Americans get rid of 15 to 20 million mattresses each year. If you were to pile them up, they would take up more than 132,000 square miles. Getting rid of an old bed can be a nuance.
Sometimes, getting rid of your old mattress is a bigger conundrum than buying a new one. But, with our help, the mattress replacement process will be as easy as it can get! People are encouraged to dispose of their old mattresses in a more responsible way. So, how to dispose of a mattress the right way? There are more options. Let’s take a look at them.
When You Should Get Rid of an Old Mattress
An eight-year-old mattress is old, for sure. If yours is older than that, it’s probably best to get a new one. Not all types of mattresses have the same lifespan. For example, a high-quality latex model can last well over ten years.
However, age is not the only parameter. Ask yourself a couple of questions. How well do I sleep? Do I feel well-rested each morning? Do I feel neck pain? Do I feel back pain? Am I restless during the night?
Study your sleeping patterns. If you think something could be better, you’ll probably be better off with a new bed.
If you are wondering what to do with an old mattress that is still usable, donating it would be the best choice. Some charitable organizations accept used household goods, including well-preserved mattresses. So, if you’re old bed is still good to use, but you’d just like an upgrade, then make sure it goes to the right place. Here are some of your best options.
The Salvation Army
This international charitable organization operates many charity shops and thrift stores across the US. They offer free furniture pick-ups, even for mattresses. If you were wondering how to get rid of a mattress for free, this might be your best chance.
The other option would be to drop off your mattress at one of their locations that receive used goods. Donations to this organization are tax-deductible.
Habitat for Humanity
The goal of this international nonprofit organization is to help people who are struggling to find affordable living accommodation. Aside from mattresses, the organization accepts a variety of used furnishings and household goods.
The company sells donated items across the country. One can find them at ReStore home improvement centers. If you opt for this organization, it’s best to contact your local ReStore and let them know you’d like to donate your bed.
You can have them pick it up, or you can drop it off yourself. However, not all of their locations accept used mattresses.
Furniture Bank Association of America
This association runs about eighty centers across North America. Although they accept old mattresses, pick-ups are limited to a 15-mile radius of their nearest location.
If you’re planning on making a large institutional or commercial donation, they may make an exception. Otherwise, it’s best to contact them beforehand and see what you can work out.
- Local thrift stores
- Women’s and family shelters
- Homeless shelters
Fortunately, the frame is not the only part of your bed that can be sold. However, potential buyers will only be looking for used mattresses in top-notch condition.
If you’ve been using a protector or waterproof encasement, you’re probably good to go. Your frame or foundation may also play an important role. If they haven’t been able to keep everything in shape, it’s a lost cause.
Before you decide what to do with old mattresses, read up on the local laws. It may even be a good idea to consult with a local lawyer. In most parts of the US, you can sell used mattresses, provided that they meet certain criteria.
Those typically include processing and labeling requirements. Be sure to take a few minutes to do your research because many states have specific laws. Your municipality may even have specific ordinances.
Community-based sites like Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace are a good option. You can post your listing for no fee. Make sure to write a good description and include nice pictures. Typically, sellers are not obliged to deliver the goods, but if you offer to deliver the bed, you may get rid of it faster.
Most people do not even consider mattress recycling because they don’t even know it’s possible. However, over 80% of mattresses are recyclable. That’s according to the Mattress Recycling Council.
You can find the nearest recycling center by using online aggregators such as Earth911 and ByeByeMattress.com. A quick internet search can also do the trick. Just use your zip code. Chances are, you’ll find something within reasonable driving distance.
However, mattress recycling is usually not free. If you deliver the bed yourself, it should cost between $10 to $20. If you arrange a pick-up, you’ll probably pay $20 to $40. Each organization has its own criteria for accepting donations.
While broken or torn mattresses are usually good to go, stained, wet, dirty, moldy, and infested beds are not. Pillows, sleeping bags, camping beds, air mattresses, and used toppers are also not accepted.
Connecticut, California, and Rhode Island have drop-off centers for bed retailers and owners. If you live in one of those states, you are in luck! Each of these states has enacted mattress recycling legislation in order to make it free and simple. Every major city in North America has a mattress recycling program. But, before you take your bed to such a center, make sure they’ll accept it.
Reuse the Mattress
Instead of wondering how to get rid of a mattress, maybe you could reuse it. You can break it down and repurpose the components. The average innerspring model contains 25lbs of steel.
You can sell the steel for scrap. Metal recyclers and scrap yards are more than happy to take it. You can earn $10 for 100lbs of steel. There are even some options for foam mattresses.
Some people shred the polyurethane foam and repurpose it for pillows, carpets, pet bedding, and seat cushions. You can use latex and memory foam in a similar fashion. Latex has many great properties, so it won’t be hard to find another use for it.
Most models include silk, wool, cotton, and other blends of natural fibers as pell as non-natural fibers such as rayon and polyester. Such materials can be recycled or reused. They can make great padding or insulation.
If you have an innerspring model, you may find nails and screws inside it. You can reuse them for various household objects. They will likely be in reasonable condition. As for the wooden parts, you can shred them and use them as lawn or gardening mulch. They also make for great firewood.
A bit of creativity can get you far. The spring coils can be used for arts and crafts. They can make great photo frames, wall sconces, plant holders, candle holders, and backyard trellises.
Memory foam padding can be used for pillows, chair cushions, bean bags, stuffed animals, and other plush household items. There are over 1,000 posts about old mattress DIY projects on Pinterest.
Now that you know what your options are, please get rid of your old mattress responsibly. You might even make a couple of bucks doing so! But before you throw out your old bed, make sure to choose new and perfect mattress for your needs.
Don’t throw it too early. Finding the perfect bed may take some effort, just like it takes to get rid of your old one. Make sure you find a proper replacement first.