Pin Me

How Should You Dispose of an Old Mattress?

written by: Rose Kivi•edited by: Amanda Grove•updated: 3/27/2011

Disposal of old mattresses in landfills is a big problem. Each mattress fills about 23 cubic feet of space in a landfill, according to Cornell University. If you can't sell or give away your old bed, have it recycled. Learn valuable tips on how to dispose of your old bed in an eco-friendly way.

  • slide 1 of 5

    Environmentally Friendly Mattress Disposal

    Environmentally friendly disposal of old mattresses does not have to be complicated. Giving away a bed is the first choice, but not always possible. Recycling is the second best option. Recycling centers separate the different materials in mattresses and box springs such as metal, cotton, foam, wood and etc. The separated materials are cleaned and then distributed to companies who make new products out of the cleaned materials.

    It used to be difficult to recycle used mattresses and box springs because there were not many recycling facilities. Fortunately, this is becoming less of a problem. Mattress recycling is gaining popularity and more mattress recycling facilities are opening to meet the need.

  • slide 2 of 5

    Give the Mattress a New Life

    If your mattress and box spring has at least a little life left in it, try to find it a new home. Even a mattress that you might not consider usable, will be much appreciated by another. Check your local thrift stores and charity groups, such as the Salvation Army, and see if they accept old mattresses. Many charities will pickup the mattress from your home free of charge. Note: Some areas do not allow the sale of used mattresses. In these areas you will have to give away your mattress to a private party.

    Post an ad in your local newspaper or online classified such as, offering the mattress for free or if the mattress is in pretty good condition, offer it for sale. Another option, is to place the mattress in your front yard with a free sign on it. You might be surprised at how fast the mattress gets snatched up.

  • slide 3 of 5

    Recycle Your Old Mattress

    If you cannot donate your used mattress and box spring, go the recycling route. The following methods will help you locate a mattress recycler in your area:

    Local Trash Collection Company or City Office

    Call your local trash collection company or city office and ask if they have a mattress recycling program or can refer you to one. Inquire about what is done with the used mattress. Some city mattress pickup programs offer non-environmentally friendly disposal of old mattresses and box springs, where they simply take it to the dump. Make sure the program actually recycles the mattress materials or sends it to a facility that does.


    Earth911 is a website that links consumers with various types of recycling facilities in their local area. Visit Earth911 and search for a mattress recycler close to you.


    Ecohaul is an environmentally friendly disposal company. For a small fee they come to your house and pickup your unwanted goods, including mattresses and box springs. The company tries to bring all unwanted items to recycling facilities, however, they do not guarantee that each item will be recycled and not end up in a landfill.

    Nationwide Mattress Recycling

    Nationwide Mattress Recycling picks up mattresses, box springs and upholstered furniture from businesses such as hotels, retailers, the military and universities, for a small fee. They do not pickup from private residences. The company promises to recycle 100 percent of picked up items. Get a price quote for pickup by visiting the companies website or by phoning the company at 877-311-0172.

  • slide 4 of 5

    Proper Mattress Disposal - It's the Right Thing to Do

    Disposal of old mattresses in an eco-friendly way takes a little effort on your part, but it is the right thing to do. Some mattress materials take over a century to decompose. By selling, giving away, donating or recycling your old mattress, you have saved valuable space in landfills.

  • slide 5 of 5


    Cornell University College of Humanity: Concerning Consumers: