How many moving blankets do I need to move?

When preparing for a move, one of the most important items you’ll need is moving blankets. But how many moving blankets do you actually need? The amount can vary greatly depending on factors like how much furniture you’re moving, the size of your furniture, and how far you’re moving. Read on for tips on figuring out exactly how many moving blankets you should get to properly protect your belongings.

Factors That Determine How Many Moving Blankets You Need

There are a few key factors that will determine how many moving blankets you need to rent or buy for your move:

  • Amount of furniture – The more pieces of furniture you’re moving, the more moving blankets you’ll need. Make a list of all the furniture you’re taking so you can get an accurate count.
  • Size of furniture – Bulky furniture like sofas, beds, and dressers will need more blankets than smaller items. Measure furniture dimensions to calculate surface area.
  • Distance of move – Local, short-distance moves require fewer blankets than long-distance moves where your items will be in transit longer.
  • Type of furniture – Delicate wood furniture needs more protection so may require using more than one blanket per piece.
  • Type of move – Professional movers with padded moving trucks will need less padding than DIY moves in rented trucks.
  • Layering – Most experts recommend layering blankets for maximum protection and stability, which increases the amount needed.

Taking measurements of all your furniture and possessions that you’ll be moving is the best way to start determining how many blankets you’ll need. From there you can take into account the other factors like move distance and type of items.

How Many Moving Blankets for Common Household Items

As a general rule of thumb, here’s how many moving blankets you typically need for some common household items:

Item Number of Moving Blankets
Mattress 2-4 blankets
Bed frame 2-4 blankets
Couch 4-8 blankets
Loveseat 2-4 blankets
Armchair 2-3 blankets
Dresser 3-5 blankets
Desk 3-5 blankets
Table 2-4 blankets
TV 2-3 blankets
Large appliance 2-4 blankets
Shelf/bookcase 2-4 blankets
Mirror 2 blankets
Carton/box 1-2 blankets

You’ll want to use the higher ends of the ranges if you have nice furniture you want to extra protection for or are doing a long-distance move. These numbers serve as a good starting point, but you may need more or less blankets depending on the specifics of the furniture. Measuring will give you the most precise estimate.

Factors That Can Reduce the Number of Blankets

While it’s best to err on the side of overestimating how many blankets you’ll need, there are some factors that can reduce the required amount:

  • Using a professional moving company – Their trucks will have padded walls that provide some protection.
  • Moving furniture with no exposed wood – Upholstered couches and chairs only need wrapping on corners.
  • Going a short distance – A local move within town will require less padding than a long-distance move.
  • New, inexpensive furniture – You likely don’t need as much padding for furniture that costs less or is easily replaceable.
  • Items packed in boxes – Anything already safely packed in a box just needs a blanket or two.

Even with those space-saving options, you’ll still want to make sure delicate items and furniture edges are sufficiently padded, but you may be able to use less padding overall.

Why Proper Padding is Important

It may be tempting to try to get by with fewer blankets if money is tight, but it’s a false economy. Here’s why following padding recommendations is so important:

  • Avoid damage – Extra blankets prevent nicks, scratches, cracks, and dents during the moving process.
  • Weatherproof – Moving blankets protect furniture from rain, snow, dust, dirt, and moisture in the truck or if items are temporarily stored.
  • Lock pieces in place – Blankets keep items from slipping and sliding during transit.
  • Cushion shocks – The padding absorbs jolts from the road and bumps during loading/unloading.
  • Prevent chipping – Ample padding keeps glass table tops or china cabinets from chipping during the move.

Taking the time to do it right will give you peace of mind that your belongings will arrive safely. Trying to move with insufficient padding can lead to damages that end up costing more than extra blankets would have.

Tips for Purchasing Moving Blankets

Once you have an estimate of how many moving blankets you’ll need, here are some tips as you go to purchase:

  • Buy 10-20% more than you think you’ll need to be safe.
  • Make sure blankets have thick padding and quilting.
  • Choose a durable, woven fabric shell that won’t rip easily.
  • Look for water resistant blankets for outdoor protection.
  • Buy blankets that are attached so they don’t slip.
  • For delicate items, get thick furniture pads instead of blankets.
  • Avoid thin, cheap blankets that won’t provide sufficient padding.

Buy blankets from a moving supply store or truck rental company so you know they’re high-quality. Another option for saving money is borrowing from friends and family if they have blankets leftover from previous moves.

