How To Recycle A Mattress
For many years it was recommended that you change your mattress every 10 years, however in recent years the Sleep Council and the mattress industry have started to suggest changing your mattress after only 7 or 8 years of use.
Well, they would say that wouldn’t they?
The Sleep Council, who describe themselves as “an impartial organisation that looks at how you can adopt healthier sleep habits and focuses on raising awareness of a good night’s sleep to health and wellbeing” are the consumer education arm of the National Bed Federation, the trade association for British bed manufacturers.
Mattress manufacturers, naturally enough, want you to buy more mattresses.
So before you get rid of that mattress, the most environmentally friendly thing to do is ask yourself if you really need a new one. Yes, if the springs are sticking in your back or your bed is uncomfortable you absolutely do need to replace your mattress, but don’t feel you have to just because an advertisement from a mattress retailer told you to!
Could Your Mattress Be Reused?
If your mattress is still usable you could give it to someone who could use it:-
- Give it to a friend or family member.
- Donate it to a furniture reuse charity. Find your nearest one at Reuse Network.
- Donate it to a local charity with a furniture warehouse.
- Advertise it on Freecycle, Freegle or a local Facebook group.
How To Recycle Your Old Mattress
So what if your mattress is not in good enough condition to reuse? What is the most eco-friendly way to dispose of your old one?
The good news is that a mattress is 100% recyclable, yet sadly only around 16% are actually recycled in the UK. The rest are incinerated or sent to landfill.
If you are buying a mattress from a large retailer, they probably will offer to take your old mattress away, either for free or for a small charge. Large retailers such as Dreams, Marks and Spencer, Mattress Online and John Lewis amongst others will take away your old mattress for recycling when you buy a new one from them, for a small charge. You will need to book this when you order your mattress.
Other retailersmaytake away your mattress, but that doesn’t mean it will be recycled; it will probably go to landfill unless they state that the mattress is recycled.
If you just need to get rid of a mattress without buying a new one there are a number of commercial companies that will take a mattress away for a fee. Some of these are specialists in mattress disposal who will state whether they send mattresses for recycling.
What Else Can I Do With An Old Mattress?
You can ask your local council if they will collect your old mattress. You will normally be charged for this, you will probably have to leave the mattress outside your property and your mattress will probably go to landfill.
You can also take your mattress to your local household recycling centre; again it will probably go to landfill.
How Are Mattresses Recycled?
The mattress is taken apart, usually by hand in an extremely labour intensive procedure, hence the higher cost of sending your mattress for recycling. The springs have to be removed to be sent for metal recycling. The foam can be recycled to make carpet underlay.
At present the textile material is difficult to recycle and will generally be used as a fuel in an energy-to-waste facility.
However an innovative new machine, the first of its type, has been developed by The Furniture Recycling Group which automates the removal of springs from old pocket spring mattresses.
Have your mattress booked to be picked up within minutes, and reclaim your free space today!
You have anold mattressyou want to dispose of and we have the perfect means to do so.
We provide the quickest, easiest, and greenestmattress recyclingaround. Just book your mattress, bed base, or bed frame to be picked up right here and rest assured that we’ll do the rest for you. That’s professional, hassle-freemattress recycling– and you did all of it online in a matter of minutes!
For some further reading… We understand that handling thedisposal of mattressescan be tricky business. You need to spend on dumping fees, pay for fuel consumed by the trailer that you need to haul the mattresses (not to mention paying for hiring a trailer if you need to), and of course you also need to invest some of your time and effort to transport your mattresses to the landfill. Worse still is that your old mattresses will simply add up to the rest of the 1.25 million mattresses that end up in landfills each year in Australia. You’re absolutely right: mattresses disposal takes up too much time, money, and effort. Don’t worry! We’re on hand to help rid you of these worries through our professionalmattress removal service. You can also be assured that our drivers are very careful of your property, some companies that drive large vehicles don’t respect a client’s property. Our driver went to the finest truck driving school Sydney has to offer before moving to Melbourne.
We won’t be sending your mattresses to the landfills to add to the dump. All usable parts of the mattresses will be recycled for uses specific to them, while some parts will be used for refurbishment.
We recycle 97% of mattresses, helping drive the initiative towards a greener, more responsible Australia.
