What To Do With An Old Mattress
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While there is nothing better than laying on top of your favourite mattress after a long, bustling day, over time, this comfort ends. But, how do you know when it is time to replace your current bed and how do you dispose of an old mattress?
Table of Contents
How Long Do Mattresses Last?
The lifespan of most mattresses will differ depending on several factors and characteristics. These include:
- Quality of materials
- Type of material
- How well it is maintained
- Body size of the sleeper
- The frequency of sleeper on the bed
On average, most high-quality products will last approximatelyseven to 10 yearsbefore they begin to lose their support. Spring and memory foam products generally last this long.
If you want your bed to last longer than the average, you should consider buying a latex product. These beds have an average lifespan of15 yearsbefore the entire product should be replaced. More budget-friendly options such as a futon or inflatable air bed will generally only last for five years before a replacement is needed.
How To Dispose Of Mattress
Once your bed has met the end of its life, how do you dispose of it? There are actually several things you can do to get rid of a mattress in the UK. Some of these are very simple and fast, while others may require a little more effort.
Contact The Local Council
Many local councils in the UK offer old mattress disposal services for large products that overwhelm the landfills such as mattresses. By contacting your local council and arranging for pickup of your bed, it can save you a significant amount of time and effort getting such a large and bulky item to the desired location. However, most of these councils charge large fees for this collection service and you will find very few councils that offer free bulk disposal services. Contact your local council and be prepared for the fees associated with the service.
Can You Take A Mattress To The Tip?
One of the fastest and easiest ways to get rid of an old mattress is to take your mattress to the tip. This simply requires loading the used item in a vehicle and dropping it off. Unfortunately, this is not the most environmentally-friendly option, and you will need a vehicle large enough to haul the item. If the mattress is worn down, you can consider rolling it up or bending it to fit inside the vehicle more easily.
Purchase Disposal Services
Some furniture stores and mattress companies offer their own disposal services. This means that they will pick up any old furniture from your home when they drop off the replacement. When you choose this option, you won’t have any old beds lying around your home, waiting to be taken to the local recycling centre or the tip. However, keep in mind that these services arenot always free. Many companies will include disposal fees in the purchase of your new product. This option may save you a substantial amount of time and stress, but it will affect your bank account.
Haul To A Recycling Centre
Statistics show that more than 7.5 million mattresses are thrown away every year. This large number of items could fill Wembley Stadium approximately five times. To help save the environment and make a difference in the world, take your old bed to a recycling centre rather than the local tip. When at these recycling facilities, the mattresses will be torn apart, and the materials will be used and remade for various new products. For example, the springs can be melted down and used for metal parts, and the foam can be recycled into carpet padding. Mattress recycling in the UK is becoming a more simple and recommended method for old mattress disposal.
Here’s an interesting video about what happens at a mattress recycling centre:
Donate The Mattress
If you are wondering how toget rid of a mattress for free, and if the item still offers some support to sleepers, you may consider simply donating the bed. There are many individuals who simply cannot afford a new product and could use the added comfort that this donated item provides.
Additionally, check with local charities, churches, shelters, and other organisations that assist those in need. Proper bedding, including mattresses, is something many of these places lack but do not have the funds to purchase themselves. In some cases, these organisations will also pick up the item for you, making the donation processes even more accessible.
In addition to contacting local charities and church groups, post your offer online using social media, online selling forums, etc. Ensure the individuals looking at your post understand the product is for free and you are willing to donate it – not sell it. When choosing this disposal option, be prepared as it may take several days before you receive any response and you may have a mattress taking up space in your home.
If your bed is in decent condition, donating isn’t the only option available. You can also choose to sell your mattress and earn a little extra income from the sale. By word of mouth, social media, online sales, and other mediums, you can advertise and promote the sale of your item. However, before your price your product, do your research and look at the prices other individuals are selling their used mattresses. If you overprice the item, you will have a difficult time selling, but if you price it too low, you will not make the money you deserve.
As you contemplate what to do with your used bed, consider all your options. Mattress removal can be difficult, time-consuming, and stressful if you don’t have the time or the resources to make it happen. But, by hiring someone to take care of the item for you, it can be expensive. Use the above ideas to help you come up with the right method for old mattress disposal and then, sleep tight and enjoy your new bed.
Mattress Disposal & Recycling
Tossing an old mattress can be difficult. Not only are mattresses large and difficult to move on your own, they also can’t simply be thrown in the garbage. If you handle it on your own, most of the options for mattress disposal will require a lot of time and effort on your part.
Mattress removal services near you
The good news is, there’s an easy way to get rid of your old mattress. (And it doesn’t involve abandoning it in an alleyway!) If you need a hand with mattress removal, give 1-800-GOT-JUNK? a call. We’ll get that old mattress out of your way in no time and you won’t have to lift a finger. Let us do all the heavy lifting for you. All you have to do is point! We’re in your neighborhood—find a 1-800-GOT-JUNK? location near you.
