How to compress memory foam mattresses?

How to compress memory foam mattresses?


We all know how expensive a good-quality mattress can be. And when you are moving, leaving your favourite mattress behind is not an option. But bulky and soft memory foam mattresses aren't the easiest to transport. They take up a lot of space, and moving them can cost you more than it should. 

What if you could compress the mattress and put it in a box? It would be easier to transport and wouldn't take much space at all. You can do exactly that at your home by following our step-by-step guide! This DIY method will come in handy the next time you or someone you know is moving to a different place.

Prepare all needed items


The first step to compress the memory foam mattress is to gather all your supplies. Most of these materials are easily found in nearby stores. Though you won't have access to the compression pumps used at factories, these supplies are enough to complete a DIY compression.

Mattress bag


To compress the mattress, you should first wrap it in a plastic bag. Special bags meant for different types of mattresses are available in retail stores. These bags aren't only meant for protection, as they play an important role in mattress compression. Choose a high-quality, durable bag that is the same size as your mattress. Too small a size and the cover won't fit. Too big, and you will have excess plastic, causing a nuisance. It is best if you use a bag with a seal, as it will be easier to secure the valve and vacuum the mattress.

Ratchet straps


Ratchet straps, also called tie-down straps, are fasteners meant to hold large items. These straps will hold the mattress in place once the compression is complete. You will need at least three straps to hold a rolled mattress, two at the sides and one in the middle. Depending on the size of your mattress, you can get additional straps in between.

Ratchet straps can sometimes cut through the bag if the bag isn't thick enough. To avoid this, use cloth padding between the straps and the bag. These straps also provide you with a grip to hold the mattress while transporting. Additionally, they also act as a backup plan to hold everything in place in case your vacuum bag and tape fail.



Duct tape is the last thing you would think of when compressing a mattress. But we say it's a necessity to hold the mattress and also create a vacuum valve. Choosing the right duct tape can be tricky as you need a particular stickiness. 

Buy something less sticky, and it won't hold the mattress in place. And if the tape is too sticky, you won't be able to open it without damaging the mattress cover. Packing tape can also work, but duct tape is a better choice due to its sturdiness and heavy-duty usage.

Vacuum bag

You don't need a full mattress-size vacuum bag for this DIY procedure. A small bag used to compress clothes or other equipment will also do. These bags are easily available in your local retail store or even online. All we need is the valve attached to the bag and not the bag itself. Make sure that the valve is compatible with the hose of your vacuum cleaner. This vacuum cleaner will be used to suck the air out of the bag. A standard household vacuum is enough to compress the mattress. 

Steps to compress your memory foam mattress

Now that you have gathered all the required items let's move on to the actual compression process. Most mattress factories have a bed-in-box service where they compress the mattress to fit in a box. While these systems use sophisticated compression pumps, the same won't be available at your homes. So, our procedure uses common equipment found around the household to deflate your mattress. It is cost-effective and also an easy way to transport your bed wherever you move. 

Remove bedding and pillows

When you are deflating the mattress, you don't want anything else on it. Remember, you are trying to reduce the volume of the mattress as much as possible. Any bedding on it will only add to the volume. Before putting the mattress in the bag, remove all bed covers, pillows, duvets, and comforters. 

If the mattress comes with a mattress protector, we recommend you leave it on. It will provide an additional layer of protection against water and dust mites. Pack all the beddings in a separate box. 

Put the mattress in a mattress bag

The next step is to slide the mattress into the plastic bag. Make sure the bag is sturdy and of the right size. Even though a single person can slide the mattress in the bag, it is better to have two people when doing it. If you are putting the mattress in the bag alone, keeping it on a raised platform like a bed makes it easier. Start by lifting the bed from one end and sliding it in the plastic bag. 

If the bag is of the right size, then the mattress will slide in easily. A larger-sized bag will leave excess plastic, which can take up extra space in the packaging.