Just set a time and a date when you want your mattresses (or bed bases or bed frames) to be picked up from your home and we’ll send the best among our
listedmattress disposal Melbourneservice providers. You don’t need to do it yourself. You don’t need to fret over which company to choose. You can help save the environment and become part of Australia’s environmental initiatives. Best of all, you accomplish all transactions over the Internet – from scheduling to payment. Set it up and forget it! We’ll take care of the rest.
Removing a mattress can cause complications especially if they are a king size mattress or a double mattress, however you can rest assured we are fully insured and partner with some of the best blue collar companies around. So whether we accidental damage your interior in the process or need to replace a window. Even during the loading process accidents can happen and we have companies to do door repairs and downpipe and gutter repair.
The simple job ofold mattress collectionsshouldn’t be too troublesome. Let us take this worry off your shoulders through ourmattress recycling serviceso you can go straight ahead and buy your new mattress. A pocket spring mattress is fantastic for your back and will help you have a great night’s sleep. Also don’t forget that you can get very good foam mattresses throughout Australia, and do not forget who to contact when you want it recycled or just refreshed.
You’re one step away from being a part of the solution…. Don’t let this sit around your backyard!
Some of my clients think that having your trees removed from your garden is a part of the problem, but responsible companies like The Tree Firm actually contribute to charities to help plant trees and also recycle the wood chippings that they generate when cutting down unwanted trees. Dying or dead trees can be hazardous so they are likely to do more good being cut down in a safe manner and then can be recycled into paper or building materials.
How to dispose of a mattress
Knowing when to get rid of a mattress can be as difficult as knowing how. Our guide to disposing mattresses explains all you need to know.
Put us to the test
Our Test Labs compare features and prices on a range of products. Try Which? to unlock our reviews. You’ll instantly be able to compare our test scores, so you can make sure you don’t get stuck with a Don’t Buy.
Buying a new mattress will set you back anywhere between a few hundred and a few thousand pounds, so parting with even more cash to dispose of your old mattress is probably the last thing you want.
But finding a way to dispose of a mattress for free is no mean feat, especially if you want to get rid of it in a responsible way. According to a report by the National Bed Federation (NBF), 6.8 million replacement mattresses were sold in 2015, while only 879,000 were recycled. That’s a recycling rate of just 13%, which is down from 16% in 2014.
Far too many mattresses end up in landfill sites. Not only is this bad for the environment, but, given the bulky nature of mattresses, it’s also unsustainable. Many of the mattresses in landfill could have been recycled or reused. Keep reading for expert advice on how long a mattress should last and how to get rid of it once it’s passed its best.
In the market for a new bed? Take a look at ourBest Buy mattresses.
In this article:
How often should you change your mattress?
If you can’t remember how many years you’ve had your mattress, the chances are it’s time for a new one. It’s all too easy to lose track of how long you’ve been sleeping on it and, even if it still feels comfortable, it’s likely to be less supportive and less hygienic than when it was new.
The Sleep Council recommends replacing your mattress as often as every seven years, because after that time the mattress will have been subjected to more than 20,000 hours of use. That’s the equivalent of 2,555 nights – which is a lot when you consider that adults lose an average of half a pint of fluid each night and shed a pound of dead skin cells each year.
But our own durability tests reveal that the best mattresses can last up to a decade without softening, sagging or becoming less supportive. So, provided you buy a good mattress and clean it regularly, you may only have to change it every 10 years.
Find out how long different type of mattress should last below, or go to our guide on how to clean a mattress.
How long should a mattress last?
Nearly half of Which? members expect a new mattress to last more than a decade, according to a November 2017 survey of 902 members. We reckon that’s pretty optimistic, not least because there are some common misconceptions about the lifespan of a mattress.
Only one in five Which? members think a mattress will last longer if it’s bought as part of a set with a new bed base. Although buying a new bed frame is no guarantee your new mattress will last, using an old or incorrect bed frame with your new mattress certainly isn’t going to lengthen its lifespan and it may well also invalidate your warranty. Take a look at our top 10 bed shopping tips.
Some 46% of members also thought that the more you spend on a mattress the longer it is likely to last. While investing in an expensive mattress will likely mean you get better-quality fabrics and fillings, it is no guarantee of a longer lifespan. We’ve tested £200 Best Buy mattresses that perform better in our durability tests than mattresses costing more than 10 times as much.
Finally, fewer than two in 10 members agreed that foam mattresses are more durable and longer lasting than spring mattresses.
