At least once in your lifetime, you’ll experience the question of what to do with an old mattress. Whether it’s a hand-me-down mattress full of gunk, or the thousand-dollar mattress that doesn’t have the sleep-inducing magic your salesperson promised—learning what to do with an old mattress you no longer want or need can be a headache-saver. Understanding your mattress disposal options when it comes to donating, repurposing, and recycling a mattress can simplify this process so you’ll have more time (and space) for the things you love.
There are some challenges to keep in mind:
- Mattress removal services differ from company to company. Some mattress stores offer removal with purchase, but the cost of this “free” service may be hidden in the high price tag.
- There are laws—strict regulations prohibiting or limiting what people can do with their old mattresses. Your state’s Department of Health Services can be a great resource for all mattress-related questions or concerns.
- Transporting a large, heavy mattress isn’t practical for a lot of people. There are areas where bulk trash pickup is offered at certain times of the year, but it’s not always available when you need it.
It can feel overwhelming finding a way to get rid of an old mattress, but don’t worry. Take a deep breath and let’s consider your mattress removal options.
Getting Started Before deciding where to get rid of old mattress or other bedtime-associated items beyond their prime is determining the condition of the mattress. Remove all sheets and accessories, and take a close look at your mattress.
According to the Mattress Recycling Council, “more than 50,000 mattresses end up in landfills each day.” To help reduce this rapid pileup, donate mattresses in good used condition—no rips, tears, or stains. For those mattresses you’ve had for a while or aren’t in a condition to donate, we’ll go through your mattress disposal options below.
Donate Check to see if friends or family want your old mattress or if any local churches have members in need. If you feel comfortable, post on websites like FreeCycle or Craigslist—someone in your community might appreciate your kind offer.
While every organization is different, there are places that accept mattress donations and offer free pickup. In fact, as part of Tuft & Needle’s 100-Night Sleep Trial, customers are encouraged to donate their “returned” mattress to a local charity or non-profit organization. They have the opportunity to make a difference in their communities and still receive their full refund.
Keep in mind that charitable organizations that accept mattresses require them to be in good used condition. Be sure to provide a clear and honest description, and consider taking photos of the mattress if setting up donation arrangements.
Salvation Army, St. Vincent de Paul, and Habitat for Humanity are examples of bigger organizations that accept mattresses in many parts of the country. To search for donation locations in your area, type “mattress donations in [your zip code]” into Google or another search engine.
Be mindful of varying donation requirements. Some places only accept certain sizes, or require mattresses to be donated with frames or foundations. Waterbeds, mattresses manufactured before a certain year, or beds missing their MFG labels (manufacturer labels) may not be accepted.
When in doubt, contact an organization. Sometimes furniture and large item donations are put on pause if there is limited space and volunteers, but if you’re willing to be flexible, many charities will work closely with you to find the mattress a new home.
Repurpose Give new life to a tired old mattress. Your mattress could be reused in a guest room or play space, or become a bed for your fur babies. Let your ingenuity decide, but don’t rule out Pinterest and other DIY sites for ideas.
Recycle If your mattress is past its prime, look into responsible disposal options.
Mattress disposal initiatives are slowly sprouting around the country. For example, the Bye Bye Mattress recycling program currently active in California, Connecticut, and Rhode Island is working toward funding proper mattress recycling and reducing waste buildup.
Check out the Bye Bye Mattress website for helpful resources or Wayfair’s furniture disposal tool if you need help finding places to get rid of your mattress. You should also research bulk trash options in your city or consider hiring a company like 1-800-GOT-JUNK? that offers removal services for a fee.
If the reason for removal is bed bugs, seek professional help to ensure proper handling and disposal. For more information, visit the Environmental Protection Agency website here.
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