How To Dispose Of A Mattress?

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For contributions, several businesses collaborate with non-profits and mattress recycling programs. Give it away. Mattresses are often accepted and even picked up by charitable groups like Goodwill, Habitat for Humanity, and St. Vincent de Paul.

Quick Answer

While searching for the ideal mattress for you might be challenging, every mattress owner eventually comes to the realization that it’s time to advance.

Some individuals opt to replace their mattress because they want to try a new brand or style of mattress, while others do so because they need a new one because their comfort needs have changed over time as a result of things like age, weight loss or gain, injuries, or injuries themselves.

Even someone who isn’t very curious about various mattresses will ultimately need to replace their current mattress.

A worn mattress may 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 variety of elements, including the mattress’ condition, your location, and the facilities nearby that provide the disposal and donation services you need.

We’ll discuss the many mattress disposal techniques, how to choose the best one for you, and how to carry out the task.

How Can I Tell If I Need A New Mattress?

First things first: how can you tell when a mattress needs to be replaced?

According to the broad agreement, mattresses should be changed on average every eight years.

But certain mattress kinds often endure longer than others.

For instance, although ordinary innerspring mattresses may last up to 10 years (and even longer if they are double-sided), hybrid innerspring-foam mattresses often need to be replaced sooner, at roughly 6 years.

With the proper maintenance, memory foam and latex mattresses may last up to 15 years.

These are merely the average lifespans for each kind of mattress; certain mattresses may live less or longer than the average for their mattress type.

The longevity of a mattress may vary greatly, depending on things like its design, the materials it is constructed of, how well you care for it, and the environment your bedroom exposes it to.

How it feels and how well you sleep on it are the two finest and most reliable indicators of whether or not your mattress needs to be changed.

Do you still get the same level of support and comfort from your mattress as you did previously?

Signs Your Mattress Needs to Be Replaced:

Wear and TearChanges to Your Quality of Sleep
SaggingWake up feeling tired or achy
LumpsHave a hard time getting comfortable
HammockingAble to feel your partner’s movements more than you used to
Coils that can be felt through the top of the mattressIncreased difficulty falling or staying asleep
Noisy SpringsSounds may wake you when you or your partner move around

Additionally, certain life changes could call for a mattress replacement.

For instance, an older mattress may be more influenced by the changing weight distribution and may not be able to give the same amount of support if you move in with a partner or add a medium-to-large pet (like a dog) to your nightly sleeping routine.

The question of what to do with your old mattress remains after you’ve decided it’s time for a new one, looked around, chosen your new model, and are prepared to carry it home.

Giving Your Mattress Away

Instead of throwing away their mattresses, many individuals choose to donate them.

This is a wonderful chance to help those in need and clear some room for your new mattress at the same time.

It’s crucial to keep in mind, however, that not all mattresses are suitable for donation.

A new mattress may be purchased for a variety of reasons, however some mattresses are abandoned because they are severely worn out or otherwise unusable.

Donating these mattresses is not a good idea.

Standards for the acceptability of mattresses for donation have also risen at charities and shelters as a result of the surge of better quality, more inexpensive beds as well as due to legal and sanitary difficulties.

Beyond being impolite, bringing in a subpar mattress will often be a waste of time for both you and the dedicated employees and volunteers at these organizations.

How Do You Determine If Your Mattress Is in Sufficient Condition for Donation?

Every charity, group, and shelter has its own requirements for what constitutes a suitable mattress donation.

There are a few common rules, though:

Don’t give any mattresses with infestations of any type, particularly those with bed bugs or mildew, even if this should go without saying.

Even if you have thoroughly cleaned your mattress after discovering bed bugs, mold, or other life forms that live in mattresses, these infestations are often deeply ingrained in the mattress.

Any mattress you are getting rid of after an infestation should not be considered fit for donating.

Major Structural Issues: Defects like bent, broken, or protruding coils might render a mattress useless.

The previous time you used your mattress, you would have observed such problems, and they are often noticeable from the outside.

A mattress may also be inappropriate for passing on to someone else if it has structural issues caused by wear and tear, such as severe drooping, uneven bunching, and huge, permanent indentations.

Don’t give a mattress if it has noticeable, big rips, tears, or holes.

This contains holes as well as big gashes and unraveled seams (like those from a dog bite or claw, or a cigarette burn).

Before donating, you should also confirm that the mattress cover is securely fastened.

Mattress stains: Donating stained mattresses is not advised.