How long does a pocket sprung mattress last?
A good pocket sprung mattress should comfortably last between 8 and 10 years. Of the 49 spring mattress we’ve tested, 59% of them earn more than four stars in our tough durability tests.
After measuring the height, firmness and supportiveness of every mattress we test, we then simulate up to a decade of use by rolling a heavy barrel over the mattress 30,000 times. To do well in our durability tests, a mattress must maintain its supportiveness, firmness and height.
Our pick of the top pocket-sprung mattresses will help you pick out a long-lasting option, but you have to do your bit, too. To maximise the life of your pocket-sprung mattress, it’s essential that you follow the manufacturer’s instructions when it comes to rotating or turning the mattress.
How long does a memory foam mattress last?
Memory foam mattresses tend to perform well in our durability tests. Of the 26 memory foam, foam and latex mattresses we’ve reviewed, 93% of them score more than four stars in our lifespan test.
However, we’ve also uncovered a memory foam mattress that failed our durability test completely, making it the only Don’t Buy mattress we’ve reviewed.
And just because you buy a memory foam mattress doesn’t mean that you don’t still need to rotate it regularly, so there’s no less maintenance than a pocket-sprung option.
All in all, we wouldn’t recommend buying a memory foam mattress solely for the durability, unless it provides the supportiveness and comfort you’re looking for as well.
How to get rid of a mattress
You may be surprised by how many different ways you can dispose of your mattress. There are at least 10 different options, but some of them are expensive, environmentally damaging and even illegal, so picking the best way to get rid of your mattress can be difficult.
Will the council collect my mattress?
Most, if not all, local councils offer a bulky waste collection and disposal service, which includes beds and mattresses. But it can be surprisingly expensive and there’s often no guarantee your mattress won’t end up in landfill – many local authorities simply say that they will recycle some or all of the waste where possible.
Some councils, such as Oxford City Council, Liverpool City Council and the London Borough of Merton, offer free mattress collection, but they’re very much in the minority. Most councils charge a fee to collect bulky waste and it can be expensive – the likes of Argyll and Bute Council and Wealden District Council charge more than £50 for the service, for example.
If you live in England or Wales, you can find out how much your council will charge for bulky waste disposal by typing your postcode into the gov.uk website. If you live in Scotland or Northern Ireland, go to your council’s website and search for bulky waste disposal.
Having the council collect your mattress from your home can be convenient, but make sure you read the terms and conditions carefully. Many councils charge for the number of bulky items they’ll be collecting, but bear in mind that a bed frame and a mattress will likely count as at least two items. And items will often only be collected if they’re left in a designated spot outside the house.
Will the local tip take a mattress?
The local tip will take your old mattress, but to get it there you’ll need a vehicle big enough to fit it in. If the boot of your car isn’t big enough to fit the mattress when flat, you may find that it fits if you roll the mattress up as best as possible and fasten it using some rope.
But that’s a lot of effort to go to when the mattress may well just end up in landfill anyway. You may decide you’d rather go to the extra effort of taking it to a dedicated recycling facility, or decide you’d rather pay for the convenience of the council or a specialist disposal company coming to collect it from your house.
Can you recycle a mattress?
At the very least, some parts of your mattress will be recyclable, and it’s possible that all of it will be. And yet, according to The Furniture Recycling Group, Wembley Stadium could be filled five times with the 7.5 million mattresses that are discarded in the UK every year.
While mattress recycling is relatively labour-intensive, more and more facilities capable of doing this work are springing up around the UK. These facilities will break down your mattress into its recyclable components – springs can then be melted down and remade into new metal products, while synthetic layers such as foam can either be used to make carpet underlay or else can be sent to a plant where the waste can at least be converted into energy.
Aside from taking your old mattress to your nearest recycling centre yourself, the best way to ensure your mattress is recycled is to pay for it to be collected. But whether you use the local council, the company delivering your new mattress or a specialist mattress removal company, make sure it is clearly stated that the mattress will be recycled. Otherwise, it’s probably best to assume that it won’t be.
Can you pay a company to pick up a mattress?
Four in ten Which? members disposed of their last mattress by having the company delivering their replacement mattress collect it, according to our November 2017 survey of 902 respondents.
That’s perhaps not surprising given the number of major high-street retailers now offering this service. Argos and Ikea, for example, both offer to collect and recycle your old mattress for a fee of £20 when you buy a new mattress from them. John Lewis offers a similar service, charging new mattress customers a fee of £29.95 to responsibly dispose of their old mattress.
