How to Keep Mattress From Sliding: 8 Effective Ways

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prevent mattress from sliding

There is nothing worse than waking up in the middle of the night only to find your mattress sliding halfway off the bed frame. A sliding mattress can be a daily nuisance, especially when trying to catch some shut-eye.

If your mattress slides around when you switch positions, sit on the edge of the bed, or even lie down, your mattress isn’t getting the grip it needs to stay in place.

Thankfully, there are quick and simple DIY solutions to keep your mattress from slipping off the bed.

Why does the mattress slide in the first place?

Below are the most common reasons contributing to the mattress sliding (sorted from most to least common):

  • Limited friction: Your mattress could be moving around due to poor friction between your mattress and the frame. In fact, it’s the bed frame to blame most of the time. Sometimes the surface of the platform, box spring or adjustable bed frame is so slippery that it doesn’t provide enough grip for the mattress. Similarly, frames with slats or support bars far apart may not offer the grip needed to keep the mattress in place.
  • Improper size: If your mattress is too big or small for the bed frame, it is likely to move around on the bed frame.
  • Slippery mattress bottom: Most modern mattresses now have an anti-slip base to better grip the bed frame. However, if your mattress is old or the bottom is slippery, it’s most likely the reason why your mattress keeps on sliding.
  • No rails or headboard/footboard: A frame without a railing could also be the issue as there’s nothing to corral the mattress from the momentum of your tossing and turning. Traditional bed frames usually have raised rails to keep the mattress snugly. However, modern frames like platform beds or metal frames sacrifice the rails for aesthetics, making the mattress more prone to slipping. Mattresses are also more likely to move around on frames without a headboard or footboard.
  • Uneven support: If the bed frame isn’t level or the slats or support bars are far apart, it creates uneven support for the mattress, which can cause it to slip.

How to Stop your Mattress from Sliding

Ways to stop mattress sliding infographics

Now that you have an idea of what could be contributing to your mattress sliding around at night, it’s time to take action and fix the problem.

Here are 8 effective ways to prevent your mattress from shifting around.

1) Mattress gripper pad: Yes, there is a specific product designed to keep your mattress from moving—a mattress gripper pad. These pads are placed between the mattress and frame and feature rubberised grippy material on the underside that adheres to the frame, keeping your mattress from budging. They’re available in all mattress sizes, from single to all the way to the king. The downside is that these pads are relatively costlier ($10 to $15). However, mattress gripper pads are definitely worth checking out if you’re after a no-hassle solution.

Recommended for: Platform bed, metal frames, box spring and adjustable bed.

2) Non-Slip Rug Pads: While rug pads (or grippers) are designed to keep rugs from slipping on the floor, they also work very well to keep the mattress in place. It’s also cost-effective ($5 to $10 per pad), available in different sizes and easy to find. Mostly you wouldn’t be able to find a rug pad the same size as your mattress. Use multiple pads to cover the entire mattress surface and cut the pad to size with a scissor.

Tip:
Place the rug pads width-wise (horizontally) rather than lengthwise for better grip.

Recommended for: Platform bed, metal frames, box spring and adjustable bed.

3) Drawer or Shelf Liners: Shelf liners are rubber matting with a textured or sticky surface that’s used to line kitchen cabinets and shelves to prevent dishes from sliding around. The shelf liners are also quite effective in preventing the mattress from sliding around. Be aware you may need several rolls to cover the mattress, and this solution may also not be as long-lasting as rug pads or mattress pads.

Recommended for: Platform bed, box spring and adjustable bed.

4) Velcro or hook & Tape: This method requires a bit more effort but results in a more permanent fix. We suggest using an industrial strength 2″ thick self-adhesive Velcro tape. You can also use non-adhesive Velcro, but then you would need to sew rough or the hook side to the bottom of the mattress, which is inconvenient and would certainly void your warranty (if any).

Affix the loop (soft side) of the Velcro on the head and foot of the bed frame (or all sides for secure grip) at an equal distance from the edge. Now, take the hook side of the Velcro and paste it to the sides of the mattress so that it overlaps the loop side on the bed frame. The trick here is to use thicker velcro tape. Otherwise, it would be challenging to align and attach the two surfaces properly.

If you have a slatted bed, place two to four Velcro strips at equal distances widthwise or horizontally. Avoid placing vertical strips as they might loosen up over time.

Keep in mind that this solution is not very easily reversible like the other methods but results in a more permanent fix.

Recommended for: Platform bed and box spring.

