What to Do with Old Mattress: 11 Ways to Dispose Them
Mattresses are some of the big-ticket purchases every household will make from time to time. While you’ll only, ideally, need to replace this piece of furniture every 8 to ten years, dealing with your old unit can still cause some headache. Its size, weight, and other traits make it complicated to dispose of.
What to do with old mattress, you ask? The disposal of these hulking pieces can be quite tricky, so let us help you address this concern fully.
What To Do With Old Mattress?
Contrary to what a lot of people think, mattresses lose their magic over time. Since you spend ⅓ of your day in it, it will eventually show signs of wear and tear. Some areas will lose their elasticity and bounce. They won’t be as supportive as they once were. They will also stop feeling cozy and comfortable after nearly a decade of providing you a nice sleeping surface.
If you wake up with body pains or you find it hard to get comfortable in your old mattress, then it’s already time to get a new one. The prospect is exciting as you might already be tired of sleeping uncomfortably by now. The only thing that might hold you back is how you’re going to dispose of your old mattress.
You definitely cannot just leave an old mattress alone inside your home. You can’t just let it sit on top of your bed and then place the new one on top of it. Aside from the extreme heights it will put you in every night, it might also affect the comfort of your new mattress.
You also can’t just leave it in your storage or garage as it will take up too much space. It can be bothersome to have there, too, as it might keep you from easily accessing your other stuff.
Leaving it out on the street is also an option for some but it’s not a very responsible thing to do. Sometimes, garbage collectors don’t pick them up, leaving you with a large item in front of your house. If you intend other people to pick them up, the weather is something that might not permit passers-by to do so.
Recycling these items are also quite tricky. You can’t just jam them inside the recycling bins in your neighborhood. As they’re also made with different materials, you might also need to take the unit apart manually if you want them to be re-used properly.
For some lucky folks, they might find a good mattress replacement from companies that also offer mattress removal services. This tends to make the switch easier because the mattress manufacturer will already take care of your old mattress for you. It might not always be clear what they’d do with your old mattress, though. But if you want to replace your old sleep furniture right away, this can be a convenient option.
A lot of mattress companies do not offer such, though. So if you happened to like a product from one of these folks, you belong with the majority of the population who are clueless with what they can do with their old mattress.
Why Mattress Disposal is a Problem?
There might be lots of other bigger problems than old mattress disposal but no matter how mundane this issue might be, it still amounts to a serious problem. The fact that people find it hard to dispose of their used mattresses means that a lot of these items end up in landfills all over the globe.
In the US, it is estimated that about 15 to 20 million mattresses are disposed of every year. In Australia, about a million mattresses head to the landfills yearly. These are seriously large amounts of waste, not just in numbers but also in size. If we keep up with these numbers, you can bet that used mattresses will soon take up the most space in landfills.
The fact that these items are not made of biodegradable materials is another pressing issue. A lot of today’s mattresses are made with polyurethane foam and memory foam. Some might even have plastics in them in various forms. These can take a while to degrade which also means that they can stick around in our landfills for a good amount of time.
So, yes, mattress disposal is definitely a problem. If the general public cannot easily get rid of their old mattresses, it’s very likely that they’ll only end up crowding our landfills.
We Need Sustainable Mattresses
As an answer to the alarming issue of mattress disposal, some entrepreneurs are already creating their own sustainable mattresses. You might be able to find a few options that market themselves as non-toxic and eco-friendly varieties.
They’re usually designed to offer a healthier alternative to sleepers since they don’t use harsh chemicals in their production. Others say that their materials are biodegradable. So even if they’re not recycled, they still won’t create as much waste as conventional mattress will.
This industry is still in its earliest stages, however. A lot of bigger mattress manufacturers still need to jump on the trend or at least start exploring it. However, it’s a very good start. These biodegradable mattresses might still need to go a long way to make an impact but there’s a chance that it will eventually get there.
How to Recycle and Responsibly Dispose Your Old Mattress?
If you can’t afford or don’t have access to biodegradable mattresses, there are still quite a few ways how you can responsibly dispose of your old mattress. Below are a few good ways that might just work for you.
11 Creative and Responsible Uses for Old Mattresses:
1. Compost It
There are tons of great ways to recycle your old mattress but using it for composting might just be the best idea out there. You will just need a bit of carpentry skills to make this work but it’s definitely worth the effort if you’ve pulled it off properly.
