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

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

Do You Need a Bigger Bed Upstairs?

A few years ago, I got engaged and I 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 through.

I have four 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 second two 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.

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.

3. Purchase a Split Queen or King Size Bed

The next two 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 a split queen is about 30". A standard king is about 76” wide (or about 38" split).

4. Look Into Alternative Types of Beds

My next suggestion is to consider something other than the traditional mattress and box spring set for your upstairs bedroom. For example:

  • A "sleep number" bed. Many people apparently like these, but they are expensive.
  • A water bed: However, these can be too heavy for second floor bedrooms.
  • An air bed: See my personal experience with the Aerobed air bed below.

I travel fulltime for my work, so I am constantly changing apartments and beds. While in Philadelphia, I rented a third floor apartment with an extremely small staircase in every dimension. 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.

I settled on a queen size Aerobed that was the same height as a traditional queen size. I also like the inflatable headboard, as it gives me something to lean on as I read in bed. This purchase was so successful that I can now rent unfurnished apartments wherever I go because I have my Aerobed with me.

You may be skeptical about using an air bed as your primary bed, but I am willing to bet that if you didn’t know it was an air bed, you might not even question that it was not a traditional mattress.


So those are four 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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