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How to Dispose of a Mattress: 9 Practical & Cost-Saving Ways

It is estimated that approximately 15-20 million mattresses are disposed of every year in the USA alone. However, when your mattress has officially reached the end of its lifespan and you no longer want to sleep on it, finding a way to dispose of it can be a problem. Not only is a mattress hard to move without help, but transporting or even finding a place to dispose of it properly can be challenging, too.

Additionally, there are several options when it comes to old mattress disposal. Some of which you may not even know existed. For instance, are you aware that your old mattress can be recycled or repurposed? This guide will discuss in detail the ways to get rid of your mattress properly and the possible options that might be available in your area. In this way, you can decide what works best for you.

What Do You Do With Old Mattresses?

Mattresses don’t easily fit into trash cans or dumpsters unless it’s small or for kids. Thus, it’s perfectly normal to wonder what to do with your old mattress so it doesn’t become junk cluttering your home.

Can you throw out an old mattress? How do you throw out a mattress? Who takes old mattresses? Or, is there a way to dispose of one’s mattress for free? Fortunately, you have lots of options, some are free and some come with a small price. Let’s explore your choices and search for the right option for you.

1. Know When to Throw Your Old Mattress

damaged mattress

First things first, if you find you are getting poor quality sleep on your sagging mattress, then it is definitely high time for a replacement. Quality sleep should be your main priority when it comes to deciding whether to keep your mattress or kiss it goodbye for good. You will also want to consider replacing your old mattress if you have been consistently using it for eight to ten years. After that amount of time, it is quite difficult to keep the inner layers of a mattress clean and hygienic. In addition, old mattresses tend to slide off bed frames. This is true even if you don’t notice excessive wear and tear.

If you think that it’s just been a few years since you bought your current mattress, you can review the mattress’s warranty and its purchase date before throwing away your mattress. Several newly established companies have a warranty ranging anywhere from 2-20 years. Usually, it guarantees that the customer can sleep on their mattress for that length of time before needing a replacement. If you fall within this time range, you may be eligible for a warranty replacement. It will definitely save you money and give you back the quality of sleep you longed for.

2. Check With Your New Mattress Company

If you are purchasing a new mattress to sleep on, the first thing you should do when trying to figure out how to get rid of your old bed and mattress is check with your new mattress company. You may inquire if they offer removal services to a new customer, such as yourself. Many mattress companies will remove your old set for free, or include this service for a small fee when they deliver your new mattress. However, where these removal services take your old bed varies. Therefore, check with the company to see if they recycle mattresses or simply haul it to some landfill to become junk. That piece of information could affect your decision.

If your new mattress company does include this service for free, or you find the cost is worth it, then this is the ideal option. Whichever way, you will certainly need help moving the bed. For a reasonable amount, you won’t have to move the bed or haul it to a waste location yourself. Instead, all you have to do is make an appointment, answer the door for the delivery team, and they will handle the rest with care. If you are looking for a quick and easy way, and your new mattress company is just as happy to offer this service, then look no further.

3. Free Large Item Pickup is Available in Many Areas

Many cities offer or include free large item pickup in conjunction with trash services. To find out if this service is available in your area, search online or contact your local waste management division. You’ll surely find what resources are available, plus details including size and location requirements, and the current pick up schedule. Some areas offer this service weekly or biweekly on a particular day.

However, this can change from season to season. For example, there are locations where the local large item pick up service has more coverage and frequent pickup dates during the warmer months of the year. Please be courteous to your neighbors and check the schedule before hauling your junk to the alley or respective pickup location. So, it is only there for a short time.

If the first option does not work for you because you are not replacing your old mattress, or the new company does not include a removal service, or you don’t want to pay an additional fee, then there are several other options to consider. This option explains how to dispose of a mattress for free. That is if you can physically move it outside and such a particular service is offered where you live. With this option, you may also want to consider that your mattress will not be recycled. If mattress recycling is a priority to you, skip ahead two sections.

4. Can You Take a Mattress to the Dump?

If you have the means to haul a piece of furniture by yourself in a vehicle, then taking your mattress to the local dump may be a great option for you – that is also free. Most landfills will accept large items like mattresses if you can simply get the furniture to the location. However, not everyone has the means to transport such huge products with ease.

Call the landfill company in advance to make sure they accept large products before going through the hassle of loading it into a vehicle. Restrictions on what materials these landfill managements accept vary from place to place. Still, chances are you will not have any issues. Additionally, when you take a mattress to the dump or tip, it will not be recycled. Nonetheless, you may want to consider this information in your final decision. This option definitely shows you a way to get rid of a mattress, although it’s just not the best option for most people.

5. Mattress Recycling

When deciding on how to get rid of an old mattress or mattresses, recycling is the best option for the environment and sustainability. As we mentioned in the introduction, millions of mattresses are disposed of every year in the USA alone. Hence, recycling these furniture helps reduce waste and free up space in our landfills for other junk. Let’s face it, when it comes to disposing of waste properly and sustainably, we need all the help we can get. Therefore, we highly recommend this option if it is available in your place, like in Washington DC.

Call the recycling center close to you to make sure. However, you should be able to recycle the wood frame, steel springs, polyurethane foam, and the outer foam at many locations. Some places accept a whole mattress to recycle, others may only accept deconstructed mattresses which requires a lot of work.