So how do you use an old mattress for composting? First off, take the mattress apart. If it has some wooden parts, you can use that to create a compost bin. You can then use the foam padding or cotton stuffing to cover the pile. It can keep the pile warm and protected from the elements. It can also accelerate the composting process.
2. Use as Gardening Fixtures
If you find composting too much of a hassle, you can still find a use for your old mattress in your garden. Some use the stuffing and padding as landscape fabric. They are said to effectively prevent weeds from growing which can then ensure that your beloved plants will get all of the nutrients they need from the soil. You can also repurpose the wooden frames and even the spring system as trellises for your climbing plants.
3. Reuse for Children’s Playtime
If you have a play space for your little ones at home, you can also just relocate your old mattress there and they can have fun in it. If it’s bouncy enough, it can be a substitute for an indoor trampoline. They might not be able to do flips in it but they can still have hours of fun bouncing up and down in them.
Old mattresses can also come in handy in creating cushioning for your little ones’ jungle gyms and other climbing play areas. They can make their playtimes safer, so there might not be any need for you to fully dispose of an old mattress if it’s still in relatively good condition.
Just make sure to have it thoroughly cleaned before letting your kids play with it, though. This way, you can be sure that they’re completely safe to have around your precious ones.
4. Donate to a Shelter or Church
If your mattress is still in good, usable condition, shelters and churches might still be more than willing to take them off your hands. Just make sure to have it professionally cleaned before taking them to the facility you’re giving them to, though. As old mattresses tend to have an accumulation of dust, sweat, dead skin, and other kinds of gross things, having them cleaned before giving them away ensures that they’re hygienic to be used by someone else.
5. Donate to a Pet Rescue Center
Some animal shelters will also accept donations of used mattresses. They might be less particular about stains, so if you had some accidents in bed, letting homeless animals use your old mattress might be the best way for you to get rid of it.
6. Disassemble and Use the Parts
Again, if you’re quite handy, you can easily find ways to reuse the individual parts of your old mattress. By taking your old unit apart, you can easily find new ways to breathe life into its components.
The padding and stuffing can be turned into cushions and pillows. You can also find lots of ways to repurpose wooden frames. The metal springs and its actual material can also be turned into other stuff around the house. If you’re crafty enough, you can definitely find lots of ways to reuse your mattress.
7. Recycling Centers
Studies say that about 85 to 95% of the materials used for mattresses are recyclable. The earlier point can actually prove that in the simplest way. However, if you’re not crafty enough, you might not have the skills to do it yourself. This doesn’t mean that you can’t recycle your old mattress anymore, though.
Some recycling centers will take in your old mattresses. There are also facilities that are specifically made for mattress recycling, so you can also take your old unit there.
Note, however, that these places don’t usually do pick-ups. If you want your old unit to be recycled, you might need to drive it there yourself or pay them to get the item off your hands. It can be a bit of a hassle, but it might also be the best way for you to responsibly get rid of your old unit. So in the end, the effort will pay off nicely as well.
8. Create Art
Your old mattress can also serve as the perfect canvas for your art. So if you have a good dose of creativity in you, why not unleash it on your mattress? Besides, there are some organizations that encourage such by hosting competitions that require the use of old mattresses.
If you’re not exactly good with colors but you’re skilled in other forms of art, fret not. You can surely find other ways to make use of your old mattress’ materials. Take it apart and you have more materials to turn waste into art.
9. Donate It
Some charitable organizations can also accept old mattress donations if the unit is in good condition, professionally cleaned, and stain-free. However, not all organizations accept such donations as hygiene and the mattress’ size are pressing issues for most institutions. So while this is an option, it’s not a guaranteed way for getting rid of old mattresses.
10. Sell It
Since mattresses are expensive items, some people opt to just get them second hand. It’s not the most hygienic way to furnish your apartment, but it works for some people.
You can take advantage of this if your unit is still in good condition or if it wasn’t used a lot. Cleaning it thoroughly before having it picked up will be a nice touch, though, so the next buyer won’t bother you with potential issues.
11. Give It Away
Again, because mattresses are quite expensive, you can also easily find people who are very willing to take your old mattress from your hands if they don’t have to pay for it. Ask friends, family, co-workers, and neighbors if they know anyone who might want to take your old mattress and you might just find someone within the day.
Disposing of your old mattress may seem like a daunting task but don’t let it get to you. There are tons of good ways how you can get rid of your old unit without adding a large chunk of waste into our local landfill. You just need a bit of creativity and maybe exert some effort to responsibly deal with this kind of waste but you’ll be able to do it.