Here’s how our service works:
1.Schedule your free onsite estimate online or by calling1-800-468-5865.
2.Our friendly, uniformed truck team will call you 15-30 minutes before your scheduled appointment window to let you know when to expect them.
3.When we arrive, just point to the old mattress you want to have removed and we’ll provide you with an up-front, all-inclusive price.
4.Once you say the word, we’ll haul your mattress away from wherever it’s located and finish by tidying up the area. Plus, we will recycle and donate whatever we can, whenever possible.
Can you donate a mattress?
Absolutely! As long as your mattress is in good condition, it can be donated. This means your mattress should be free from stains, rips, or tears, and not be broken in any way. Each local charitable organization that accepts mattress donations will have slightly different standards for what they take, so it’s best to check with them before you drop it off.
Does 1-800-GOT-JUNK? take old mattresses with bed bugs?
Rules and regulations differ from city to city, so accepting mattresses with bed bugs might not be possible for every 1-800-GOT-JUNK? location.
If you are dealing with a bed bug problem, please let us know ahead of time when you book your on-site estimate. If we’re able to accept it, we ask that you have a pest control professional treat and wrap your mattress completely in plastic before we arrive for pickup. It should also be labeled as “Contains Bed Bugs” to alert others who may handle the mattress. This helps to ensure that the bed bugs from your mattress aren’t spread to other people’s homes.
Can old mattresses be recycled?
Yes, mattresses can be recycled and the practice is fairly common. Through mattress recycling, approximately 80-90% of the mattress can be reused. That’s quite a lot of material that can be reused and turned into new products!
What parts of a mattress can be recycled?
Steel springs, wood frames, stuffing, and fabric are all contained in a mattress and can be recycled and reused in different ways. However, mattresses can’t simply be left out for pickup with your regular recycling. You’ll often need to find a facility that specializes in mattress recycling, and you’ll need to transport it there on your own.
Why is recycling a mattress is good for the environment?
When you decide to recycle your old mattress, you help reduce the amount of waste that ends up in your local landfill. Many parts of the mattress need to be recycled, as they take decades to decompose if they end up in a landfill.
How do I know when to get a new mattress?
There are several signs that it’s time to get a new mattress. These include:
- The mattress is over 8 years old.
- It creaks or squeaks when you move on it.
- It rolls you toward the centre when you lie down.
- Your back hurts when you get up in the morning.
- You don’t feel like you get a restful sleep each night.
- The mattress noticeably sags in the middle.
- You often wake up feeling congested due to dust allergies.
Sleeping on an old mattress could have long term effects on your health, so it’s important to address the issue as soon as possible.
Can an old mattress cause allergies?
Yes, old mattresses often cause allergies. If you have allergy symptoms only at night time, your mattress could be infested with dust mites! They are one of the most common household allergens and like to hide in the cotton folds of your mattress. If you think this is the case, it’s best to get rid of the mattress immediately and get a new one that is dust mite resistant.
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.
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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 Get Rid of an Old Mattress
by T&N Team | June 28, 2017 | Filed under: Guides
At least once in your lifetime, you’ll experience the question of what to do with an old mattress. Whether it’s a hand-me-down mattress full of gunk, or the thousand-dollar mattress that doesn’t have the sleep-inducing magic your salesperson promised—learning what to do with an old mattress you no longer want or need can be a headache-saver. Understanding your mattress disposal options when it comes to donating, repurposing, and recycling a mattress can simplify this process so you’ll have more time (and space) for the things you love.
There are some challenges to keep in mind:
- Mattress removal services differ from company to company. Some mattress stores offer removal with purchase, but the cost of this “free” service may be hidden in the high price tag.
- There are laws—strict regulations prohibiting or limiting what people can do with their old mattresses. Your state’s Department of Health Services can be a great resource for all mattress-related questions or concerns.
- Transporting a large, heavy mattress isn’t practical for a lot of people. There are areas where bulk trash pickup is offered at certain times of the year, but it’s not always available when you need it.
It can feel overwhelming finding a way to get rid of an old mattress, but don’t worry. Take a deep breath and let’s consider your mattress removal options.
Getting StartedBefore deciding where to get rid of old mattress or other bedtime-associated items beyond their prime is determining the condition of the mattress. Remove all sheets and accessories, and take a close look at your mattress.
According to the Mattress Recycling Council, “more than 50,000 mattresses end up in landfills each day.” To help reduce this rapid pileup, donate mattresses in good used condition—no rips, tears, or stains. For those mattresses you’ve had for a while or aren’t in a condition to donate, we’ll go through your mattress disposal options below.
