Moving furniture and other weighty items from one room—or one home—to another risks back, neck, and shoulder injuries for those doing the heavy lifting. The best moving straps help reduce muscle strain while moving bulky, awkward items like dressers, appliances, and entertainment centers.
These straps and harnesses take pressure off of the back, leaving the hands free to navigate and balance during the move. Moving straps come in a variety of lengths, widths, and designs. For those with a new domicile on the horizon, moving straps can help you emerge with your muscles (and dignity) intact.
- BEST OVERALL: Shoulder Dolly Moving Straps – Lifting Strap for 2
- RUNNER UP: Baheel Professional Movers Tool – Shoulder Strap
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: JCHL Lifting and Moving Straps 2-Person Moving Straps
- BEST FOREARM BRACE: Forearm Forklift Lifting and Moving Straps
- BEST SHOULDER BRACE: Nielsen Products Ready Lifter Shoulder Moving Straps
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Moving Straps
Moving straps aren’t complicated, but choosing the right type can really affect how smoothly and efficiently your move goes. Before investing in moving straps, learn more about how much weight they can hold and the best types of straps for the items you need to move.
- Hand Straps: The simplest kind of moving strap is basically a harness with a handle on each end. Some can be adjusted to fit under items of different lengths and sizes. These straps are typically the least expensive, have the lowest weight capacity, and are meant to be used by just one person.
- Forearm: A forearm moving strap (or brace) has a loop, or loops, on both ends of the strap that fit over the forearms. These straps help movers carry heavy weight closer to the body, thus reducing strain on the back. Forearm braces require two people to use—one on each end of the straps—and allow you to use various strap configurations to suspend heavy items between you and a partner.
- Shoulder: Shoulder moving straps, or braces, have a strap or harness that fits over each shoulder. Some also connect behind the back or have a chest strap to make carrying more stable. Shoulder moving straps distribute weight evenly on the shoulders, leaving at least one arm free to balance the object or open doors. Some designs include padded straps to keep them from digging into the shoulders.
- Full back brace: A full back brace moving strap has a harness that fits behind the back, dispersing weight across the upper back and shoulders. These harnesses are usually well padded, which makes them more comfortable to wear than shoulder braces. Their weight capacity is similar to that of shoulder moving straps.
Moving straps are typically made of heavy-duty nylon, though the ones with full back braces may have cotton duck in the harness. It’s not just the quality of the strap material that matters, as finishing touches like double stitching and reinforced seams make a difference too. The extra stitching prevents the strap from stretching or breaking when the load gets heavy.
Some moving straps have buckles that attach to a harness, and others have heavy-duty metal buckles with locking mechanisms to prevent slipping. When using moving straps with metal buckles, it’s not a bad idea to wrap furniture and other goods with a moving blanket to prevent them from being scratched by the metal.
To accommodate users of different heights and sizes, most moving straps are adjustable to some degree. However, the comfort of a strap often comes down to how wide and well padded it is. A wider strap—one that’s 3 to 5 inches wide—distributes weight over a larger surface area, making the strap more comfortable to use. Padded straps and harnesses prevent the straps from cutting into your skin.
The strap’s adjustability also contributes to the users’ comfort. Moving straps with adjustable harnesses or chest straps are particularly useful when the two people using the straps are of different heights or sizes because they help distribute the load’s weight evenly.
Moving straps’ maximum weight capacities vary according to the straps’ style and design. Hand straps and forearm straps can usually bear weights between 400 to 660 pounds. Some forearm straps allow movers to carry up to 800 pounds.
Moving straps with weight capacities over 600 pounds are typically two-person moving strap systems with shoulder or back braces. Each person wears a harness or forearm strap on either side of the object being moved. A few full back braces and shoulder moving straps can carry up to 1,000 pounds.
Keep in mind that though the maximum weight load may be very high, whether or not the item can be moved depends on how much weight the strap’s users can lift. The strap’s maximum weight capacity may be 800 to 1,000 pounds, but the users’ capacity may only be 500 pounds. It’s important to maintain good posture while moving heavy items, lifting with the legs. If the load feels too heavy, even with moving straps, you may need extra hands to move the item.
Full back braces and shoulder moving straps have limited uses. They can move heavy, bulky items, and that’s about it.
Hand and forearm straps can sometimes be used for other purposes. Some may function as carrying straps for a forklift or tie-downs in a pickup truck, but they should only be used for that purpose if the manufacturer designates the straps as such. Whether a moving strap is suitable for other uses depends on the strap’s design and the strength of its materials.
