How To Dispose Of A Mattress The Right Way

lauren hall 1
written by sleep expert Lauren Hall

How To Dispose Of A Mattress: The Right Way!

Looking to get yourself a new mattress and wanting to chuck out the old one but not too sure how?

No matter how hardy or high-quality your mattress is, the time will eventually come when you will have to switch it out for a new mattress. But the task of purchasing a new mattress is made even more of a hassle when you realize that you have to find a way to get rid of the old one first.

That is what a mattress disposal service is for – to make that part of the exchanging process much, much easier.

A service like this will go directly to your doorstep and professionally remove the mattress, recycle or dispose of it from your home for a reasonable price, allowing you peace of mind.

But why is this kind of service so necessary and helpful?

Recycling or throwing out a mattress is no easy task. Mattresses are large and heavy, and even a group effort to carry one out of the house can result in broken décor and a couple of sore muscles, if not worse. If attempted alone, you risk throwing out your back or injuring your joints.

But no need to worry, I’m here to help! I am here to break down all the confusing features so you can get rid of your old mattress with the peace of mind that you’re doing the right thing, and it’s easy on you and your back.

Let’s jump into everything you need to know as to how to dispose of your mattress the right way.

When is it time to Buy a New Mattress? 

The general rule of thumb is that your mattress needs replacing every 8-10 years however, some mattresses last longer than others. If your mattress is no longer comfortable and has significant wear and tear then that is an indication that you need to buy a new mattress.

For example, hybrid innerspring foam mattresses will need replacing around every 6 years as the box springs wear out whereas plain innerspring mattresses will last up to 10 years (or even longer before it needs replacing). Memory foam and latex are by far the most long-lasting mattresses out of them all, they will last up to 15 years with the right care before they need replacing.

Now, this is only the average amount of time that these different mattresses will last, some may last even shorter than above or even longer. It all depends on the design, quality of materials and how well it is taken care of.

Signs your mattress needs replacing: 

The best way to tell when your mattress needs replacing is by the feel of it.

Wear and tear signs:

  • If you notice sagging, lumps, and bumps in your mattress this is a key indication that your mattress has seen better days and needs replacing.
  • If you can feel the box springs through the top of the mattress and have a poking feeling in your back, disrupting your sleep.
  • Whenever you move you are faced with the squeaking noise of noisy old springs. This can be very disruptive, especially if you or a partner moves a lot during the night.
  • Your bed begins to hammock and lose its shape whenever you get up.

Noticeable changes to your quality of sleep:

  • You wake up in the morning feeling restless, tired, and achy. You notice more pains in your back and side and feel that you haven’t rested well throughout the night.
  • You find it hard to get comfortable throughout the night, you often find yourself tossing and turning often and struggle to find a comfortable position which you used to find quite easy to find.
  • You can feel every movement from your partner, more than you used to. Mattresses are designed to absorb the shock and allow for minimal disruption. Sounds also wake you when your partner moves around.
  • You find it difficult to fall asleep and often find yourself waking up a lot throughout the night.

Ways to dispose old mattresses: 

There are many ways you can dispose of your old mattress, such as donating, recycling, repurposing your mattress, or throwing out your mattress; let’s break them down:

Donating your old mattress: 

Many people decide that donating their mattress over disposing of it is the best way to go. It is a brilliant opportunity to give back and do something worthwhile for the people that need it most, especially if your mattress is in good shape.

Mattress donations also help reduce the amount of waste, allowing you to repurpose your mattress one more time.

However, not all used mattresses can be donated. If you think about it, you’re getting a new mattress often because your one has been worn down and no longer comfortable and therefore shouldn’t be donated.

Health, safety, and sanitation requirements have also increased; bringing in an sunken, old mattress is a massive waste of time for both you and the hardworking volunteers, there are some key things to check to decide whether it is in good shape for donation.

So how can I make my mattress donatable?

If your mattress is still in fairly good shape, there is a good chance that charities will accept mattresses, but make sure you do these steps first.

Check for infestations: 

This should be general common sense but make sure you no mattress donations have infestations of any kind, including bed bugs and mold. If you have noticed any of these, even after cleaning the surface of your used mattress, they can root much deeper than you may think.

If you’re getting rid of your mattress because of bed bugs, mold or any infestation, this is definitely unsuitable for any donation form.

Check for any major structural issues:

You should also check for any issues such as broken, jutting, or poking out coils, making your mattress unusable. If you felt uncomfortable while sleeping on it, like spring is poking in your back, then thats a key red flag not for used mattress donations.

Other wear and tears such as sagging, bunching, lumps, and bumps within your used mattress or permanent indentations may make your mattress not donatable.

