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How To Dispose Of A Mattress In 2023 [9 Best Ways To Do It]

By: Susie
Updated On: October 3, 2023

Buying a new mattress can be an exciting occasion. It promises the joy of restful nights along with that fresh, clean fabric scent. But this leads us to an important question - how to dispose of a mattress?

It’s bigger than a breadbox, and understandably, your local trashmen might not be thrilled with the sight of your old box spring on the curb.

Understanding how to dispose of your old mattress properly can save you a lot of stress and time. We’re shedding light on this common predicament with guidelines that are easy to follow and convenient for you.

In this post, we will discuss some environmentally friendly and legal ways to kick your old mattress to the curb without actually kicking it to the curb. So, let's dive right in!

Recognizing the Need for Mattress Disposal

Recognizing the Need for Mattress Disposal

Recognizing when it's time to get rid of your mattress can be tricky. You might be wondering, "Is it time to say goodbye to my cozy sack of springs?" There's no specific timeline for replacing a mattress since its lifespan depends on several factors, but the National Sleep Foundation suggests that mattresses should typically be replaced every 7-10 years.

This can fluctuate depending on how well you take care of your mattress and what kind you have. Some signs that indicate it's time for a new one include significant sagging, noticeable lumps, increased allergy symptoms, or if you don’t feel rested when you wake up in the morning.

By paying attention to these signs, you'll know when the right time is to consider disposing of your current mattress.

Also Read: Why Does My Cat Sleep Between My Legs? [2023 Expert Guide]

Symptoms Indicating the End of Your Mattress's Life Cycle

When you bought your mattress, it probably felt like a cloud. You sink into it at the end of each day, relishing in its embrace.

But now? Maybe not so much. If there's more discomfort than comfort in your bedtime routine, you might be dealing with a mattress that's past its prime.

Sagging or Indentations

If your mattress has prominent sagging or indentations, that's one of the most visible signs it's time to look for a replacement. Ideally, your mattress should retain a uniform surface and firmness. Why? Because sagging can lead to sleep disturbances and bodily discomfort.

Suppose you notice deep grooves or saggy spots where you typically lay—which seem to have adopted your body shape—that might not be a good thing.

Your weight naturally leaves an impression on your mattress over time since certain parts get more pressure than others. Mattresses are designed to bounce back from these impressions when you get up.

If they don't and instead leave lasting indentations, they are no longer providing the support necessary for proper alignment and comfortable sleep.

Springs Poking Through

Once upon a time, the springs in your inner-spring mattress provided excellent support throughout the night. But after years of use, you might start to feel them poking through, obviously!

Coils that can be seen or felt from the surface aren't only uncomfortable; they're a flashing sign to retire your worn-out mattress.

Springs in mattresses wear out over time due to regular weight application, resulting in them losing their springiness and starting to protrude through the material covering them.

Not only can this cause disturbances during sleep due to irregular surfaces on the bed, but getting poked by a coil could also lead to scratches or even minor injuries – definitely not what you want from your bed!

Once springs start poking through your mattress's surface, the overall structural integrity of the mattress is likely compromised - providing further evidence of needed replacement.

Lumps and Bumps

Ideally, your mattress's surface should be smooth for a restful night's sleep. However, over time, it might develop lumps and bumps, becoming less bed of roses and more rocky road.

The stuffing inside the mattress could move or clump together with usage, forming uncomfortable gatherings of material. Not only are these lumps unpleasant to lie on, but they can also interrupt your sleep due to the discomfort created.

Clearly, it's not ideal! If your mattress starts resembling a topographical map with mountainous bumps or crater-like lumps rather than being a smooth surface—it's high time for you to start considering a replacement.

Increased Allergen Reactions

Are you waking up sneezing and wheezing? Your mattress can be a breeding ground for allergens over time, especially if it’s an older model that's not hypoallergenic or anti-microbial.

Dust mites and mold are common allergens found in mattresses, which could trigger allergies or other health problems such as bronchial inflammation or asthma issues.

A noticeable increase in allergic reactions may indicate that your mattress has become home to these unwelcome guests—it's like an unwanted party happening right under your nose (literally!).

If consistent cleaning doesn't reduce these reactions, it might be a sign that it's time to dispose of the old mattress.

Uncomfortable Sleep

One of the most straightforward indicators that your mattress has reached its expiration date is uncomfortable sleep.

If you're tossing and turning through the night trying to find 'the' comfortable spot—only to conclude that it simply doesn't exist anymore—you're most likely dealing with an obsolete sleeping pad.

If you wake up feeling achy, tired, or out of sorts every morning regardless of having adequate sleeping hours—you have another cardinal indication there!

It's important to remember that inadequate sleep isn't just about feeling drowsy—it can lead to long-term health issues.

So, finding a comfortable sleeping environment with a supportive mattress is crucial for your well-being. Your sleep should ideally be peaceful and rejuvenating—if it's not, you might need to bid farewell to your old mattress.

