How To Dispose Of A Mattress The Right Way

Mattresses are one of those items that can stick with you for decades, so you may not have even considered how to get rid of one. However, if your mattress is finally at the end of its life cycle –- giving you loads of bumps, lumps, and sagging springs –- then you might wonder how to get rid of it to make space for your new one. While it might be tempting to just leave it by your apartment dumpster or on the curb, doing this could either incur fines or ensure that your mattress isn't even picked up at all. It also adds to waste — about 20 million mattresses end up getting disposed annually, making it a massive waste problem. 

Instead, you need to either donate, sell, or recycle your mattress. Of course, sometimes that's easier said than done. Not all mattresses are fit to be donated, and you may not know where to recycle it. If you're ready to throw your mattress away for a new model, here is how to do so.

How to donate or sell your mattress

If your mattress is still in pretty good shape, you can probably donate or sell it. However, not everyone may have the same definition of what "good shape" means. First, ensure there are no structural issues with the mattress. If you have broken springs, deep indentations, or obvious sagging, it's not fit to be given away. It won't offer good sleep to a buyer or someone in need, so it's not worth selling or donating. You also want to avoid passing on anything with stains, rips, or odors. For example, if you are an indoor smoker, donating is a no-go.

If your mattress doesn't have any of these issues but looks a tad run-down cosmetically, you might still be able to salvage it. It's always a good idea to thoroughly vacuum the mattress to remove any dust mites, dust, or debris. You can also spot clean any minor superficial stains, and deodorize it with baking soda. If you decide your mattress is good enough to donate, try dropping it off at your local thrift store, if they accept mattresses. You can also try selling it or giving it away on Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, or OfferUp. 

How to recycle your mattress

If you have decided that your mattress isn't in good enough shape to donate or sell, then the next step is recycling it. Around 80-90% of mattresses can be recycled, so it's worth a try. The best thing you can do is Google your town or city's local recycling center and see if they accept mattresses. If you can't find anything of note, try calling your municipal office's recycling department to see how they dispose of larger items. If you can't find anything there, move on to recycling center databases.

For example, you can use Earth 911, a massive database listing over 10,000 recycling plants across North America. If you get no hits there, you can try Bye Bye Mattress, though it only pertains to a few U.S. states. If all else fails, you can also try breaking down your mattress and recycling its individual parts. Just make sure you look up which parts you can put in your recycling bin and which you need to bring to a specialty facility.