Aside from the traditional recycling center, you can do an online search to discover other companies that focus on mattress recycling. Many of these companies also include a pickup service so you don’t have to worry about transport. However, it should be noted that this usually incurs a fee that can range anywhere from $30-$50 depending on where you live. Also, you can save on cost – sometimes by more than 50%, if you can transport the mattress to the center by yourself. For some people, paying a small fee to recycle their mattresses is worth the cost and it even helps them sleep more soundly knowing they’ve made a good decision.

Lastly, the organization you choose may also have criteria restrictions for accepting donations. If your mattress has stains, is wet, or infested with bed bugs, chances are an organization will refuse your donation. If any of these conditions apply to your mattress, see what is allowed before going any further with your plan.

6. Repurposing for the Crafty Type

When it comes to mattress disposal, the do-it-yourself version of recycling your old junk could include reusing or repurposing different parts of the original structure. Just because you will no longer sleep on your old mattress doesn’t mean it can’t serve another purpose. Many mattresses and box springs include several useful materials that could be a great candidate for repurposing such as wood, springs, buttons, or maybe even a zipper. It is possible you may find a purpose for your old mattress aside from sleep. That is if you are willing to get a bit creative and put some work into a crafty project.

If you are trying to get rid of a newer mattress, specifically one made completely of foam, finding a purpose other than sleep for your mattress may be a bit more difficult or involved. However, reusing parts of a foam mattress for something other than sleep is not impossible. After all, many foam mattresses have a zipper at the very least which could be sewn onto various products for decoration. It can be even used for fastening a homemade item such as a large storage container or couch cover.

If you need some inspiration or ideas that other people have created, search online. Use specific search terms like “repurpose spring mattress” or “repurpose foam mattress” – to get the best results. Pinterest is an excellent source for creative projects just like this and will provide you with ideas specifically.

7. Professional Removal Services

Another option involves hiring a professional removal service. This definitely answers the question ” where can I dispose of a mattress?”. You will have to pay a fee for this service though. If you live in a remote area, this may also be one of the few options available for you when it comes to removing old junk including mattresses.

A quick search will provide you with companies nearby that remove unwanted products from your home. After determining which organization you prefer, you will need to call them on the phone and schedule an appointment. They will send a team who will remove your mattress, and complete the transaction.

Many of these companies will also offer to recycle your products for a certain fee. Some other companies will simply take your mattress to the dump. Hence, you should include this particular information when evaluating and comparing costs from one organization to another.

8. Consider Donating Your Old Mattress

man in a homeless shelter

If mattress disposal isn’t quite what you want because it isn’t a junk yet and you think someone will still get a good sleep on it, donating a mattress is an ideal option. Search for a charity or organization such as a shelter or a thrift shop close to your home that will take mattress donations. See if your mattress will pass the organization’s requirements on this kind of donation. For example, many thrift stores will not take a used mattress, but shelters will because they are often at capacity and need more beds to provide safe places to sleep. An organization like this will also be more likely to accept Twin-sized mattresses than Queen or King.

Certain thrift stores will also help facilitate the recycling of used mattresses at particular locations or on specific days, even if they don’t sell them or donate them for reuse.

This will also be considered a great form of recycling since you will be aiding other people who can’t afford a decent surface to rest to get a better night’s sleep. To make things as easier, choose an organization that will include a scheduled pick up for your donation. Not only will you be giving back to your community with this option, but you may be able to save on time and effort in transporting your mattress.

9. Selling Your Old Mattress Online

If your old mattress is not quite considered junk and you think someone else can still sleep soundly on it, then you may want to consider reselling your mattress online. Many third-party seller sites exist and posting on them has been made super easy and user-friendly. A few of the most common sites include: Facebook MarketplaceCraigslist, and Let Go, but there are many more. Some, like Craigslist, also offer anonymity so you don’t have to provide details about yourself online unless you want to and feel comfortable doing so. Look on the platform you choose to determine what other similar posts are charging in your area. In this way, you can fairly estimate what amount of money you should accept for your products.

If no one seems to be interested, you can also include the mattress in the listing as free. Even though you won’t get any monetary compensation, at least, someone else will be coming to pick it up and remove it from your home. Somehow, this option is significantly beneficial on your part. It is a simple and effective form of recycling that allows another person to get great sleep on your old bed when you upgrade to a new one.

Next Steps

Now that you’ve learned different ways to dispose of your mattress, you should be able to choose an option that is easy, efficient, and cost-effective for you.

If recycling is an available option, we highly recommend doing this with your old products, especially your mattress considering the waste it could add up to singularly. Of course, we understand that many may not have this facility readily available in their area, or won’t be able to pay some organization for this service after purchasing a new mattress. So, do what works best for you.

Other options include repurposing, hiring a professional removal service, donating to charity, hauling to the dump, reselling or giving away for free on a third party seller site, utilizing large item pickup through local waste management services, or possibly using benefits included for a customer buying a new mattress.

We hope all of this information was helpful and will make it easier for you to conclude your search for the best way to dispose of a mattress. The next important step is to focus on getting the best sleep possible with your newly purchased mattress, enjoy!

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