Bed-in-a-box mattress brands such as Casper and Emma also offer an old mattress collection service for customers.
But getting the retailer to collect your old mattress when they deliver the new one is only convenient if you’re sure that the new mattress is the one for you. Otherwise you’ll be left without a bed at all if you later decide to return it. If you’re in any doubt, specialist mattress companies such as Collect Your Old Bed can pick up and dispose of your old mattress at a time of your choosing. But it’s always worth making sure the company actually recycles the mattress. We’d also recommend checking how much your local council charge before paying for one of these services, or else you risk paying over the odds.
See our list of thebest mattress retailersfor more information.
Can you donate a mattress?
If your mattress is still in good condition, you should consider donating it to charity or giving it away for free. That way you can help someone in need as well as ensuring that it doesn’t end up in landfill.
Organisations such as British Heart Foundation and British Red Cross will resell your mattress and put the proceeds towards a good cause. Other organisations, such as Furniture Donation Network, directly give your mattress to someone in need. Several other charities also accept mattress donations, so if there is a cause you particularly want to support, it’s worth contacting the charity directly.
As a general rule, these organisations will collect your mattress free of charge, but they may request you send images first to prove that it is of acceptable quality. Any organisation accepting a mattress donation will expect it to be fit for use, clean and have a fire label intact.
Another way to ensure your mattress stays out of landfill sites is to use a non-profit initiative such as Freecycle, which will put you in touch with someone in the local area looking for a free second-hand mattress.
Are there any other ways to dispose of a mattress?
There are several other ways to get rid of a mattress, but we wouldn’t recommend most of them.
Although 1% of Which? members told us they disposed of their last mattress by burning it, we don’t advise it. Not only is a mattress fire hard to control, but the fumes released by the fire could also be damaging to both you and the environment.
If you happen to be renting a skip and don’t mind your mattress contributing to a worsening landfill problem, then you can get rid of your old mattress using a skip.
But you should never dispose of your mattress by putting it in someone else’s skip or, worse yet, simply abandoning it on the side of the road. As well as both being anti-social and environmentally harmful, fly tipping is illegal and can result in a large fine.
Now that you know how to dispose of your old mattress, find out how to buy the best new mattress to replace it with.
How to Dispose of Your Old Mattress
January 25, 2018
Is it time to buy a new mattress? Are you wondering what to do with your old mattress? The sheer size of a mattress, not to mention the weight, can make it difficult for you to move your mattress, even if you have help. The reason why there’s a growing need for learning how to dispose of an old mattress, is because so many people are now buying their new mattresses online. While buying a mattress online is the preferred way to buy a new mattress nowadays, it’s harder to find someone who can take away the old mattress when a new mattress is delivered.
Questions you should ask yourself in assessing the condition of your present mattress: How long have you owned it? Do you wake up in pain? Do you toss and turn at night?
How Long Should Your Mattress Last?
How long should your mattress last? Great question! Over time, every mattress is going to eventually lose its ability to provide the support and comfort you need for a good night’s sleep. This means that everyone will need to dispose of their old mattresses a few times during their lifetime.
While the average life span of a mattress is 10 years, the type and quality of the mattress is going to ultimately determine how long your mattress will last. Lesser quality mattresses tend to last an average of 5 to 7 years.
Eco Terra Latex Mattresses last an average of an impressive 15 years.
Extending the Life of Your Mattress
There are a few ways you can extend the life of your old mattress but it’s not recommended. Old mattresses tend to have sleepers tossing and turning during the night, due to sagging and more. They also have the ability to negatively affect a person’s overall health. Dust mites are unfortunately a common mattress issue that can cause many health problems, especially in allergy and asthma sufferers.
Sleeping on an old mattress can even be stressful, proven by a bed-based study which concluded that sleeping on a new mattress increases sleep qualityandreduces back discomfort.
How to Tell if Your Mattress is Worn Out
When is itreallytime for you to get a new mattress? The National Sleep Foundation tells us that more than 90% of people know that their quality of sleep depends on the quality of the mattress they choose to sleep on. Many tend to delay buying a new mattress due to the cost. The fact that mattresses are costly, makes it easier for people to sleep on their old mattress for much longer than they really should.