Alternatives to Purchasing Moving Blankets

If purchasing all new moving blankets is out of your budget, here are a few alternative padding materials you can use:

  • Quilts and comforters – Layer folded quilts around furniture edges and flat surfaces.
  • Towels and blankets – Use towels and old blankets for an extra layer of padding.
  • Cardboard – Use large pieces taped together to line floors and walls of truck.
  • Foam pads – Pick up foam furniture pads to use on delicate wood surfaces.
  • Bubble wrap – Wrap smaller items in multiple layers of bubble wrap.
  • Paper – Use crumpled paper as cushioning inside boxes.

These items work in a pinch, but generally don’t provide as much protection as purpose-made moving blankets. You may need to use more of them to achieve adequate padding.

Special Considerations for Packing Your Moving Truck

Once you’ve wrapped each piece of furniture and box with moving blankets, you need to strategically load and pack the truck to keep belongings stable and protected. Here are some tips:

  • Load larger, heavier items like dressers and sofas against the front wall first for stability.
  • Use blankets to pad the floor, walls, and ceiling of truck as an extra cushion.
  • Pack lighter boxes and loose items in tightly around larger items to prevent shifting.
  • Wrap tie-down straps with moving blankets where they touch furniture to prevent damage from friction.
  • Place blankets between pieces of stacked furniture.
  • Pack wardrobe boxes full of clothes tightly for maximum support.

Take time to carefully pack the truck so heavy furniture doesn’t crush boxes or slide around. Proper packing will keep your belongings secure no matter how many miles they travel.

How Movers Estimate Required Blankets

Professional movers have a simple formula they use to estimate the number of moving blankets they’ll need for a client’s belongings. Here is the typical process:

  1. Do a walkthrough of home noting all items being moved and any large furniture measurements.
  2. Determine the floor space furniture and boxes will occupy laid flat across the truck.
  3. For local moves, estimate needing 1 blanket per 30 square feet of floor space.
  4. For long-distance moves, estimate 1 blanket per 20 square feet instead to provide more padding.
  5. Add 2-3 blankets for wrapping doorways and truck walls.
  6. Increase estimate by 20% to provide a buffer.

You can follow a similar process using your furniture dimensions and floor space measurements of the moving truck. Remember that it’s always better to have unused blankets than to discover you don’t have enough padding halfway through your move.

Signs You Don’t Have Enough Moving Blankets

During the moving process itself, be alert to these signs that you may need to pick up more moving blankets:

  • You can see exposed corners or edges of furniture and appliances.
  • Surfaces are making direct contact with other items or the truck walls.
  • Pieces are rubbing together without any padding in between.
  • Sharp corners or feet are not sufficiently wrapped.
  • Fragile boxes are stacked without protective barriers.
  • There’s empty space allowing furniture to shift and slide around.
  • Straps holding items in place are not covered.

If you notice any of these issues, stop and get additional padding. A few extra blankets now can prevent expensive damage down the road.

Padding Other Moving Vehicles

Besides moving trucks, moving blankets help protect your belongings if using other vehicles like:

  • SUVs
  • Vans
  • Pickup trucks
  • Box trucks
  • Rental trucks

Even if vehicles have carpeting or panels, moving blankets prevent scratches and shield against weather and dust. Follow the same guidelines for estimating quantities needed based on floor space and furniture size. Just be sure to safely secure all items, especially in open vehicles like pickup trucks or vans.

Using Moving Blankets for Storage

Moving blankets aren’t just for moves—they can also provide protection if you’re temporarily storing belongings. Here are some storage uses for moving blankets:

  • Covering furniture pads if items are being warehoused.
  • Lining dusty storage units for a cushioned barrier.
  • Covering wood furniture if being kept outside under tarps.
  • Wrapping around mattresses and box springs.
  • Laying underneath furniture legs so they don’t touch concrete floors.
  • Protecting appliances from moisture and dirt if stored in a garage or shed.

Estimate how many blankets you’ll need for storage the same way you would for moving. Measure furniture dimensions and floor space to determine blanket quantities for full protection.


Determining the right amount of moving blankets you need takes some preparation and calculations. But properly padding your belongings makes all the difference in keeping treasured possessions safe from damage. As you prepare to move, take inventory of what you’re moving, measure furniture, consider factors like move distance and furniture type, and purchase quality thick moving blankets with some extra to spare. With the right amount of padding, you can feel confident your belongings will arrive safely at your new home.

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