How To Tie A Mattress To A Car


January 9, 2024

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Wondering how to attach a mattress to a car? You're in the right place! This article's got all the tips and tricks to help you safely and easily fit a mattress in your car. Plus, we'll cover some key points, like:

  • How to move a mattress with a car, whether you're shifting a single or a king-size.
  • The niftiest methods to tie a mattress to a car, regardless of what type of car you have.
  • The tools you'll need to make the process smooth and secure.
  • Tips on how to fit a mattress in a car safely and without a hassle.

It's crucial to note, though, that putting a mattress on a car roof is actually illegal in Australia, so we'll steer clear of that method. When done right, attaching a mattress to your car isn't too tricky. But remember, it's all about the size and type of both the mattress and the car. For a secure fit, you might need a few handy items like ratchet straps, duct tape, and scissors.

Let's dive in and get that mattress moving!

Is a mattress on car roof illegal in Australia?

It is illegal to transport a mattress on the roof of a car in Australia if it is not performed in a safe and specific way[4]. According to a report by, a Toyota Corolla driver was issued a $469 fine and three demerit points for transporting a mattress precariously held down by two elastic straps on the roof of his car[1].

The report also highlights the dangers of unsafe loads and the importance of securing loads properly. In addition, a Reddit post from r/Brisbane advises against strapping a mattress to the roof of a car, stating that it is incredibly dangerous if you don't have the proper equipment and harnesses for holding it down[3].

Furthermore, a Yahoo News article reports that drivers found to be driving with any insecure loads on their roofs will be hit with a fine of three penalty units in Western Australia, which is an equivalent value of $150[5].

Therefore, it is important to ensure that any loads transported on the roof of a car are secured properly to avoid endangering oneself and other road users and to avoid receiving a fine.

(references below)

How to transport a mattress

In order to transport your mattress by car, you need to consider some factors. Also, you need the right tools and materials which we list below. Having one arm out of the window holding it on is very dangerous and not recommended at all. 

Some cars might fit a single or king single in the boot, check the mattress dimensions here. However, most beds don't fit inside the trunk of a car. A Ute can fit most mattresses in the back, just make sure to strap it down before driving. 

Essential tools:

Transporting a mattress with a car means you have to strap it to the roof. Therefore, you need to have these essential tools to fit the mattress to a car:

  • Mattress bag
  • Ratchet straps/rope
  • Duct tape
  • Scissor

After getting the materials, you can now proceed to attach the mattress to your vehicle. Below are the steps you need to follow:

  1. First, wrap your mattress in the mattress bag. It's vital to cover your mattress to prevent damage and stop dirt and dust.
  2. Second, you need to tape the mattress bag to avoid any problems. Also, before tapping, make sure to press the air out of the bag. As a result, most of its flapping in the wind will be prevented.
  3. Third, place the mattress on the roof of the car. Make sure that it's placed in the middle.
  4. Fourth, secure the mattress by binding it with rope or a ratchet strap. Also, it’s advisable to use two ratchet straps as it's more feasible. Make sure to tie it at two spots so that the wind won't cause it to lift up and fall off. You can also check this brilliant video on how to tie a mattress with a ratchet strap.
Note: Make sure you do a test run around the neighbourhood at a low speed to test the difference in driving and to make sure it doesn’t fly off. Also, keep a low speed while driving and avoid motorways. 

How to tie a mattress to roof racks

Before you start the process, make sure you have the essential tools with you. It will help if you have duct tape, a mattress bag, rope, and scissors. Good preparation will make the task easier and efficient. If you plan to tie a mattress in your car roof rack, follow these instructions:

  1. Put the mattress in the mattress bag or covering. 
  2. Next, use duct tape to tape the mattress and covering together, be sure that all the air is pressed out of the bag. 
  3. Now, the next step is to tie the mattress down. The rope should be long enough to connect the mattress properly, both the middle and the length across. Once you have run the rope through the rack, you can load the mattress onto the roof rack. Make sure it’s centered. 
  4. Pull the rope over the mattress and tie it from under the car's front and back rack. Tightly knot the rope together. Now put the second rope over the width of the mattress. Open the car's window except the driver's. Through the windows, you can twirl the rope. It would be better to do it twice for better strength before you tie the ends of the rope.

How to drive carefully with a mattress

  1. Make sure your view isn’t blocked

Tie your bed tightly to the roof of your car. If this is not done, it might prove costly. While driving, the mattress may hang over the front of your car. As a result, you may be forced to accelerate blindly or abruptly stop your car. It’s dangerous, so don’t impair your vision which can cause accidents. 

  1. Avoid busy streets

Avoid busy routes if you plan to transport a mattress on the roof of your car. When you're driving along such routes, anything can happen and you'd have to make adjustments if something went wrong. Take other less crowded routes if possible. If you have no choice but to travel through busy streets, make sure you tie your mattress up properly and check if there is any overhang before you travel.  

  1. Mind your speed

Your mattress is tied to your car's roof, and the rope seems strong enough. However, that shouldn't allow you to drive your car super fast. Driving slowly will prevent your mattress from being blown away by the wind. If the wind picks up the front, it can quickly get pulled from the ropes, if not secured. 


Moving to a new house can be stressful. There is a lot of packing and unpacking that needs to be carried out. And the process of moving the mattress is bothersome, which is why most people put it up for sale.

However, many people have started to use a mattress in a box in recent years as it's more convenient to get delivered. A mattress in a box refers to a mattress that's heavily compressed by machinery. It's compressed to fit in a box, either folded or rolled, and unfurl once it's unpacked.

Drive safe.