The 11 tips above are just some of the most creative ways in doing so. With some additional research, you can be sure to find more techniques that might just work for you better.
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 Dispose of a Mattress
Wondering how you should dispose of that old mattress? Despite being bulky and heavy, there are several options for mattress disposal, including renting a dumpster, donating a gently used mattress or recycling it. Use the options below to find the mattress removal solution that is right for you.
Mattress Disposal Options
A gently used mattress can be donated, but if yours is old and worn-out, you’ll need to throw it away. Look through the mattress disposal options below to find one that’s convenient for you.
1. Rent a Dumpster
If you’re disposing of an old mattress as part of a larger home cleanout, renting a dumpster is a good option for getting rid of all your junk at once, excluding prohibited materials. With a dumpster rental on your property, you can easily carry your mattress and box spring into the bin and be done with it. The price of a dumpster rental is also more cost-effective than most other disposal options.
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2. Check With Your Curbside Trash Collection Service
In some areas, municipal curbside collection services will collect mattresses during weekly service or on specified days. Reach out to your service provider to find out if this is an option in your area.
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3. Junk Removal Service
Junk removal services are another option for mattress removal. This service will come to your location and haul away your mattress and other junk using a truck. However, you won’t get a quote for this service until they see how much space your items take up in the truck. You will also need to be on-site during the process and work within the two-hour window they provide.
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How Much Does Mattress Removal Cost?
Mattress removal costs depend on the number and size of the mattresses you’re getting rid of, as well as the service you choose and your location. Using a recycling service, you can usually expect to pay $20 to $40 fee for each mattress. Disposing of a mattress through a junk removal service can cost anywhere from $100 to $150, based on the above factors.
If you are getting rid of multiple mattresses as well as other household junk, a dumpster rental is the most economical option. The average cost of a dumpster rental is $433, which typically covers 20 cubic yards’ worth of junk, more than twice the amount included with your typical junk removal service and can fit multiple mattresses and box springs.
In contrast, the average cost of using a junk hauling service is $297, which usually covers only 9 cubic yards’ worth of junk.
Mattress Recycling Options
There are some ways to get rid of your mattress by recycling it. These options will allow you to keep the mattress out of the landfill and reduce your carbon footprint.
1. Consult the Mattress Recycling Council
In California, Connecticut and Rhode Island, mattresses are legally required to be recycled through a program administered by the Mattress Recycling Council, which costs between $9 and $11 per mattress. To get rid of your mattress in these locations, you will need to have your mattress removed by the retailer when the new one arrives or deliver it to a certified recycling facility.
2. Find a Recycling Location Near You
There are also more than 20 other states with at least one mattress recycling facility. Use Earth 911’s recycling database to find a facility near you. Fees may apply.
3. Ask About Retailer Take-Back Services
If you are in the process of buying a new mattress, ask the retailer if they will remove and recycle your old mattress when delivering the new one. This common option is convenient but may include a small fee.
Options for Donating Your Mattress
Even if you are getting a new one, you may not have to throw out your old mattress if it doesn’t show much wear. If the mattress is less than 5 to 7 years old and does not have any rips, stains, frayed edges or obvious signs of compression, it could still be useful to someone else.
1. Find It a New Home
Check with relatives and friends who may be looking for an extra mattress, or simply want to replace their current one. As long your as mattress is in good shape, this is a great way to keep it out of the landfill.
2. Donate Your Mattress to a Local Nonprofit
There are also numerous nonprofit organizations and institutions that would gladly take your gently used mattress. The groups below generally accept mattress donations, though local policies may differ.
These organizations usually offer mattress pickup:
- Salvation Army (Also allows drop-off)
- St. Vincent de Paul (Varies by location, fee may apply)
- Furniture Bank Association of America locations (Also allows drop off)
These organizations typically require mattress drop-off:
- Places of Worship
- Local Charities and Shelters
Frequently Asked Questions About Mattress Disposal
How do I know if a mattress can be disposed of in a dumpster in my area?
If you are renting a dumpster for a home cleanup or specific project, call our customer service team to find out if we accept mattresses in your area beforehand. If we do, there may be an additional charge for each mattress you are disposing of due to local disposal fees charged by the landfill or transfer station.
Can I mix other debris with mattresses in a dumpster rental?
