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5 Ways to Get a Mattress Upstairs If It Is Too Large

Out of personal experience, Chris writes practical and helpful articles about how to make items and accomplish tasks.


How to Get a Mattress Upstairs

A few years ago, I got engaged and needed to upgrade from a full-size mattress to a queen size. At the time, I was faced with a problem. (Well, two problems if you count being engaged.) I needed to get a queen size bed up a stairway that was simply not high enough to allow a mattress and box spring of that size to fit.

I have five suggestions for solving this problem, and each will require a bit of an adjustment. The first two are the most difficult and require an adjustment to your house. The other three require an adjustment to your attitude about beds.

1. Remove Some Steps

I’ll begin with the method I chose, which required an adjustment to my house.

I had the mattress wedged through the doorway and into the stairway and it wasn’t going any further—that much was clear. I decided that if the step blocking the way was gone, the bed would go up. So I took it out. Guess what? The next step also blocked the bed. So I removed that step, and the next one blocked the way as well. After I had all the steps in the first flight out, the bed fit.

The secret to using this method without the trial-and-error process is to measure the width of the mattress from the bottom edge on one side to the top edge on the other. This will provide you with the measurement for the maximum width of the mattress.

Now measure the distance from each step to the closest part on the ceiling. Find the narrowest opening from the step to the ceiling and take out the steps up to that point. After that, you should be able to get the bed through.

Measure the mattress at its widest dimension, i.e. diagonally from corner to corner

Measure the mattress at its widest dimension, i.e. diagonally from corner to corner


2. Put the Mattress Through an Upstairs Window

The second suggestion is to remove an upstairs window, casing and all. Be sure to measure the window and the bed before you start to be sure the bed will fit through. If it will fit, just find a way to get the mattress and box spring up to and through the window, and you are all set.

Insider Tip: Buy a split queen or king-size bed that will fit through most tight spaces.

Insider Tip: Buy a split queen or king-size bed that will fit through most tight spaces.

3. Purchase a Split Queen or King Size Bed

The next three solutions will require an adjustment to your attitudes about beds, because I will be suggesting buying an alternative type.

The first will require the least amount of adjustment on your part. Queen and king-size beds can be purchased as two mattresses and two box springs put together, thereby enabling them to fit up the stairway. These are referred to as a "split" queen or king.

A standard queen-size bed is about 60” wide, while each half of a split queen is about 30". A standard king is about 76” wide (or about 38" split).

If It Won't Fit Up the Stairway, Don't Take it Out on the Mattress

If It Won't Fit Up the Stairway, Don't Take it Out on the Mattress

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4. Air Beds

My next suggestion is to consider something other than the traditional mattress and box spring set for your upstairs bedroom. Sleep Number Beds and water beds are popular, but one is very expensive and the other extremely heavy.

An air bed seems to be a realistic solution to the problem of getting a full-sized bed up the stairs.

I travel full-time for my work, so I am constantly changing apartments and beds. While in Philadelphia, I rented a third-floor apartment with a narrow staircase. Only after signing the rental agreement did I think about a bed, since the apartment was not furnished. The only traditional bed that would have fit would have been a twin. No thanks. So I began researching alternatives. I ended up at Bed, Bath and Beyond, looking at the Aerobed. They come in an assortment of heights and widths, with or without inflatable headboards.

Here is the catch with an air bed. In my experience, none of them—from the cheapest to the most expensive (I've tried several brands)—are designed to take the stress of everyday use. Sooner rather than later, the mattress will develop tiny holes, and you will end up on the floor by morning.

However, if you are putting in a guest room upstairs, the SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress with ComfortCoil Technology might be your best choice among air beds.

Memory Foam Mattresses

Memory Foam

Memory Foam

5. Memory Foam Bed in a Box

The best solution to the problem of getting a full-size mattress upstairs is a bed in a box. These beds are normally made of memory foam or memory foam with additional coil spring support. Both types fit in a box and will easily go up your stairway.

When I first got my travel trailer, I opted for an air bed. It worked fine for about three weeks. That's when the holes developed. I began investigating the bed in a box idea and settled on a Wayfair 6 inch, queen-size mattress. My next bed will be memory foam with coil spring support as mentioned above.

Here is your best solution to getting a mattress upstairs. These beds were practically made for this purpose.


