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Since we’ve written about how to move a mattress, we thought we’d write about the next step: how to move a bed frame. Our Tri Cities moving company location has some handy tips when it comes to preparing your bed for transportation. Even if a moving company helps you with your bed frame move, you may want to have some things ready to prepare for their arrival.

Have tools ready for disassembling your bed frame

Depending on the type of bed you have, you’re probably going to need to have some tools ready to take it apart before moving it. For IKEA furniture, you can visit their store to get some assembly supplies, if you didn’t keep them with your purchase (like the allen key, or more dowels).

A list of things you’ll need could include any of the following, if not more (depending on your case):

  • Screw drivers (find the heads that match the screws you have on your bed)
  • Allen key (if your bed was put together with one – such as with many IKEA products)
  • Wrench that is the diameter of your bed frame nuts and bolts, if necessary
  • WD-40 in case you need to loosen really tight screws
  • Gloves with grip
  • Moving blankets and plastic wrap
  • Baggie (like a ziplock) for the screws and small parts, with a way to label it (or like some suggest, tape them to the boards)
  • Dolly or moving straps (especially if you have a heavy bed)
  • Rubber mallet (be careful with this, but if you need to separate surfaces of the bed frame joined by dowels – not glue or nails – this may be helpful)
  • A stopper for wheels, if any, and if they don’t come with them already
  • Note paper and pen (to write down where all the screw fittings go during re-assembly! Especially if you lost the instructions)

Take apart your bed frame before moving it, if you can

Of course, you’ll need to follow our instructions at the link above on how to move a mattress before you can get to dismantling the bed (or take the mattress off the bed and set aside temporarily).

It’s not recommended to move a bed in one piece. You may put pressure on the joints, not to mention dent or break it as you move it through narrow passageways. The weight of the bed in one piece will also make the task much harder, and slower.

In most cases, you’ll have to unscrew the four sides of the bed, and any supports. Usually this starts at the foot and head of the bed. This is for a complete bed frame with headboard and footboard attached.

There are foldable, metal bed bases, and those ones are an exception. You’ll simply need to follow the manufacturer’s instructions to unlatch them, or bend them to fold for easy transport.

IKEA bed frames are usually put together with both dowels and screws (depending on their materials). Your best bet is to google the model name of your bed, followed by “how do I disassemble a ____ bed.” Or, look up the assembly instructions on the IKEA website, and work backwards from there. Here is an article that discusses the pros and cons of disassembling IKEA furniture for moving.

Other beds can be disassembled for moving similarly, but still according to instructions, if you have them. Here is a video that shows how, for a typical bed with a headboard and footboard.

If you had a box spring on a metal bed frame, that frame may be attached to a headboard with screws of some sort. There might also be headboard and footboard attachment pieces you’ll want to hang on to, especially if they’re not welded onto the metal frame.

If you can, detach any wheels. They’ll stay safe from damage this way.

Of course, detach the drawers or shelves and any removable parts, if your bed has them.

If your bed was welded together, or uses some fancy wood joinery that you don’t want to take apart, you may be in for a bit of a harder job. This is not likely to be your case, though. But if it is, you’ll definitely want help moving. You’ll also need to consider your path before moving the bed frame through one home to the next.

Some box springs have removable fabric covers. We recommend taking those off your box spring, just for some extra cleanliness during the move.

Protect your bed frame from moving damage

We know some are risk-takers out there. But like all furniture, we strongly recommend the use of moving blankets, tightly wrapped up and secured with plastic wrap, tape or rope. Dented wooden beds are an eyesore. If your bed is made of particleboard (like some IKEA products), you could even end up with a tear, or a hole. Headboards made of fabric could also get dirty or wet (especially when moving in the Tri Cities region!).

For the large headboard and footboard, you may want to rest these against an A-frame to prevent them from tipping over in a moving truck. Otherwise, find a way to get them in the truck where they won’t wobble around.

Transport the bed frame, then put it back together again, safely

When you put together your bed after moving, please remember safety. This goes especially for children’s beds or bunk beds. You don’t want to add weight to a piece of furniture that doesn’t have all its screws and bolts in place. If they went missing at all during the move, be sure to replace them before using your bed frame. This includes headboard and footboard attachments, even if they’re not structurally needed, as they can fall over and hurt someone. So, you may be sleeping on a mattress on the floor for a while!

The good news is that if you got your bed from IKEA or a major retailer, they will probably have replacement parts you can buy, or even get for free.

Also remember that wood, even metal and plastic, expands and contracts depending on climate, moisture and temperature. Just like when you install new flooring, you may want to acclimatize your bed frame (and all furniture) in your home for a day or two, before assembling it back together. This may help with the tightness of the screw joints over time.

Here are instructions on how to tighten wood screws. And here are common furniture fixes you can try.

Decide if it’s time to call professional movers to move a bed frame

While moving a bed frame may seem simple, depending on the price and history of your bed (such as if it was passed down to you), you may want to hire a professional to take care of it. Some professional movers will also have insurance to cover you if anything does go wrong with the bed during transport.

When you get your moving estimate, be sure to ask about beds that need to be taken apart, or that may not be able to be taken apart!

See related articles on our moving blog:

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