Skip to main content

Are you looking to donate your mattress and wondering, does Salvation Army take mattresses? Yes, the Salvation Army accepts mattress donations under certain conditions: they must be clean, stain-free, in good shape, and free of pests. Before you haul your mattress over, it’s important to confirm with your local branch as acceptance policies can vary. In this article, we’ll guide you through the essentials of donating your mattress to the Salvation Army, evaluate alternative donation options, and outline the benefits of mattress donation, preparing your mattress for donation, and the recycling process for those not suitable for donation.

Key Takeaways

  • The Salvation Army only accepts clean, stain-free, and good condition mattresses; policies may vary by local branches, so it’s crucial to verify with them before donation.

  • Alternative donation centers include local shelters, non-profit organizations, furniture banks, and online platforms; certain services offer mattress removal and pick-ups to facilitate donations.

  • Mattress donation benefits the environment by reducing landfill waste and extends support to communities by providing necessary items to underprivileged individuals and families.

Salvation Army’s Mattress Donation Policy

Salvation Army donation center with volunteers sorting donated items

The Salvation Army is a well-known organization that accepts mattress donations. However, they have a strict policy that mattresses must be:

  • Clean

  • Stain-free

  • In good condition

  • Free from bed bugs or any other infestation

The specific policies of your local store may or may not accept mattresses, so it’s essential to check with them before attempting to dispose of your old mattress.

It’s necessary to understand these guidelines before you plan to donate a mattress.

Evaluating Mattress Suitability

So, how do we ensure our mattress is suitable for donation? The Salvation Army prefers mattresses that are:

  • Gently used and exhibit minimal wear and tear

  • Free from bed bugs and stains

  • Inspected for structural damage and cleanliness

  • Free from broken or bent coils

Overall cleanliness and meeting these criteria are crucial for a mattress to be accepted by The Salvation Army.

Contacting Your Local Branch for Details

Getting in touch with your local Salvation Army branch is an essential step in the donation process. You can visit their website, use the location search tool, or call 1-800-728-7825 for specific information about your local donation center.

Verifying the branch’s current donation policies and requirements online or by phone ensures that your mattress donation is compliant with local policies.

Alternative Donation Centers for Your Mattress

Furniture bank accepting gently used mattresses

If for some reason, the Salvation Army cannot accept your mattress, there are numerous alternative options. You can consider donating your mattress to:

Additionally, you can use online platforms such as Facebook Marketplace and to list your mattress for free collection.

Companies like 1-800-GOT-JUNK? ensure that mattresses in good condition are donated to local charities. It’s essential to verify the current policies of local thrift stores and to sanitize the mattress before donation.

Furniture Banks Accepting Gently Used Mattresses

The Furniture Bank Association of America is a non-profit organization providing free, gently-used furniture to families in need, including a network of approximately 80 furniture banks throughout North America. This association accepts mattress donations, providing they are in good condition. They even offer a mattress removal and pickup service for donors residing within a 20-mile radius of a member organization’s location, facilitating easy donation.

Their broad network of member organizations offers widespread support across the United States, reaching a large number of households.

Local Shelters and Non-Profit Organizations

Local shelters and non-profit organizations are often accepting mattress donations to support their operations and help those in need. Homeless shelters and transitional housing programs are among the most common types of organizations that welcome mattress donations. Donated mattresses significantly relieve the hardships of individuals and families affected by homelessness or financial difficulties.

Thus, the act of donating a mattress serves not just a practical purpose, but also forms a vital part of community support for underprivileged populations.

The Benefits of Donating Your Used Mattress

Environmentally friendly mattress disposal

Donating a used mattress comes with a host of benefits. This act significantly reduces environmental impact by:

  • Preventing the release of harmful chemicals through decomposition and avoiding landfill waste

  • Extending the life of a mattress and mitigating the consumption of natural resources required for new mattress production

  • Contributing to lower carbon emissions by reducing the need for new production and waste disposal

Overall, donating a used mattress is a great way to help the environment and reduce waste.