Seal it up and vacuum up the air

Once the mattress is in the bag, it is time to seal it up. If you have a sealable bag with a ziplock on one end, then the process will be much easier. But zipping the bag up isn't enough as it may open during the vacuuming process. To seal the entrance tightly, use duct tape over the ziplock. If you don't have a sealable bag, then multiple layers of duct tape will do the job. Ensure that air isn't leaking from anywhere, or you won't be able to vacuum it later. 

You also need to attach the vacuum valve to the mattress bag. To do this, first, remove the valve from the vacuum bag. Then attach it on top of the mattress bag in an easily accessible place. Pierce a hole in the bag and insert the valve in it so it reaches the top of the mattress. Use a lot of duct tape and tightly seal the hole so no air can escape it. Before attaching the valve, make sure that it is compatible with your vacuum cleaner. A valve too small or large won't let you vacuum the air effectively.

After the valve is attached, you can start the vacuuming process. This step is crucial as it compresses the mattress. For this step, the mattress should be flat on the floor. This helps it compress evenly and without damage. Attach the vacuum cleaner hose to the valve and reinforce it using some duct tape. 

Once the hose is securely attached, start the vacuum cleaner and watch the bag deflate. Initially, the excess air will be sucked out of the bag. Later, the mattress starts compressing slowly. Walking or applying pressure on the mattress will help compress it faster. But do so with caution, as uneven pressure may damage the mattress.

Strap and secure the mattress

After the mattress is sufficiently deflated, you can start rolling it from one end. Keep the vacuum running as you roll it, so no air can enter the package. Roll slowly and wait for the vacuum to suck the air pushed out of the bag for a tighter roll. 

Even though the mattress is flat, it isn't easy to move or carry it around. This is when ratchet straps come in handy. Ratchet straps serve two purposes. They secure the rolled package so it doesn't open up on the way, and they also provide you with something to grip as you transport the package.

Before using the straps, secure the rolled mattress using duct tape. While only duct tape isn't enough, it provides the necessary first layer protection to hold the mattress together. Use a strong tape with enough stickiness, so the mattress doesn't rip it off due to pressure. But don't use tape which sticks too much as you may not be able to open the package later. 

Once the package is secured using duct tape, use the ratchet strap to hold everything together. As mentioned earlier, it is recommended to use cloth padding between the straps and the bag. Otherwise, the ratchet straps might end up cutting through the bag and damaging the mattress when you tighten them. 

If the mattress is large, you will require more straps in the centre. It is best to roll up the mattress horizontally and not vertically. Rolling it along the length may damage the memory foam. Remember, even if the mattress is compressed, it will still be heavy. Carefully pick it up or roll it on the ground and load it in your vehicle. A transport truck is the best, but proper compression will help you fit the mattress in a small car too. 

Once you move the mattress, decompressing the mattress is easy. Open up any seals and roll out the mattress. Remove it from the plastic bag, and the memory foam will expand on its own. This process might take up to 72 hours, but you can use the mattress once it sufficiently expands. Don't keep your mattress compressed for more than 15 days, as it may damage the memory foam.


Whether you are moving to a new place or reorganizing your room, compressing your mattress at home is a handy skill to learn. The best part is that you can do it using inexpensive, everyday tools and get similar results to factory-compressed beds. 

Though flattening a mattress is easy, you need to carefully follow the above steps, so you don't end up damaging the memory foam. It is always easier to have another person help you with the process as memory foam mattresses can be difficult to carry.

The next time you worry about transporting your mattress, use this quick guide and compress your mattress at home!


As easy as it looks, compressing mattresses is not something we do every day! The process can be daunting, and it is common to come up with lots of questions. Check out our answers to some of the common doubts people have when compressing their mattresses.

[faqs style='toggle' filter='how-to-compress-memory-foam-mattresses']"

You may also like

View all
Example blog post
Example blog post
Example blog post