How to Tie a Mattress to a Car Roof Rack? Steps and Guide

When we travel to a new place, we generally need a mattress for various reasons. This is why the transportation of a mattress is necessary. However, the problem is that most people don’t have any idea about how to tie a mattress to a car roof rack. I assure you that it’s not a daunting task.

The whole procedure is relatively straightforward. Hence, you just need to follow these procedures correctly. A significant percentage of people use ropes to tie a mattress. However, it’s wrong. Ropes are not reliable. Besides, they can break the window frames.

Nobody wants to damage their expensive car material, right? So, how can we tie a mattress to a car roof rack? Well, the best way to attach a mattress is to use a ratchet strap.

I’ll share the elementary steps here so you can do it yourself. I can guarantee that you won’t need to hire a professional if you follow my guidelines. Before the discussion, let’s check what equipment you’ll need.

What Gears We Need to Tie a Mattress to a Rack

Before beginning the task, we must have some essential gear to tie a mattress to a roof rack.

roof rack on a car

Roof Rack

A roof rack is essential for carrying a mattress on top of your car. Make sure the roof rack is strong enough to hold the weight of the mattress.

Soft Loops

Soft loops are used to protect the roof rack and the mattress from scratches and damage. They are attached to the straps and wrapped around the roof rack.


Before tying the mattress, a larger-sized piece of cardboard is needed.

Ratchet Straps to tie mattress to the roof rack

Ratchet Straps

You will need straps to secure the mattress to the roof rack. Ratchet straps or cam buckle straps are the best options as they allow you to tighten the strap quickly and keep the mattress secure.

Duct Tape

Duct tape could be helpful in sealing tasks.


A ladder could be needed to position the mattress in the right place on the rack.


Gloves can be helpful to protect your hands when tightening the straps and handling the mattress.

How to Attach a Mattress to Your Car’s Roof Rack – A Few Easy Steps to Follow

Now, we have come to the exact point. Transporting a mattress could be tricky if you don’t have enough knowledge about it. Moreover, attaching the mattress could be even more complicated if the vehicle isn’t significant.

However, with the proper technique and equipment, tying a mattress to your car roof rack can be a safe and secure solution. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to tie a mattress to a car roof rack. Let’s dive in.

Step 1: Choose the Right Roof Rack

This is the first step. We need to find the right roof rack to tie a mattress. It would be foolish to go for a cheaper option. Instead, we must make a good purchase. Thus, we have to buy a high-quality roof rack. The rack should be sturdy, durable, and wide enough to hold the mattress.

Usually, a mattress’s usual size is 54″ x 75″. We need a larger-sized rack to transport it. Even if you own a massive SUV, you still need a superior rack to haul the mattress conveniently. A small-sized rack cannot do the job correctly. Thick rails genuinely matter here.

Hence, if you ask me what roof rack could do wonders here, I recommend purchasingThule Aeroblade Edge Raised Roof Rack.

This is definitely one of the best and can be the best roof rack to transport a mattress effortlessly. It is highly durable, and the aerodynamic design is fantastic. Additionally, you can purchase it from Amazon or a nearby Thule store.

Step 2 – Prepare the Mattress

Mattress on the roof rack

Before tying the mattress to the roof rack, we must prepare it properly. Did you just purchase a brand-new mattress? If yes, I can assume it is covered with plastic wrap. You should buy one if the mattress doesn’t have such a wrap.

Plastic will keep the mattress in a healthy condition and drastically decrease the chance of sliding. A plastic bag can also be considered a good option as it can safeguard the product perfectly.

To get a high-class plastic bag, you can go for IBBM Plastic Bag. I assure you that it will be a great one. Additionally, it is thick, durable, and rip-resistant. It is also safe and provides excellent service.

Contrariwise, if the mattress is old, you should clean it thoroughly. Henceforth, the moving and use of the mattress could become more flexible.

Step 3 – Duct Tape Enters the Scene!

After covering the mattress with the bag, we should use duct tape. But why duct tape? Because even after covering the mattress with the bag, there may still be a lot of air trapped inside. As a result, the mattress may be affected and its durability may be compromised.