5) Exercise Mats: In the same vein as rug pads and drawer liners, exercise or yoga mats are also a potential solution to your mattress’s sliding problem. A single one can be used if you happen to have a small twin-sized bed, but if your mattress is larger, you may need to double up. If using more than one, you can cut the mats down to size to prevent overlapping. The last thing you’ll need is an awkward ridge where the mats overlap, which may exacerbate the issue by creating a see-saw effect if the overlap is too thick.

Recommended for: metal and platform bed.

6) Carpet Tape: Like Velcro tape, carpet tape keeps carpets and rugs in place so they don’t lose their grip on the underlying surface. Carpet tape can be applied directly to the underside of the mattress and will typically have some rubberised backing in place that creates friction to keep the mattress in place. 

Be aware not to purchase double-sided carpet adhesive instead of carpet tape as it is intended to be a more permanent solution to keep the carpet in place over tack strips. Using a double-sided adhesive will keep your mattress from sliding but may leave a sticky residue and make it difficult to move your mattress or make your bed.

Recommended for: Platform bed and box spring.

7) Mattress Extenders/Gap Fillers: Often, there is a gap between the headboard or footboard and the mattress, causing the mattress to slide up and down. In such a case, you can use mattress extenders or gap fillers. Tuck them in between the mattress and the bed frame, so they act as a barrier and prevent the mattress from moving. The downside is that mattress extenders aren’t common, and you may not find the exact size you need.

Alternatively, you can use a towel, wooden boards, foam pieces or anything that fits the gap and is sturdy enough to act as a barrier.

Recommended for: adjustable bed and any bed with head or footboard.

8) Invest in a bed frame: If none of the above methods work and you don’t want to replace your mattress, consider investing in a new bed frame

Choose a bed frame with raised lips or rails on all four sides. This will grip the mattress and prevent it from moving. Avoid floating platform beds or cheap metal frames as they are known to let the mattress slip.

How to Keep the Mattress From Sliding on a Platform bed?

Platform beds come with a sleek and modern look, but they have their own set of problems. They often lack the grip to keep the mattress in place, especially if it lacks side panels (like in a floating platform bed).

You can use the above-mentioned methods to keep the mattress from sliding in such a case. The velcro method would be the best bet as it offers a secure grip and doesn’t require any modification to the bed.

You can also try using a mattress gripper or non-slip rug pad to keep the mattress from sliding.

How to Keep the Mattress From Sliding on an Adjustable Bed Frame?

Mattresses tend to slide sideways on adjustable beds. Most adjustable beds come with a head and footboard so the mattress can’t slide up or down. However, if the mattress is lower profile (less than 25 cm) or the side rails are not snug fit or too small, the mattress might still move left or right.

The best way to prevent the mattress from sliding on an adjustable bed is to use a mattress gripper or rug pads. As the mattress moves vertically on an adjustable bed, the Velcro or carpet tape method won’t be effective and may inhibit free movement.

How to Keep the Mattress From Sliding on a Metal Bed?

Some of the cheaper metal bed frames lack a headboard or footboard, which often results in the mattress not getting sufficient grip to stay in place. Also, some metal bed frames are painted in gloss paint or have cylindrical support beams, which further decreases the grip.

If the bed frame has glossy paint or cylindrical beams, it’s a good idea to use 100 grit sandpaper and sand them down to create some friction. This will help the mattress grip better.

For metal bed frames, placing a mattress gripper or rug pads between the mattress and the frame is quite effective in keeping the mattress from sliding. The Velcro method may not work on metal frames, as generally, the support beams are a bit too thin to place the Velcro strips.

How to Keep the Mattress From Sliding on a Box Spring?

If your mattress is sliding off the box spring, it’s likely because the surface box spring is sleek and offers no grip. In such a case, you can use Velcro strips or carpet tape to keep the mattress in place. Just make sure to clean the surface of the box spring before applying the adhesive, so it sticks properly.

Wrapping Up

There are several ways to keep the mattress from sliding. The best method depends on the type of bed and materials available. In most cases, something as simple as velcro strips or non-slip rug pads should do the trick.

We hope you found this article helpful. If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to comment below.

Emma Bethany

Emma Bethany

Emma is a wellness writer who has shared her knowledge for over three years. Her Masters in Creative Writing for Therapeutic Purposes means Emma approaches each topic with compassion and gentle curiosity. She wants everyone to be as passionate about taking care of their body as she is. That’s why Emma believes investing in your sleep is an investment in yourself. She wants to create a loving space to learn self-care and build a beautiful bedtime routine to soothe the soul. She loves to discover new ways to enhance sleep and embraces a holistic lifestyle. She enjoys settling down in the evening with a good book and a cup of chamomile tea.

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