Yes, when you rent a dumpster you can place any old mattresses and household junk inside the container, so long as they are accepted in your area.
Are there any fees for disposing of a mattress in a dumpster?
In some areas there are fees associated with getting rid of a mattress. Mattress disposal fees apply when the local landfill or transfer station must break down or recycle the mattress. These charges come directly from the local facility and will apply during a dumpster rental, curbside pickup and landfill drop-off.
Can I break apart my mattress and throw away the accepted materials?
You can break down your mattress yourself to make disposing of it easier, though you may still be subject to any associated disposal fees. Breaking down the mattress may reduce the amount of space your debris takes up in the dumpster rental or junk removal truck.
Can I get rid of box springs in the same way as a mattress?
Depending on the service you choose, you should be able to dispose of an old mattress and a box spring in the same way. If you rent a dumpster, you can throw both in the bin. If you are scheduling a pickup or removal with a junk hauling service, you may pay more to have both removed.
Mattress Disposal Guide
The Mattress Recycling Council estimates that Americans dispose of roughly 15 to 20 million mattresses every year. The average mattress takes up 40 cubic feet, which means that one year’s worth of discarded mattresses will occupy more than 132,000 square miles of landfill space. To cut down on waste and preserve landfill space, mattress owners in the U.S. are encouraged to get rid of their old mattresses using alternative means. This guide will feature some helpful tips for donating, recycling, reselling and reusing old or used mattresses.
If you do not live close to any thrift stores, recycling centers and other facilities that accept used mattresses, then a junk removal service may be your best bet. These options include national companies that serve households across the country. Local junk removal specialists are widely available, as well. Due to the recent emphasis on landfill conservation and green disposal methods, these companies will often attempt to recycle or donate used mattresses before sending them to the dump.
Let’s discuss the step-by-step process for hiring a company to remove your mattress
- Check your warranty before getting rid of an old mattress, as the seller or manufacturer of the mattress may offer complimentary buy-back and/or disposal services.
- Calculate the weight of the mattress. Some junk removal companies charge by volume, while others will assess a flat per-item fee.
- Research national and local junk removal services available in your area, and perform a cost comparison for all viable options. Note that some companies charge an additional fee for home-based pickups, on top of the per-item removal costs.
This should yield a thorough, ordered list of junk removal services. Some of the companies that offer nationwide pickups include:
- Load Up:This company will remove any/all household goods and operates nationwide. They offer very competitive pricing, operate in all 50 states, and have terrific customer service making them a solid choice if junk removal is your best bet. They will remove mattresses with bed bugs if customers give advance notice
- 1-800-GOT-JUNK: This company will remove any old household goods and furnishings, including mattresses. Simply call the number (800) 468-5865 and set up a time for a uniformed truck team to visit your residence. In most cases, appointments are made with a two-hour window. 1-800-GOT-JUNK offers upfront, all-inclusive pricing based on the overall volume of all removed items. The company will accept mattresses with bed bugs if the customer gives advanced notice.
Roughly 80% to 90% of mattress parts (by weight) can be recycled or repurposed to create new products. To properly recycle an old or used mattress, first locate the nearest recycling center that accepts them. A quick Internet search using your zip code will most likely yield at least one location within reasonable driving distance. Both ByeByeMattress.com and Earth911 offer online aggregators that allow you to search for recycling centers accepting certain household goods (such as mattresses) in your geographic area.
In most cases, you will be charged a fee for recycling your old mattress. Expect to pay $20 to $40 per mattress if you arrange for pick-up services at your home, or $10 to $20 for each mattress you transport to a recycling center in your own vehicle. The criteria for acceptable mattress donations will vary by organization. Most centers will not allow you to donate a mattress that is wet, stained or infested with bed bugs. However, broken or torn mattresses can usually be donated.
State laws and regulations may apply. In California, Connecticut and Rhode Island, for instance, mattress stewardship laws require retailers to include an additional fee for all customers who are purchasing a new mattress. Money from these fees are used to:
- Purchase containers and materials used at collection sites
- Transport mattresses to collection sites
- Facilitate recycling and collection events
- Provide incentive payments to designated recycling center personnel
To learn more, please visit the ‘Programs by State‘ section found on ByeByeMattress.com.
Recyclable components of mattresses include the springs, foam, upholstery, wooden parts and the box spring. For more information on other uses for different mattress parts, check out the section below on breaking down and reusing mattresses.
