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Does The Salvation Army take mattresses? The straightforward answer is that it can depend on the condition and local policies. Keep reading to understand the specifics of The Salvation Army mattress donation guidelines and discover a range of other options for your mattress.

Key Takeaways

  • The Salvation Army only accepts clean, stain-free mattresses in good condition, so inspect and clean yours before donating.

  • If your mattress isn’t right for The Salvation Army, consider other charities, recycling centers, or get creative with repurposing it at home.

  • Got an unsuitable mattress? Eco-friendly recycling can minimize your environmental footprint, or you can sell it online or use a professional removal service.

Salvation Army Mattress Donation Guidelines

A stack of clean and well-maintained mattresses ready for donation

The Salvation Army, renowned for its charitable work, may be the ideal place for your mattress donation. However, like any responsible charitable organization, they have specific guidelines to ensure that the donated mattresses can be put to good use. So, what do they look for in a donated mattress?

Primarily, The Salvation Army requires donated mattresses to be clean and in good condition. By ‘good condition’, they mean mattresses that show no noticeable wear and tear or damage, such as stains, tears, or holes. Furthermore, mattresses must be free from bed bugs and any signs of infestation. The Salvation Army may accept mattress donations at their salvation army stores, depending on the store’s ability to sell the item, which is part of assessing the condition of the mattress.

Checking Your Mattress for Acceptance

Before deciding on donating your mattress, it’s key to confirm that it fulfills the acceptance criteria. Start by checking the sheets, blankets, comforters, and pillowcases for any blood spots or stains indicative of bed bugs. A thorough inspection of the mattress seams, folds, and underside is necessary. Use gloves and a card to uncover any hidden bed bugs, eggs, or casings.

Further, flip the mattress over and examine the box spring along the folds, seams, and dust cover, where bed bugs can also hide. Even the bed frame isn’t exempt from inspection, as bed bugs can lurk in cracks, crevices, and screw holes. If you suspect a bed bug presence but can’t visually confirm it, a canine bed bug inspection can be considered for more accurate detection.

Beyond pests, evaluate the mattress for any significant structural damage like sagging or broken springs, as well as broken or bent coils. Lastly, use a fabric cleaner to treat any spots or stains, ensuring the mattress is clean before donating.

Contacting Your Local Branch

After your mattress clears the inspection, you should then:

  1. Contact your local Salvation Army branch.

  2. Visit The Salvation Army’s website and use the location search tool to find your nearest branch. This will help you locate the closest donation drop off location and understand their donation policies.

  3. Alternatively, you can utilize or call 1-800-728-7825 to learn about accepted donation items and schedule a free pick-up for your mattress if necessary.

Before moving forward with the donation, it’s necessary to verify the branch’s current policies and requirements for mattress donations. This step ensures that your donation process goes smoothly, and your mattress finds a new home without any hitches.

Alternative Places to Donate Your Mattress

A local furniture bank distributing donated mattresses to families in need

Suppose your mattress doesn’t meet The Salvation Army’s guidelines, or there’s no local branch in your vicinity. What are your alternatives? The good news is, there are numerous other organizations and charities that may accept your mattress donations, such as:

  • Goodwill

  • Asher Field
  • Furniture Banks

  • Habitat for Humanity

  • Local homeless shelters

  • Local churches or religious organizations

  • Local animal shelters or rescue organizations

Organizations such as the Furniture Bank Network, Habitat for Humanity ReStores, and donation centers like Donation Town provide excellent alternatives for mattress donation. These organizations help repurpose your gently used mattress by either providing them at low or no cost to those in need or using them to raise funds for charitable programs. Plus, some of these organizations, like the Furniture Bank Network and Donation Town, offer the convenience of pick-up services for your donated mattress.

Furniture Bank Association

One such organization is the Furniture Bank Association of America. Comprising approximately 80 furniture banks across North America, they offer services including:

  • mattress removal and pick-up within 20 miles of their locations

  • collecting gently used furniture such as mattresses

  • distributing furniture to individuals in need

  • adhering to specific condition requirements for the donated items.

If you wish to donate to a furniture bank, you can utilize the directory of furniture banks to find a local donation center that may accept your mattress donations. It’s an excellent way to give your mattress a second life while helping those in need.

Local Charities and Shelters

Local charities and homeless shelters can also be an excellent option to donate a mattress. These organizations, often helping individuals and families transitioning out of homelessness, are in continual need of mattress donations. Homeless shelters, in particular, appreciate mattress donations as individuals often leave without their bedding.

Nonprofit thrift stores also contribute to charitable efforts by accepting donations of gently used mattresses when they’re in a condition to be reused. However, when donating mattresses to small local charities, it’s important to consider their specific donation guidelines and storage capacity constraints.

