When it’s time to replace a bed, many people consider donating rather than simply throwing away their old beds. However, some are not sure how to get rid of an old mattress charitably and are often plagued with questions. For example, do charities accept old beds or only new ones? Do thrift stores accept mattress donations? Are there donation pick-up services or other options people might be unaware of?
An online search will flood you with results and information on this topic. So, we compiled this guide to help you figure out how and where to donate a mattress easily. Keep reading to find out if your mattress qualifies for donation and what are the best options available for you.
Can You Donate Mattresses?
First things first, is it possible to donate old mattresses or only new ones? The answer is yes; you can donate an old bed, but only if it meets certain standards. While donating a mattress may seem like a good idea regardless of its condition, this is not the case. Mattresses can only be accepted as donations if they are still in reasonably good condition. A mattress with any rips, tears, discolorations, stains, or deep compressions will be rejected by most organizations. This is because mattresses are hard to transport and dispose of. Hence, they want the recipients to get as much use as possible from each donation.
This might go without saying, but no one will accept a donated mattress, in any condition, if it has any evidence of being infested with bed bugs. A mattress that could be contaminated with bed bugs or even dust mites should immediately go to the landfill site or dump.
How to Donate a Mattress
Suppose your mattress is still in good condition and you think it will be accepted as a donation. In that case, the following sections will explain the process and the possible institutions to reach, starting with the most common choice – the charities.
Donating to a charity is the most customary option because it allows you to decide exactly where you want to donate and who you choose to support.
If your mattress has some imperfections, skip ahead. We will discuss the appropriate choices available to you, one of which still includes donating to someone in need.
Specific Charities That Take Furniture or Mattresses
Most homeless shelters will only accept a new mattress or one that has been gently used and is in good shape. So chances are that your best bet is to donate your old mattress to a thrift store run by a charity, though it still has to be in acceptable condition.
Today, many shelters have ties with bed-in-a-box companies that allow consumers to test their products at home for a brief period before completely committing to the purchase. Beds that are returned are often donated to these shelters. This is another reason why it may be best for you to prioritize donating to a thrift store associated with a charity. Besides, almost all of them are affiliated.
Now, let’s find out exactly which of the most common charities accept mattresses so you can decide to whom your mattress donation would go. In case you’re wondering if any options include mattress donation pick-up, there certainly are. Many of the charities we found offer a pick-up service in some areas, and several are free.
Does Goodwill take mattresses? Yes!
Goodwill is one organization that accepts old mattresses and box springs in many areas, as long as they are in good condition. However, before loading your used mattress into the back of a truck or strapping it to the top of your car, Goodwill recommends calling them first to ensure they have enough space to store your huge donation. This organization does not accept mattresses in some cities and states due to storage and donation overload issues.
Nevertheless, many Goodwill centers offer large item pick-up if you have no way of transporting the mattress. You can also check if this service is offered in your area during the call.
Suppose you choose to donate your mattress to Goodwill. In that case, you will be supporting its mission statement to strengthen communities and help people in need. However, we should note here that when you donate a mattress to Goodwill, there is a chance it will either be resold or recycled. Neither of these possibilities is considered harmful. However, if you wish your mattress to become someone else’s new mattress, this may not be the best choice for you.
b. Habitat for Humanity
Building houses for the homeless and less fortunate is usually the first thing that comes to mind when Habitat for Humanity is mentioned. It’s pretty standard since it’s their main priority. But aside from this, they also help pool resources of scrap material to furnish the new houses. This is the institution’s manner of making the new homeowner’s transition as easy and effective as possible. The Habitat ReStore is the organization’s arm that handles such services and is also an excellent place to donate a mattress, provided that it’s in good condition.
We particularly like this option since Habitat for Humanity is quite popular in North America. Furthermore, this organization can often be found locally. Plus, they practice transparency within their charity, which is a significant issue for donors. You can rest assured that your mattress donation will be used for good and go directly to a family or person in need instead of being resold in a thrift store.
The Habitat ReStore also offers pick-up for large furniture donations when possible. Check with their nearest branch to determine if this is an option for you. Some areas even provide an online furniture donation pick-up scheduler that makes donating easy.
c. Salvation Army
Does Salvation Army take mattresses? Unfortunately, no. The Salvation Army does not accept mattress donations or box springs. They do not have enough available space to store a collection of mattresses. However, this organization accepts a donation of furniture that includes your used bed frame and other large household furniture.
d. Arc Thrift Stores
As with the Salvation Army, Arc Thrift Stores does not accept mattresses for donation. You can donate furniture and other large household items, though, except for a used mattress or box springs. You may visit their website for an updated list of other household goods and appliances that are not accepted.
Your Location Could Limit Your Options
Like other services and amenities, your choices become more limited the further you get from a large city. Take your zip code into account when weighing your options. You should also double-check the recommended alternatives if these are available in your area. If your home is located in a rural area, mattress donations could be next to impossible. Thus, you may have to resign yourself to recycling or simply disposing of your mattress.
Other Possible Ways to Donate a Mattress
What if none of the above organizations are locally available, or you’re still looking for some other channels? If you want to explore other alternatives on where to donate a mattress, the following sections will provide you with some less common solutions that could serve your purpose better.
a. Donation Town
If you are having trouble locating a nearby charity that currently accepts mattresses, Donation Town is a great online resource that has compiled a National Directory of Charities in the USA. These organizations accept clothing, furniture, and appliance donations.
After entering your zip code into their website, a list of local charities will pop up. Next, choose a charity from the list you wish to support that accepts mattresses. Lastly, set an appointment for a free donation pick-up at a time that suits your schedule. Almost all of the charities in Donation Town’s database offer free pick-up. This streamlines the donation process and requires minimal effort from you. Just be available when the removal team arrives, and the process will be completed.
As far as mattress removal services are concerned, this is one of the most viable choices. Aside from being amazingly easy, it gives you a wide variety of options and directly helps people in need.
b. White Glove Delivery Service
A new option to remove mattresses is emerging with the popularity of bed-in-a-box delivery companies – the White Glove Delivery service. If you are purchasing a new bed to replace your sagging mattress, an easy way to dispose of it is by using a White Glove Delivery service. It’s a marketing strategy most likely offered by your new mattress company. This service is not only known for setting up the new bed for you, but it also includes complimentary trash, box spring, and mattress removal.
Mattresses removed by a White Glove Delivery team will not be donated to a charity, but most companies will make sure your previous bed, at least, gets recycled. If you’re concerned that your old mattress may be taken directly to a landfill, double-check with the mattress company first before purchasing.
c. Third-Party Resale Websites
Third-party resale websites have been around for a long time. They are another practical solution for getting rid of a mattress, whether it is in good shape or not. Sites like Let Go, OfferUp, Facebook Marketplace, and Craigslist allow you to post your mattress for sale or free. You can advertise your old bed if you are determined to donate it, even if it doesn’t pass a charity’s mattress standards.
While pick-up is not a guarantee with third-party retailers, most people shopping on these sites expect they will have to pick their purchases up as soon as possible or risk losing them to a quicker buyer. This is especially true when you list items for free, like your unwanted mattress.
This option does not work with a charity specifically. However, posting your mattress for free will serve your purpose to donate it faster. This option is likewise highly recommended since it offers a more practical and quick solution without worrying about people and paperwork. Moreover, your mattress won’t sit in a storage facility, and instead, it will be moved from your house right into the home of the people you gave it to, with no delay.
What About Overly Used Mattresses?
If it doesn’t look like you will be able to donate your mattress to any local charities, but you still need to get it out of your home, don’t worry. There are still some other options to explore on how to get rid of an old mattress, some of which are more environmentally conscious than others.
Can I Get Money for My Old Mattress?
What if your mattress is in such a good condition that you think you may still be able to attach a modest price tag? We recommend circling back to the third-party resale websites mentioned above. Instead of posting your mattress for free, list it for sale. You can experiment with the price a bit here, as well. If your original price does not get any responses from potential buyers, you can slowly reduce it over time until someone takes the bait. Otherwise, you may have to eventually resign yourself to giving it away for free.
Free Mattress Recycling
Mattress recycling usually entails a small cost. Conversely, when it comes to protecting and preserving the environment, we believe it’s worth the effort in the long run. Contact your local recycling center to see if they are capable of accepting mattresses for recycling. If it’s not possible, a quick online search should help you find other local recycling services that come with a fee.
Generally, a foam mattress is not easily recyclable. Its unique components would require a special process of recycling. Hence, if you contemplate recycling a foam mattress that does not have any wood or metal spring components, it may be best to think of a way to repurpose it at home.
Free Mattress Disposal
You can always dispose of your mattress in the trash when all else fails. If you live in a city, you may be able to leave it by a dumpster on a large item pick-up day. If this option isn’t locally available, then you may have to haul it to the landfill or dump it as waste. But if you don’t mind paying, trash removal companies are available in most parts of the country.
Where Can I Get a Free Mattress?
If you find yourself personally in need of a free mattress, we hope this article will also prove helpful to you. The charities, thrift stores, organizations, and online websites listed above facilitate accepting mattress donations. This, in turn, means they also help pair the donated goods with less fortunate people.
Contact a charity that you believe helps people in your specific situation. You can also search for free mattresses on Craigslist, etc., until you find what you need.
By now, you should have a pretty good understanding of where to donate a mattress and what to do with an old mattress that can’t be donated. Just remember, only mattresses in good to excellent condition can be accepted by charities as a donation. If your mattress is nowhere near this state, you can always try listing it for free on a third-party resale site like Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, OfferUp, or Let Go.
We hope that we were able to give you the most appropriate solution on how to get rid of an old mattress and where to send your good old bed. If donating a mattress is not a viable option in your area, then at least you know you tried everything. Besides, you can proceed with another alternative like recycling.