What to Do with an Old Mattress


Because mattresses are so expensive, we tend to keep them longer than we should. And we often don’t know how to get rid of a mattress.

Will someone come pick it up from your house? Can mattresses be recycled? Can they be reused? Is there another way to use them instead of throwing them away?

mattress recycling

We’re here to answer all of these questions and more.

Mattress Disposal 6 Ways

Mattress Replacement 

If you are buying a mattress to replace your old one, see if the company delivering it will take your previous bed.

If the manufacturer of your new mattress is the same as the old one, they may be interested in recycling it themselves.


Call your local recycling center and see if they take mattresses.

Nearly 20 million mattresses end up in landfills in the US, so if recycling is available near you, it can be a great option to help the environment.

Your local recycling center may have a facility just for mattresses, so be sure to research this before you load up the bed; hauling it to the paper recycling center and having to reroute after all that effort could be a pain.

Some cities even have service that will come pick it up for you. If you have a memory foam mattress, try finding a local place that will recycle the foam.

It can be shredded and reused in couch cushions, carpet padding, and even building insulation.

mattress disposal

Does Goodwill take mattresses?

Call your local secondhand or thrift store, like Goodwill or Salvation Army. Ask if mattress donations are accepted.

This may be different for each store, so don’t assume that because one store takes mattresses, others will as well.

Habitat for Humanity also takes used mattresses at their donation drop-off centers, but look at the condition of your mattress and really evaluate if someone would want to sleep on it.

If it’s in fairly good condition, rather than recycling, why not give it to someone who can really use it?

Also, ask if the store or charity will come to your house to take it away or if you have to take it to a local donation center yourself.

Why haul a mattress all the way to a store when you don’t have to?


Throw it away. While it isn’t likely to be accepted by the company that picks up your trash every week, there are other options:

  • Rent a dumpster from a local company and use that as a way to dispose of your old mattress. (If you have other things that need to be thrown away as well, you can have a big clean-out of your house.) Check to see if you will be charged extra for throwing away mattresses. The dump or landfill they take it to may charge them extra for it and they may tack that on to your bill.
  • You can always take it to the local dump yourself. Call ahead to be sure there is no policy against mattresses or that there aren’t any extra fees.
  • Junk Removal Service. There are many services out there that will come and pick up the things you don’t want. These cost anywhere from $100 to $200 depending on the size of the mattress you’re trying to get rid of

Pass It On 

Sell or give away the mattress. You can always gift your old mattress to someone you know or put it up for sale on a site like Craigslist or Facebook.

mattress disposal

As long as there are no major stains or tears (or bed bugs!), you should be fine with selling an old mattress to someone else.

Label it as gently used, and you should have plenty of buyers who will be interested.

Break It Down 

If you have the time, the space, the knowledge, and the tools, you can break up a mattress yourself.

You can start by cutting the perimeter of the fabric covering the mattress. Peel the fabric and the foam away from the springs and the wooden frame.

The fabric and the foam can be rolled up and put in your normal weekly trash.

The wood frame can be broken apart with a saw and used for firewood, and the springs can be donated to a recycling center.

Here’s a video showing how to take apart a mattress.


It’s a lot of work, but if you really want to get the most out of your old mattress, it might be the way to go.

If you’re looking for a more creative option, check out Pinterest. You can reuse an old mattress to make all kinds of crafts and extraordinary DIY projects.

But be careful! There are a lot of sharp components in a mattress – the springs especially. It is not worth doing if you are going to hurt yourself in the process, so come ready and prepared!


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