Thrift Stores Like Goodwill

Thrift stores like Goodwill might accept donated mattresses to resell at affordable prices to those in need, though this varies by location. However, due to health and sanitation laws that require donated mattresses to be sanitized, most thrift store locations, including those run by local charities, often do not accept mattresses. It is important to check if your local store accepts mattresses before attempting to donate.

Strict regulations govern mattress donations to thrift stores, which include thorough sanitization to ensure the mattresses are clean and safe for the next user. So, if you’re considering mattress donations to local thrift stores, it’s important to check their specific policies and be prepared to provide details like mattress condition.

Recycling Your Mattress: An Eco-Friendly Option

A mattress being recycled in an eco-friendly facility

If your mattress is not in a condition to be donated, or no local charities are accepting mattress donations, recycling your mattress is a great alternative. It’s an environmentally friendly option that helps:

  • Reduce landfill waste

  • Conserve natural resources

  • Cut down on energy consumption

  • Reduce ecological footprint

More than 80% of mattress materials are recyclable, which can significantly cut down on energy consumption and ecological footprint by repurposing materials into new products.

Mattresses occupy up to 40 cubic feet of landfill space and can take 80 to 120 years to decompose, during which they can release toxins into soil and groundwater. By recycling your mattress, you are making a positive impact on sustainability efforts and helping to promote a cleaner environment. Plus, the growing mattress recycling industry not only reduces waste but also creates job opportunities, requiring skilled workers to:

  • dismantle and sort recyclable materials

  • process and recycle foam, fabric, metal, and wood components

  • handle logistics and transportation of mattresses

  • manage recycling facilities

Finding a Recycling Center

So, where should you take your mattress for recycling? Resources like Earth 911 and Bye Bye Mattress can help you find local recycling centers that accept mattresses. These online tools and databases list mattress recycling facilities by state and locality, including contact information and services offered.

Apart from these resources, local government websites can also be a valuable source of information on recycling programs that include mattress recycling within their jurisdiction. It’s all about finding the right place to ensure your mattress is recycled responsibly and effectively.

The Environmental Impact of Mattress Recycling

The environmental impact of mattress recycling is significant. It helps reduce the volume of waste in landfills, as mattresses take centuries to decompose and occupy substantial space. Recycling also prevents harmful chemicals from mattress components like foam and metal springs from polluting the environment.

Moreover, recycling mattresses offers several benefits:

  • It conserves natural resources by repurposing materials, reducing the need for new raw materials.

  • The recycling process is more energy-efficient than creating new products from scratch, reducing carbon emissions.

  • Mattress recycling stimulates local economies through job creation and economic opportunities in the recycling industry.

  • It may circumvent costs related to disposal and dumping fees, proving to be cost-effective.

Selling or Repurposing Your Mattress

Repurposed old mattress transformed into a cozy pet bed

If neither donation nor recycling are feasible, you might consider selling or repurposing your mattress. It’s a great way to recoup some of the original cost, especially if the mattress is still in good condition. Some options for selling or repurposing your mattress include:

  • Selling it online through platforms like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace

  • Donating it to a local shelter or organization that accepts used mattresses

  • Repurposing it into a new piece of furniture, such as a bench or pet bed

A used mattress can be priced between 20% to 30% of its original price, with considerations for condition, usage, and inclusion of extras.

Beyond selling, repurposing an old mattress, such as a box spring mattress, is another clever alternative. It opens up a world of possibilities, including:

  • Creating pet beds

  • Using the foam for cushioning in other DIY projects

  • Turning it into a seating area by adding a fabric cover

  • Using the springs as a trellis for climbing plants

It’s all about sparking creativity and finding new uses for your old mattress.

Online Marketplaces

Posting an ad online can simplify the process of selling your used mattress. Online marketplaces such as Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, LetGo, OfferUp, and eBay Classifieds offer avenues to sell or give away used mattresses. When listing a used mattress, it’s important to include clear photos, a detailed description, fair pricing, and transparency about the mattress’s condition.

To enhance the chances of a sale, consider the following strategies:

  • Regularly repost the ad

  • Adjust the price if needed

  • Offer free delivery

  • Refine the title and description for attractiveness

Alternatively, community-focused platforms like Nextdoor and Freecycle are ideal for locals looking to give away a used mattress, usually requiring the new owner to handle the pickup.

DIY Projects and Pet Beds

Have you ever thought about repurposing your old mattress? Here are some ideas:

  1. Turn it into a cozy pet bed by sizing down the foam and covering it with a pet-friendly fabric.

  2. Cut the mattress foam into rectangles to create personalized yoga mats.

  3. Reimagine the old foam mattress as a stylish headboard for your bed.

  4. Transform it into an ottoman that complements your home decor while providing additional seating.

Get creative and give your old mattress a new life, even if it’s not a memory foam mattress!

The possibilities are endless. From recycling shredded memory foam for use in couch cushions, carpet padding, or building insulation, to employing materials from dismantled mattresses to craft new furniture or art pieces, there’s a world of creative and practical uses for your old mattress.

Mattress Removal Services: A Convenient Solution

Mattress removal service truck picking up old mattresses for disposal

If you’ve exhausted all other options, or just want a stress-free solution, you can turn to professional mattress removal services for help. Companies like Ex-Mattress provide convenient solutions for disposing of old mattresses, including eco-friendly options. These services can be easily booked online through websites like Lull or directly with local companies.

Using professional mattress removal services offers the advantage of easy, environmentally friendly disposal of old mattresses. It’s a one-stop solution that takes care of all aspects of mattress disposal, from pick-up to recycling or disposal.

Eco-Friendly Mattress Disposal

Many mattress removal services focus on eco-friendly disposal methods. Companies like Ex-Mattress and Green Mattress Co. contribute to the reduction of waste and conservation of resources. They offer options like outdoor mattress pickup, which can be a more affordable and accelerated service.

Green Mattress Co, for instance, provides mattress dismantling and recycling services, ensuring a sustainable end-of-life solution for mattresses. It’s all about choosing a service that aligns with your values and provides a solution that works for you.

Scheduling a Pick-Up

With most professional removal services, arranging a pick-up for your mattress is a breeze. Companies like Ex-Mattress, 1-800-GOT-JUNK?, and Green Mattress Co. offer convenient online booking systems for scheduling a pick-up, often with national coverage. The service usually encompasses all loading, cleanup, and responsible disposal or recycling of the mattress.

Pricing for these services often depends on the number and type of items to be removed, with many companies providing onsite, no-obligation estimates. However, certain restrictions based on local regulations may apply to these services, necessitating verification of the details before a pick-up can be scheduled.

Donation Best Practices and Tips

Although we’ve explored numerous options for mattress disposal, adhering to certain best practices can ensure a seamless process, particularly if you’re thinking about donating. One such practice is to document the mattress’s original purchase price and the estimated current value for potential tax deductions.

Also, ensure that you keep thorough records of the donation. This could be a receipt from the organization or even a simple image of the donated mattress. These records can help substantiate your tax deductions and provide a reference in case of any discrepancies.

Tax Deductions for Donations

Did you know that your mattress donation can also bring tax benefits? To claim a tax deduction for a mattress donation, you must itemize deductions on your tax return using Schedule A (Form 1040) because charitable contributions are not deductible with the standard deduction. The tax deductions are only applicable if the contribution is made to a qualified organization, which can be verified through the IRS’s Tax Exempt Organization Search tool.

The deductible amount is based on the item’s fair market value, and if the contribution is $250 or more, written acknowledgment from the organization is required for tax records. So, don’t forget to obtain a receipt when you donate your mattress. It’s crucial for your tax deduction records and can be available at the time of donation or emailed after a scheduled pick-up.

Preparing Your Mattress for Pick-Up

Finally, getting your mattress ready for pick-up is another crucial step in the process. Before you donate your mattress, make sure it’s clean and sanitized. You can do this by:

  1. Vacuuming it

  2. Spot cleaning stains

  3. Using a fabric cleaner if necessary

  4. Deodorizing with baking soda to eliminate any odors

To maintain the cleanliness of the mattress during transportation and storage, use a mattress encasement or cover. Additionally, protect the mattress from dirt and damage during transport by wrapping it securely with a mattress bag or plastic wrap.


From understanding The Salvation Army mattress donation guidelines to exploring alternative donation options, selling or repurposing your mattress, and even considering professional removal services, we’ve covered a range of possibilities for mattress disposal. Each option comes with its own set of advantages and considerations, and the best choice depends on the condition of your mattress, your location, and personal preferences.

Remember, every mattress disposed of responsibly helps reduce landfill waste, conserve resources, and even support charitable causes. So next time you’re replacing your mattress, consider these options. Not only will you be clearing space in your home, but you’ll also be making a difference in someone’s life or contributing to a healthier planet.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Salvation Army take bedding?

Yes, the Salvation Army does accept bedding including bedspreads, blankets, pillows, and sheets. You can find a drop-off location, schedule a free pick-up, or visit a thrift store to donate.

What clothing items should not be donated?

It’s generally advised not to donate torn, stained, or unwashed clothing items, including underwear and socks.

Who is picking up donations in my area?

You can contact organizations like The Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity, Goodwill, and others to arrange for donation pickups in your area. They offer this service at no cost to you.

Does the Salvation Army accept all mattress donations?

Yes, the Salvation Army accepts mattress donations as long as they are clean, in good condition, and free from bed bugs or infestation. Be sure to check the condition before donating.

What are some alternative places to donate my mattress?

You can donate your mattress to the Furniture Bank Association, local charities, shelters, and thrift stores if the Salvation Army is not an option. It’s a great way to help those in need and reduce waste.