DonateCheck to see if friends or family want your old mattress or if any local churches have members in need. If you feel comfortable, post on websites like FreeCycle or Craigslist—someone in your community might appreciate your kind offer.
While every organization is different, there are places that accept mattress donations and offer free pickup. In fact, as part of Tuft & Needle’s 100-Night Sleep Trial, customers are encouraged to donate their “returned” mattress to a local charity or non-profit organization. They have the opportunity to make a difference in their communities and still receive their full refund.
Keep in mind that charitable organizations that accept mattresses require them to be in good used condition. Be sure to provide a clear and honest description, and consider taking photos of the mattress if setting up donation arrangements.
Salvation Army, St. Vincent de Paul, and Habitat for Humanity are examples of bigger organizations that accept mattresses in many parts of the country. To search for donation locations in your area, type “mattress donations in [your zip code]” into Google or another search engine.
Be mindful of varying donation requirements. Some places only accept certain sizes, or require mattresses to be donated with frames or foundations. Waterbeds, mattresses manufactured before a certain year, or beds missing their MFG labels (manufacturer labels) may not be accepted.
When in doubt, contact an organization. Sometimes furniture and large item donations are put on pause if there is limited space and volunteers, but if you’re willing to be flexible, many charities will work closely with you to find the mattress a new home.
RepurposeGive new life to a tired old mattress. Your mattress could be reused in a guest room or play space, or become a bed for your fur babies. Let your ingenuity decide, but don’t rule out Pinterest and other DIY sites for ideas.
RecycleIf your mattress is past its prime, look into responsible disposal options.
Mattress disposal initiatives are slowly sprouting around the country. For example, the Bye Bye Mattress recycling program currently active in California, Connecticut, and Rhode Island is working toward funding proper mattress recycling and reducing waste buildup.
Check out the Bye Bye Mattress website for helpful resources or Wayfair’s furniture disposal tool if you need help finding places to get rid of your mattress. You should also research bulk trash options in your city or consider hiring a company like 1-800-GOT-JUNK? that offers removal services for a fee.
If the reason for removal is bed bugs, seek professional help to ensure proper handling and disposal. For more information, visit the Environmental Protection Agency website here.
How To Get Rid of Your Old Mattress
Editor’s Note: This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a commission if you make a purchase using these links. For full details visit the disclosures page.
You’ve found the mattress of your dreams and are ready to get an amazing night’s sleep. First, however, you’ll need to ditch your current mattress. If you’re prepared to haul your old mattress out of your bedroom and place it on the curb for trash pickup, think again — this approach is both inconvenient, bad for the environment, and potentially hazardous to your health. Make one wrong move and you risk throwing out your back. Furthermore, many municipalities do not allow residents to simply send their mattresses out with the trash. Thus, what might begin as a simple trip from the bedroom to the curb could become a significantly lengthier journey to your local recycling center.
Disposing of your mattress does not need to be difficult — you just need help from somebody with the tools and the physical strength necessary to get that pesky mattress out of your home. The hardworking team at Mattress Disposal is happy to help you dispose of your mattress in an eco-friendly manner. Follow these steps to get rid of your mattress in the easiest and most stress-free way possible:
Once you decide to work with a mattress disposal service, you can book your appointment online or over the phone. Call at least one day ahead of time to ensure that a time slot is available. The Mattress Disposal can work around your schedule — pickups are available seven days a week, excluding major holidays. If you have a tendency to forget about these types of appointments, no worries — you’ll receive a call the evening prior to mattress pickup. You can expect this call to occur between 7 and 9 p.m.
A national service is Load Up. They have very competitive rates and can pick up your mattress for as low as $85.
Make the Mattress Accessible
The team that picks up your mattress can handle a lot, but you should do your part to make their lives easier. Clear away any objects that block access to your mattress. If you need multiple items to be disposed of, you can always use one of Mattress Disposal’s packages to get rid of your mattress, your box spring, and up to eight additional furniture items. As with your mattress, these items should be at least reasonably accessible by the time the Mattress Disposal team arrives. Keep in mind that all items hauled from your home must be pre-paid; team members are not allowed to accept additional items unless you call them in and adjust your order.
Get Rid of Mattress: Recycling Or Disposal
If you are getting rid of your mattress due to a bed bug infestation, it will not be recycled. However, the Mattress Disposal team is happy to pick up your mattress and dispose of it. Please let the team know that your mattress has been impacted by bed bugs. If your decision to ditch your mattress has nothing to do with bed bugs, it will be recycled at a local facility.
The hassle of getting rid of an old mattress can cast a cloud over the excitement of getting a brand new one. Fortunately, you do not have to face the burden on your own. Skip the hassle and risk of getting rid of your mattress, and instead, let an expert do the heavy lifting. Book an appointment with a licensed and insured mattress disposal service, and get ready to enjoy a restful night’s sleep on your amazing new mattress!