So is it time for you to get a new mattress? The answer is yes if:
- You often wake up tired and/or achy
- Your mattress is sagging and/or lumpy in areas
- Your mattress is tearing and/or ripping
Eco Terra Latex Mattresses come with a 15-year warranty and a 90-day money-back guarantee.
How to Dispose of Your Old Mattress
Responsible mattress removal is important. While some people tend to leave their old mattress on the curb or in a dumpster, this is not the proper way to dispose of an old mattress. What if everyone did this? This is why there are rules and laws for disposing of old mattresses, that must be followed in every city. If you’re wondering how to dispose of your old mattress, know that there are a few options for free mattress removal services.
The following are 3 responsible ways you can dispose of your old mattress.
- Recycle or Repurpose. You can recycle an old mattress for free. There are some recycling companies that can reuse many parts of the old mattress – wood, steel, cotton, box springs, foam – repurposing these parts into new products. If it’s a foam mattress, you can shred the foam into smaller pieces, and use it to make new pillows. You can also break the mattress down yourself, reusing the parts yourself or donating them to a recycling company. Old mattress disposal ideas are becoming more popular as more and more people continue to jump on the recycling and repurposing bandwagon.
- Mattress Recycling Company
- How to Break an Old Mattress Down
- Donate Your Old Mattress. You can also donate your old mattress. Donated mattresses must still be usable, so they can be used again.
- Salvation Army – They will come to your home to pick up your old mattress for free.
- Goodwill – Donated mattress must be in good shape.
- Habitat for Humanity
- Your Local Furniture Store
- Mattress Disposal Plus
- Bye-Bye Mattresses
- Homeless Shelters
- Throw it away. Sometimes the best choice for disposing of an old mattress is to simply throw it away. You’ll need to check with your city’s local mattress disposal regulations, in order to make sure you dispose of the mattress properly. You should also ask if there’s a mattress removal or disposal fee, so you know what to expect.
- Dumpster Rental – Mattress removal dumpster fees tend to range between $100 and $250, when renting a dumpster to dispose of an old mattress,
- Local Landfill – Most landfills or trash dumps will permit you to dispose of your old mattress.
- Old Mattress Removal Service – Contacting a junk removal service, to take away your old mattress, is easy to do and it can save you time and money.
Responsible mattress removal and disposal options should be a top priority for those who are disposing of their old mattress.
How to Recycle Mattresses
Mattresses are just about the bulkiest item a consumer can recycle. On the plus side, you’re likely only disposing of one once every 10 to 20 years, but the size and weight means it won’t be an easy process.
The good news is that mattresses contain several valuable materials like steel that increases the recycling market. However, most mattress recycling companies don’t want to deal with consumers disposing of one mattress, especially if you need it hauled away. This means your best bet is to find a hauler who will recycle it for you.
Here are the four best options (in order of ease and cost) to accomplish this:
- If you’re buying a replacement mattress that is being delivered, ask if the store will haul away your old mattress for recycling.
- If your local recycling program offers bulk waste collection, call and ask if mattresses are included and recycled.
- Call a secondhand store like Goodwill, The Salvation Army or St. Vincent de Paul (each local affiliate has different acceptance/collection rules) and ask if mattress donations are accepted/hauled away for recycling.
- If you’re recycling a mattress to clean out a property, find a local hauling company that will take away this and other items for recycling. You can find these companies in the phone book or using an online search engine like Yelp.
Frequent Mattress Recycling Questions
St. Vincent de Paul has its own recycling program in California and Oregon that recycles 170,000 mattresses and box springs annually, so it’s possible your local store will accept and ship them for recycling.
Metal springs are sold as scrap metal, as steel is one of the most commonly recycled materials in the world. The wood is often chipped or used for mulch. The foam can be recycled into carpet padding, and fabrics can be recycled into industrial machinery filters.
- Bye Bye Mattress:Educational guide and recycling locator for California, Connecticut and Rhode Island, provided by the Mattress Recycling Council
- dreamGreen:A video on Mattress Firm’s recycling initiative, including a breakdown of how mattresses are recycled
- How One Company Is Changing Mattress-Making:Some small-scale manufacturers are trying to shake up the mattress-making industry and inject some ease into the shopping experience, making it a little more eco-friendly, too
- Green Label Guide: Mattresses:A look at some of the industry’s most relevant third-party certifiers and a few rules on how to evaluate them