How To Dispose Of An Old Mattress: 6 Mattress Recycling Tips For A Better Night’s SleepImage by cnicbc#howtodisposeofanoldmattress #mattressrecycling #whattodowitholdmattress #whattodowitholdmattresses #howtorecyclemattresses #sustainablejungle
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How To Dispose Of An Old Mattress: 6 Mattress Recycling Tips For A Better Night’s Sleep

Remember the story of The Princess and the Pea? 

She was sensitive enough to feel a pea underneath 20 mattresses.

Twenty sounds like a lot for us non-royals, but that’s nothing compared to how many mattresses are thrown away each year—18.2 million in the U.S. alone. 

While some eco-friendly mattress brands use biodegradable materials like natural latex, most mattresses are made with petroleum-based products and toxic chemicals that seep into the ground, leading to water and soil pollution. 

We need to find out how to dispose of an old mattress in a way that won’t eventually mean “Light’s out!” for the planet. 

Fortunately, many mattress materials can be recycled and reused; it’s just a matter of finding the right service.

If you’re facing the age-old “what to do with old mattress” dilemma, read on for your options.

Or skip to the end of the article to learn more about why responsible mattress disposal is important. 

1. Return An old Mattress To Its Brand

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While shopping for a new mattress to complement your sustainable bed frame, look for responsible mattress manufacturers who are willing to take (and responsibly recycle) your old mattress at the same time. 

Unfortunately, these optiosn are few and far between, and we’ve seen many mattress recycling pickup options formerly offered by brands cease to exist in recent years, but here are two such brands that still offer recycling services:

  • Saatva: If you’re in a state with a mattress stewardship program (more on this later), the brand will recycle your old mattress when you purchase a new one.
  • Leesa: Via their In-Home Mattress Setup and Removal program, Leesa will remove your old mattress for recycling while delivering your new one.
  • PlushBeds is our personal favorite mattress brand, but unfortunately, they no longer offer a recycling option. They do, however, provide a comprehensive list of many different third-party mattress recycling services, in case none of the ones we talk about further down work for you.

2. Book A Mattress Pick-Up

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Dial a number and say sayonara to your old sleeper. 

If you’re in the United States, punch 1-800-GOT-JUNK into your phone and let the magic happen. 

Despite only operating in the U.S., 1-800-GOT-JUNK is the world’s largest junk removal service, offering convenient pickup and responsible disposal of all manner of (non-hazardous) items.

How much does it cost to dispose of a mattress?

That depends. They offer single-item or load pricing based on the truck space taken up, and prices may vary depending on location. You can book a free onsite estimate and check availability on their website

If 1-800-GOT-JUNK isn’t available in your area (or you want to price shop), here are a few other paid pick-up companies:

  • Junk King will pick up your mattress and dispose of it at a proper recycling facility. 
  • A Bedder World has recycled more than a million mattresses! If yours is still in good condition, they’ll try to rehome it first via charity partners. Otherwise 90% of the materials will be recycled for reuse. 

3. Sell Or Donate Gently Used Mattresses

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No one wants to deal with an old, damaged mattress—nonprofits and charities included. 

If you’re getting rid of a mattress because it’s blown out, getting too soft, smells irreconcilably off, or has been exposed to bed bugs, you can’t donate it. 

However, if you’re wondering what to do with an old mattress that is reasonably new and still in good condition, some organizations may accept it for donation, resale, or proper recycling. 

  • The Salvation Army will generally accept mattresses through a collection or drop-off service, provided they are clean and in good condition.
  • Donation Town provides pick-up services in many U.S. cities and distributes your mattress to a charity in need. 
  • Furniture Bank of America will pick up your gently used mattress if you live close to one of their physical locations and ensure it goes to someone in need. 
  • Local homeless shelters are an excellent option for mattress donation, but be sure to call ahead first to check on their specific policies.
  • Freecycle is a useful platform for finding someone happy to rehome your mattress if it’s still in good condition. 

Note that Goodwill and Habitat for Humanity ReStore cannot accept mattresses, but they are great places to rehome other household items.

Before you schedule a pick-up or drop-off, try to clean the mattress so there are no stains, odors, or tears in the cushion.