This includes visible, persistent discoloration from usage over time as well as both big and little stains from any material.

However, if your mattress has minor blemishes, stains, or other problems that you believe a do-it-yourself cleaning may resolve, you can apply the following tips to attempt to get rid of them and make your mattress suitable for donation.

Vacuuming may be quite effective in removing pet hair and dander, human skin, and dust from the top and sides of a mattress (as well as any other crumbs and bits that have found their way onto your mattress).

If you have a smaller or hand-held vacuum, using it would be ideal, but a standard vacuum will also work.

Spot cleaning: You may attempt spot cleaning if your mattress has one or more minor stains.

There are a few options for doing this.

You might break down the stain chemically by using a non-toxic enzyme cleaning.

Use a mixture of hydrogen peroxide, liquid dish soap, and baking soda if you want to go more hands-on with cleaning.

Spray the stains with the mixture after combining it in a spray bottle, and then dab dry with a cloth that has been both wet and clean.

A thick combination of salt and lemon juice may also be applied to the discoloration as a third alternative.

Depending on the extent of the stain, let it remain for 45 to an hour before wiping it out with a fresh cloth.

The smell of a mattress should be visible to you, even if individuals might sometimes be “noseblind” to aromas in their own homes.

When in doubt, ask a friend or family member who does not reside with you to do a smell test.

Try putting baking soda on the surface and letting it rest for a few hours if you notice that the mattress has a faint odor.

Vacuum the baking soda out next, and if you can, let the mattress air outdoors after that.

You should think twice about giving the mattress away if the smell persists.

In general, using common sense will allow you to determine if your mattress meets donation requirements.

Verify the mattress’s structural soundness, cleanliness, and absence of any smells or pests.

If the mattress cannot be utilized, it will be of no use to anybody.

Consider if you would want to accept a donation of your mattress.

If not, think about your alternatives.

That’s fantastic if you believe your bed is in suitable condition for donating.

You may then choose the appropriate recipient of your donation.

Larger Organizations

These businesses are either national or global, having locations all throughout North America and sometimes the whole globe.

Goodwill is a network of neighborhood groups that operates thrift shops where donated goods are sold.

These sales support job placement, training, and educational programs for individuals who face employment-related challenges, such as downsizing employees, those with impairments, and those with short work histories.

Vouchers for the Goodwill shops are often offered to participants in Goodwill community initiatives.

In the United States and Canada, there are 162 local Goodwills, and each one has its own rules on what they will take and if they would provide home pick-up.

Only a few sites will take mattresses that are in excellent condition.

Check with your local Goodwill to see if they accept donations of mattresses.

Habitat for Humanity: Habitat for Humanity is an organization that aims to provide inexpensive and sustainable housing for people all around the globe, often through building new homes or renovating or maintaining pre-existing ones.

Similar to Goodwill, they run the ReStore network of charity shops, all of whose proceeds support Habitat for Humanity’s home construction and housing programs.

ReStore stores, like Goodwill, differ in what they will take and whether they would provide house pick-up, particularly when it comes to mattresses.

For information about their donation policies, contact the ReStore in your area.

The Furniture Bank Association of America, often known as the FBA, is a network of furniture banks that provide low- or no-cost furniture to underprivileged areas and those who are in poverty.

They have more than 80 furniture banks nationwide, and they often take mattresses in excellent shape (ie, no structural problems, bed bugs, tears, or stains).

The usual rule is that if you reside within 20 miles of one of their furniture banks, they will come and pick up your acceptable-grade mattress, while certain furniture banks locations may travel farther.

They should take the mattress if you can transport it yourself to a furniture bank site and it is in good shape, but be sure to contact first.

Check out Furniture Banks Across America, their sibling charity, which offers a similar service.

Catholic Charities: Catholic Charities runs smaller charity service groups around the US with a focus on assisting children, refugees, homeless people, those with disabilities, and low-income individuals.

They provide programs not only for Catholics but for persons of all (or no) religious affiliation.

They operate a variety of residential housing programs and shelters in particular, and in certain areas, beds in good condition for donations are often needed (especially twin and full beds).

To find out whether there are organizations in your area in need of mattresses, visit their website.

They often also provide pick-up services.

Local Contributions

You could wish to start at the local level and avoid the bigger groups.

Larger firms often have tougher rules against receiving mattresses, for both storage-space and regulatory-related reasons.

