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Wondering how to dispose of a mattress correctly? From recycling to donation, resale, and more, this article breaks down your options, ensuring you can make a quick and eco-friendly decision without the hassle.

Key Takeaways

  • An old mattress can negatively affect sleep quality and hygiene, and typically, it’s advised to replace mattresses every 8 years, considering factors like wear and material lifespan.

  • Old mattresses in good condition can be donated to charities or organizations benefiting those in need, and it’s important to ensure the mattress is clean and free from odor or infestations before donating.

  • Recycling is a sustainable option for mattress disposal, with up to 70% of mattress materials being recyclable, such as metal springs and foam padding; local recycling programs can provide guidance on the proper recycling process.

Evaluating Your Mattress: Is It Time to Dispose?

Sagging old mattress with visible lumps and stains

A good night’s sleep plays a significant role in our health and well-being. But an old mattress can make that peaceful slumber a distant dream. If your mattress shows signs of wear such as lumps, sagging, or noisy springs, it’s likely time for a refresh. Not to mention, an aging mattress can harbor bacteria, negatively impacting your sleep hygiene. Consider upgrading to a new mattress and also replacing your box spring for a complete sleep solution.

The lifespan of a mattress can vary significantly, depending on various factors like its design and materials, maintenance, and bedroom environment. A plain innerspring mattress tends to last up to 10 years, while memory foam or latex mattresses can go up to 15 years. However, it’s generally recommended to replace mattresses every 8 years. So, is it time to dispose of your trusty old mattress?

Donating Your Gently Used Mattress

Donating gently used mattress to charity

If your mattress is still in good shape, donating it can be an excellent way to extend its life while helping others. Charities and organizations may accept gently used mattresses in good condition, benefiting underserved communities. You should verify that the mattress you’re donating is in good condition, free of infestations, and devoid of any unpleasant odors. A structurally sound and clean mattress is ideal for donation.

Finding a place to donate your mattress can be as easy as:

  • Searching online resources like

  • Contacting larger organizations like The Salvation Army

  • Local charities also tend to be more flexible in accepting mattresses

Donating your mattress, instead of dumping it, is not only a kind gesture but also an eco-friendly disposal method. Mattress donations can make a significant difference for those in need.

Preparing Your Mattress for Donation

Before donating your mattress, make sure it’s clean and inviting. Here’s how:

  1. Vacuum the entire surface.

  2. Use a fabric cleaner or an enzyme cleaner to treat any stains.

  3. For stubborn stains, a mixture of lemon juice and salt can be effective.

Odor can be a deal-breaker for potential recipients. To address any slight smell, sprinkle a layer of baking soda on the mattress surface and let it sit for a few hours. Then, vacuum off the baking soda. If the smell persists, it’s time to reconsider donating the mattress. After all, you wouldn’t want to donate something you wouldn’t want to receive, right?

Recycling Your Old Mattress: An Eco-Friendly Solution

Eco-friendly mattress recycling process

Recycling your old mattress has become an increasingly popular eco-friendly solution. By choosing to recycle, you’re helping reduce landfill waste as around 70% of the materials in a mattress can be recycled. From the metal springs to foam padding and wooden frame, many parts of a mattress have a second life waiting.

Numerous resources can guide you to a recycling facility for your old mattress. Websites like Bye Bye Mattress and Earth911 can guide you to the nearest recycling center. Some states, like California, Connecticut, and Rhode Island, even have mandatory mattress recycling programs managed by the Mattress Recycling Council.

Recycling Process Explained

When you recycle a mattress, it’s not simply thrown into a recycling bin with your regular trash. The process involves disassembling the mattress and separating its components. Most mattresses can be broken down and recycled, with around 80 to 90 percent being recyclable. This makes them a sustainable option for waste management..

When disposing of an old mattress, consider recycling it to reduce waste and contribute to a greener planet. Here are some recycling options for different components of a mattress:

  • Metal springs or coils can be extracted for scrap recycling.

  • Foam padding can be repurposed into carpet underlayment or shredded for new memory foam products.

  • The wooden frame and any natural or synthetic fabrics could also possibly be recyclable, depending on the recycling facilities available.

It’s important to check with your local recycling program for specific guidelines on mattress recycling. By recycling your old mattress, you’re not only decluttering your home but also contributing to a greener planet.

Selling Your Used Mattress: Tips for Success

Selling used mattress online with blurred background

Another fantastic approach to prolong the life of your mattress is selling it. However, before you list it online, make sure it’s clean and disinfected to meet legal regulations and buyer expectations. Platforms like eBay, Craigslist, or Facebook Marketplace can be excellent avenues to find potential buyers.

