How to Dispose of a Mattress & Say Goodbye

Are you considering buying a new mattress? But what are you going to do with your old mattress? The size of your old mattress, and its weight, will make it difficult to move your mattress, even with help.

Nowadays, many people are buying mattresses online. So, it makes them wonder how to dispose of a mattress. As a result, it’s harder to get rid of the old mattress when you receive your new mattress.

It would help if you asked yourself questions before buying a new mattress:

How To Tell If A Mattress Is Worn Out?

When is it time to consider a new mattress? The National Sleep Foundation reports that over 90% of people know that their sleep quality depends on the mattress they choose. Many tend to postpone buying a new mattress since it might cost them. Consequently, it is easier for sleepers to keep their old mattress longer than they really should.

So, is it time to consider a new mattress? The answer is yes if:

  • Your mattress is lumpy and/or sagging in areas
  • You often wake up achy and/or tired
  • Your mattress is ripping and/or tearing

How Long Should Your Mattress Last?

Good question! Eventually, every mattress will lose its ability to comfort and support what you need for a good sleep. So, at some point, everyone will have to dispose of their old mattresses a couple of times during their lives.

Ten years is the average life span of a mattress. However, the quality of the mattress will determine how long it will offer the sleep you need. Some lower quality mattresses can last for 5 to 7 years on average.

How To Recycle Your Mattress?

1. Call A Local Recycling Center

Just make some phone calls, and you will find a recycling facility nearby that accepts old mattresses. A couple of cities contract with haulers so they can pick up an old mattress and recycle it during certain times of the year for a service charge.

California, Connecticut, and Rhode Island have enacted laws that allow residents to recycle their old mattresses for a small fee or free through EPR (Extended Producer Responsibility) programs.

If you are having a hard time finding a facility to recycle your mattress, try asking local universities for suggestions. Frequently, universities partner with recycling services that can handle large things like mattresses.

2. Repurpose it

If you’re a DIYer, you’ll be happy to use all the cool materials from your old mattress. First, you can use the springs for ornaments, fun wine racks, or outdoor art projects. If you have a dog, you can use the padding for a dog bed. Then, you can use the thread for sewing projects and the fabric for cushion covers.

3. DIY Mattress Recycling

If you are into DIY projects, then, you should tear your mattress apart and take the recyclable parts to your local recycling facility. Here are the things you can recycle:

  • Steel springs
  • Wood frame
  • Outer foam
  • Polyurethane foam

DIY recycling is more time-consuming than having a recyclable facility take your mattress off your hands. However, it’s better for our environment than leaving the old mattress in a dumpster. If you need help on how to dismantle your mattress efficiently, you may consult a DIY guide.

As a bonus, some facilities offer some cash for parts, such as the metal coils, that you can sell as scrap metal. Also, you can put aside the foam from your old mattress to use for packing if you’re planning to move.

How To Donate An Old Mattress?

If your old mattress is in decent shape, you can consider donating it. If it’s in really rough shape (ripped, stained, or just unusable), then you’ll create more work for the organization or charity. With such unusable conditions, they will need to see how to get rid of it after you leave it with them soon.

1. Donate to Charity

If your old mattress is still in decent shape, you could help someone in need. It might be hard to find a location that accepts used mattresses due to the prevalence of bed bugs. Many charities and organizations refuse to sell donated mattresses. However, they will take a reusable mattress, or recycle it for you.

Try calling non-profit thrift charities and stores in your local area to know their policies on accepting old mattress donations. Some charities generally don’t take mattress donations, while others only accept mattresses in specific locations.

Here are some charities to contact:

They help you find a charity nearby that will accept your old mattress donation. Currently, they can arrange for donation pick up across the United States in 30 cities.

Furniture Bank Association

They take donated furniture items from individuals and businesses and give them to families who are financially struggling.

2. Give It Away

If you can’t sell your old mattress, you can try advertising it online for free. It won’t get you any cash, but it will save you the struggle of paying someone to dispose of the Mattress or tearing it apart yourself. You can list it for free and help someone in need. Also, you can check websites like, which connects you with community members who are giving away things in your area.

So How to Know If Your Mattress is Good Enough for Donation?

Every organization, shelter, and charity has its standards and regulations for what is acceptable for a donated mattress.

However, here are a couple of standard guidelines:

1. Infestations

You can not donate any mattresses with infestations whatsoever, especially if it has any mold and bed bugs.

Mold, bed bugs, or other mattress-dwelling infestations are often rooted deep in the mattress. So, even if you cleaned your mattress on a surface level, it’s hard to remove them. It’s best to consider not donating any mattress you’re getting rid of after finding infestations.

2. Major Structural Problems

Issues like bending jutting or broken coils can make a mattress unusable for donation. You will notice those problems when you last slept on your mattress. Also, these problems are often visible from the outside.

Your old mattress is unsuitable to pass on if it has structural problems like excessive sagging, large, permanent indentations, and irregular bunching.

3. Tears, Rips, and Holes

If your mattress has visible large tears, rips, or holes, don’t donate it. Also, large gashes, undone seams, and small holes (like a dog claw or bite, or a cigarette burn) make it unusable. Before donating, make sure that your old mattress cover is firmly attached.

