Is Tying A Mattress To The Roof Of A Car Legal In The UK?

Have you been wondering about moving your mattress without professional help? If so, is your car the mode of transport? Then you will need to consider a few pointers which this article will help you with. It will also guide you with specific questions such as:

  • Is tying a mattress to the roof of a car legal in the UK?
  • Can you fit a mattress in a car?
  • Why use a ratchet strap mattress to a car?

As long as the load is secured correctly, tying a mattress to a car’s roof is not considered illegal in the UK. If the mattress doesn’t fit in a vehicle, you can strap it to the roof. With a ratchet strap, you can secure any load, including mattresses, exceptionally well.

Is it legal to tie a mattress to the roof of a car?

There are no specific rules or laws in the UK which state that it is illegal to tie a mattress to the roof of a car. But an apparent legal demand has been implied that a load should be well-secured even if there is a roof rack or not on a vehicle. 

Despite having a roof rack, if a mattress isn’t appropriately secured, it is illegal, which will lead to legal charges under ‘driving with an insecure load.’

Why should a mattress be well-secured to the roof of a car?

Mattresses are heavy-load goods that require specific attention while securing them on a car or any other mode of transportation. The main concern for such measurement is that if there isn’t any effective connection of the mattress, it may block your vision or fall on the road causing road accidents or traffic.

Here are a few facts or statistics which will help you understand the importance of load securing in the UK.

  • In 2013, DVSA provided around 2,000 prohibitions towards vehicles that showed signs of road safety risk due to the lack of security of their load.
  • The Highways Agency in 2013 recorded above 22,000 road influence occurrences because of items declining from vehicles which led to road blockage.
  • According to data, an average of 20 minutes is required to settle such chaos.
  • Studies proved that all the above instances put weight on the UK’s economy. They are a waste of time due to traffic, destruction of infrastructure and goods.

Can you fit a mattress in a car? 

Few measures act as the deciding factor of whether you can fit a mattress in a car or not. If you want to explore the options of mattresses you can fit in a car, let’s look at some facts. These include the size of the mattress, car, and how the mattress is packaged.

  • UK mattresses comes in various sizes like single (90x190cm), double (135x190cm), King (150x200cm), super king (180x200cm) and emperor (215x215cm).
  • Keeping the measurements in mind, it is evident that you will require a cargo van or pick up truck to transport emperor, super king, and king size mattresses.
  • For single and double-size mattresses, you can fit the mattresses inside your car if you have a wide trunk. In case your back seats are foldable, that will be super convenient. But if you plan on using your roof rack, make sure you have the right tools to secure your mattress.
  • Overall, the best would be to purchase a mattress in a box that is a compressed mattress designed to be fitted for easy transportation.

how to tie mattress on top of car?

To securely tie a mattress on top of your car, you’ll need strong ropes or ratchet straps and a protective tarp. Wrap the mattress for protection, then center it on your car’s roof. Open all car doors (not windows) to run the straps or rope through the car’s interior, ensuring they’re tightly fastened and the mattress is securely attached without obstructing your view or vehicle’s lights. Double-check the setup before driving and periodically during travel. Drive carefully and comply with local transport laws.

How to transport a mattress in or on a car?

Here are few tips to remember while transporting your mattress in or on a car.

  • Never fold your mattress but place it flat to maintain the shape and uprightness of the spring.
  • Arrange the mattress in a manner so that your driving isn’t compromised.
  • Do not place any heavy or sharp objects on top of your mattress.
  • While placing your mattress on top of your car, ensure it is in the centre to maintain balance evenly and avoid overhangs.
  • Secure your mattress with ratchet straps or bungee ropes on all sides of the mattress but a valid securing it through the driver’s window.

Why use ratchet straps?

Despite many substitutes in the market for securing a mattress, the ratchet straps are the most common and preferable choice. Why? Let’s have a look:

  • Ratchet straps are durable, weather-resistant, have low stretch due to polyester webbing, and are stern.
  • They come in various sizes like mini, which can secure 1,500kgs, and large can tie around 10,000kgs.
  • It also offers various fittings such as e-track double stud, flat hooks, flat snap, d-rings, and more.
  • You can effortlessly secure a ratchet strap as the straps are made of nylon, the ratchet out of metal and rubber-coated metal hooks allowing you to attach the mattress to the car’s roof evenly.
  • The ratchet straps provide safe security, which prevents any possible road accidents or damage to the mattress.  

Alternatives of ratchet straps 

You can also use ropes if you don’t have a ratchet strap, although they require more power with no mechanical influence. If you are using a thin rope, make sure to secure your mattress twice. 

Another option is bungee cords which are shock-absorbent but don’t perform well compared to ratchet straps when securing heavy or bulky items.


Generally, it is advised not to use a car for transporting a mattress. But if you have no option, please remember to secure your mattress during transportation tightly. Before placing your mattress on or in a car, use a plastic or mattress cover to prevent damage. 

Drive slowly, avoid driving through hilly or traffic-prone areas with your mattress on your car to avert accidents. Always double-check if your mattress is well-secured. With that, you are ready to move your mattress.