Is Mattress on Car Roof Illegal? (Secret Facts REVEALED!)

9 Min Read
Is Mattress on Car Roof Illegal? (Secret Facts REVEALED!)

Is tying a mattress to your car illegal? Putting a bed on your car is not against the Law. In most jurisdictions, it is not expressly prohibited by Law, as it exists in a nebulous legal area. However, you may not risk your life or the lives of other drivers by tying a mattress unfairly to the top of your vehicle.

Moving a Mattress on Car Roof Around the World

  • In the United States, Mattresses on car roofs are frowned upon everywhere, especially in New York. However, if doing so causes your vehicle to exceed the permitted length of 8 feet, it is illegal.
  • In Australia, If you don’t go too fast and tie it down properly, you’re within the Law.
  • The exact same thing remains suitable for the UK. It’s always a good idea to check with the authorities in your area to make sure something like this is legal.
  • In Canada, It’s absolutely legal, so long as the mattress doesn’t get in the way and make things illegal, like driving with your view blocked.

Can You legally transport a mattress on top of your car?

You’ve probably seen people on the road with a mattress and maybe even a bed frame tied to the top of their car.

From the outside, it appeared both ridiculous and dangerous; you might have even questioned whether or not their actions were within the Law.

With proper restraint, a mattress on top of a car is legal in all 50 states. Fifteen states have criminal penalties and monetary fines for people who fail to secure their vehicle loads while driving on public roads properly.

In 28 of them, the maximum fine is $5,000. Mattresses that cause property or bodily harm to other drivers could also lead to legal action.

Maria Federici was deemed dead after a piece of plywood from a loose load smashed through her windshield and severed her face.

Maria’s Law was named after her because her mother, Robin Abel, was vital in getting a similar law passed nationally.

“Maria’s Law” increases penalties for failure to secure a vehicle load on a public highway. It is a misdemeanor and considered criminal negligence if all or part of the load shifts or falls and causes substantial bodily harm to another. A conviction could mean one year in jail and $5,000 in fines.” (Resource: The Seattle Times)

Punishments for centralized are different from one state to the next. If your bed is not securely fastened to the top of your car and it flies off and injures someone, you could face jail time under harsh penalties.

While the maximum fine for breaking unsecured-load laws varies from state to state, in 28 states, it is between $500 and $5,000, and in 13 states, it is at least $1,000.

Includes the following states: Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, New York, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wyoming—possible jail time in addition to monetary fines. (US Government Accountability Office)

In addition to monetary fines, offenders in Tennessee and Colorado may also face jail time.

Putting a mattress on your car is perfectly legal in 15 states, but you could go to jail if you do it wrong.

Does it make any Scene to Drive a Car with Mattress on the roof?

To answer your question, as long as the mattress is adequately secured to the top of your car, you can go for a drive with it there.

As with many things in life, there are proper and improper ways to go about it. You might be surprised to learn that tying the mattress down with rope or twine on the car’s roof is the wrong move, but more on that later.

Your Mechanic recommends the following procedures for securely transporting a mattress on your vehicle:

  • Acquire all the equipment you’ll need: a mattress bag, packaging tape, ratcheting straps, scissors, work gloves, and a helping hand, if possible, are all necessities for a successful mattress transfer.
  • After everything has been gathered and the mattress is inside the plastic bag, tape it down so the wind doesn’t catch it while you’re transporting it.
  • Put the mattress in the roof’s middle and secure it with the ratchet straps.
  • Have everyone in the car lower their windows except the driver. Then, firmly fasten the mattress to the floor using the strap that passes through each window. Because the doors won’t open after the straps are secured through the windows, you mustn’t enter through the driver’s side.

Tie the mattress down to the roof rack if possible to avoid threading the straps through the windows.

The roof rack is safer and more convenient because it keeps you from scratching your car’s paint or breaking your windows.

Avoiding Common Mistakes While Driving With a Mattress

  • Don’t forget to bring something to put over the mattress in case it rolls off the back of the car or gets dirty in any other way. In that case, a plastic mattress cover is the best way to ensure cleanliness.
  • To avoid snagging, use ratcheting straps in place of rope or twine. Because of its size and bulk, a mattress can generate wind resistance, putting strain on any ropes or string used to secure it. In the same vein, bungee cords should be avoided.
  • Don’t let the mattress hang out the front or back of the car too far; doing so could block the driver’s line of sight.
  • Finally, if you cannot safely transport a mattress using your car, consider having a third-party company deliver it or renting a truck. Alternately, if you take the proper precautions, you can transport a mattress on top of your car without incident.


It’s best to avoid significant thoroughfares and stay off the roads less travelled when transporting a mattress on top of your car.

You should also keep an eye on the bed in case the plastic or the ropes become damaged, or the mattress begins to slip. Stop on the side of the road if this occurs so that you can fix the problem safely.

In the proper situation, a properly strapped-down mattress on your car’s roof can keep you safe and within the Law while you drive. Putting the bed on top of your roof requires the right equipment and possibly some assistance.

Avoid main highways and traffic as much as possible. If you don’t have the right equipment, your best bet is to either deliver the mattress or borrow a pickup truck or other large vehicle.

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