How to Dispose of a Mattress: What To Do & What NOT To Do

When it comes to disposing of your mattress, the laws are quite clear: If you’ve lived in a place for 90 days or longer, you can’t just chuck it in the back of your truck or toss it in the street and expect that to make it disappear. To get rid of a mattress safely and legally, you must call your local health department. But what if there’s no health department where you live? Or what if you don’t want to wait for a pickup truck? Well, that’s where this guide comes in.

It’s one of those topics that always makes you stop and wonder: How do you properly dispose of a mattress? What type of bags should you use? Do you need any special tools? There are many ways to properly discard a mattress, but there are also risks and pitfalls involved if you don’t do it correctly.

Every time you purchase a mattress, you are disposing of something that was made in a factory, transported to a store, put on a truck, and eventually delivered to your home. Once you unbox it, you are affecting the environment in a big way. And you may never see your mattress again. So, what’s the best way to dispose of it now that you have it?

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You’re unsure how to get rid of a mattress since you’re considering purchasing a new bed or have just purchased a new mattress. Whatever the situation may be, deciding what to do may be difficult, particularly if your old mattress still has some life in it. It’s certainly not something you consider often, but understanding how to get rid of an old mattress is just as essential as knowing how to choose the right mattress when one’s time to replace it.

Mattresses aren’t always simple to get rid of, particularly in an ecologically responsible manner, since they’re so large and bulky— but there are some excellent alternatives for when you need to get them out of your house. However, before you get rid of an old mattress, you need know when it’s time to replace it.

How to Tell If Your Mattress Needs to Be Replaced

A decent mattress may last a long time, but it will ultimately need to be replaced. Mattresses that are less costly have a shorter lifetime, usually 7-8 years, while mattresses of better quality may have a longer duration. Until it’s time to change your mattress, it’s critical that it keeps you comfortable and supports your body.

The following are some indications that your mattress needs to be replaced:

  • You have aches and pains when you wake up.
  • Lumpy, drooping, uneven, or obviously worn mattress
  • It’s more difficult for you to fall or remain asleep.
  • As you move around on your mattress, it produces a lot of noise.
  • All you have to do now is choose the finest mattress for your sleeping habits.

What Should I Do With My Box Spring?

If your mattress is supported by a box spring, you should inspect it for indications of deterioration as well. If your box spring is broken, sagging, extremely filthy, or loud, you should replace it, just like your mattress.

I’m not sure what to do with my old mattress.

It may be tempting to throw an old mattress in the trash or leave it on the curb for anybody to take, but you should think about alternative choices. Illegal dumping of big things like furniture and mattresses is a serious issue that isn’t worth the risk of penalties or other consequences.

Consider these alternatives if you need to get rid of a mattress.

Making a Mattress Donation

“One man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” as the saying goes. Mattress donation is a great choice if your old mattress is clean and in good condition. When individuals merge homes, it’s one of the greatest times I see them donate a mattress. The mattress is often in excellent condition, but the new couple want to begin with a new bed, which makes sense on many levels. 

Your old, in excellent condition mattress may not only assist an individual or family in need, but it may also be tax deductible. If you’re getting rid of the bed, don’t forget to include the box spring.

Where Can I Donate My Mattress?

Note: Always check with your local branches and organizations to see whether they accept mattress donations; some may refuse them, while others may take them.

Mattress Recyclability

Fabric, wood, and metal springs make up the majority of a standard box spring mattress—all of which may be recycled! However, you can’t simply throw your old mattress in the recycling bin and wait for it to be picked up by your local recycling program. It may be as simple as bringing your mattress to a mattress recycler or mattress recycling program in your region. They may even be able to assist you in getting it.

When you turn in your old mattress, you’ll have to pay a modest recycling charge as well as the cost of mattress removal if they come out and take it up for you.

Why Should Your Old Mattress Be Recycled?

Mattress recycling keeps them out of landfills and gives their components a new lease on life. Mattress foam may be shredded and used as carpet padding, metal components can be melted down and utilized in a variety of ways, and textiles can be reused or repurposed as insulation.

Where Can I Recycle My Mattress?

  • The Mattress Recycling Council is a non-profit organization dedicated to recycling mattresses (for residents of California, Connecticut, and Rhode Island)
  • Check out the Earth911 directory to locate a recycling center near you.
  • Mattress recycling days, or drop-off sites in the community

Note that your mattress store may be affiliated with a mattress recycling program; this is particularly useful if you don’t have access to a mattress recycling facility.