Check for any rips, tears, and holes: 

Charities won’t accept mattresses with any large, visible rips, tears, or holes. This can be caused by anything, from catches by dogs, nails, burns, or seams that have come undone. This makes your mattress faulty and not being able to be donated.

You should also check that your mattress cover can be firmly attached without coming off before you decide to donate.

Check for permanent, irreversible stains: 

Charities will also not accept mattresses with permanent or any stains on them, this can range from large to small, and any permanent discoloration caused.

Despite permanent stains not being allowed, there are ways to clean your mattress, and it may even remove some of those pesky stains that have been stopping you from donating your old mattress and here’s how:

  • Vacuum: Vacuuming the top and sides, as well as underneath your mattress, can actually work wonders for removing dead skin cells, animal hair, shedding hair, and all of the dust caught in the nooks and crannies. This will help to make your mattress look more refreshed and clean. A small handheld one will make a world of difference, but if you don’t have a hand-held one, a regular one will do just fine. 
  • Spot Clean: If you have a couple of little stains on your bed, you can spot clean them with a cleaning detergent solution diluted with water. You can even use white vinegar or hydrogen peroxide and baking soda to lift tough stains and reduce odors. Apply in a circular motion until the stain lifts. You can leave baking soda on the mattress for 8-10 hours in direct sunlight, and it should lift the stain before vacuuming it up. 

Check out my full guide as to how to clean your mattress so it’ll look like mattress here: 


Over time you can become almost ‘nose blind to the odors in your own home; however, if you notice an odor on your mattress, that is a key red flag. If you’re ever in doubt about whether there is an odor coming off your mattress, call a third party (someone you don’t live with) to check it out.

The best way to get rid of an odor on old mattresses is to sprinkle a layer of baking soda on the surface and allow it to sit for 8-10 hours. Baking soda works wonders for absorbing sweat and moisture and works by deodorizing the bed.

Recycling your old mattresses: 

If your old mattress is unsuitable for donating, there is always mattress recycling  (this is a much more sustainable and better method for the environment over chucking it away). Mattress recycling is one of my favorite and most sustainable methods of disposing your mattress.

Up to 20 million old mattresses find their way into a landfill every single year, with 40 cubic feet of space per mattress that is a hell of a lot of waste. This creates significant environmental problems as well as having an impact on our climate.

But wait, let me tell you something!

Around 80-90% of your mattress can be broken down and recycled! You have to follow laws and regulations depending on your state, but mattress recycling nowadays has never been so easy and so critical for the environment.

Recycling at Local Recycling Centers:

Now, if you don’t already know your local mattress recycling centers in your city, then you may want to do some research, but many areas have at least one recycling facility within your general area.

Some companies will even come and pick up and recycle your mattress for you at a small service charge (this is definitely worth it as you’re doing good for the environment while not having to break your back to do it).

Here are some excellent databases you can use to find out how to recycle your mattress:

  • Bye Bye Mattress: Bye Bye Mattress is a database that mainly focuses on recycling facilities in Connecticut, Rhode Island, and California. They will pick up your mattress for a minimal fee and recycle it for you! 
  • Earth 911: This database focuses on recycling facilities all over the US and Canada; with over a hundred thousand facilities, you will most likely find one that is near you and will pick up your mattress for you. 
  • Municipal Offices: Many states and cities have municipal offices and a mattress recycling council that can provide information for your local area regarding where and how you can recycle your mattress. You can also contact local businesses if you’re not sure. 

Why use a mattress disposal service to recycle your old mattress? 

Getting rid of your mattress can be quite a challenge, even at the best of times. You can risk pulling a muscle, putting your back out, and really badly hurting yourself.

Then there is the issue of transportation – to bring a mattress to a recycling center or waste disposal area, you will either need a really large vehicle or a good amount of time spent securing the item to the top of your too-small vehicle.

On top of that, if you thought it would be as simple as dropping off the offending object on the curb, you would have to think again. Most municipalities don’t take kindly to them being left outside by the garbage bins with the other, more normal waste.

There are laws in place that prevent the simple disposal of mattresses in the same manner as other waste, but we will get to that later. Plus arguably the most important factor is the environmental concerns that simply throwing out a mattress brings.

Did you know that more than 300 of these products are sent to landfills every day when in reality, around 90% of a mattress can be salvaged and recycled? That is a lot of wasted mattresses!

DIY Recycling:

Sometimes and in some states, there may not be a facility close enough that will accept the whole mattress or won’t be able to come and pick up your mattress from home. In this case, there are ways you can break down your mattresses yourself to recycle them!

Break down your mattress into parts: If you have the right tools and a bit of time, then you can easily break down your mattress into recyclable parts. Make sure you check that your local recycling facility offers these parts before you show up. 

If you have a spring mattress, the chances are that your local scrap metal dealership will accept them (they may even pay you for them too).