Furthermore, it supports underprivileged individuals and families, providing them with comfort and security during challenging times. All in all, mattress donation is a generous and responsible approach that enables the repurposing of mattresses, aiding those in need while simultaneously benefiting the environment. Many organizations accept mattress donations to help achieve these goals.

Supporting Communities in Need

When you donate a mattress to organizations like the Salvation Army, you’re indirectly funding various local charity initiatives. Profits from the sale of donated items, including mattresses, fund these initiatives. Specifically, the profits generated from the sale of donated mattresses aid in financing the Salvation Army’s adult rehabilitation centers. This means your old mattress can support critical humanitarian services such as:

  • shelter

  • food assistance

  • addiction-recovery programs

  • disaster relief

Businesses who donate surplus mattresses can positively impact their local communities and enhance their brand image through contributions to social welfare.

Eco-Friendly Disposal Through Donation

Donating a mattress instead of throwing it away is an eco-friendly solution for disposal. It helps reduce the strain on landfills and offers a better alternative. Conservation of resources is achieved through mattress donation since it prevents the need to produce new materials when the old ones can be repurposed.

Charitable causes benefit from mattress donation as it provides essential items for families and individuals in need.

Preparing Your Mattress for Donation

Sanitizing and preparing a mattress for donation

Once you’ve decided to donate your mattress, it’s essential to prepare it properly. This includes thoroughly cleaning and sanitizing the mattress. A vacuum and baking soda are recommended for eliminating odors and dirt.

Ensuring structural integrity, such as the absence of broken or bent coils, is necessary when preparing a mattress for donation. Spot-clean any stains on the mattress before donating; if stains cannot be removed or the mattress is badly damaged, consider recycling it instead.

Cleaning and Sanitizing Techniques

To sanitize a mattress for donation, follow these steps:

  1. Remove all bedding and vacuum the mattress to remove dust and dirt.

  2. Treat any stains on the mattress.

  3. Deodorize the mattress by sprinkling baking soda on the surface and letting it sit for a few hours before vacuuming it up.

  4. Once the mattress is clean, wrap it in a plastic cover or a mattress bag to protect it from dirt and pests during transport.

  5. Attach a clear note stating that the mattress has been properly cleaned and is free of pests.

Following these steps will ensure that the mattress is in good condition and ready for donation.

It’s essential that all bedding and pillows are removed and the mattress is thoroughly vacuumed to maintain cleanliness.

Ensuring Structural Integrity

Ensuring the structural integrity of your mattress before donation is vital. You must:

  • Assess the mattress for any significant structural damage

  • Ensure cleanliness

  • Verify it is free of health hazards like pests

  • Check for issues like sagging or broken springs

  • Confirm that any wear and tear is minor and even

Mattresses showing signs of sagging, lumps, or indents indicating wear may not be suitable for donation due to lack of proper support.

Mattress Recycling as a Sustainable Option

Local recycling center for mattresses

If your mattress isn’t suitable for donation, recycling it is a great alternative. Recycling a mattress offers several benefits:

  • Reduces waste in landfills

  • Prevents pollution

  • Conserves natural resources

  • Is more energy-efficient

  • Stimulates local economies by creating job opportunities

Resources like Earth 911 and Bye Bye Mattress provide listings of local recycling facilities for mattresses.

City recycling programs, broadly available in major cities, provide a hassle-free option for mattress recycling. Professional services such as 1-800-GOT-JUNK? offer mattress removal focused on responsible disposal by maximizing recycling efforts and donating when possible, to lower the environmental impact.

Locating a Nearby Recycling Center

The Mattress Recycling Council (MRC) provides a tool to locate mattress collection sites, recycling facilities, or collection events. Registered locations are available in states like California, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. When searching for a mattress recycling center, it’s advisable to check the list of acceptable and unacceptable items and to contact the location with any questions before dropping off a mattress.

The MRC’s locator tool is meant to assist people from any location to find the nearest and most convenient mattress recycling site, even if they do not live in a state with a Mattress Stewardship Program. The MRC emphasizes responsible recycling practices and discourages leaving mattresses outside closed facilities or containers.