Pricing your used mattress can be tricky. While it might hold sentimental value for you, it’s important to be objective. Consider its original purchase price, current condition, and age. A general rule of thumb is to price it up to one-third of its original purchase price.

Creating an Appealing Listing

An attractive listing can significantly shorten the selling process. Start by taking high-quality photos of your mattress from all angles. Clear, well-lit pictures can instill confidence in potential buyers.

Next, write a comprehensive description of your mattress. Include the following details:

  • Brand name

  • Age

  • Type (e.g. memory foam, innerspring)

  • Size (e.g. twin, queen)

  • Any flaws or damage

Be honest about its condition to avoid any unpleasant surprises for the buyer. Remember, transparency is key when selling used items.

Creative Repurposing Ideas for Your Old Mattress

Creative repurposing of old mattress into home accessories

If you’re feeling creative, repurposing your old mattress can be a fun and rewarding project. With a little imagination and elbow grease, your old mattress can be transformed into home accessories, decorations, or even a raised garden bed.

Got a furry friend? Why not turn your old mattress into a cozy pet bed? All you need is a bit of fabric, some scissors or a utility knife, and a heart full of love for your pet. So, before you decide to throw away that old mattress, consider the endless repurposing possibilities.

Disposal Options for Mattresses in Poor Condition

What should you do if your mattress is in poor condition and doesn’t fit any of the above categories? Don’t worry, there are still safe and responsible mattress disposal options. Local municipalities often provide bulky waste collection services for large items like mattresses, though this typically requires a fee. Professional mattress disposal services also exist, offering efficient and hassle-free removal, with options for recycling and donating to prevent adding to the solid waste problem.

Before you dispose of your unwanted mattress, make sure to wrap it in plastic or a specially crafted mattress bag. This not only helps keep the mattress clean but also prevents it from becoming a home for pests, such as bed bugs. Remember, responsible disposal is key to minimizing environmental impact.

Retailer Assistance: Trade-in and Removal Services

Some retailers provide trade-in and mattress removal services for your old mattress when you purchase a new one. Retailers like Ashley Furniture, IKEA, and Mattress Firm often accept mattresses, including used ones, when you’re purchasing a new one. Some even offer free removal of old mattresses, making the transition to your new bed a breeze.

Before you seal the deal, make sure to understand the terms and conditions of the removal service. Negotiate the best possible trade-in deal by asking about special deals, referring to the competition, and getting the negotiated deal in writing.

Local Resources for Mattress Disposal

A variety of local resources can assist you in disposing of your old mattress, such as:

  • Local recycling centers, which can guide you through the recycling process at local recycling facilities

  • Your local council, which may offer bulky waste collection services

  • Charity organizations that may accept used mattresses

Remember, each city or state may have its own specific regulations regarding mattress disposal. It’s important to adhere to these local regulations to ensure the proper disposal of your old mattress. When in doubt, always reach out to local resources for assistance.


Whether it’s through donation, recycling, selling, or repurposing, there are several ways to responsibly dispose of your old mattress. By choosing the right method, you’re not only ensuring a good night’s sleep but also contributing to a healthier environment.

Next time you’re staring at your old, lumpy mattress, remember you have options. So, are you ready to say goodbye to your old mattress and hello to a cleaner, greener future?

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I get rid of a bad mattress?

You can donate your bad mattress to non-profit organizations like Goodwill, Habitat for Humanity, or St. Vincent de Paul, as they often accept mattress donations and may even provide pick-up services. Make sure to call ahead to confirm their guidelines and arrange for the pick-up.

How do you cut a spring mattress for disposal?

To cut a spring mattress for disposal, start by cutting through the outer material, then cut through the comfort layers and springs, and finally fold down any sharp edges to dispose of it safely.

How do you break down a mattress?

To break down a mattress, start by removing the mattress cover, then separate the foam and spring layers, disassemble any foundation, and finally prepare the components for recycling. This simple process helps to effectively eliminate and recycle the various parts of a mattress.

How do I dispose of a mattress for free UK?

You can dispose of your mattress for free at a local recycling centre or tip in the UK. This is an environmentally friendly option as the mattress can be recycled into different components and materials.

How can I tell if it’s time to dispose of my old mattress?

If your mattress has lumps, sagging, or noisy springs, it’s time to dispose of it. An old mattress can accumulate bacteria and affect your sleep quality.