To solve this problem, duct tape is beneficial. Duct tape has a long-lasting adhesive that prevents air from flowing in or out. When we wrap the mattress bag tightly with duct tape, the originality of the mattress remains intact.

You can go for 3M heavy-duty duct tape. These tapes are masters in providing service.

Step 4 –Take it on the Rack

Before taking the mattress onto the roof rack, we must ensure some crucial matters. Firstly, we must learn about the roof rack’s capacity. Different types of racks have different capacities.

If the rack’s capacity exceeds the mattress, the rack will be heavily damaged. So, keep this in mind before taking any action.

Now, I assume you’ve learned the size and weight capacity of the rack. It’s time to load the mattress onto the rack. Since large mattresses are heavy, you might need a helping hand to place them on the rack.

Alternatively, you can use a crate or ladder to make the job easier. Once the rack is on the roof, the essential task is done.

Now, we should ensure that the rack is centered and there is an equal amount of overhang on both sides of the rack. The overhang should be at least a foot on each side.

Step 5 – Fasten the Mattress with Straps

Fasten the Mattress with Straps

This is a significant step, so you must be careful while doing this segment. Don’t be in a hurry. Do the whole procedure slowly and steadily. Concentration should be at its highest while doing it.

Many use strong or thin ropes to fasten the mattress to the roof rack. Nevertheless, it’s a wrong idea. Ropes are insecure and cannot be trusted much. So, what to do? No problem!

Ratchet straps are here to solve this problem. The superior ratchet straps can effectively resist such issues. Further, they’re durable and reusable for an extended period. From my own experience, I can say that Rhino 1,823lb Ratchet Straps could be the best for you.

You can purchase it since it is made of high-quality materials and can provide outstanding service to various types of vehicles. I’ve used it several times and must say it is superb.

I’ll give you the whole procedure step-by-step. So, it’ll be effortless for you when you apply the process onto the rack. Let’s check it carefully –

  • Keep the strap along the cardboard’s length on the mattress.
  • Now, slowly pull it through the first rack.
  • After that, take the other side’s tail and pull it through the second one.
  • Carefully clasp the fasteners to each other.
  • It’s time to secure the ratchet strap tightly by hovering the ratchet handle. You actually need to up and down it.
  • Shut down the ratchet handle to lock the mechanism.
  • Do these tasks for every strap.
  • If you somehow find out that something is wrong, then check the straps watchfully and tighten them.
  • You’ll hear a crack sound if it tightens deeply. This is the indicator of the utmost level of tightening.
  • If the straps are tight and the mattress is held firmly in place, you’re ready to go.

Check whether the mattress is positioned at the central point. If it slides, place it in the center. On the other hand, there’s a reminder – don’t overtighten because it could cause permanent damage to the rack or mattress.

If you are still confused about the whole process, let’s check the video below. You’ll be all clear, indeed.


Step 6 – Add More Straps for Added Security

Ratchet Straps to tighten mattress with roof rack

To ensure the highest level of security, add additional straps to the sides of the mattress. Wrap the straps around the mattress and the roof rack, then tighten them. This will efficiently prevent the mattress from shifting or sliding during transportation.

Step 7 – Check the Straps and Drive Slowly

Once the mattress is securely tied to the roof rack, recheck the straps to ensure they’re tight. Take your time and drive slowly. Also, pause the car every 20 minutes to check the situation, especially around corners and over bumps.

Step 8 – Unfasten Everything

Where are you going with the mattress? Perhaps a beach in Cancun or Rio?! Whatever it is, it’s time to unfasten everything when you reach your destination. Just detach the straps and remove the mattress from the rack by unclasping it.

So, this is the procedure to tie a mattress to a car roof rack. One thing is sure – a roof rack is great gear to transport a mattress.

Some Important Considerations While Moving the Mattress

Transporting a mattress can be a tricky task. Nevertheless, it is essential to consider several factors to ensure that it arrives safely and without damage. Here are some things to consider when transporting a mattress –

Use the Right Vehicle

You’ll need a large vehicle to fit the mattress comfortably. A pickup truck, a van, or an SUV with foldable seats can be ideal for transporting a mattress. Ensure that the vehicle has enough space for the mattress. Therefore, it can be adequately secured.

