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How to Dispose of a Mattress?

A study shows that around 50,000 mattresses are dumped in landfills daily in the United States, with over 18.2 million mattresses discarded annually. This takes up a surprising amount of space and considering the type of materials used in a modern mattress, some components are not easily biodegradable. Sounds like a kid's dream of a mattress castle or our society's environmental nightmare?

Most manufacturers will tell you that the life of a mattress is about 10 years. Depending on what type it is, how you look after it, or how you use it, a mattress has a relatively long life span. A worn mattress can be disposed of in a variety of ways, including recycling, donating, and tossing it away. The approach that is best for you will rely on a number of factors, namely the condition of the mattress, your location, and the nearby facilities that provide various disposal or donation options.

How to Dispose of a Mattress?


  • Option 1: Resell It
  • Option 2: Give It Away
  • Option 3: Donating It
  • Option 4: Recycling Your Mattress
  • Option 5: Crafting It
  • Option 6: Toss It Away
  • FAQs

Option 1: Resell It

If your mattress is in good condition and still can be used for several years, try reselling it. This option is for people that tend to move a lot or are transitioning from an affordable mattress to something more upscale. You won't get the full purchase price back, but it is still a great way to get rid of a mattress or make room for a new one. You'll definitely be helping out the person that buys it off your hands.

Option 2: Give It Away

People need a mattress to sleep and giving it away is a good option for disposing of a mattress. You could use online social media, community noticeboards, or any place that will allow you to post about your used mattress and try to give it away. Make sure the title is clear and that you're giving a mattress away for free or what your terms and conditions are. Be sure to include the mattress details so that they know what size it is, what type, and how long it has been used. However, do be careful of the personal information that you are giving out such as telephone number and also address as you need to be careful of your privacy and safety.

Option 3: Donating It

Donating Mattress

Instead of throwing away their mattresses, many people prefer to donate them. This is a great charitable option to help someone in need while also making space for your new mattress. However, you should keep in mind that not all mattresses are appropriate for donation. The condition of the mattress is very important before donating. You do not want to donate a mattress that could cause harm or is beyond repair for sleeping. Most charities and shelters have standards on whether mattresses are appropriate for donation such as the quality of the mattress, hygiene condition, and other criteria. Please check with your local charity and learn about the terms and conditions before bringing your old mattress to these organizations.

So, what kind of mattress meets the donation standard?

The requirement for mattress donation varies depending on the charity, organization, or shelter. These are certain common rules, though.

  • General structural problems: Coils that are bent, broken, or protruding might render a mattress useless. You may have observed such problems when you used them previously, and they are frequently noticeable from the outside. A mattress may also be unsuitable for passing on to someone else if it has structural issues caused by wear and tear, such as excessive drooping, irregular bunching, and permanent indentations.
  • Rips & Tears: If your mattress is significantly worn-out, do not donate it. This includes holes as well as gashes and unraveled seams, such as those caused by cigarette burns, or dog and cat scratches.
  • Stains: Stained mattresses should not be donated. This covers both significant and minute stains from any chemical as well as obvious and long-lasting discoloration from repeated use. But, if your mattress has minor blemishes, stains, or other issues that you believe a do-it-yourself clean could fix, you can ask to see if it is acceptable.
  • Mold or Mildew: Long-term storage can cause mold and mildew, especially in a humid room. If there are a few moldy areas, sprinkle dish soap on them and then wipe them down several times with a damp towel. After that, expose the mattress to the sun for a while. The remaining moisture will be removed by the sun. If the moldy areas are big, do not donate the mattress for health reasons.
  • Odor: Despite the fact, some people are “nose blind” to scents in their own houses, a very potent stench coming from a mattress should draw your attention. You can try scattering a coating of baking soda on the surface of your mattress and letting it sit for a few hours if you notice a faint odor coming from it. Vacuum the baking soda off afterward, and if you can, leave the mattress outside to air out. Do not donate a mattress if it has pungent smells because it could be a health hazard.
  • Infestation: Do not donate a mattress that is infested with ticks, fleas, or ridden with bed bugs. Even if you cleansed the surface of the mattress, the eggs that these insects leave behind are left inside the mattress, which could remain dormant and re-infest your mattress.

Local Charities and Shelters

Here is a list of a few local charities and organizations to which you can donate your mattress to provided that it is in relatively good condition. Be sure to check their mattress donation requirements before going ahead.

Option 4: Recycling Your Mattress

Recycling Mattresses

Recycling your mattress is a good alternative if you could not find out an ideal place to donate your mattress, or if it is no longer safe to sleep on. Every year, up to 20 million mattresses end up in landfills, taking up an average of 40 cubic feet of space. This considerably increases the amount of waste in landfills, which causes serious ecological and environmental issues as well as hazardous working conditions for people all over the world. Thankfully, the majority of mattress components may be recycled to an extent of about 80%. When you’ve decided to upgrade or replace your mattress, think about recycling it rather than throwing it in the trash.

