Van Life

Is It Illegal To Tie a Mattress To Your Car?

Let’s face it, hauling a mattress in a car can be quite a challenge. The mattress is too bulky to fit inside the vehicle, and you don’t want it sticking out of the window or partially blocking your view from the rearview mirror. So what do you do? You may have seen people tying mattresses to cars and wondered if it was legal. In this blog post, we’ll explore the legality of tying a mattress to your car.

The Legality of Tying a Mattress To Your Car

In most states, there are no laws specifically prohibiting drivers from tying mattresses onto their vehicles. However, that doesn’t mean that it is always legal or safe. Each state has its own set of rules and regulations regarding the transport of large items on vehicles, so it’s important to check with your local DMV before doing so.

For example, some states may require that you use certain straps or tie-downs when securing the mattress to your vehicle. Other states may require that you use additional lights or flags if objects extend beyond your vehicle’s width or length. Still, other states may limit how far an object can hang over the edge of your car and/or require you to secure any loose items in a manner that prevents them from falling off during transport.

It’s also important to note that even if it isn’t technically illegal in certain states, tying a mattress onto your car is still not necessarily safe or recommended by authorities. When transporting large objects like mattresses on top of cars, they can block visibility through windows and mirrors which can be dangerous for both drivers and pedestrians alike.

Additionally, since mattresses are often heavy and unwieldy objects, they can cause a significant drag on the vehicle while driving which could lead to decreased fuel efficiency as well as potential damage to both the vehicle and roadways.

Also Read: Which Van Has The Most Cargo Space

Is it Safe To Drive With a Mattress Strapped To Your Car’s Roof?

Driving with a mattress strapped to your car’s roof can be a tempting solution when moving to a new home or transporting furniture. However, it’s crucial to consider safety precautions before hitting the road with a bulky load on top of your vehicle.

First and foremost, the weight of the mattress could cause instability in the car’s handling and lead to accidents. The extra weight can also increase wind resistance, reducing the car’s aerodynamics and causing it to use more fuel than necessary. Additionally, a poorly secured mattress could become detached from the roof while driving, posing a severe danger to other drivers on the road.

To ensure safety when transporting a mattress, it’s essential to use proper equipment and follow safety guidelines. Using a roof rack or cargo carrier designed for the size and weight of the mattress is recommended, as these devices can help to distribute the weight evenly and keep the mattress secure. Straps and ropes should be tightly secured and checked periodically during transport to prevent any loosening or detachment.

Another crucial consideration is ensuring that the mattress does not obstruct the driver’s view or any of the car’s lights. This can be accomplished by placing the mattress towards the rear of the vehicle and using additional warning signs and flags to indicate to other drivers the presence of a large load.

Driving with a mattress strapped to your car’s roof is not inherently unsafe, but it requires careful planning and adherence to safety protocols. By using the proper equipment and following safety guidelines, you can transport your mattress safely and efficiently without risking harm to yourself or others on the road.

Also Read: Organizing Your Tools in a Van: Tips & Guide!


It might seem like tying a mattress onto your car is an easy solution when faced with limited space inside your vehicle. But it isn’t always legal or safe! Before attempting such an endeavor, make sure to check with your local DMV for any applicable laws regarding the transportation of large items on vehicles in order to ensure you stay within the law while staying safe on the roads at all times.

Nyra Abigail

My Name is Nyra Abigail and in 2016, I made the decision to leave my traditional living situation and hit the road in a Dodge Ram Van. Since then, I've had the opportunity to camp in 48 states and hike in many of the United States' National Parks. My mission is to inspire and assist others in living an adventurous lifestyle, whether that be through van life or RV living. We provide a comprehensive resource to help guide and support individuals on their own journeys of discovery.

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