Understanding the Recycling Process

Organizations that accept donated mattresses often refurbish and recycle them, reducing the demand for new production. Most components of mattresses, including foam, fabric, metal, and wood, can be disassembled and recycled into new products such as carpet underlayment, industrial filters, appliances, mulch, or even as a fuel source.

Companies like 1-800-GOT-JUNK? have a recycling program where they recycle up to 80-90% of the materials from old mattresses, including box spring mattress components, repurposing elements like:

  • foam padding

  • fabric

  • box springs

  • wooden frames

Professional Mattress Removal Services

Professional mattress removal services offer convenient solutions for disposing of old mattresses, including eco-friendly options. Companies such as Ex-Mattress and Green Mattress Co. specialize in eco-friendly disposal, while 1-800-GOT-JUNK? provides comprehensive services including disposal and environmental fee coverage. These companies offer the convenience of scheduling mattress pick-ups through their online booking systems. However, before booking, it’s important to verify local restrictions and understand that pricing for pick-up services depends on the number and type of items to be removed.

Scheduling a Pick-Up

Professional services such as 1-800-GOT-JUNK? help with removing and recycling old mattresses while ensuring responsible handling. A mattress pick-up with 1-800-GOT-JUNK? includes:

  • Scheduling either online or by phone

  • An all-inclusive price upon arrival

  • Communication with customers within a 15-30 minute window before arrival to confirm the exact pick-up time.

It’s advisable to contact non-profit organizations directly to understand their mattress donation process and schedule a pick-up or drop-off.

Responsible Disposal Practices

Choosing mattress removal services that commit to responsible disposal practices is crucial to prevent environmental harm. Proper disposal methods reduce the ecological footprint by ensuring that materials are either recycled or disposed of in an environmentally sound manner. You should choose removal services that are transparent about their disposal techniques, are certified by relevant authorities, and actively aim to recycle or repurpose mattress materials.

By adhering to responsible disposal practices, removal services can significantly contribute to environmental sustainability.

Tax Deductions and Donation Receipts

Donating a mattress can potentially lead to tax deductions in some regions. To properly record the donation, document the mattress’s original purchase price and estimated current value. The documentation is invaluable as it allows businesses and individuals to claim deductions for charitable contributions, making it an essential asset for tax purposes..

Keeping thorough records of donations is important because they can help support tax deductions and serve as a reference in case of any discrepancies that may arise.

Documenting Your Donation for Tax Deductions

To claim your charitable contributions as tax deductions, you must document them. It is the donor’s responsibility to estimate the fair market value of their donated items.

To claim a tax deduction, subtract the value of your charitable contribution from your taxable income.

Obtaining and Storing Donation Receipts

A donation tax receipt should include the date of the donation, the donor’s name and address, and a brief description and quantity of the donated items. For donations with deductions exceeding $250, a written acknowledgment from the charity is mandatory to qualify for tax deductions.

Donation receipts should be provided at the time of donation or can be requested online, and must be signed by the accepting employee, with the donor retaining a copy.


Donating or recycling your used mattress can make a significant difference in the environment and your community. Not only does it reduce landfill waste, but it also supports the underprivileged with essential items. Whether you choose to donate via the Salvation Army, local donation centers, or furniture banks, or opt for recycling, you’re contributing to a sustainable future. So, before you consider dumping that old mattress, think of the difference you could make by donating or recycling it.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can all mattresses be donated?

No, not all mattresses can be donated as they need to be in good condition, clean, and free of bed bugs or infestations.

What if the Salvation Army does not accept my mattress?

If the Salvation Army cannot accept your mattress, consider donating it to local donation centers, furniture banks, or other charities and thrift stores like Goodwill. You have other options for mattress donations in your community.

Are there benefits to donating a used mattress?

Donating a used mattress has several benefits, including reducing environmental impact, conserving resources, and supporting underprivileged individuals and families.

How do I prepare my mattress for donation?

Prepare your mattress for donation by cleaning, sanitizing it, and ensuring it is structurally sound for donation. These steps are necessary to meet donation requirements.

Can I get a tax deduction for donating my mattress?

Yes, you may be eligible for a tax deduction for donating your mattress. It’s important to document the original purchase price and estimated current value when making the donation.