Protect the Mattress

It is crucial to protect the mattress from damage during transportation. Use a mattress cover or a plastic sheet to keep it clean and dry. Additionally, use paddings, such as blankets or bubble wrap. These things can productively safeguard the mattress from bumps and scratches during transport.

Adjust the Speed

While driving with the mattress, remember the speed. Don’t go too fast with this on the top. If you move so quickly, there’s a strong possibility the straps will get unfastened and tied to the mattress. As a result, the heavy wind can take the mattress away.

So, as you can see, don’t drive too fast. Otherwise, things could turn worse.

Plan your Route

Plan your route carefully and avoid roads that are bumpy or have potholes. Also, avoid sharp turns and sudden stops that could cause the mattress to move around.

Ask for Help

Transporting a mattress can be a two-person job. So it’s a good idea to ask for help. There’s no shame in it. Have someone assist you with loading and unloading the mattress and securing it in the vehicle. Hence, a helping hand is so valuable for this task.

Considering these factors, you can transport your mattress safely and without damage.

Car transporting mattress on roof rack

Why You Should Use a Roof Rack to Tie the Mattress

If you are planning to transport a mattress on the roof of your car, it is essential to tie it down properly to prevent any accidents or damage to the mattress. Here are some reasons why you should tie your mattress to your car roof –


Tying your mattress to your car roof ensures it is secured and won’t fly off while driving. This successfully prevents accidents and injuries to other drivers and pedestrians.

Protects the Mattress

Tying down the mattress to the car roof also protects it from damage caused by wind, rain, and other environmental factors. Additionally, it prevents the mattress from sliding or bouncing around during transport.

Saves Space

Does your car have limited space? If the answer is yes, then you should know transporting the mattress on the roof can free up space. Therefore, it makes the journey more comfortable.


Tying your mattress to the roof of your car is an easy and convenient way to transport it, especially if you don’t have access to a large vehicle.


What kind of roof rack is suitable for tying a mattress?

A roof rack suitable for tying a mattress is one that has crossbars that can support the mattress’ weight. The crossbars should be wide enough to accommodate the mattress size.

How to tie a mattress if I don’t have a car roof rack?

If you don’t have a roof rack, you can use car windows to tie a mattress. However, it will be good to skip the front windows.

How should I position the mattress on the roof rack?

Position the mattress flat on the roof rack. Ensure that it is centered and balanced. Further, you should make certain that the mattress is not hanging over the roof rack’s sides, as this can cause it to shift during transport.

How many straps should I tie the mattress down to the roof rack?

You don’t need a bunch of straps to tie down the mattress. However, two or three straps are enough to finish the task.

Can I transport a mattress on my roof rack in the rain?

Yes, you can transport a mattress on your roof rack in the rain. However, you should use a waterproof cover or plastic sheet to protect the mattress from getting wet.

Is tying a mattress on the car’s roof rack legal?

Usually, most countries permit it. However, you should ensure it is appropriately secured and maintain the safety precautions. If something wrong happens, there’s a massive chance you’ll get caught or arrested. But you should still check the local authority’s guidelines before carrying the mattress on the rack.

What safety measurements should be while transporting a mattress to a rack?

The basic safety rules are – to drive slowly, stop the vehicle after 20 minutes intervals to check the updates, avoid busy routes, etc.

Final Notes

When tying your mattress to your car roof, ensure that you use the right equipment, such as straps or bungee cords, and that the mattress is tightly secured. Besides, it is also essential to follow traffic laws and regulations when transporting a mattress on your car roof.

So what’s your take or experience regarding tying a mattress to a car roof rack? You’re welcome to share it in the comment box below. Anyway, big thanks for reading the article. Stay bless. Bye.

A seasoned writer with a passion for crafting engaging content. Whether it’s exploring the great outdoors, diving into automotive trends, or uncovering travel secrets, I’m here to share my knowledge and enthusiasm with you.