Most mattress materials can be reused and repurposed, and they will adopt a series of eco-friendly ways to recycle mattresses. For example, foam can be shredded and used as a cushion or a resting pad, and they also serve as insulating material. Most manufacturers set up these programs and either recycle the mattresses or give them to those in need. Here are some ways to help you recycle your mattress.

City Recycling Programs

Mattress recycling programs are available in most major American cities, and some even offer pickup services. However, before doing so, please make sure to check your city’s website and call them to verify. Keep in mind that most mattress recycling organizations won’t accept mattresses that are moist, extremely dirty, or infested.

Earth 911

Entering your zip code, Earth 911 can assist you to find a recycling facility nearby. It will provide details on the center’s location, business hours, and recyclables. Once you’ve found a recycling center in your neighborhood, you may use their website or phone to inquire about pick-up options.

Renewable Recycling

Renewable Recycling offer pick-up and drop-off service for mattresses and recycle mattresses in a proper and responsible way. Click on their official website and fill in the key information, they will help you to treat your old mattress.

Bye Bye Mattress

Bye Bye Mattress aids you in locating a mattress recycling center in your neighborhood, helping you to lessen the number of mattresses that wind up in landfills each year. The closest facility to you can be found if you reside in California, Connecticut, or Rhode Island. Of course, if you live in other states, it won’t be a long wait due to Bye Bye Mattress’s rapid growth.

Option 5: Crafting It

Mattress diy

A mattress can typically be reused in its entirety. You can disassemble your old mattress and utilize the components for DIY and repurpose it.

You can dismantle the mattress and box spring and recycle the components. Your mattress can be readily broken down into recyclable elements if you have enough time, room, and skills to do so. And some recycling companies that do not take full mattresses might do so instead. Make sure to call your local recycling center ahead of time to confirm that they take them. Go to your neighborhood scrap metal market if your mattress includes springs, and most of them will pay you to take the metal springs.

For the remaining materials, foam can be utilized as throw pillow padding, pet beds, and cushions. If you’re moving soon, you can also use it as packing material for cushioning. Alternatively, you can repurpose the stuffing from old pillows in this way, use the filling as a craft project, and make a cover using natural fabrics. Wooden box springs can be used as raised garden beds for vegetables and herbs. Parts of the damaged mattress can be used to create a wide variety of works of art and original home decor. Mattress may undoubtedly find a second life if you’re creative enough.

A word of caution. Before you begin disassembling your mattress, double-check that it is a fiberglass-free mattress. Older mattresses used fiberglass inner covers as a way to provide fire resistance. The microscopic glass particles might irritate your skin, lungs, eyes, or stomach. If you find that your mattress has fiberglass, you may want to get a professional to dispose of the mattress or do it yourself with the right protective equipment.

Option 6: Toss It Away

Throwing away your mattress

You and your mattress have been through a good, long run, but you cannot keep it forever. If your mattress cannot meet the standard of donating, reselling, or giving it away in some cases, you also think recycling or crafting your mattress is like a “mission impossible.” Throwing away your mattress is always a good option.

But it is not as simple as it sounds, putting it on the street is not the best way to throw a mattress. Many states, cities, and towns have unique laws and regulations regarding the disposal of mattresses in their entirety. In these locations, restricted mattresses may not be picked up on recycling days which could result in a fine. The regulation governing waste disposal differ, and a quick Google search will reveal the rules that apply in your state and city. If you reside in a location where disposing of a mattress with regular garbage is permitted, be sure to thoroughly review any additional regulations to prevent penalties and/or pick-up refusal. The majority of the time, you must cover your mattress in plastic, and in other cases, you must use a mattress bag created specifically for disposal.

Some municipalities have extra regulations when it comes to throwing away mattresses. There are sometimes designated “heavy garbage days” for large objects like mattresses that are held on a monthly or fortnightly basis. For the disposal of several bulky items, some waste management organizations also have some restrictions.

Here are two tips that you can follow to avoid the issues listed above:

1.Request mattress shipping from your new mattress company. Some mattress companies offer the old mattress recycling service as a purchase incentive, they can haul your old mattress and carry out appropriate handling. Delivering will incur a fee typically not more than $50.

2.Use of waste services. Private enterprises known as junk removal companies specialized in getting rid of the waste that can’t be disposed of regularly. Mattress removal is a service that is provided by a lot of reputable private junk removal firms. It is worthwhile to compare quotes and read reviews because prices vary greatly.


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