Our Top Picks
Our top picks for the best moving straps on the market are made of durable materials, are comfortable to use, have high maximum weight capacities and, in some cases, can be used for multiple purposes.
Shoulder Dolly’s moving straps offer the features of a good moving strap. The straps themselves are 3 inches wide, allowing them to distribute weight evenly and not cut into the skin. They cross behind the shoulders, creating a harness that places the item’s weight close to the body. Using these straps leaves the movers’ hands free to stabilize the item or open doors while moving.
One of the benefits of this strap set is that the movers don’t have to be the same height; simply adjust the strap on one or both ends to distribute the weight evenly between the two users. With a maximum weight load of 800 pounds, these straps are sturdy enough to move most appliances and furniture.
The Professional Movers’ Tool from Baheel comes with two shoulder harnesses and two 12-foot moving straps. These harnesses can accommodate chests of up to 46 inches and offer a more custom fit than shoulder straps that connect behind the back, as the harnesses’ adjustable chest straps distribute weight evenly on the shoulders. The 12-foot straps connect to the harnesses via durable metal hooks and have hand loops that make lifting easier.
The straps’ mesh webbing can bear weights of 600 pounds. Baheel’s whole set weighs just 4 pounds and comes with a storage bag to keep the harnesses and straps organized when they’re not in use.
For those who are moving on a shoestring budget, the JCHL Lifting and Moving Straps provide lifting help without hurting the wallet. Three loops on each end of the straps let users adjust the length according to their height and object’s size. A lining inside the loops prevents them from digging into and irritating the skin.
Each of the set’s two bright orange straps is 9 feet long, making them long enough to accommodate many sofas, refrigerators, and other appliances. Note, at 2 inches wide, they’re not as wide as some competitors’ straps. Despite their low price, the JCHL straps have an impressive 800-pound maximum weight limit.
Forearm Forklift’s polypropylene lifting and moving straps are 9 feet 4 inches long, 3 inches wide, and sold in pairs. The wide straps fit comfortably high on the forearm near the elbow, which situates the item’s weight closer to the body. A protective lining inside the loops prevents them from cutting into the forearms.
Three loops at either end of each strap allow movers to adjust the straps to fit both the users’ height and the size of the object being moved; the straps can be adjusted up to 48 inches total. The straps can be used in a variety of configurations, such as a single strap on one side of the item or by suspending the item between two movers with the straps crossed underneath. Forearm Forklift’s straps have a maximum weight capacity of 800 pounds and come in over a dozen colors and patterns.
Reduce the chances of tweaking and straining back muscles with the Ready Lifter shoulder brace moving straps, which are ergonomically designed to distribute weight evenly and comfortably, reducing back strain. The set comes with two shoulder straps and one 12-foot moving strap. A buckle on the front of the shoulder strap makes it easy to tighten or loosen the load.
The design of the Ready Lifter’s harness, buckle, and strap enables movers to have a hand free to stabilize the item, grasp a railing, or open a door. Ready Lifters make it easy to maneuver around corners, up stairs, and through doorways. They have a 600-pound maximum weight limit.
The Advantages of Owning Moving Straps
Moving straps are handy in a number of situations, not just when you’re moving from one house to another. Many people benefit from having them available for unexpected moving projects around the house or even around the neighborhood.
- Move the largest items in the house with yourself and a partner.
- Manage heavy, awkward items without strain or injury to the back and shoulders.
- Some moving strap designs allow a single user to move bulky items alone.
FAQs About Your New Moving Straps
Moving straps protect your back from injury and help two people move items that would otherwise be too bulky or heavy. We answered a few common questions about how these straps work and why they’re worth having around.
Q. When should you use lifting straps?
Use lifting straps anytime you need to move a large, bulky, or heavy item. These straps shift weight closer to the body, making the weight easier to manage.
Q. How much can you lift with moving straps?
Maximum weight capacity varies from one set of straps to another. Generally, moving straps can hold anywhere from 400 to 1,000 pounds. Remember, the amount you can lift with straps has a lot to do with how strong the movers are.
Q. Do moving straps work on furniture?
Yes, moving straps can work on different types of furniture, from sofas and armoires to entertainment centers and trunks.
Q. Can moving straps be used to lift appliances?
As long as the appliance falls within the strap’s weight capacity, these straps can be used to lift appliances. Also, make sure the item being moved isn’t too heavy for those wearing the straps. Good lifting posture and form can help, but be sure to lift with caution to prevent injury.