Painful but Necessary

Category: Daily Diary

With the finishing touches wrapping up in the master bedroom, our minds have turned to moving in. (Hooray!) We're even optimistic that we can start moving some things upstairs as early as this Sunday if we can get enough of the trim installed.

Unfortunately, this brings us to our latest dilemma...the small door and narrow stairway up to the second floor.

I'll bet you can guess where this is headed...

The big problem? Our bed. It's a king-sized mission-style bed we received from Room & Board when we were married. It's the perfect style for an Arts & Crafts house, made of super-sturdy laquered steel...and it's HUGE! Well, the mattress is huge, to be more precise.

The mattress is way too large to fit through the stairway door...

No can do. A rigid king-sized mattress simply isn't going to fit. We've talked about bending, twisting or otherwise mutulating the thing but there really doesn't seem to be a good solution. (I actually had a king-sized bed as a kid-perfect for my height-which my family inherrited after the neighbors did try to fold theirs and ended up busting the springs so there was a big crease at the corners).

Sooo...tonight we bit the bullet. We headed back to Room & Board, 'test drove' their Memory Foam mattresses, and ended up ordering one for delivery. The reason? A foam mattress has no internal structure like coils. Thus, it can be bent and twisted pretty much however you want and will always spring back to it's original shape.

We went with the memory foam over the alternate latex foam, which we also tested out. The memory foam seemed more comfortable since it is sensitive to body heat and contours more specifically to your body. Plus, it was invented by technology! :-)


Anyway, the mattress is scheduled for delivery in just over a week. Neither of us was thrilled with re-buying a mattress we'd only just bought when we were married four years ago, but I guess you can't plan for everything. The good news is that, with luck, the delivery should be just the right time for us to be fully move in upstairs!!

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After I completed the new tv room in the basement, we went to move my one year old sofa to the basement. Same scenario. Let me tell you, I loved that one. All sympathy.

Another similiar story: My father and godfather are budding physicians way back in the late 60s/early 70s. In between med school classes, rotations, and the like, they built 2 15-foot-long cedar strip canoes in our basement. They ended up having to dismantle the basement-kitchne doorway and part of the walls in the house to get them out of the house.

Moral of THAT story? Build canoes in the garage.

I got a sofa stuck half way up the stairs in my first house. I couldn’t make the turn on the landing. I was so exhausted after moving all day that I left it there, hanging in mid-air until the next day. I eventually had to dismantle the sofa to get it upstairs. It stayed there for 3 years until I sold the house and had to dismantle it again to get it out.

Oh, how I can relate! We moved into our attic in July and the day I'd been worrying about -- whether or not our bed would fit up the stairwell -- came. We ended up chopping out a hole in the stairwell overhang, which I'd spent so many hours carefully mudding and taping to get the corner so crisp and perfect. Sigh.

Here's the story, with pics:
(if that link doesn't take you to the exact entry, it's the one dated July 8th)

Aaron, that sounds like a very smart (and comfy!) solution. I have a Memory foam mattress topper and it feels heavenly:)

I'm excited that you guys will be moving in soon, too!

I knew a couple who ordered a new king size mattress to go into their new, older, home. Upon delivery, they realized no way it'd make the turn of the stairs to the attic. They were able to exchange the box spring for 2 boxsprings that equal a king size box spring. The top mattress was flexible enough to make it;)

Not to be a negative downer, but you should check into your store's return policy if you do not like your new mattress, especially since you've mentioned in previous entries that you have experienced back problems. Two separate sets of friends had to get rid of their memory foam mattresses because they were bad on their backs. For one couple, they were able to compromise by adding a memory foam topper like Kim mentioned here on top of an inner spring mattress because the foam alone lacked support for the one with the bad back. Best of luck, though, maybe it'll work fine for you two.

I had a similar problem. I went for 2 twin size box springs & mattresses...POPS -30-

oh boy- life just keeps on coming doesn't it?
I think I read somewhere on someone's blog today about taking a chain saw to a sofa when it got wedged in a narror stairway. You do what you've gotta do I guess. There's always the crane thing from the outside, but I suppose that might cost as much as a new mattress anyway.

BTW: My boss has a sleep number bed and she loves it and she has back problems- (but not because of the bed).

When I was around 10 or so my parents moved to a new house. I originally had a bedroom on the ground floor and I had a full-sized bed. Then my little brother came along and I moved up to the finished attic. We had the same problem, except it was the boxspring that we couldn't fit up the stairs. So I had to trade my full-sized bed for a crappy twin daybed. On the plus side, I had a whole level to myself, which helped out during my teen years.

I had the exact same dilemna as you do and didn't know what to do. My father-in-law is an upholsterer, so he and I dismantled and rebuilt the box-spring to get it upstairs.

I was moving a friend recently and had to do it again. Instead of wrestling with it, take it apart and move it piece by piece.

With the other furniture that you bring up, think about talking to an upholsterer -- they have all the secrets for moving furniture...

Good suggestion, Phil. In our case though it wasn't the box-spring (our bed's frame doesn't require one) but rather with the mattress itself. It was an independent coil system with a rigid framed edge...maybe it was something an upholsterer could have figured out, though, so something we should think about for the future.

My friends had a similar problem at their cape cod in wisconsin. They took out the treads & risers on the stairway to get the mattress upstairs. It worked really well, and they only side effect they had was having an extra set of nail holes in the treads. If you were going to try it, I would say, measure three times, cut once!

Not sure if it will work in your case, but you might at least think about it -- could save you $2,000 for a new mattress...

Write again after you've carried the foam mattress up the stairs.

Last night my husband and I struggled MIGHTILY to haul up an 8-inch thick, latex king size mattress. It does fold... it flops around like a big piece of liver! No handles. And more than 200 pounds.

We did it, but man, there has to be a better way. I'd suggest rolling it in thirds like a burrito and tying it with ropes in at least three places (give yourself handles).

That's hindsight.

I found your site in a Google search, looking for how people manage to move these things!

Hello! We have recently purchased and are in the process of restoring an older home. We have found your website to be an amazing source of information and inspiration.

We ran into the same issue with our home as we realized there was NO WAY we would be able to get a queen size bed up our stairs. Luckily, before moving into our home, we had purchased a Select Comfort Sleep Number bed ( Aside from being the most comfortable bed we have ever laid on, the bed and foundation (aka box springs) breaks down into small pieces and is easily transported to any location - no matter how small or windy the stairs.

We had a similar problem when we moved into our 1909 house - we couldn't get our IKEA queen mattress/box springs combo thing up the stairs. I ended up partially disassembling it, cutting the wood frame so it would fit, then reassembling it once it was upstairs. (Putting the wood frame back together with metal plates and restapling the fabric covering).

We have the same problem. We have a converted attic bedroom and connot fit a king sized mattress up the stairs. This sounds like a good solution! Are you SURE that you cannot hurt the mattress by bending it? I would hate to damage it.



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