There are several methods to locate neighborhood groups, non-profits, and smaller organizations that will accept your mattress and utilize it to benefit your neighborhood. is a crucial tool for finding the ideal home for your mattress if you are unfamiliar with the local help scene.

One of the greatest internet tools for locating a charity to whom you can donate your mattress is Donation Town.

The organizations in your region that could take the mattress are included in a totally free database that can be searched, along with information about whether or not they provide donation pick-up services.

To discover an appropriate organization to receive your mattress donation, search Donation Town’s database.

Direct contributions may also be made to a nearby shelter.

You may get the phone numbers for the general homeless shelters in your area as well as the youth, woman, and child shelters by doing a fast Google search.

Through United Way, you may search a vast database of shelters.

You can find out whether a shelter needs your mattress by visiting their website (or, more effectively, by giving them a call).

Give It Away

There’s always the option of giving your mattress given to someone personally if you can’t locate a group or charity to donate it to.

You may start by making posts from your social media accounts and contacting your network’s friends, family, and acquaintances.

People you may not have even considered may need a bed or may have room in their home or apartment for an extra bed.

Additionally, you may promote your mattress using regional social media sites like Facebook Marketplace, NextDoor, and Freecycle as well as any ListServe mailing groups you may be a member of.

Make sure to mention that it is free, and be specific about its size and location (so that you don’t end up wasting both your time and the time of any potential new mattress owners if it isn’t the proper fit).

If you can, provide images and measurements.

Additionally, you may want to think about posting posters at nearby colleges, coffee shops, community centers, and schools.

Once again, be sure to provide the mattress’ dimensions, state, and size.

Utilizing Old Mattresses

Recycling is a good option if you can’t locate a location to donate your mattress or if it’s 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 globe.

Most mattresses may be broken down and recycled to an extent of 80 to 90 percent.

However, state, county, and even specific city and town policies have a substantial impact on recycling rules, restrictions, and standards.

There are, however, typically just two methods for recycling a mattress.

Centers for Local Recycling

Mattresses are sometimes accepted at recycling facilities.

Many locations have at least one recycling center in the surrounding region that will accept an entire mattress, but it can take some investigating.

For a little service fee (which often doesn’t cost more than $40.00), some facilities even have contracts with businesses to take up mattresses and recycle them for you.

By way of Extended Producer Responsibility Programs, certain states (particularly Connecticut, Rhode Island, and California) have legislation that make mattress recycling and pickup free or extremely inexpensive (EPRs).

There are a couple of really useful databases you can check if you’re having problems locating recycling facilities that can accept a mattress.

Mattress Recycling Council’s database, “Bye Bye Mattress,” is restricted to states with EPR laws (as mentioned above, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and California.) If you reside in one of those states, you may discover information on this page about programs that will take up your mattress for free or for a small cost.

With over 100,000 facility listings throughout the US and Canada, Earth 911’s website is home to one of North America’s largest recycling databases.

You may do a targeted search for the nearest mattress-accepting facilities near your zip code and use filters to exclude those that do not accept mattresses or charge a fee.

The database is also accessible via their toll-free number, 1-800-CLEANUP.

Municipal Offices: Trash and recycling are dealt with locally by municipal offices, which are found in a lot of cities and municipalities.

The exact division that deals with such concerns may go by different names in various locations.

To find out which municipal division is in charge of garbage and recycling, do a search for your particular city or town (or by your zip code).

Although many towns and cities offer recycling programs, it’s conceivable that your particular community doesn’t.

To learn where and how to recycle a mattress, contact the municipal office in your area.

Local Residential Facilities: If you’re still having difficulties finding a location to recycle your mattress, think about getting in touch with neighborhood companies, organizations, and facilities that regularly host people for the night.

This comprises, among other things, hotels, hospitals, and universities.

Due to their higher-than-average demand for mattress disposal, many of these institutions have established connections with neighborhood mattress disposal facilities and may be able to point you in the direction of a recycling facility that will take mattresses.

DIY Recyclability

In certain situations, you may not be able to carry a whole mattress to a facility that doesn’t provide pick-up service or you might be unable to locate a facility near enough to you that takes complete mattresses.

In such a situation, you may still have recycling choices, so all hope is not lost!

You should disassemble the mattress and box spring and recycle the components.

Your mattress may be readily broken down into recyclable components if you have the time, room, and skills to do so.

Some recycling facilities that do not take full mattresses could do so instead.

Prior to showing up, be sure to contact around to the nearby recycling centers to confirm that they take the items.

