How to Dispose of a Mattress: Mattress Disposal Guide

September 16, 2020 | Casper Editorial Team

The United States throws away approximately 18.2 million mattresses a year with more than 50,000 mattresses ending up in landfills every day. To help cut down on waste, mattress owners should look for ways to properly dispose of their mattress.
 
Typically, you should replace your mattress every 10 years. Of course, this number will vary from person to person and the type of mattress you have. When you opt to replace yours will largely depend on how often you use your mattress and how well you take care of it.
 
Wondering how to dispose of a mattress properly? Leaving it on the curb is not going to cut it and taking it to the city dump can be stressful. Not disposing of your bed properly can lead to some hefty fines, so it’s important to do your research first.
 
Before getting rid of your mattress, you’ll want to check your mattress’s warranty. A warranty is basically a time frame the mattress company will give in which they will replace your mattress if it gets damaged. Usually, this number is anywhere between five and 10 years, however, every warranty is different.
 
You’ll want to check if your warranty covers mattress removal and replacement. If your warranty doesn’t cover removal, you’ll have to dispose of the mattress on your own.
 
Before disposing of your mattress, research your state’s policies for mattress removal. Some states — such as Connecticut, California, and Rhode Island — make mattress recycling a no brainer with robust laws and recycling programs that can take the mattress off your hands. However, not all states are like this. It’s important to do your own research to see if there are any policies your state enforces.
 
Once you’ve done your research, it’s time to dispose of your mattress. To help, we’ve outlined each mattress disposal option available to you below.

Option 1: Recycle it

A cut-open mattress showing layers or foam and springs inside. Illustration
 
The best and most environmentally friendly way to dispose of a mattress is to recycle it. Throwing your mattress in the garbage means it will end up in a landfill and add to the planet’s waste. According to the Mattress Recycling Council, more than 80% of mattresses can be recycled. So, why not try and recycle yours?
 
To check to see if your mattress can be recycled, conduct a quick Google search using your zip code to see if there are mattress recycling services in your city (ex: mattress recycling programs zip code 10004).
 
Usually, these programs will be able to pick up your mattress for a small fee (usually no more than $40). States like California, Connecticut, and Rhode Island make mattress recycling easy with free pick up or very low-cost options. However, the specifics will vary by state.
 
If you can’t find any mattress recycling facilities in your area, you can check out these other resources:
 

  • Earth911: Earth911 is one of the world’s largest online databases for recycling centers with over 100,000 listings. All you have to do is input the item you’re recycling and your zip code.
  • Bye Bye Mattress: Byebyemattress.com is another online aggregator run by the Mattress Recycling Council. They offer resources on how to find recycling programs in EPR-enacted states. Just visit the ‘Programs by State’ section for more information.
  • City resources: Contact your city’s municipal offices that are in charge of trash and recycling. Reach out and see if they have any information on how to recycle a mattress.

There are situations where your mattress won’t be able to be donated. This is the case if your mattress is wet, stained, or infested with bed bugs — torn or ripped mattresses are usually okay.

Option 2: Donate it

A man pushes a mattress on a dolly toward a Habitat for Humanity center. Illustration.
 
If your mattress is still in good condition, try donating to a local charity or business that accepts mattress donations. Some businesses will offer free pickup and donating your mattress may make you eligible for a tax deduction.
 
Some organizations you can donate your mattress to include:
 

  • Salvation Army: In certain locations, the Salvation Army will offer free mattress pickup. If not, you can drop your mattress off at a Salvation Army nearest you. However, it must be free of rips, tears, holes, and other types of damage. Reach out to the Salvation Army beforehand to make sure they’ll accept your mattress. All donations are tax-deductible!
  • Habitat for Humanity: Habitat for Humanity owns a chain of thrift stores called ReStore. Some will accept mattress donations and may even offer mattress pickup.
  • Goodwill: Goodwill has 162 locations across the US and Canada. Some locations will take mattresses off your hands if they are in good condition. Contact your local Goodwill for more information.
  • Catholic Charities: There are Catholic Charities around the US that run shelters and housing programs that could benefit from old mattresses. Check their website to locate programs near you.
  • Furniture Bank Association of America: The FBA provides used furniture at little to no cost to impoverished communities. They often accept mattresses in good shape. In some cases, they can come and pick the mattress up if you live in a 20-mile radius — just make sure to call beforehand.
  • Donation Town: Donation Town is a great online resource for finding charities in your area. All you have to do is type in your zip code and then reach out to local charities.

Another option is to reach out to local businesses. Contact hotels, hospitals, universities, thrift stores, or homeless shelters in your area to see if they’re in need of an old mattress. If they don’t need one, you can always ask where they go to recycle their mattresses; they may be able to point you in the right direction.

