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Where to Dispose of a Mattress: Get Rid of Your Old Bed the Right Way

Where to dispose of a mattress - featured. An old single mattress and divan stand on driveway awaiting collection

Disposing of something as large as an old mattress can be tricky. We make it easy with our helpful tips

Is your current mattress sagging or squeaking? Quality of sleep not what it should be, as a result? Then it might be time to replace your old mattress with a new one – but where do you dispose of it? A mattress isn’t exactly the easiest item to get rid of, considering its size and – if you have anything bigger than a single – weight. But before you bundle it into the nearest dumpster, or throw it over your neighbor’s fence, read our advice below.

Contrary to what you might believe, there are numerous options when it comes to disposing of a mattress – and not all of them involve casting it into landfill. From donation and recycling to reselling online, here are some of the best ways to dispose of your mattress.

Should I donate or recycle my old mattress?

Consigning an old mattress to the scrapheap isn’t great from an environmental point of view, so paying the local garbage dump a visit should be a last resort. This leaves you with two main options: donating and recycling.

Donating your old mattress to charity is a great way to help those in need. However, you’ll need to consider its condition; it still needs to be in reasonable shape in order for it to be accepted for donation by a charitable organization. Check your mattress meets the following criteria before you consider this option:

  • It should be free from infestations, such as mold and/or bed bugs
  • There should be no visible stains
  • The internal structure of the mattress should be in tact, free of any damage
  • There should be no exterior damage, such as rips or tears in the fabric

Where can I donate my old mattress?

Many non-profit organizations will be happy to accept donations of mattresses that are still in good, usable condition. By going down this route, your old mattress can go to someone who will really benefit from it, rather than winding up in landfill.

Some charities that operate schemes to accept mattress donations in the USA include:

  • Goodwill
  • Salvation Army
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • Vietnam Veterans of America
  • Furniture Bank Network

Note that while all of these charities run nationwide schemes, it’s always worth contacting them first to make sure they’re accepting donations in your local area. If they are, you can simply drop off your mattress wherever they advise. Some will even collect the old mattress for you.

Where can I recycle my old mattress?

If your mattress can’t be donated for some reason, the next best option is to recycle it. There are hundreds of mattress-recycling programs all over the country, but they vary from state to state, city to city and town to town.

Where to dispose of a mattress. Two men in uniforms lift a mattress onto the back of a van

To find out about the services available in your area, simply run a quick Google search for “mattress recycling” and your zip code. From there you can pick the one that suits you best. Many will even come out and collect the mattress from you, which significantly reduces the legwork on your part.

Where can I resell my old mattress?

Not surprisingly, there isn’t really a booming market for creaky old mattresses covered in stains. However, if yours is in decent condition, and you’re in need of some extra cash, you might be able to resell it.

If you’re planning to go down this route, run through the checklist detailed in the “Should I donate or recycle?” section above, and take plenty of photos from various angles for your listing. Just be aware that it’s unlikely to sell for much unless it’s relatively new.

Some places you might have success selling your old mattress include:

  • Facebook Marketplace
  • Craigslist
  • Local Facebook groups
  • OfferUp

Can I leave a mattress out with the trash?

In some states, leaving your old mattress out with the trash or next to a dumpster could land you with a hefty fine. Always check the local rules and regulations before dumping something as large as a mattress.

If you live in an area where you’re not permitted to leave a mattress with the regular trash, your best option is to use a waste-disposal service. Such companies will collect and dispose of large items for a fee.

LoadUp and 1-800-Got-Junk are two of the biggest players, and they operate in most states. Just keep in mind that the former will accept mattresses with bed bugs, but the latter will not.

Again, throwing out a mattress should always be a last resort, so make sure you have exhausted all other options before going down this route.

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