Also Read: 14 Best Floor Mattress For Peaceful Sleep In 2023 [Top Picks]

Excessive Noise

If you're starting to hear more noise from your mattress than ever before, it's an indication that some vital parts may be worn out. A mattress should ideally be quiet when you move around on it.

Any persistent noises - whether they be creaks, groans, or squeaks - are generally a sign of deteriorating inner structures.

Mattresses can become noisy over time as the springs inside lose their ability to regain their original shape and start rubbing against each other or the frame of the bed. This excess noise can impact the quality of your sleep and even disturb your partner's sleep.

Visible Wear and Tear

Visible wear and tear, like stains, rips, or holes, are another clear sign that your mattress needs replacing. The outer covering of a mattress is designed to protect the inner materials for a long period. Everyday use can lead to visible defects, meaning this protective layer has ceased its function.

Torn seams or fabric could expose the internal components to external threats like dust mites or pests, resulting in decreased longevity and potential hygiene issues.

Loss of Support

Finally, if you've noticed a decrease in support from your mattress over time, this is likely due to its aging. With use, elements such as springs can lose their springiness, and memory foam might lose its ability to bounce back - which means decreased overall support for you.

A supportive mattress is essential for spinal alignment during sleep and decreasing pressure points on your body, which can otherwise result in pain when you wake up.

The lack of firmness might cause you to sink into the bed, leading to misalignment issues and aggravating neck or back pain.

Worsened Back Pain

Let's face it: waking up with a painful back is definitely not the way you desire to start your day. If you're experiencing persistent back pain despite taking steps to alleviate it, there's an undeniable chance your mattress might be the culprit.

Mattresses, over time, tend to lose their supportive qualities, which can lead to a misaligned spine, muscle tension, and ultimately - you guessed it - back pain.

While a mattress may not necessarily be the root cause of back issues, it can certainly exacerbate them. So, if turning the other way in bed is accompanied by moans of discomfort rather than sighs of contentment – it’s high time your mattress got checked or replaced.

Also Read: Is A Waterbed Good For Back Pain? 2023 [Pros & Cons]

Noticeable Odors

Your senses know best, and when it comes to the lifespan of your mattress, trust in them completely. If noticeable odors have started emanating from your mattress – and we're talking smells that resist even after thorough cleaning – then that's yet another indication that declaring its retirement might be inevitable.

These odors result from dampness or moisture being absorbed by your mattress, that leads to mold growth or mildew.

Besides being unpleasant in terms of smell, this can also pose health risks due to allergens produced by molds. Besides dampness-induced odors, though – a stench could also signal harborages of dust mites or bed bugs!

So if your nose crumples up each time you sink into bed - maybe that's more than just morning grumpiness; Maybe it’s a sign your old pal needs replacing.

9 Different Methods to Dispose Of A Mattress

9 Different Methods to Dispose Of A Mattress

Now that your mattress has reached the end of its useful life, you might be wondering how to dispose of it properly. Just tossing it into the nearest alley or empty dumpster won't work—it's not only illegal but, quite frankly, not environmentally friendly either.

But don't stress; there are several options available to you when it comes to retiring your old mattress responsibly and effectively.

Donation Centers and Their Role in Mattress Recycling

Donating your lightly used mattress is a win-win solution for both you and someone in need. There are numerous organizations, like The Salvation Army or Habitat for Humanity, which welcome donations of gently used mattresses.

Not only does this provide a much-needed source of comfortable sleep for someone else, but these organizations often have recycling programs that can repurpose parts of the mattresses they can't use.

Before donating, ensure that your mattress is in donatable condition—meaning it's free from bed bugs or major structural issues. Also, some donation centers may have specific regulations regarding the types of mattresses they accept.

Reselling Your Old Mattress

If your mattress hasn't reached its expiration date just yet and remains in good condition, reselling could be a viable option. Marketplaces like Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist can offer an excellent platform for you to sell used items like mattresses.

Remember to be honest about the condition and age of your mattress when posting an ad for sale—transparency will aid potential buyers in making an informed decision.

Always ensure a thorough cleaning before handing it over to its new owner because let’s face it – no one wants a secondhand item that smells ‘secondhand.’

Professional Waste Collection Services

For those of you who prefer an 'out of sight, out of mind' approach, hiring a professional waste collection service would be your best bet.

There are multiple companies available that specialize in mattress disposal. They will come to your place, haul the mattress away, and dispose of it responsibly, adhering to all local laws and regulations.

Before scheduling a pickup, make sure you've checked the service details because some services might require the mattress to be left in a specific location or have other stipulations. Though this option generally accompanies a fee, it's quite convenient and worry-free.

Involvement of Recycling Programs

Recycling programs provide another environmentally friendly method for mattress disposal. These programs accept old mattresses and reuse or recycle as much material as possible.

You'll be surprised how many components from your old mattress can live second lives as carpet padding or even raw materials for new mattresses.

Many states across America have specific recycling laws focusing on minimizing waste related to mattresses. For instance, California implemented its Bye Bye Mattress program, encouraging the recycling of dry and reusable mattresses at no cost to the participants.

