enough to check the length and width.

As for the weight, you can follow this guideline:

  • Small, single bed weighs 25~ pounds
  • Twin bed = 60~ pounds
  • Double = 90~ pounds
  • Queen = 105~ pounds
  • King = 125~ pounds

If you’re also shipping a box spring, they can easily add another 75 pounds to the total weight.

2. Get Quotes From Shipping Companies Online

There are thousands of shipping companies online and you’ll be spoilt for choices.

But, always compare the shipping rates before you make a choice.

To calculate shipping rates, you’ll need the following information:

  1. Zip code of the pickup point.
  2. Zip code of the delivery point.
  3. Dimensions and weight of the bed

You should also take a look at customer reviews too.

3. Get Insurance

3. Get InsuranceYou never know what’s going to happen during a move.

Your bed is vulnerable to dents, scratches and damages during transit.

This is why shipping companies recommend that you purchase insurance.

This way, if something goes wrong, you won’t have to bear the expenses on your own.

4. Disassemble Your Bed

Once you’ve got all your measurements, it’s time to get down to business.

Start by disassembling your mattress completely.

This is what you need to do:

  1. Take off the duvet, pillows and bedsheets.
  2. Store the bedding and pillows.
  3. Take the mattress off the bed frame to dismantle the bed frame
  4. Remove the bedsprings from the base of the bed.
  5. Unscrew the nuts and bolts that hold the frame and headboard in place.
  6. Keep the nuts and bolts in a labeled ziplock bag.

Now you’re ready for packing.

5. Pack It Up

Place all the separate parts of your bed – headboard, frames, mattress and box spring – into the right boxes with the correct packaging.

Note that the packaging material will depend on the material of your parts.

For example, plastic can scratch wood. So wrap your wooden parts with a wool blanket before placing them in a cardboard box.

Similarly, the best way to ship a bed that has metal is to bubble wrap to prevent any dents or scratches.

Mattress

  • Clean it thoroughly with an upholstery cleaner – this will get the bed bugs and dirt out.
  • Use a mattress bag or special plastic mattress wrap before you place it in a cardboard box
  • Put the mattress on the floor, on its back – this will keep the internal springs secure and sturdy.

For a foam mattress, you can vacuum-seal it if that’s an option.

This will flatten it, making it easy to roll.

Box Spring

  • Vacuum the entire box spring and wipe it with a dry rag – this removes dust and stains.
  • Use a mattress storage cover to pack the box spring in.

If you want to skip steps 4 and 5, you can always pay the shipping company to do it for at an extra cost.

How Much Does it Cost to Ship a Mattress?

Now that you’re ready for shipping, let’s look at the shipping process itself.

Most shipping companies have extensive experience transporting household items across the world. So, you don’t really need to worry too much.

What are the deciding factors in choosing a shipping company?

  1. Shipping Price – there are numerous factors that affect the total cost.
  2. Customer Service – get a feel for them by calling them up and reading online reviews.

Factors that Impact Shipping Costs

To exactly calculate how much you need to pay, they need the following data points:

Factors that Impact Shipping Costs​The distance between the places of pick-up and delivery is the biggest consideration for cost.

The longer the distance between your old home and your new home, the higher the price.

The size and weight of your bed frame and mattress impact shipping costs.

Many companies charge more for larger boxes.

As a family, you’re bound to have multiple beds.

Just keep this in mind.

Some shipping companies like UPS and FedEx allow you to pack the items on your own.

Self-packed items cost a lot lesser than if you have them packed by someone else.

Shipping companies use different modes of transport to send your mattress to your new home.

Air transport is certainly quicker than by land or sea but costs a lot more.

The more in advance you book the date, the less it will cost.

Comparing Shipping Costs

As a fun experiment, we got quotes from 3 of the biggest shipping companies in the US to compare and contrast.

This is the info we put in:

  1. Location
    Pick-up: Boulder, Colorado
    Delivery: Sacramento, California
  2. Dates
    Pickup: November 15th 2019 – we tried to schedule it one month in advance
    Delivery: Between November 16th 2019 & November 18th 2019

  3. Items – 1 Queen Mattress
    Weight: 105lbs
    Dimensions: 80*60*12 (L*W*H)

FedEx

Pickup Date: Oct 24th 2019

Delivery Date: End of 3 Business Days – Oct 29th 2019

Cost of 1 Queen Bed: $128.68

2 1

UPS

Pickup Date: November 15th 2019

Delivery Date: No date assigned – UPS does not have a preferred delivery date option.

Cost of 1 Queen Mattress: $34.20

4 1

UShip

Pickup Date: Nov 15th 2019

Delivery Date: Nov 18th 2019

Cost of 1 Queen Mattress: $349

6 1

Looks like the winning here is UPS with the cheapest pricing for 1 king and 1 queen mattress.

10 Tips to Save on Shipping Costs

1. Reuse old packing materials

Studies show that reusing used packaging material can reduce costs by up to 90%.

Given that your shipping costs will be very high when moving homes, this will be a great way to reduce your expenses.

So, if you know you’ll be shifting in a month, start saving up on materials that you find at home.

2. Don’t buy cardboard boxes, source them for free

Source Cardboard boxes for FreeMany families waste a lot of money buying cardboard boxes at the store.

This can add significantly to your shipping expenses.

Instead, why don’t you head down to your local grocery store, liquor shop, or shopping complex and request shopkeepers to give you their used cardboard boxes?

3. Make sure your packing is done before the shipping company staff arrive at your door

All shipping companies charge extra for waiting time.