4. Stains

It’s not nice to donate a mattress that has stains. Both small and large stains from any substance and any permanent discoloration make the mattress hard to donate.

However, if you have a mattress with small spots, stains, or other problems, you can try some DIY cleaning tricks and techniques. After cleaning the mattress using the following tips, you can bring it up for donation.

· Vacuum

Vacuuming the top, bottom, and sides of your mattress does wonders. It will remove any dust, human skin, pet hair and dander, and any other food bits and crumbs. Use a hand-held or smaller vacuum if available, but a regular vacuum will do the cleaning.

· Spot Clean

If your mattress has one or several small stains, you should try spot cleaning. Here are a few ways to spot clean. A non-toxic enzyme cleaner will break down any stains chemically.

Also, you can use a combination of baking soda liquid dish soap and hydrogen peroxide. Mix them into a spray bottle and apply to the stains on the mattress. Then, use a dry clean rag.

A third option is combining salt and lemon juice until it is thick and put it on the stains. Then, depending on the size of the stain, let it sit for 45 minutes or an hour. Finally, wipe it off with a clean rag.

5. Odours

Sometimes, we can be “nose blind” to odors in our home, but a strong odor on your mattress should be noticeable. If you’re having doubts, call in a friend who doesn’t live with you for a sniff test.

If the mattress has a slight odor, sprinkle a layer of baking soda on the surface and let it sit for a couple of hours. Then, vacuum the baking soda off and then let the mattress air outside if possible. If, after all that, the odor remains, then it’s time to reconsider donating the mattress.

Overall, it’s common sense to figure out if your old mattress is fit for donation standards.

Simply, you should make sure the mattress is clean, structurally sound, and free of odors or infestations. The mattress you’re donating won’t help anyone if it’s unusable. If you would want to receive your old mattress as a donation, then it’s good enough for donation. If not, then consider disposing of it.

How Do I Know if I’m Ready For A New Mattress?

Every 8 years, on average, you should replace your mattress.

However, some kinds and brands of mattresses last longer than others. For example, every 6 years, hybrid innerspring-foam mattresses tend to last for a shorter duration and need replacing sooner. On the other hand, plain innerspring mattresses tend to last 10 years and sometimes longer if they’re double-sided. However, latex and memory foam mattresses, with the proper care, can last 15 years.

The number of years is only the average lifespan of each mattress. Some mattresses can last for less or more time than their mattress-type average. Significantly, the lifespan of a mattress differs depending on many factors:

  • the materials it’s made of,
  • its design,
  • how you take care of it,
  • and the atmosphere in your bedroom.

The most accurate and best way to tell if you should replace your mattress is how it feels, and the rest you get when sleeping on it.

Do you still get the support and comfort from the mattress as in the past?

Signs Your Mattress Must Be Replaced

  • Changes to your quality of sleep
  • Wear and tear
  • Sagging and waking up feeling achy or tired
  • Hammocking when you feel your partner’s movements more than before
  • Lumps that give you a hard time getting comfortable
  • Noisy springs that wake you up as you or your partner move around
  • Coils that you feel through the top which increase the difficulty of falling or staying asleep

Moreover, specific life changes may make a change in mattress a necessity. If you move in with your partner or bring home a medium-to-large dog to your bedroom, an older mattress won’t be able to provide the same level of support and will be more affected by the new distribution of weight.

When it’s time for you to get a new mattress, start shopping around and pick out your new model. When you’re all set to bring it home, there’s one final burden to face: what should you do with the old mattress?

How to Dispose of a Mattress?

In some cases, you won’t be able to recycle or donate your old mattress. It may be that you can’t find a recycling facility nearby that will take your mattress, or it isn’t fit for donation. For whatever reason, you’re not able to give away, donate, upcycle, or recycle your old mattress, you can always dispose of the mattress.

However, it isn’t as simple as just putting the old mattress out on your curb. Many cities, towns, and states have specific regulations and ordinances about throwing away used mattresses. Some states prohibit putting an old mattress as a whole in the trash. On garbage day, in those places, a curbed mattress may not be picked up, and you might get a fine or a ticket.

The regulations regarding garbage disposal differ. You can read the rules for your city and state with an easy Google search. If you live in an area where you can trash an old mattress with your regular trash, read carefully any additional rules to avoid pickup refusal and/or fines.

In most cities, you must wrap your mattress in plastic. Other places require you to wrap the mattress in a certainly made mattress plastic bag. To keep things safe, you should seal it shut with packing tape.

If you can’t curb your mattress at all, here are a couple of other options:

1. A Waste Disposal Service

It is a private business that specializes in disposing of unwanted items that people can’t throw away in the regular trash. Several professional waste removal organizations offer mattress hauling services. Prices differ significantly amongst companies, so it’s best to read reviews and do some quote shopping.

2. Request Mattress Hauling From Your New Mattress Company

Before buying a new mattress, check with the company and see if they offer mattress hauling or disposal of the old mattress as part of the delivery services. Some companies provide mattress hauling for free as an encouragement to buy a new mattress. In most cases, however, companies deliver your new mattress and take your old mattress while requesting a small fee.

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