The average mattress has a lifespan of seven to eight years. Unless an old mattress is in complete disrepair, then you may be able to donate it to an organization that accepts used household goods. Some national charities that may receive old or used mattresses and mattress parts include:
- The Salvation Army:This international organization has been serving families in need since the 1860s, and today maintains thrift stores and charity shops across the United States. The Salvation Army offers free furniture pickup services for mattress donations in certain locations; goods may also be dropped off in person at any location that receives used goods. Mattresses must be in good shape and free of tears, burns, and other types of damage. Donations to the Salvation Army are tax-deductible; single mattresses are valued between $15 and $35, while double mattresses are valued between $12.50 and $75.Please note that the Salvation Army may refuse to accept mattresses in certain states or municipalities.
- Free furniture pickup services
- Salvation Army’s tax deduction value guide
- Habitat for Humanity International:HFHI is an international nonprofit organization that strives to provide sustainable and affordable living accommodations for people in need. The organization accepts a wide range of gently used household good and furnishings, including mattresses. HFHI sells donated goods at ‘ReStore’ home improvement centers located across the country; to donate a mattress to HFHI, contact the nearest ReStore facility and let them know you have a mattress to donate. You may drop off the mattress in person; many ReStore locations offer free furniture pickup, as well.Habitat for Humanity may not accept mattress donations in some locations.
- Donate goods to Habitat ReStore
- Furniture Bank Association of America:The FBA’s mission is to provide home furnishings “at little or no cost” to individuals and families living in poverty. The association operates nearly 80 donation centers in North America. Households are welcome to donate old mattresses to the FBA, although pickup services are limited to a 15-20 mile radius of the nearest bank’s brick-and-mortar location; contact the nearest bank to see if pickup services are available. The association will make exceptions for large commercial or institutional donations; banks will usually drive up to three hours for these furniture pickups, and some banks have large semi-trailers capable of traveling up to 450 miles for large donations.
- List of U.S. furniture banks
- Goodwill:This American charity organization provides job training and employment placement services for people who face certain barriers in the job market. Goodwill also operates more than 3,200 thrift stores and donation centers across the country; in 2015, roughy 85% of revenue generated from donated goods was used to expand the organization’s professional development and community outreach programs.At this time, Goodwill does not accept used mattresses or box springs; however, you are welcome to donate mattress pads, bed frames, bedding and linens.
- Goodwill donor guidelines
Additionally, you will often be able to donate an old or used mattress to a local charity organization. The website DonationTown.org allows visitors to search for local organizations that accept used mattresses and other household furnishings. These may include:
- Homeless shelters
- Women’s and family shelters
- Locally owned thrift stores
Break it Down and Reuse it
Next, let’s look at some ways you can break down an old or used mattress and reuse certain components for different purposes.
- The average mattress contains 25 pounds ofsteel, most of which is found in the springs. Steel can be melted down to create a wide range of parts and products. Simply remove all springs and other steel parts from your mattress, then bundle them together and sell them for scrap. You can locate scrapyards and metal recyclers in your area with a quick Internet search. Rates will vary by location, but expect to earn roughly $10 for 100 pounds of scrap metal.
- Thepolyurethane foamin mattresses can be shredded and repurposed around the house for carpeting, car seat cushions, pillows, pet bedding and other types of padding.Memory foamandlatex foamcan be reused in a similar fashion.
- Most mattresses include a mix ofnatural fiberslike cotton, wool and silk, andnon-natural fiberslike polyester and rayon. Most natural and non-natural fibers found in a mattress can be recycled. Like foam, mattress fibers can also be reused to make padding or insulation.
- Thewooden partsof mattresses can serve several functions once the mattress has been taken apart. In addition to firewood, this wood can be shredded and used as a gardening or lawn mulch.
- Nails, screws and other small metal partsin reasonable condition can be removed from the mattress and reused for various household projects.
- Buttons,braidingand other decorative features can be repurposed for DIY sewing projects and other household designs.
When disassembling a mattress, please exercise caution: innersprings contain many sharp parts that can cause bodily injury. For a detailed step-by-step guide for taking apart a mattress, check out this eight-minute video posted by YouTube user Canadian Treasure Hunter.
Finally, let’s look at some fun, creative ways to repurpose your old or used mattress.
- Mattress springs can be used for a wide range of arts and crafts. These include decorative candle and plant holders, wall sconces, photo frames and backyard trellises.
- If you enjoy decorating for the holidays, mattress springs can also be used to create metal wreath displays and tree ornaments.