So, never leave your packing to the last minute.

Keep your beds, mattresses, and box springs packed and ready for the company to pick-up.

4. Inspect your invoices before you sign for them post-delivery

Shipping giants UPS and FedEx both have a late delivery policy, where, if the company delivers the packages later than the promised time (even by one minute), they give you a full refund on your shipping charges.

You can make your claim within 15 days of delivery.

So, check your invoice for delivery details, and only then sign for the package.

5. Choose light-weight packaging materials to reduce the overall weight of your freight

The weight of your shipment affects how much shipping charges you are expected to pay.

So, reduce the weight of the packing materials as much as you can.

For example, instead of a blanket to wrap the bed frames, wrap it in light-weight packing peanuts instead.

6. Don’t schedule your delivery

Don’t schedule your deliveryPre-scheduling of delivery is an additional service that shipping companies offer at an extra cost.

Take the example of FedEx, which charges $4 extra per package to schedule an express pickup and $5.50 per package for scheduled delivery.

So, if you want to reduce your shipping charges, don’t specify the delivery date.

7. Purchase insurance only from a third-party company

The insurance that shipping companies offer customers comes at a cost to them.

To recover these expenses, they charge you higher premiums.

You can avoid these unnecessary expenses by purchasing your insurance from external, third-party insurance providers.

8. Consolidate and ship other household items with your bed

Some homeowners send their furniture in batches since this makes home set-up much easier.

But in doing so, you are increasing your shipping costs.

The best way to ship a mattress is to consolidate it with other household items.

This way, you’ll be eligible for the budget-friendly bulk shipping prices offered by companies.

9. Pick up your package from the delivery hub yourself

This option works only when you have small mattresses where the disassembled frames are small and portable.

But, if you can pick-up your belongings from the delivery hub yourself, you should.

You’ll avoid having to pay expensive delivery charges to the shipping company.

10. Ship your belongings much ahead of the moving date

Ship belongings ahead of moving dateThe logic here is simple.

When you seek immediate shipping service, you hardly give the company time to assemble their resources.

Their responsive and quick service comes at an additional cost.

However, when you book, say, three weeks before the moving date, you give the company enough time to prepare for the service.

So, they’re not likely to charge you more. 

Best Way to Ship a Bed FAQ

Got more questions about the best way to ship a bed?

Get the answers from our FAQ below!

It’s not hard to pack up a bed for shipping.

Just follow this easy guide:

  1. Remove all bedding and pillows from your mattress
    If you’re shipping these, put them in a separate bag!
  2. Put your mattress inside a bag to help protect it during the move
  3. Put the mattress in a big enough box – you may need 2 that closes on each other

Yes, you can ship a mattress via UPS or FedEx.

Many of the shipping companies on the market are able to ship just about any household item, regardless if it’s big or small, heavy or lightweight.

We received quotes UPS, FedEx & UShip for shipping a standard Queen-sized bed from Colorado to California.

The cost is as follows:

  • UPS = $34.20
  • FedEx = $128.68
  • UShip = $349

Follow these 5 easy steps to ship your mattress across the country! 

  1. Measure and weight your mattress
    You need to know the length, width, and height of your mattress. For weight, use an approximate guideline (like the one we have above!).
  2. Compare shipping rates online and pick one
  3. Get insurance (preferably from a 3rd party vendor)
  4. Disassemble your bed carefully
  5. Pack it up properly

It’s cheaper to ship to a business address.

Commercial shippers such as UPS charge more for shipping to residential addresses. 

How come? 

Well, because industrial areas are:

  • More environmentally-friendly and fuel-efficient (denser) – you might have multiple packages going to the same address
  • Someone is usually available during working hours to accept the package

Yes, it’s legal.

The law may vary from state to state but the basic legal requirement is for the mattress on top of your car to be secure.  

The law states that any load must be secured to the vehicle in a manner that will not allow it to fall off or be a danger to other users of the road. 

If you’ve got a roof rack but the mattress isn’t secured to it properly then that’s illegal.

If you’re caught, the legal charge is “driving with an insecure load”.

Many states don’t have any laws that prohibit it, but a police officer won’t hesitate to stop you if your mattress is about to fall off while you’re driving.

With a big enough car, you can fit a full-size mattress in your vehicle.
The right vehicle for your full-size mattress would be: 

  • A large SUV that can carry mattresses on the top
  • A pick-up truck – any mattress size can fit
  • A Minivan – you may have to bend the mattress slightly, but it shouldn’t be a problem

For your safety, drive slowly when you’re transporting a big or heavy load that may potentially slide off the roof of your car or block your view.

Depending on the size and weight of the mattress, moving it alone may be possible. 

Of course, we would always encourage you to ask for help when necessary and to use proper lifting techniques so you won’t injure yourself. 

If you find yourself in a situation where you can’t get help and think that you can move it by yourself, follow these steps:

  1. Strip the mattress of its bedding 
  2. Put the mattress in a big plastic bag to keep it clean
  3. Gently bend or fold the mattress in half
  4. Tie ratchet tie-downs around the mattress
  5. Place the mattress on top of a dolly and transport it to your vehicle 
  6. Strap the mattress to the top of your vehicle or, if you have a moving van, place it flat inside the back of the van

There you have it – the best way to ship a bed in 5 easy steps.

Hope our price comparison between FedEx, UShip & UPS as well as our 10 cost-saving tips allow for a stress-free relocation.

If you’re on the market for a new bed, check these ones we recommend! 

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