How to Dispose of an Old Mattress?

Mattresses are one of the most difficult products to get rid of with responsibility. Keep reading this post to find out more tips on mattress disposal.

Most of them are dumped illegally in alleyways or they are leftover the curbsides. An extra fee is charged by the landfills to deal with your old mattresses as they are bulky and cannot be compacted. They can also be toxic or cause flammable air pockets to develop in the dumpsites.

Recycled Material of Matress

It is a complicated endeavor to recycle a mattress as they are composed of different materials i.e. steel, wood, cotton, along with the polyurethane foam. Among these elements, steel is the only component which can be easily recycled.

Old or used foams should not be dumped in the middle of the field, deep down in the lake or on the roadsides. Instead, there are proper places to get rid of the old ones and have a new mattress. Your foam serves you with a good job by supporting your back and allowing you to sleep well for years. Now, it’s your job to take care of them.


So, what is the perfect solution to dispose of an old mattress responsibly and safely?

1. Return Back The Mattress To The Company Which Manufactured It

If you are willing to replace your old foam and buy a new one, you can ask your retailer regarding the return policy of the old foam. There are around 50,000 forms which are disposed of by the public in the United States alone, due to which it is the task of the manufacturers to recycle it themselves.

Many manufacturers offer their customers with free delivery for picking up the old foam and delivering the new ones and that too for free. So it’s better to contact your retailer and inquire about the details regarding their policy.

donating your mattress to the charity organizations

2. Give Away Or Sell The Mattress

If you are planning to dispose of the gently used mattress, and do not want to replace it with a new one then you can consider selling the foam for a nominal fee. You can also offer it for free on or Craigslist. If your foam does not have any stains or signs of wear and tear along with the bed bugs, you can always consider passing your foam to an individual who will use it for a good cause. This would be considered as an environmentally friendly and a viable option.

3. Donate your foam in Charity

If the old foam is in good condition and you only used it for 6-7 years, then consider donating it to the charity organizations. Each organization has different standards for accepting the quality of your mattress, so you need to check the standards before dropping it to the organization.

You can consider checking with the local non-profit organizations to see if they can use your mattress. It depends on the regulations imposed by the health department in your area which might be able to take your old foam. Other places such as churches, habitat for humanity and homeless shelters can also be considered as good options for donating your used foam.

If you cannot drop off your foam on your own, or you can call on charity organizations, these people provide you with the efficient team to pick up your mattress and deliver them to the charity centers or recycle them in an appropriate way.

There are various nonprofit institutions and organizations which gladly accept your used mattresses, however, their local policies might vary.

  • Salvation Army
  • Furniture Bank Association of America locations
  • Vincent de Paul
  • Places of Worship
  • Local Charities and Shelters

4. Consider Finding A Specialized Program For Recycling TheMattress

If you are unable to donate or sell the mattress, check the options offered by your city municipalities, garbage collector or sanitation department for recycling programs. Some cities offer you with free pickup service for your old mattress and dispose of them properly.

The recycling facilities might help you with breaking down the mattress components and recycle them. Foams are made up of different materials which include wood, steel, cotton along with the polyurethane foam, due to which it is a difficult task to recycle them, however, most of them are recycled. The specialized recycling programs are equipped to manage the recycling of mattresses.

Initially, it is cut down in half which helps in differentiating the materials. After which the metal pieces are removed so that they can be further processed and the remaining fiber material is then baled and shredded. According to different studies, it is concluded that around 75% of the mattress can be reused, however, the number varies in different recycling programs.

Mattress recycling

In Connecticut, California and Rhode Island, the mattresses should be completely recycled through an appropriate program implemented by the Mattress Recycling Council. These programs cost you around $9-$11 for each foam. The amount charged for recycling is utilized for:

  1. Purchasing the materials and containers utilized at the sites of mattress collection.
  2. To facilitate the collection and recycling events.
  3. To help in transportation of the foam directly to the collection sites.
  4. To offer the incentive payments to the designated personnel of the recycling center.

The components of the mattress which can be easily recycled include the following:

  • Foam
  • Spring
  • Wooden parts
  • Upholstery
  • Box springs

How Old Spring Mattresses Can Be Recycled

There are many other states which offer you with at least a single recycling facility for your used mattresses. You can either use Earth 911 Database or make use of Sleep on Latex’s List from which you can find out the nearest recycling facility in your locality.

5. You Can Try Breaking Down Your Old Mattress

If you have spare time, along with tools and space, you can break down the foam yourself. You need to simply cut down the perimeter of your fabric covering along with its peel of the foam and cloth from the wooden frame and box springs. Now roll down these materials in a compact bundle form and dispose of them in a standard trash can. Now use a saw, and cut down the wooden frame, which you can easily burn or convert them into the wood chips.

The standard mattress comprises of 25 pounds of steel which are mostly found in springs. You can melt the steel to manufacture a wide range of products and their parts. You can sell the box springs for scrap or take them to the recycling center. You simply need to search for the scrapyard or local metal recyclers within your area by quickly surfing the internet. Rates of recycling the foams or selling it for scrap might vary according to different locations.

polyurethane material

The foams have polyurethane material which can be easily shredded and repurposed for carpeting the house or uses them for pillows, pet bedding, car seat cushions or many different forms of padding. Latex and memory foam can also be utilized in the same fashion.

The wooden component aids in different functions such as the shredded form can be utilized for lawn mulch or gardening along with the firewood place. The screws, nails and other metal objects can be reused for different household projects. The braiding, buttons and decorative features can be reused for the DIY sewing projects along with the varying household designs.

DIY your mattress components

Learn more about How to Choose a Mattress Fit For You?


The creative ways to utilize the used mattresses include the following:

  1. You can use the foam springs for different arts and crafts. These include plant holders, decorative candles, photo frames, wall sconces and the backyard trellises. These springs can be utilized for creation of tree ornaments and metal wreath displays.
  2. An old or used memory foam mattress can be easily utilized for the dogs or cats in the form of a comfortable bed. Other uses of memory foam padding are plush household goods such as chair cushions, bean bags, dishwashing sponges, pillows and stuffed animal fillers.
  3. The fabric upholstery of your used mattress can be utilized for making the throwaway rugs to decorate in your homes, garage, utility rooms, shed or foyer. There are around 1000 different designs shared on Pinterest for reusing the old ones. You can also use your old mattress for an art project or use them as a canvas for painting.

Find out more about Top Rated Mattress Brands in our complete review.


When you have completely utilized your old mattress, it’s very tempting to get rid of them and buy the new ones. Many people often hand over these old mattresses to their kids, while others prefer putting them in the guest rooms or selling it over the Craigslist.

Some individuals might prefer donating them to the charity. However, if your old mattress is not good enough for your health, it is not good for anyone else either, especially your children. So it’s better to get rid of the old mattresses in the most appropriate way.

Foams are extremely difficult to dispose of appropriately. It is not very simple to get rid of your old mattress, you cannot simply throw them away in the trash can so you need to consider the following options mentioned above for proper disposal. Different foams come with different warranties, some have a range of 20 years. If you maintain your foam properly, you can make it last for decades. It will help in reducing the household’s overall wastage footprint.

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