What to Do With an Old Mattress? (2024 Mattress Recycling Guide)

All mattresses wear down with time, and you need to replace them after 7-10 years. A new model can help you sleep better and feel more rested throughout the day. However, buying a new mattress can be stressful, and most people are not sure what to do with their old one.

Mattresses are bulky and heavy, and disposing of them can be challenging. If you don’t want your old mattress to end up in a landfill, you can donate, recycle, or dispose of it in a way that won’t hurt the environment as much.

In this article, we’ll help you recognize when to replace your old mattress and how to dispose of it.

When to Replace Your Old Mattress?

Although, it’s normal for your mattress to wear down with time, it's important to know when it’s time to replace it? That depends on the type of mattress, your sleeping preferences, how well you care for it, and other factors. Most mattresses last seven to ten years, with latex models having the longest lifespan and innerspring being the least durable.

Here are a few signs that it’s time to replace your old mattress:

  • It’s uneven, lumpy, or saggy
  • It has a weird odor
  • You find it hard to get comfortable at night
  • You wake up with a sore back or neck
  • There are permanent stains on the surface
  • You’ve had it for over ten years

How to Dispose of an Old Mattress?

You can dispose of your old mattress in several ways without harming the environment. That includes donating, recycling, upcycling, or composting your mattress.

Find your perfect disposal option below.

Donating Your Old Mattress

Donating your old mattress can be tricky, but it’s possible. However, it needs to be in a decent condition without significant defects.

You can search for local charitable organizations near you or use a nationwide one like The Furniture Bank Network. They run a database of people in need of home furnishing, and accept donations, especially mattresses. You can find a nearby location and schedule a free drop-off or a pick-up.

If you can’t find a place to donate, there are alternatives. You can list your old mattress on Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, or OfferUp to see if anybody from your community can use it. You can list it for free or for a small fee if the mattress is in good condition. Just be mindful of giving your home address and meeting strangers when scheduling a pick-up.

Recycling Your Old Mattress

Recycling is the best approach if your mattress is in poor condition and you can’t donate it. The great news is that most materials can be recycled, and many organizations do this. So, the process is pretty simple.

First, you need to find a recycling facility near you. Online platforms like Bye Bye Mattress or Earth 911 can help you locate a center in your area and provide all the information you need on recycling an old mattress.

In addition, most cities in the US have mattress recycling programs, and some even offer pick-ups. Visit your city’s website to find more information about it.

Mattress Upcycling

Upcycling is a process where you reuse a product's materials to create products of greater quality, usually for creative and entertaining purposes. If you want to upcycle your old mattress, you’ll need to disassemble it first. And then, it’s time to get creative.

You can use the fabric cover as a canvas for painting, embroidery, or another art project. Stuffing is perfect for DIY pillows, pet beds, or cushions. You can sell steel springs for scrap metal, or turn them into candle jar holders, lighting ornaments, or other decorations. Tufting buttons can easily be repurposed for a sewing project.

So, if you like artsy stuff and DIY, upcycling is a perfect way to use your old mattress.

Mattress Composting

Many people with gardens make a compost bin to create natural fertilizer for their plants. Interestingly, you can compost certain parts of your mattress. That includes materials like wool and cotton. However, synthetic fabrics like polyester don’t break down well, so you should only compost 100% natural materials.

Can You Recycle a Box Spring With a Mattress?

If you want to donate your box spring bed in addition to the mattress, you can do it in some places. Certain recycling centers take box springs, so you need to go through a service description page to see whether they recycle or accept them as donations.

What Can You Do With an Old Mattress in Your City?

Large metropolitan areas have more mattress recycling and donation options than small cities. A great way to find the best disposal solution is to ask Google. Simply type “mattress recycling near me,” “mattress disposal near me,” or something along those lines. The results will help you find the best recycling and donation programs in your area and determine the future of your old mattress.

What to Look for in a New Mattress?

Before you get rid of your old mattress, you should buy a new one.

You need to consider several things when buying a new mattress. Materials, type, firmness, size, level of support, price, and many other aspects play a vital role in your decision. However, today we want to highlight the importance of buying a mattress made from eco-friendly materials. That will make recycling and disposing of it much easier the next time you have to do it.

Alaskan King Bed Factory is committed to using only eco-friendly materials to produce our custom oversized mattresses, which makes them more durable and easier to recycle. Find our selection of Alaskan King mattresses at our online store.