Alternatively, you may place the mattress components with the rest of your usual recycling.

You may also visit a nearby scrap metal dealer if your mattress includes springs since many of them will actually pay you to remove the metal springs from your possession.

Repurpose your mattress: Another option, if you’re a very creative DIYer, is to repurpose your mattress or a portion of it.

This entails the reuse of the mattress (or a portion of its components).

Numerous mattress components may be utilized in the garden and outdoors.

You may either keep a wooden box spring intact and use it as a raised garden bed for vegetables, herbs, or flowers, or you can disassemble it and use it as compost or landscape mulch.

Home Repair: Mattress foam, fabric, and padding materials may be utilized to preserve furniture during a relocation by acting as cushioning, insulation, or even blankets.

Artwork and home decor: Mattress remnants may be used to create a wide variety of works of art and one-of-a-kind home décor.

Mattresses may undoubtedly find a second life if you’re creative enough, from a wine rack fashioned from recycled steel springs to dog beds using old mattress padding to a bookcase made from bed slats.

Getting Rid of Your Mattress

You may not always be able to recycle or donate your mattress.

It’s possible that your mattress isn’t suitable for donation or that there isn’t a recycling facility nearby that would accept it.

You may always put your mattress in the trash if you’re unable to donate, give away, recycle, or upcycle it for any reason.

It is not always as easy as simply dumping the mattress out on the curb, however.

Many states, cities, and municipalities have unique laws and regulations regarding the disposal of mattresses, some of which forbid disposing of a mattress in its whole.

A curbed mattress may not be picked up on trash day in specified locations, which might result in a citation or a fine.

The regulations governing waste disposal differ, and a short Google search will reveal the regulations that apply in your state and city.

If you reside in a location where disposing of a mattress with ordinary garbage is permitted, be sure to thoroughly review any extra regulations to prevent penalties and/or pick-up delays.

Most locations will ask you to cover your mattress in plastic, while others may demand you to use a mattress bag created specifically for plastic mattresses.

Cover your mattress with plastic (or a plastic mattress bag) and tape it closed for extra security.

When it comes to disposing of a mattress, several towns have specific guidelines and laws.

Some communities have established a monthly or biweekly “heavy garbage day” for the removal of bulky objects like mattresses.

Some waste management organizations additionally prohibit disposing of several large goods (in this example, mattresses) at once.

There are a few alternative solutions for individuals who are completely unable to restrain their habit.

Use a Waste Disposal Service: Private firms that specialize in disposing of rubbish that consumers may not be able to put away in the usual trash are known as waste disposal companies.

Mattress removal is one of the many services offered by reputable, private rubbish disposal businesses.

It pays to compare quotes and read reviews since prices might vary greatly.

Ask Your New Mattress Company to Haul Your Old One: Some mattress retailers actually include mattress hauling in their delivery services.

Ask whether this service is provided while looking for a new mattress.

The removal of your old mattress while receiving a new one may come with a minor price, often around $50, although some businesses may provide this service for free as an incentive to purchase.

Offering Free Mattress Recycling

Free mattress recycling programs are offered in several states.

For instance, the Mattress Recycling Council offers a program called ByeByeMattress in California, Connecticut, and Rhode Island, and statewide regulations let homeowners to drop off old mattresses and box springs at collection locations without having to pay anything (fees are paid at the time of sale).

To find a mattress recycling location, you may also utilize ByeByeMattress or other search engines like Earth911.

More than 100 mattress recycling facilities are shown on this interactive map.

There are full-service recycling facilities available in certain cities where you may drop off nearly anything.

You might be able to arrange for pickup from your home if you need to drop off more than just a mattress or if the mattress is too big for you to bring in.

Some city and county governments will pick up bulky items (like mattresses) curbside upon request, though these services may or may not be offered as part of a recycling program.

Mattresses and box springs may be subject to a fee when dropped off at city recycling programs.

Making an appointment to drop off your mattress may or may not be necessary.

Offering Free Mattress Recycling
Programs for recycling mattresses vary by city and state. Source: Getty Images

Some Mattress Manufacturers Will Choose

Delivery of a new mattress? When they bring a new mattress to you, your merchant is obligated to collect your old one as long as it’s in good shape in areas like California.

When buying a mattress, be careful to read the small print to understand the delivery and old mattress removal options you’re paying for.

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Ryan is a RV product expert with nearly a decade of experience researching, developing, and testing RV products.

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