Option 3: Resell It or Give It Away

If your mattress is in good shape and recycling or donating aren’t options for you, try reselling it. You may not make a ton of money, but you never know — someone in your network might need a used mattress and be interested in purchasing it from you.
 
Take advantage of your social media channels by posting that you have a used mattress up for grabs. You can also utilize online marketplaces like OfferUp, Facebook Marketplace, NextDoor, or Craigslist. Just post a picture of your mattress on one of these sites and offer up a price. When all else fails, you can list it as “free” on Craigslist.

Option 4: Repurpose it

If you love to DIY, break down the mattress and box springs yourself. Mattresses contain a variety of useful materials including steel, polyurethane foam, memory foam, latex foam, natural fibers, wooden parts, nails, screws, and much more.
 
A stack of money, fabric, compost bin, and plant holder built out of spare mattress parts. Illustration.
 
You can use the materials for a variety of purposes including:
 

  • Recycling the parts: Remove the steel parts and springs from your mattress and sell them to local scrap yards and scrap metal recyclers in your area. If your mattress includes cotton, wool, silk, polyester, or rayon, those materials can be recycled as well.
  • Home projects: The foams and cotton in your old mattress can be used for several things around your home. They can be shredded and used as carpet padding, insulation, filters, seat cushions, pet bedding, pillows, and more.
  • Gardening: Break down the wooden parts of your mattress and use them for gardening. When shredded, the wood works great for lawn mulch. You can also use the wooden slats to create a compost bin.
  • Arts and crafts: The fabric that covers your mattress can make a great DIY rug and memory foam padding can be cut into small sizes and used as cleaning sponges. There are also screws and nails in your mattress that can be used for arts and crafts.
  • Decoration: The coils and springs of your mattress can be melted down and made into various objects such as plant and candle holders, ornaments, bird feeders, and much more.

When in doubt, check out Pinterest for even more ways you can repurpose your old mattress.

Option 5: Throw It Away

If you’ve exhausted all your options and are unable to recycle, donate, resell, or repurpose your old mattress, the last option is to throw it out. However, that doesn’t mean leaving it next to your dumpster. Many cities and states have specific rules and regulations in place around throwing away mattresses. Several cities don’t allow you to leave a mattress in the trash — doing so can result in a ticket or fine.
 
Some areas will allow you to throw out a mattress in the Dumpster; however, there may be specific rules around it. For example, some cities may require you to wrap the mattress in a plastic mattress bag. It’s always best to check the regulations of your area before throwing out your mattress.
 
If you live in an area that doesn’t allow you to throw out your mattress with your regular trash, there are a couple of other options available.
 

  • Waste disposal service: There are several types of waste disposal services that can get rid of the trash you can’t throw away in the regular garbage. These are private businesses that can collect old mattresses. To find one near you, simply Google “waste disposal service near me” to check out the options available in your area.
  • Load Up: Load Up is a junk removal service that is located in all 50 states. They are known for their great customer service and they will even remove mattresses with bed bugs — just make sure to let them know in advance.
  • 1-800-Got-Junk: This company is another junk removal service that can remove mattresses. All you have to do is call the number (800) 468-5865 and a team will come and pick up the mattress from you. Unlike Load Up, they do not accept mattresses with bed bugs.

Throwing out your mattress should be your last option. However, if you have to do it, make sure to do it responsibly.

10 Signs You Need a New Mattress

After you’ve had your mattress for about seven years, you should begin inspecting it for wear and tear. If you start to notice any of the below signs, it’s probably time to get a new mattress.
 

  1. Your mattress has started to sag.
  2. Your mattress has rips or worn edges.
  3. There are broken coils in your mattress.
  4. Your mattress has started to smell.
  5. Your mattress squeaks or makes noise.
  6. Your mattress feels more like a hammock.
  7. You have begun waking up with aches and pains.
  8. You have difficulty falling and staying asleep.
  9. You’re able to feel your partner’s movements more than usual.
  10. You wake up tired or with allergies.

There is no exact time to get rid of your mattress, however, if you start to notice any of the above signs impact your sleep, it may be time for a new one.

How Casper Can Help

The words "Resnooze and Recycle". Illustration.
 
One of the best things about Casper mattresses is that our limited warranty covers the full 10 years. So, you’re guaranteed to have restful sleep for a full decade.
 
We believe that improving the way the world sleeps also means improving our impact on the environment. That’s why we created a bedding recycling program called Resnooze & Recycle.
 
If you’re looking to get rid of your old bedding, all you have to do is follow three simple steps:
 

  1. Bring in your old bedding to a participating Casper sleep shop.
  2. We’ll give the sheets a second life.
  3. We’ll offer you a discount on new Casper bedding.

It’s a win, win. If you’re looking to buy a new mattress, Casper mattresses are specifically designed to last long-term, with comfort in mind.