- An old memory foam mattress can be used to form a comfy bed for your dog or cat.
- Other uses for old memory foam padding include plush household items like bean bags, chair cushions, pillows, dishwashing sponges and stuffed animal filler.
- Green Diary suggests using old mattress components to improve your backyard compost pile. Simply construct a sturdy compost bin using the wooden slats, and then scatter mattress stuffing and fibers around the compost to protect it from pests.
- The durable fabric upholstery of an old mattress is ideal for making throwaway rugs for your foyer, garage, shed or utility room.
- The DIY design website Pinterest features more than 1,000 postings about projects involving old mattresses.
- Use your old mattress as the canvas for a painting or other art project. YouTube user KIPTOE offers some inspiring ideas in a 2016 ‘Mattress Street Art’ video tutorial.
How to Tell When You Need a New Mattress
Most of us were taught to buy a new mattress every ten years or so. The truth is, the right time to replace your mattress depends on a variety of factors, and it may be more often than you think. If you can relate to any of the following, then it’s likely time to get a new mattress:
- Body Aches:You or your partner find yourselves waking up feeling stiff, achy or numb.
- Sleep Deprivation:Even after eight hours of sleep, you still feel tired.
- Dust:Your mattress looks dusty, or you find yourself coughing or sneezing.
- Sagging:You find yourself rolling to the center of your mattress.
- Wear and Tear:Your mattress has rips, stains, lumps or worn edges.
- Comparison:You’ve slept on a different mattress, or even a couch, and experienced better sleep than on your mattress.
- Age:You’ve had your mattress longer than seven years, or you can’t remember how long you’ve had it.
How long a mattress will last also depends on what type it is. The average lifespan for each type of mattress is outlined below:
What about your warranty?
If your mattress is worn out, you’re probably wondering if the wear and tear is covered under your warranty. It’s important to understand what’s covered in your warranty before you purchase a mattress, but we’ll run through the most common features below.
A warranty is essentially a company’s promise to stand behind its product, and there are two main types:
Written: A written warranty is just what it sounds like. The company agrees, in writing, to replace a mattress if damage falls under certain listed conditions. These usually last five, ten, fifteen or twenty years and are not required by law.
Implied: Implied warranties are required by law and include:
- Warranty of Merchantability:The product will be functional and include everything advertised.
- Warranty of Fitness:The product can be used for everything the seller claims.
All warranties have different stipulations, but there are items that are commonly covered or not covered:
What is Covered:Typically, a mattress warranty cover product defects, not wear and tear from normal use. Problems that are usually included are:
- Saggingbelow aspecified depth, often 1.5 inches
- Coilsthat break, bend or come out of the side
- Seamsthat come undone
What is Not Covered:Problems that arise from normal use or an owner’s accident are typically not covered and may include:
- Saggingthat doesn’t reach thespecified depth
- Lumpinessfrom long-term use
- Discolorationfrom washing
Furthermore, there are actions that will usually void your warranty, including:
- Removing the law tag
- Improper support (box spring or bed frame)
- Failure to rotate mattress
- Mattress is given to someone else
One more point to keep in mind is the difference between prorated and non-prorated warranties:
- Prorated: The owner isn’t expected to cover repair or replacement costs, other than maybe transportation
- Non-prorated:The owner must cover a percentage of the repair or replacement costs.
Additional Tuck Resources
For more great resources related to purchasing and owning mattresses, check out the following Tuck guides:
How to dispose of an old mattress
A guide to mattress disposal and recycling across the UK
Buying a new mattress is a wonderful event. Especially when you realise that your old mattress was pretty past it, and your best nights’ sleep are ahead of you.
However, you’re left with a cuboid-shaped puzzle: mattress disposal. Wondering how to get rid of your old mattress brings many questions. Can you take a mattress to the tip, for example? Can you leave it on the street? Is it ok to have an unseasonal ‘bonfire night’ celebration? (The answers to two of these questions should be self-explanatory, but just in case, please don’t leave your mattress on the side of the road or set fire to it.)
Contrary to popular belief, old mattresses don’t end up starring in global productions of The Princess And The Pea. Mattress disposal can result in large, multi-material objects ending up in landfill. Waste isn’t good in any form, but mattresses are really large bits of waste, so it’s important to get this right.
That’s why we’ve researched the best ways to dispose of an old mattress, all of which are easy for you to follow, and good for the environment, too.
