How to Dispose of a Mattress Properly?

Getting a new mattress is a big deal.

From size, to firmness, to height and material, there’s a lot on your mind when you finally make the decision to turn your old mattress in for something better.

There are always a ton of things to keep track of as you go through the process of buying a new mattress, and that makes it easy to lose sight of one very important question:

What Are You Going to do With the Old One?

Now, don’t worry—you don’t have to be one of those people who ends up ditching their worn-out mattress along the side of the road.

You actually have quite a few options when it comes time to properly dispose of your mattress.

See if You Can Return It

Although it’s probably a long shot, remember to check in on your mattress company’s return policy before getting any further in this process.

a large landifill

These policies vary from company to company, and unfortunately, many times they’re pretty short-term.

Although many mattresses come with warranties for 5, 10, or 20 years, it’s a common misconception that you’ll be able to return your mattress for any reason if it fails while under warranty.

Most mattress warranties only account for manufacturing issues—not regular wear and tear.

If you think your mattress might have been built with some kind of defect, though, be sure to contact your company first thing.

You might be able to save yourself a fair amount of trouble!

If you look at our Best Mattress Review, you’ll find many mattresses with good trial periods.

Throw It Away

If you’re not able to get your mattress back to its producer, the most obvious solution is probably to just throw the mattress away the same as you’d throw away anything else.

You might be able to simply leave it on the curb, or you might have to take it down to your local landfill.

Either way, this is almost certainly the first fix that’ll come to your mind when you start thinking about getting rid of your old mattress.

There Are a Lot of Drawbacks to This

Unfortunately, the most obvious solution isn’t always the best one.

With 8,000 mattresses ending up in American dumps every single day, a number of landfills now charge extra fees for dropping off mattresses.

There’s good reason for this, too.

Mattresses are bulky.

They don’t compact well, and as they decompose, they can actually form toxic air pockets that dumps really don’t like dealing with.

So if dropping your mattress off at the landfill was your first choice, you might want to think again.

Recycle It

recycling boxes in a meadow

A more eco-friendly solution to disposing of your old mattress is to look into nearby recycling centers.

A mattress is one of the bulkiest things a consumer can recycle, and up to 90% of a mattress’s materials can be reused.

This means that you’re doing the earth a serious favor if you can take the time to find a good site near you.

Mattress Companies Can Help

Depending on what company you’re buying from, you may actually be able to get your mattress to a quality recycling center with minimal hassle.

Many companies are willing to take your old mattress off your hands at no cost to you.

Just call and ask!

Finding a Recycling Center

If your old mattress provider doesn’t pull through with mattress disposal, not to worry—there are a few sites online specifically designed to guide you through this process.

Websites like Earth 911 and Bye Bye Mattress, for instance, will help find you nearby recycling centers based on your zip code.

Unfortunately, though, these sites aren’t yet available everywhere just yet.

Bye Bye Mattress only offers services in California, Connecticut, and Rhode Island.

Earth 911, on the other hand, searches for recycling centers around the country—but note that not all centers accept mattresses.

What Kinds of Mattresses Can You Recycle?

Most recycling centers accept mattresses and box springs of almost all shapes and sizes.

There are only two kinds of mattresses that simply don’t have enough materials to justify the cost of recycling: air mattresses, and waterbeds.

When these get run down, the best you can do is try to patch them up yourself.

If they’re simply beyond repair, there’s nothing for it—just press them down so they take up as little space as possible, and leave them out for the garbage men to handle.

Harvest for Parts

Now, if you’re the kind of person who doesn’t mind getting their hands a little dirty, there are a couple other options for you besides recycling.

The reason centers are often so willing to handle mattresses is that they’re chock-full of handy materials.

90% of the materials in a traditional innerspring mattress can be reused.

Just cut along the border tape, peel back the fabric, and repurpose your mattress parts for fluff, insulation, pillowcases, art, and more.

You can also make a little extra cash recycling the springs for scrap metal, and some sites will also pay you for your memory foam.

DonateIt

The options above have been assuming that your mattress is in pretty bad shape.

Most people keep using their mattresses long past their prime, so by the time they’re looking to buy a new one, their mattress isn’t worth anything more than the parts it’s made of.

But there are a lot of reasons why you might need to dispose of an old mattress.

Sometimes, in fact, it might be practically new.

If you find yourself in a position like this, there are a lot of organizations that are often more than happy to take unwanted furniture like this off your hands.

Find a Good Charity

One good way to find charities in need of mattresses is to go through sites like Donation Town.

This is pretty similar to Earth 911 and Bye Bye Mattress, in that it finds organizations near you willing to take decent-quality beds and mattresses off your hands.

There are a lot of reasons why people might need a new mattress, but be unable to afford one.

a person sleeping on the floorHomeless people.

Families who’ve lost everything.

People in transition.

Refugees.

Having a quality mattress under your back is often one of the first steps to getting back on your feet.

Your battered mattress could help change a life.

Getting Your Mattress Ready to Donate

Some good nation-wide charities for collecting used mattresses include Goodwill, Salvation Army, and Habitat for Humanity.

These organizations are usually willing to accept just about any kind of mattress so long as there’s nothing wrong with it, but be sure to double-check your local outlet’s policies before driving off with your mattress.

Charities will not typically accept mattresses that are broken, stained or unsanitary.

Also be sure to let you charity know if your mattress is coming from a home with pets or cigarette smoke.

Many people who come to these organizations are in poor health, and the last thing they need is for their new mattress to make things worse.

This is especially important for people with asthma or allergies.

You definitely shouldn’t let this keep you from looking into donating, but just be sure to let the charity know.

Sell It

If you’re not in the financial position to just give away your gently-used mattress, there are a couple options out there for you to make a quick buck while still getting rid of this bulky chunk of furniture.

You could, of course, always put together a yard sale—but that takes a lot of time and effort, and it’s not always an option if you don’t have that much to sell.

Not to worry, though—the internet has got you covered.

It will take a little bit of tech savvy, but there are a couple online solutions available for taking that mattress off your hands.

Try Craigslist

One good option for this is Craigslist.

This site allows all its users to put out online classified advertisements that anyone can see.

Place a free ad in your area for your mattress, and other Craigslist users can contact you directly though the site.

One especially nice thing about selling with sites like this is that they allow you to set your own prices.

For example, if you’re not concerned about making back the money you spent on a mattress and you really just want to get this mattress out the door, you can set your price as low as you want.

You sometimes do have to be a little careful using Craigslist, though, since absolutely anyone can buy from you.

Or Use Social Media

Sites like Facebook offer another option for selling good-quality mattresses.

If you want, all you have to do is post a picture of the mattress on your wall and let all your online friends know you’re selling.

This can be easier than contacting multiple friends or family members individually (although that is another good option, if your mattress is still in good shape).

Many cities and counties also often have Facebook groups specifically dedicated to buying and selling things like this.

These groups often have pretty wide audiences, so they offer a good option if you’re comfortable using them.

Conclusion

No matter how you decide to get rid of your mattress, remember that anything is better than leaving it for local cleanup crews to take care of.

Be responsible when it comes to mattress disposal.

There are a lot of choices out there, so just do you research, take it slow, and figure out the best option for you.

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