So those are my five suggestions for getting a queen or king-size bed up a small-size stairwell. As for the other problem—becoming engaged after several years of being single—I suppose I’ll address it in another article.

© 2015 Chris Mills


Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on August 03, 2015:

MsDora, I'm glad you found the article to be both amusing and helpful. Those were my two goals with it. Thanks for stopping by and reading.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on August 03, 2015:

Including the engagement information shaped the mood for reading this article. Amusing! Practical also if you absolutely must get that type and size of bed.

jgshorebird on August 01, 2015:

The urinal is in the back yard. The cats drink out it now. The wife at the time decorated it. He allegedly brought it there, when the wife took out his boxing ring - when he was in Paris (?) and installed an over priced swimming pool. I heard that at the time, it was the largest pool south of Miami. She was mad about his womanizing. Also was informed that Ernest had MH issues. Bipolar Disorder.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on August 01, 2015:

Hemingway is a wealth of good stories, and not just the ones he wrote. He lived some pretty good ones too. I don't think I want a bar urinal in my house. Thanks for the comment.

jgshorebird on August 01, 2015:

Recently, I toured the Hemingway House in Key West, Florida. Although, there was plenty of room, at least currently, apparently he used two twin box springs, if memory serves, in his very large bed. I do not think it was in order to transport the beds through small areas, but the stairway to the second floor was rather narrow. Oh and I saw the urinal he was allowed have from Sloppy Joe's Bar, but the story was different from what I had read. He told the bar owner that he felt that he had poured a lot of money down that urinal and felt as if he owned it. The owner, who had removed the plumbing from his bar at time, agreed.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on July 25, 2015:

Hi Deb, Thanks for reading the article. I hope all of your plans never need to be backed up.

Deb Hirt from Stillwater, OK on July 25, 2015:

Never tried an aerobed. Glad to hear that it works well in all types of situations. I am one of those people that usually has a backup plan to the plan.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on July 20, 2015:

Christine, You have a unique setup in that Nomadic Bed System. Easy set up and tear down, with the added benefit of drying the laundry. Sounds like a winner to me.

christinemariezzz on July 20, 2015:

@Larry Rankin

Do you live a nomadic lifestyle?or have intentions toward minimalism?

.."window route..." , humorous to me, I've usually heard "put it through the window..." Route gives me promise as last week I was wondering if I wanted to replace my Nomadic Bed System for the conventional-styles. I got a temporary lease on a historic apartment building. It's been modestly updated, but I would need ladders for that window route.

I opted to keep my portable system: a reputable brand twin size "made for the floor futon-like mattress and a small headboard/clothes drying rack-hand made by my son and I with forested branches.

By the time I purchased, set up, the town would get my money as I was leaving. This is a fun subject to dialogue on-at least for me. One of my favorite books is Wanderlust and Lipstick.


Larry Rankin from Oklahoma on July 20, 2015:

I've had to deal with similar situations. In the past, I've went the window route.

Very practical and useful tips.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on July 20, 2015:

It seems the Aerobed is the best choice for someone who moves alot. I've never seen one. Do you have to add more air after a while?

I'm looking forward to your engagement - or disengagement - hub. I can tell you I thoroughly enjoy having my queen size bed all to myself!

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on July 19, 2015:

Ruby, how'd you get the bed up there in the first place, build the house around it? :-D

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on July 19, 2015:

I love that video, Christine.

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on July 19, 2015:

I had the same problem but it was getting the bed downstairs from upstairs. The video was funny, could cause a heart attack. Ha

christinemariezzz on July 19, 2015:

Hilarious video-cracked me up!

Ann Carr from SW England on July 19, 2015:

Glad you're a fan; there are so many good ones, old and new (but not so many new!).

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on July 19, 2015:

Okay, Ann, I get it now. I must be a bit slow with "weird English humour." Actually, I'm a fan of English comedies. I should have caught on quicker.

Ann Carr from SW England on July 19, 2015:

Just my weird English humour, Chris. You created so many images of chaos!


Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on July 19, 2015:

Ann, I'm not sure what you did to your house, but it doesn't sound good. I'm glad you were smiling while reading. That's what I had in mind.

Ann Carr from SW England on July 19, 2015:

Well, Chris, having demolished my house I still can't get the bed in as there's no house to house it, if you get my drift!

You had me smiling. The air bed sounds great , especially as you can take it with you anywhere.

As to the engagement, well.. they're moveable as well and you don't need to take out anything!


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