Mattress disposal: Everything you need to know
Are mattresses recyclable?
Yes! It’s possible to recycle 100% of the components of a mattress. Recycling plants can break them down to their component pieces and redistribute each to an industry that can use it.
Can I give my old mattress away?
If you believe your mattress is no longer good enough for yourself, then it’s unlikely to be good or healthy for anyone else to sleep on, either. As a guide, the National Sleep Council suggests changing your mattress every seven years.
This means that while handing a mattress down to your kids or donating it to a charity shop is a cost-effective way of dealing with its disposal, it’s not necessarily the best idea.
Can I take my mattress to the tip?
Yes. If all else fails you can take your old mattress to the skip to dispose of it personally, although doing this means it will end up in landfill, unless you find a good recycling plant.
However, simply dumping it might land you with a fee, so it’s worth reading on as we explore other, more environmentally-responsible ways to dispose of your mattress.
How can I get my mattress collected for free?
Ideal worlds don’t exist, which is why you shouldn’t be surprised to learn that finding someone who will collect your mattress for free is tricky.
However, it’s not impossible. Some charities, like the British Heart Foundation, will offer to collect your old mattress from you for free. The only catch here is that the mattress needs to be re-sellable. Which, considering you don’t want it any longer, might not be the case.
An alternative charity route is to arrange a collection from Emmaus. This charity tends to collect for free, but it’s worth checking its website. Your mattress will then be used in accommodation for people that Emmaus is trying to help avoid substance abuse or violence. So, the mattress will need to be clean and in good condition.
Can I pay a company to dispose of my mattress?
Most mattress retailers go beyond the notion of simply providing a mattress and offer to collect your old bed-pal upon delivery of its replacement. Here’s a quick run through of what the top mattress manufacturers/retailers currently offer in the way of collections and recycling.
Emma offers a mattress removal service for £55. Depending on the condition of the mattress, it will be donated to a partner charity (Debra, Shelter or The British Heart Foundation), recycled or sold on eBay as an ‘Emma Refurbished’ product. Simply click the ‘old mattress removal’ option when at checkout to arrange a collection date (note that this will need to be different to the delivery date).
Just like Emma, Dreams offers a collection service for mattresses that are ready for pastures new. You’ll have to pre-wrap your mattress for collection, but the Dreams website goes into pleasing amounts of detail and guides you through the entire process. This service costs £25 for a single mattress, £35 for a double and £40 for a king or superking.
Spoiler alert: most retailers offer the same kind of service. Ikea is no exception, giving its customers the chance to pay for mattress recycling at checkout. It also happens to offer far and away the best value mattress collection option at just £20 (upon delivery of a new one). That’s a bargain!
Simba offers a removal service at the point of delivery for £40 (or £50 for an Express Service within two days) on the proviso that the mattress is in a reasonable condition.
An Otty spokesperson told us it costs £30 to take advantage of its mattress collection service, which isn’t too bad at all. Mattresses must be removed from the bed frame in order for the courier team to arrange collection and Otty states that mattresses are recycled within a couple of days.
John Lewis charges £24.95 for its mattress collection service. The retailer states that it will dispose of your old mattress ‘responsibly,’ and though this may be open to interpretation, you can’t deny the comparatively low cost of this service.
When you purchase a mattress through Mattress Online, you’ll get the option to have your old one collected on delivery. Mattress Online is very proud of its recycling initiative in partnership with The Furniture Recycling Group which ensures that mattress components are separated and distributed to industries that can benefit from the raw materials. The service costs £24.99, making it one of the cheaper options on this list.
Competing with Ikea for the title of ‘Cheapest Mattress Removal Service,’ Argos will take your old mattress away for £20. You’ll need to purchase a new one in order to take advantage of this service, as is the case with every option on this list. Frustratingly though, Argos is a little vague about what it means by ‘recycling.’
The internet shopping giant features here because it is rolling out a mattress recycling service in the US at the moment. It’s also the first of these retailers to offer the service without requiring you to purchase a new mattress, which makes it a seriously good option. Coming soon to a laptop near you.
Paying a waste company
If you really want to know where your mattress is going – and when – hire the services of a waste disposal company. Doing so requires little more than a web search with your location settings turned on to find your nearest mattress collection and disposal company.
More often than not, these companies claim that they recycle, and that they have great customer service and flexibility. So, you can get your mattress collected when you want and sent somewhere that you’re happy with, albeit for a fee.