How to Fit a King Size Bed Fit In a U-Haul Van

U-Haul vans come in many different sizes and types. They are becoming increasingly popular for moving apartments, but are not usually large enough to carry a king size bed. However, there are larger U-Haul box vans that can accommodate a king size bed.

U-Haul cargo vans are usually full size cargo vans, often referred to as 9’ cargo vans, and the dimensions of its cargo section are (L x H x W) 126” x 65” x 55”.

The usual size of a king size bed is 80” long, 76” wide, and 12” thick. This means that whilst a cargo van is long enough to hold a king size bed, it is neither high enough nor wide enough.


You Need a Van 80” Long, and 76” Wide or 76” High

Although the frame of some king size beds may be able to be taken apart and so reduce its size to smaller individual parts, the mattress itself is still the same size. The best way to transport any mattress is to either lay it flat on the truck floor or stand it on its side straight up.

This means that ideally to transport a king size mattress, you will need a van which is at least 80” long and either 76” wide or 76” high.

There are various sizes of cargo van, and all are long enough to carry the mattress, but none are wide enough, and even a high top cargo van has only a maximum height of 76”.

A king size mattress could only therefore be carried in a cargo van if it was tilted at an angle. Tilting the mattress at an angle for transportation is not recommended as it could deform the shape of the mattress, and besides, not much else would fit in the cargo section.

U-Haul does however have larger box vans for hire, and many of these are large enough to allow even a king size mattress to easily fit along the floor or stand on its side. Some are also large enough to allow you to carry the bed frame intact, saving you having to dismantle it.


Varying Sizes of King and Queen Size Beds

While usually all beds have the same mattress size for their type, but there are different  king and queen size bed size categories.

Regular Queen Size – 80” long x 60” wide

Olympic Queen Size – 80” long x 66”wide

Regular King Size – 80” long x 76” wide

California King Size – 84’ long x 72” wide


Queen Sized Mattresses Are Biggest That Will Fit

Regardless of which queen or king size bed you have, only queen size will fit in a cargo van, and so a larger U-Haul van will be required to transport either of the king size beds.

Neither will either of the king size mattresses fit in a U-Haul trailer as its inside dimensions are (L x H x W): 139” x 65” x 72”, thereby affording the same size shortfall as cargo vans.

These are the sizes of the mattresses, but the actual size of the bed may vary due to the types of headboard and frame that it has.


How to Prepare a King Size Mattress for Transportation

Any mattress is difficult to move due to its shape and lack of handles. Apart from making it awkward to move though, its material can make it vulnerable to damage whilst in transit.

It is therefore recommended that before transporting it, you buy a mattress bag. A king size mattress bag can cost as little as $20 and provide far more value than that in wear and tear saved on the mattress.

The average king size mattress can weigh as much as 130lbs, and so you will need a friend to assist you in moving it, especially considering its shape.

Ensure you have ample space to put on the mattress bag.

You can do this by leaning the mattress against the wall while dismantling the frame and moving it. Decide your best route through the house and into your chosen transportation, ensuring there are no objects or pets in the way to hamper your progress.

If you did dismantle the bed, then ensure you place all screws or other fastenings in a bag and remember to place the bag and all other parts on the transport.


How to Load your King Size Mattress

Moving your mattress is perhaps the most difficult part as it is both large and flexible. If your king size bed has box springs, it is sometimes easier to strap the mattress to those springs to move them both together.

You may of course have to remove the legs and headboard from the bed if possible.

The mattress should either be laid on the floor of the van or placed resting against one side. Once you are happy with its position, secure it in place with straps.

You can place other furniture items beside the mattress or even on top of it if it is on the floor.

However, whatever you place either next to the mattress or on top of it should be done with care. Ensure that nothing which is placed next to or on top of the mattress has sharp edges or pointed corners as these could damage the mattress during transit.

As well as the mattress, all other items in the van should be secured so as to not damage each other.


Off Loading your King Size Bed

Once you have reached your destination, your king size bed will once again probably be the hardest piece of furniture to move. You will need to therefore check the location where it is to go and ensure there are no obstructions in your way.

Move the mattress in first, remove it from its protective bag, and rest it against a wall. Bring in the bed and assemble it. Once the bed is assembled, you can safely place your mattress on it undamaged.


If the King Size Mattress is Old

Rather than having the hassle of moving their king size mattress, if it is already old, when people move location they use the opportunity to replace it.

Many mattress outlets will deliver new mattress at no extra charge, and the money you may save by using a smaller moving van can be placed towards the cost of the new mattress. This is only a suggestion if your current mattress is already old, has seen its best days, and also if the bed frame can be disassembled.

If the bed frame cannot be disassembled, you will still need a larger van.



Moving location is always a stressful time, and while king size beds are popular, they can perhaps provide the most stress during a move.

As a king size bed and mattress are probably the largest pieces of furniture you have, they will often determine which size moving van you hire.

It is worth noting that due to the large van size you will need to move your king size bed, whoever drives the van may need a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License) in some States. Although U-Haul does not require a CDL to drive any of their vehicles, State laws differ from State to State, and a CDL may be needed.

Pick-up trucks have the advantage of not having a height limit for their cargo.

Some people have moved their king size bed in a large pick-up truck, and although U-Haul does rent pick-up trucks, like their cargo vans, they are unsuitable for moving king size beds.

While it is possible to move a king size bed in a large pick-up truck, it presents its own unique problems. One of the problems is the likelihood of being stopped by transport authorities to inspect your load. It may not be illegal to transport a king size bed in a pick-up truck, but it is illegal to transport any unsafe or insecure load.

Plus of course transporting any furniture by pick-up truck does not have the same security and protection from the weather that an enclosed van does.

Author: Kenneth Graham

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