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Bed Basics

How To Get Rid of a Mattress and Make Room for a New One

A couple moving a mattress off a bed base with moving boxes behind them.
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Replacing an old mattress can be one of the best investments in getting good sleep. But before you tuck into your new bed, one question remains: How to get rid of your old mattress. Because of its size and shape, a mattress can take more thought and planning to dispose of than your average bag of household garbage. Thankfully, there are several ways to get rid of an old mattress. If you’re replacing your mattress, here are some ideas about how to dispose of the old one to make room for your new bed.

Considerations Before Disposal

Before you decide on the best option for getting rid of your old mattress, there are a few things to consider. Going over these points will help determine which method of disposal is best and which will be most cost-effective.

Condition

The condition of your mattress can help narrow down your options for how to get rid of it. If your mattress is in good shape with no indentations, spills or visible wear and tear, donating or recycling your mattress could be viable options. However, if it’s sagging, stained or contains odors, it should not be reused.

Mattress Type

What your mattress is made of, as well as the size, can be deciding factors in your options for getting rid of your old mattress. The size and materials of a mattress can determine whether they’re eligible for recycling. Take note of whether your mattress is an innerspring, hybrid or foam bed and what size it is.

Disposal Cost

The mattress type, condition and size could all be factors in how much it’ll cost to dispose of it. Some companies will recycle your mattress for free, while other options like taking it to the local recycling center, could come with fees.

Below, we outline some options for getting rid of your mattress, but you might need to research your local government or waste disposal options to determine the most cost-efficient way to throw away your old mattress.

Local Regulations

Before you decide how to get rid of a mattress, look into local regulations in your area. Some states have specific laws about disposing of or recycling a mattress, and it’s possible your area has free mattress disposal options. Some places hold frequent community collection events at no cost, while other areas let you throw out your mattress and box spring with the regular curbside garbage pickup as long as they’re contained in a plastic bag of any color besides orange or red. Always check with your local government’s guidance for mattress disposal to scope out your options.

Warranty

The majority of mattresses come with a warranty that lasts for years. If your mattress is new but isn’t giving you the support you need or it shows a manufacturing defect, it could be covered under the warranty. If you’re looking to throw out a mattress, check the warranty details to see if there’s any information about removing or replacing your mattress.

Mattress Disposal Options

How to get rid of an old mattress can seem tricky, but Mattress Firm Sleep Expert® Raul Davila is here to explain some of the best ways to make room for your new mattress.

Have Mattress Firm Take Care of it

Did you know that Mattress Firm offers mattress removal? If you order a mattress for delivery through Mattress Firm, mattress removal is part of the delivery service. After the delivery team delivers your mattress and sets up all items purchased from Mattress Firm, the team will remove or relocate your existing mattress and box spring on a one-for-one basis within your home. This means that they can take away the equivalent existing products in your home. So, for example, if you order a mattress, they will remove a mattress but only remove a box spring if your new order includes one.

There are a few boundaries with this service. The delivery team cannot do the following upon delivery:

  • Haul away beds in unsanitary conditions, including any bedding with moisture, infested items or items left outdoors
  • Haul away furniture sets. We only remove mattresses, box springs
  • Handle or move any existing furniture or items that are preventing a clear pathway
  • Remove slats from the headboard, footboard or rail sets
  • Attach an adjustable base to the headboard, footboard or rail sets
  • Provide extra hardware 

Recycle it

If you’re interested in a self-service, eco-friendly option for getting rid of an old mattress, recycling could be a great option. According to the Mattress Recycling Council, over 75% of a mattress is made of recyclable materials. Foam layers can be recycled into carpet padding, and steel coils can be recycled as scrap metal and used to make building materials and appliances. If your mattress has cotton, that can be made into insulation products. The council operates Bye Bye Mattress, which helps reuse mattress materials. Bye Bye Mattress operates in several states, but your local disposal company might also offer options for recycling your old mattress.

Donate it

If your mattress is in good condition, there are charities and thrift stores that might accept it. Some organizations even offer a pickup service when donating large furniture, like a mattress or box spring, that might be hard to transport yourself. Before you attempt to schedule a donation or drop, be sure to check with the organization’s mattress policies. Some may request pictures or a statement verifying the condition.

Another great option for getting rid of your mattress is to give it to someone in need of a bed. Since mattresses can be expensive, you might want to reach out to your close network or even neighborhood social media channels to offer yours to anyone not in a position to buy a new one. Giving it directly to someone looking for a mattress is a great way to give back to the community.

Resell it

If your mattress is relatively new and in good condition, you might be able to resell it. There may be interest in online marketplaces. Neighborhood posts are also an option and could be a good way to find someone locally to minimize logistical transportation hassles.

Repurpose it

Depending on the type and condition of your mattress, you might be able to find great uses for it. It could be used in a guest bedroom or even added to a murphy bed to create a guest bedroom. Some people recommend alternative uses for mattresses, including ways of incorporating mattress materials into other uses. Though DIY projects exist online, be sure you know what materials exist in your mattress before disassembling your mattress on your own.

Frequently Asked Questions about Mattress Disposal

What do you do with a mattress you don’t want?

If you’re ready to part ways with your old mattress, you have several options to get rid of it. Check with your local government to see if they offer recycling programs. If it’s in good condition, consider donating it or giving it directly to someone you know who could use a mattress. If you like DIY projects, consider repurposing your used mattress. It’s also possible to schedule for your old mattress to be hauled away during delivery of your new mattress.

Can you leave a mattress next to a dumpster?

Always check with your local waste collection before you leave your old mattress next to a dumpster. Some disposal companies allow you to throw away mattresses with the regular garbage collection, but it’s possible that leaving it next to the dumpster will incur a fine from the government, property manager or landlord.

Why are mattresses so hard to get rid of?

Mattresses can be tricky to get rid of because of their size. Transporting a mattress can be pricey, and not all mattresses can easily compact, taking up more space in a truck or landfill. While the majority of mattress materials can be recycled, disassembling and separating materials is a laborious process.

How often should you replace a mattress?

Davila mentions a mattress’ lifespan depends on the materials it’s made of and how often it’s used. You should consider replacing your mattress if you wake up often with aches and pains or notice that you feel more comfortable on other mattresses, like when traveling.

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