If you want to make some extra $$$ and have a mattress that’s in genuinely decent condition, try Craigslist (US), Gumtree (UK & AU), or Facebook Marketplace. 

4. Use Mattress Recycling Services

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If only mattress recycling were as simple as recycling other types of plastics and paper.

Due to their multiple components, mattresses must be cut open to separate each layer and material. 

The good news is more than 75% of the materials in a mattress can be transformed into new industrial and consumer products.

Metals (like box springs) and wood are sent to scrap recyclers, and soft materials (like fiber, cotton, and foam) can be broken down for reuse in other products like insulation.

So, where can you turn to for mattress recycling?

To save you from searching “mattress recycling near me”, Earth 911 offers a recycling search tool where you can input your zip code to find local recycling solutions. 

Alternatively, here are our top suggestions based on location. 

Mattress Recycling Long Island & NYC

Wondering how to dispose of a mattress in NYC?

While the city doesn’t provide a mattress recycling program, Renewable Recycling does. 

Catering to Long Island and New York City, the woman-owned business offers mattress pick-up, drop-off locations, recycling, and the resale of reusable materials. 

Mattress Recycling California, Connecticut & Rhode Island

If you’ve been typing “what to do with old mattress and box spring” into your search bar, save yourself the trouble and turn to Bye Bye Mattress instead. 

Operating in California, Connecticut, and Rhode Island, it’s an excellent resource for finding local services, including retailer take-back programs, drop-off locations, and curbside pick-up services. 

Bye Bye Mattress is run by the Mattress Recycling Council, a non-profit that collects a recycling fee from each mattress and box spring sold and uses it to fund the program. 

The Mattress Recycling Council has also implemented an order mandating that manufacturers who deliver a new mattress to a California consumer must pick up their used mattress at no additional cost.

Mattress Disposal San Diego

If you live in San Diego and are wondering how to dispose of a mattress and box spring, you’re in luck. Both are accepted for free at the Miramar Landfill as part of the Bye Bye Mattress program. 

Just ensure they’re not “severely damaged, wet, twisted, frozen, soiled or infested with bedbugs.”

Mattress Recycling Massachusetts

Massachusetts residents can support green mattress recycling and the work of two social enterprises:

UTEC mattress recycling: The United Teen Equality Center (UTEC) operates Madd Love Market, a social enterprise providing young adults with paid work experience in three areas: woodworking, mattress recycling, and food services. Operating in several towns and cities in Massachusetts, customers can schedule a home pick-up from the team.

Hands up mattress recycling: Also based in Massachusetts, HandUp Mattress is a social impact company offering a mattress recycling service. 60% of profits support immigrant and refugee community programs. Gently used mattresses are sanitized for resale; old mattresses are recycled for their materials.

Mattress Recycling Denver & Other Outdoor Hub Cities

If you live in Denver, Colorado, Tacoma, Washington, Charlotte, North Carolina, or Salt Lake City, Spring Back Recycling is a nonprofit organization that will take your mattress for $20-30 and recycle at least 90% of the materials. 

So far, they’ve recycled over 400,000 mattresses, saving over 26,000,000 cubic feet of landfill space. 

Making that good night’s sleep even better, their recycling model also provides employment opportunities to disenfranchised individuals, such as homeless and formerly incarcerated people. 

How To Dispose Of A Mattress, UK

It’s estimated that only 14% of mattresses are recycled in the UK, the rest being incinerated or sent to landfills.

How can you make sure yours is recycled? 

  • When choosing a retailer for your new mattress, find out if they have a take-back scheme that will actually recycle your old mattress (rather than just dispose of it). 
  • Use a commercial company that specifically states they will recycle your old mattress. 
  • Dunelm has partnered with The British Heart Foundation and Clearabee to offer furniture and mattress recycling. 
Mattress Recycling Australia 

Australia’s biggest mattress recycler, Soft Landing, is a social enterprise that collects and recycles old mattresses while employing people experiencing barriers to work. 