Garden and outdoors: Believe it or not you can actually upcycle your mattress for gardening. The wooden box springs can be broken down and used as compost or even as a raised garden bed for veggies, plants, and flowers if kept whole.

Home repair: Mattresses actually make excellent padding and insulation throughout the house, or even for protective blankets while you move. 

Art projects and decor: Do you have a bit of an artsy flare? Well, a lot of broken-down mattresses can be used for the most intricate fine art or decoration. Instead of chucking out your old mattress, you can repurpose it! 


Throwing away your old mattress:

This is the one method I wouldn’t always recommend as mattresses massively fill up landfills and take quite a toll on our environment on the daily basis but in some cases, we have no choice.

You may not have a recycling center close enough and you may not be able to donate your mattress due to issues like bed bugs, wear and tear and much more. It’s not as simple as throwing it outside for the trash men to collect, there are some specific rules and regulations in states.

You can even get a ticket for throwing it out on the street, not fun!

There are some strict rules regarding garbage disposable and it may just take a quick google search to find the best way to get rid of your mattress, you may even need t wrap your mattress in plastic to keep it sealed and shut.

Some states have rules when it comes to chucking out your mattress, some have a ‘heavy trash day’ that is specifically for heavy items like mattresses. Some have rules on bulk items too.

Here are the top things to consider:

Things to consider when disposing of your mattress: 

If you are not sure where to send your mattress to ensure it won’t end up in an incinerator, a disposal service can take care of it without a problem and will be able to tell if it is fit for recycling or not.

Mattress Disposal Laws

As mentioned prior, most states do not allow for mattresses – or any bulky furniture – to be left out next to ordinary waste.

Most will require that mattresses that are meant to be disposed of or sent to a landfill are bagged and sealed in order to prevent the spread of bed bugs. If left unsealed, they will not be collected. Some municipalities may impose fines for breaking this rule.

In many areas, there is a maximum of bulk rubbish that can be left outside for pickup daily. Bulk trash is essentially defined as waste that cannot be easily placed into a refuse container but may also include forms of debris.

Naturally, mattresses are part of this mix. For example, some cities will have a maximum of two bulk trash items that can be left for collection. Some states and cities also have laws that dictate when mattresses and other bulk items should be left out for collection.

These laws all vary depending on your location, so be sure to check your town’s local requirements before deciding on how to dispose of your mattress.

Mattress Recycling Laws

If you live in California, Connecticut, or Rhode Island, then you are actually already paying for the recycling of your mattresses, so you might as well make use of a service that helps you take them away.

State law requires that those who purchase a mattress, box spring, foundation, or base pay a certain amount per piece of each item. This is known as a “recycle fee” and goes to the Mattress Recycling Council.

Even if you don’t plan to get rid of the mattress anytime soon, and even if you opt to bring the mattress to a recycler on your own, the fee still stands. This is to fund the cost of recycling, and the fact is that even if you keep your mattress for decades, it will eventually have to be discarded anyway.

Severely damaged mattresses are not accepted for the recycling process, and they will, therefore, be sent to waste disposal by Amazon instead. This applies to wet, soiled, or heavily stained mattresses, as well as to twisted or frozen ones.

Mattresses that have a bed bug infestation will also not be accepted. However, even if your mattress cannot be recycled, you will not receive a refund of the fee.

Cost and Other Details

The price of the mattress disposal is generally depends on which one you choose to make use of. Amazon offers a great one that takes care of all the nuances of taking an old mattress out of your home and to a suitable follow-up location for it. You can check the service out here.

To make use of this service, all you have to do is enter your postcode and click the “schedule” button. Beforehand, you need to choose the size of your mattress and whether you need the box-spring removed.

Amazon also offers a version of this that comes with a mattress recycling bag, although it is less reviewed and not as popular as its original service.

Other recycling or disposal companies, often charge a fee of around $50, they will pick up your mattress for you and dispose of it either through recycling or putting it in a landfill.

Should I use a service for my mattress disposal service?

The short answer is, why not? It takes a lot of hassle off of your back and lets you focus on choosing a new, more luxurious, comfortable mattress to replace your old mattress.

If you choose the right service, you can be assured that your transaction is safe and that the task is performed in a professional and businesslike manner with high-quality service. Sounds worth it to us!


Today we have gone through all the best and different ways you can dispose of your mattress, it is actually much easier than you may think. With many disposal and mattress recycling companies out there that will collect your mattress right from your front door, it has never been so simple.

Instead of chucking your mattress into a landfill, consider whether it can be either donated, recycled, or repurposed in some way to reduce the amount of waste we are contributing each year. 

When it’s time for a new mattress, make sure you care for your old mattress too. I hope this guide had some use and was helpful for you and happy sleeping, my friends! 

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