Why You Shouldn’t Throw Your Old Mattress in the Dumpster

Mattresses are large, heavy objects that take up a lot of room. This is true for both your house and the landfill in your neighborhood. Mattresses, even amid all the other garbage and solid waste, take up a significant amount of landfill area.

About 20 million mattresses are discarded in the United States each year, amounting to 800 million cubic feet of waste in landfills already overburdened with other waste. Mattresses are difficult to compress because to the padding, fabric, and springs, and may even damage landfill equipment!

Before you think about going to the dump, think about all of your other alternatives. Your local charities, thrift shops, and recycling centers— as well as the environment— will be grateful!

Is it better to sell or give away your mattress?

This is also a wonderful choice if you have a perfectly fine mattress that you need to get rid of. Simply ensure that any transactions are safe, secure, and equitable to both the buyer and the seller.

Where Can I Sell My Mattress?

  • Facebook Marketplace is a platform that allows you to sell
  • Craigslist
  • Nextdoor
  • Your neighborhood’s classified advertising

Note that if you need to get the mattress out of your house quickly, this is probably not the best choice.

When to Donate or Sell Your Mattress and When Not to

Even if you are unable to sell or give your mattress, appropriate disposal must be considered. This is particularly true if your mattress isn’t in the best of shape. Mattresses that have any of the following defects will usually not be accepted by donation centers:

1. If it’s broken or towards the end of its useful life

You can’t expect anybody else to sleep on a damaged or old mattress if you can’t. A well-used mattress may still be salvaged for components or reused as long as it isn’t totally ruined.

2. If it’s soiled, filthy, or stinky

Suspicious spots on the mattress don’t give off a good impression and may seem unsanitary. Consider recycling your mattress if it is discolored and the stains aren’t coming out.

3. Pests such as Bed Bugs and Other Insects

If bed bugs or other pests have invaded your mattress, you should not risk spreading the infestation to others. Even reusing the mattress may spread the bugs, so appropriate disposal is essential.

When disposing of infected objects, it’s crucial to keep the infestation contained before moving them. Placing smaller things, such as pillows, in a plastic bag will suffice. To confine the pests and prevent future spread, larger objects like mattresses should be shrink-wrapped or securely covered in tarp or painter’s plastic. 

Once the mattress has been relocated outdoors, plainly mark it as infected to prevent anybody who may be tempted to rehome it before trash disposal picks it up.

Why Is Mattress Care Important?

A little additional attention may go a long way. Keeping your mattress clean and well-maintained may help you sleep better and prolong the life of your mattress. Check out my suggestions on how to tidy your bedroom for better sleep for additional information.

Rotating your mattress and box spring on a regular basis may help avoid sagging and excessive wear, extending their lives and keeping things comfortable for years to come.

The Importance of Purchasing a Good Mattress

When it comes to mattresses, you get exactly what you paid for. A good mattress will keep you comfortable and well-supported for years to come, and some, like Hastens, may even endure generations. After just a few years, cheaper mattresses may leave you feeling uncomfortable or even in agony, necessitating mattress replacement. That’s why it’s critical to invest as much as you can safely afford on a long-lasting mattress.

Although comfort is subjective, there are a few factors to look for in a mattress:

  • The mattress supports your hips and holds your whole body in place.
  • It feels good on pressure areas like the head, shoulders, hips, and knees.
  • Relaxes your muscles all throughout your body, particularly those in your back.

It doesn’t have to be a stressful process to shop for a new mattress. Check out my article on how to select a mattress if you’re in the market for a new one. 

You shouldn’t be losing sleep over your mattress, whether you’re getting rid of your old one or searching for a new one!

Best Wishes,

PhD, D, ABSM; FAASM Michael J. Breus

The Sleep Specialist

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Michael Breus, Ph.D., a Diplomate of the American Board of Sleep Medicine and a Fellow of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, is one of just 168 psychologists to pass the Sleep Medical Specialty Board without attending medical school. Dr. Breus is a sought-after speaker, and his expertise is featured on major national media outlets across the globe on a regular basis, including Today, Dr. Oz, Oprah, and WebMD, where he served as the sleep expert for fourteen years. Dr. Breus is the author of the New York Times best-selling books The Power of When, The Sleep Doctor’s Diet Plan, and Good Night!

If you are ever forced to dispose of a mattress, you want to be as safe as possible so that you don’t spread any bed bugs or diseases to other family members. By following the right process, you can find a great solution for the problem of disposing of a mattress.. Read more about free mattress recycling near me and let us know what you think.

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