Book a collection or transport your used mattress to one of their drop-off locations

5. Upcycle Your Old Mattress

How To Dispose Of An Old Mattress: 6 Mattress Recycling Tips For A Better Night’s Sleep Image by Anastasiia Stiahailo #howtodisposeofanoldmattress #mattressrecycling #whattodowitholdmattress #whattodowitholdmattresses #howtorecyclemattresses #sustainablejungle
Image by Anastasiia Stiahailo

With all the valuable materials that go into making a mattress, it’s no wonder people are wondering if mattress recycling can actually mean mattress upcycling

It’s easy enough to tear into the mattress yourself and repurpose some of the parts. Just be safe while doing so, and watch this YouTube video for a general idea of the process.

As for what to do with what you find inside:


The upholstery material can be reused for all kinds of projects. Transform it into a rug or a draught excluder (and reduce your carbon footprint at home through improved energy efficiency). 


Depending on your level of craftiness, repurpose foam into a new set of throw pillows, outdoor seating, or pet bed (perhaps stuffed inside an eco-friendly dog bed cover?). 

However, if you have a dog who treats their bed as a chew toy, be wary of some toxic chemicals (i.e., flame retardants) typically found in mattresses. 


Get creative with the springs by turning them into decorations, snack holders, candle holders, garden trellises, and more.


The wood from an old box spring can be used to construct a compost bin or raised bed for your apartment garden. If you don’t have any woodworking crafts in mind, you can also use it as fuel for your backyard fire pit. 

You might even upcycle the whole thing if you don’t feel like tearing it apart. Old mattresses can become safety cushions under a home climbing wall or kids jungle gym.

Even if you only do one DIY project with one component, you’re still preventing some of the materials from entering a landfill. 

6. Compost Natural Non-Toxic Mattresses

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How about how to get rid of a bed that’s all natural?

If your natural mattress or natural mattress topper is made from sustainable fabrics—like organic cotton, ethical wool, coconut coir, and organic latex—you can save these materials from a landfill fate by first repurposing them and, if you’ve exhausted your upcycling options, adding them to your compost bin. 

You’ll need to take the mattress apart, cut the materials into smaller pieces first, and remove any nonbiodegradable parts, like metal or any synthetic fabrics

Don’t forget the thread! Even natural fabric often contain polyester thread so remove the stitching if you’re not sure.

It’s also important to check whether the mattress has been treated with any fire-retardant chemicals, as you don’t want to risk contaminating your garden soil. 

If you’re planning to compost natural latex, check with the manufacturer to find out whether any chemicals were used during production. Unless the latex is certified organic, you may need to leave it out of the compost bin.

Why You Should Learn How To Dispose Of A Used Mattress

While mattresses may help us sleep comfortably (so long as there are no peas involved), they also contribute to the massive waste crisis we have on our hands.

Between 7 and 10 years, our trusty mattress will go from “brand new” to “must be replaced,” and when trashed, it will take up to 40 cubic feet of dwindling landfill space. 

Add to that the petrochemical-derived foams and carcinogenic flame retardants most mattresses contain, and you can see why throwing out a mattress is not the ideal choice.

One of the best ways you (and the planet) can get beauty sleep is by saving up for a mattress that is durable enough to last for decades (preferably backed by a lengthy warranty). 

Be sure to cover yours with an organic mattress protector to keep them protected from stains and spills so they stay in good condition for longer.

Also, consider its eventual disposal and look for compostable and/or 100% recyclable mattresses from a brand with a return and recycling scheme. 

Note that wool is naturally fire retardant so purchasing a woolen mattress is one way to avoid toxic fire retardant chemicals, though this obviously isn’t an option for those seeking vegan mattresses

Final Thoughts On What To Do With Old Mattresses

When you say nighty-night to that old mattress, don’t turn the lights off on our planet, too. 

While mattress recycling can still be somewhat of a hassle, it’s getting easier and more accessible. 

If it still sounds like a headache you don’t want to eventually deal with, invest in a quality mattress that can provide decades of sustainable snoozing. 

Know of any bedheads looking to swap out their old mattress? 

Share this article with them and help (bed)spread the word about how to recycle old mattresses so we can all sleep more soundly. 

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How To Dispose Of An Old Mattress: 6 Mattress Recycling Tips For A Better Night’s Sleep Image by Sustainable Jungle #howtodisposeofanoldmattress #mattressrecycling #whattodowitholdmattress #whattodowitholdmattresses #howtorecyclemattresses #sustainablejungle
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