Find a Recycling Location Near You

Now, if you're curious about how to find these incredible recycling programs just mentioned above - Google is your friend.

A quick search like "mattress recycling near me" should pull up various locations in your locale doing the good work of re-purposing old mattresses.

It's also worth checking out Earth911’s Recycling Directory, which can help you find nearby mattress recycling centers.

When considering this route, ensure that your mattress is dry and clean before dropping it off at these sites—as any remnants of moisture might render it non-recyclable.

Ask About Retailer Take-Back Services

Many mattress retailers offer take-back programs where they pick up your old mattress for recycling when delivering your new one.

Be sure to ask about this service when purchasing a new mattress, as this can save you the hassle of figuring out how to get rid of your old one.

The service is sometimes free, but even if there's a small fee, it's often worth it for the convenience and assurance that your mattress will be disposed of responsibly.

Rent a roll-off dumpster

For those doing a major home clean-up or renovation where multiple large items need discarding, renting a roll-off dumpster can be an effective solution. These large containers are perfect for bulk waste disposal, which includes mattresses.

Ensure you're familiar with any regulations on mattress disposal specific to the dumpster rental company to avoid any unexpected fees.

Check With Your Local Trash Collection Service

Many local waste management services offer pick-up options for larger items like mattresses. You might have to pay an additional fee, but it's usually reasonably priced and takes care of transport and responsible disposal. Start by checking their website or give them a call to inquire about bulk item pick-ups.

Hire a Junk Removal Company

Last but not least, junk removal companies specialize in collecting and disposing of large waste items such as mattresses.

Companies like 1-800-GOT-JUNK? Make the process easy; all you need to do is schedule a pickup, and they will come retrieve your mattress right from your home while ensuring ecological disposal methods are employed where possible.

This convenience does come with higher costs than other options, so consider it if you value convenience over cost savings.

Also Read: Why Have Waterbeds Failed? 2023 [Are Waterbeds Discontinued?]

DIY Projects to Reuse Your Old Mattresses

DIY Projects to Reuse Your Old Mattresses

Saying goodbye to your old mattress doesn't necessarily mean hauling it away to a landfill. With a dash of creativity and resourcefulness, you can breathe new life into your aged companion.

Reusing can not only minimize waste but also unveil a fun and cost-effective avenue for sprucing up your living spaces.

So, before you discard that old mattress, let's explore how you might give it a second chance with some DIY upcycling projects:

  • Mattress Spring Trellis: A garden trellis made from mattress springs can add aesthetic appeal while providing support for creepers and climbing plants. Simply remove the springs and arrange them in a design of your liking.
  • Outdoor Swing Bed: Transform your old mattress into a comfy swing bed simply by adding ropes at each end to suspend it from a sturdy tree or overhang.
  • Mattress Bench: Cut the mattress and use its inside foam and outer fabric to create seat cushions for an outdoor bench.
  • Garden Pathway: Use the interior springs as stepping stones, creating an artistic pathway in garden landscapes.
  • Pet Bed: An old mattress half could be the perfect new bed for your four-legged best friend.
  • Mattress Sofa: Add legs, some colorful cushions, and pillows, and you've got yourself a unique homemade sofa.
  • Wall Art Headboard: Get crafty by trimming the top part of your spring box mattress to create eye-catching wall art headboards.
  • Daybed Lounger: Convert it into an outdoor daybed lounger by jazzing it up with vibrant waterproof fabrics, perfect for poolside lounging or patio siestas.
  • Mattress Ottoman: Turn it into an ottoman that doubles as extra seating when guests arrive!
  • Raised Garden Bed: Use the wooden frame of an old box spring as a perfect base for a raised garden bed to grow your small kitchen garden.

Upcycling extends your mattress's usability, keeping them out of landfills and reducing waste. So, roll up those sleeves and dive into the world of DIY because an old mattress is merely a canvas for new creations.

Read More: What Is An Orthopedic Mattress? [Types, Benefits & Drawbacks]

FAQs about 'how to dispose of a mattress?'

Why can't I throw my old mattress in the trash?

ost cities won't accept bulky items like mattresses, and incorrect disposal can be harmful to the environment.

Can I sell my used mattress?

Yes, you can, as long as it's in good condition and clean; online platforms like Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace could be your best bet.

How does mattress recycling work?

Mattress recyclers dismantle the item, separating materials like foam, metal springs, and wood, which are then recycled or repurposed.

Are there any restrictions on donating a mattress?

Yes, some organizations may not accept mattresses that are stained, have bed bugs, or are overly worn.

Can junk removal companies take care of my old mattress?

Absolutely! They offer easy door-to-door disposal services, often involving responsible recycling tactics.


Disposing of an old mattress is not only about responsibility but also about creativity. From donation to transformation into a unique DIY project, there are numerous ways to ensure your mattress doesn't end up harming our planet.

The decision you make could result in someone else having a comfortable bed or you having a new piece of furniture in your backyard!

The life span of a mattress shouldn’t end in a landfill. With the right approach and resources, you can bid farewell to your old mattress responsibly and even creatively.

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