What Should I do With My Old Mattress? A 2019 Guide to Hassle-free Options for Recycling, Repurposing, and More

Need to buy a new mattress but not sure what to do with the old one? Getting rid of a mattress can be an environmental nightmare, not to mention a huge hassle. We've come up with a few options to make it easier for you.
What Should I do With My Old Mattress

Are you about to replace your old mattress? Wondering how to get rid of it conveniently and efficiently? If so, this article can help. Mattresses are notoriously hard to get rid of in a responsible way and often end up in the landfill. Should you just throw yours away or try to recycle it?

Before making an informed and responsible decision, you’ll need to understand what options are available to you. The recycling process can cost money if you decide to transport it to a recycling center or break it down yourself. Using a transport service also comes with limitations in terms of convenience and cost.

The best way to navigate this situation is to know what each option brings with it. Hopefully, this article will save you some time in the research process.

What Should You Do With Your Old Mattress?

You’ve been sleeping on it for years, maybe it’s even starting to smell funny or sag in the middle. Whatever the case, you need a plan for what to do with your old mattress.

Check Your Mattress Company Removal Policies

Before proceeding in your quest to dispose of your mattress, first check the policy of the manufacturer. Some brands offer mattress removal and will even donate them to charity for you. Tuft & Needle, for example, will help remove and dispose of your old bed.

Casper is another brand that will take your old box spring and mattress with them for recycling when delivering a new Casper mattress to your door.

The popular mattress manufacturer, Saatva, offers both free installation of your new Saatva mattress and old mattress recycling. And if you’re big on environmental sustainability, you may want to choose a company that focuses on eco-friendly materials, like Avocado.

If you’ve checked and found out that the manufacturer of your old bed doesn’t provide removal services, it’s up to you to dispose of the bed. Here are the steps you should take now.

Prepare Your Mattress

As you’ve used it over the months or years, your mattress has likely collected tons of debris. While using a mattress pad can help prevent buildup, it’s still an inevitable part of owning a mattress. This gunk should be cleaned as thoroughly as possible before the mattress moves onto its next life.

You can vacuum it using an upholstery brush to get rid of some of the skin flakes, dust, and irritants (like dust mites) hidden in the fabric. Try to cover every inch of the bed as you vacuum, going over the top and sides thoroughly.

You can sift baking soda over your bed to freshen the scent and use a stain remover to get rid of any stains on the mattress. These steps will ensure that your bed is in good condition for recycling or reuse.

Give the Bed Away

One option for getting rid of your old mattress is giving it away. As long as your bed is in fair condition, there’s probably a colleague, family member, or friend who will be interested in a free mattress. You could post it on Craigslist or take it to a thrift store. Organizations like the Society of St. Vincent de Paul and Habitat for Humanity accept mattresses.

Make sure you’re honest and detailed about the condition of your mattress when you’re planning to give it away. Take pictures to show to the organization or person who is interested in the bed.

Selling Your Mattress

This option is a bit more of a hassle since you should have the bed professionally cleaned, which isn’t cheap. Before figuring out whether you can sell your mattress, check for signs of wear and tear along with any stains. If the damage is minimal and fixable, you may be able to sell the mattress. Once you have your mattress in great condition again, you can sell it on Amazon, eBay, or Craigslist.

Recycle Your Mattress

Recycling your mattress is another option and definitely better than chucking it in the landfill. You can do this by contacting mattress recycling companies, which will usually expect you to transport your mattress to them. Other mattress recycling companies will come pick up the mattress for a fee.

Another option for recycling your mattress is breaking it down with tools and recycling the separated materials. While this is a time-consuming and fairly messy process, you’ll be saving your mattress and box spring from the landfill and may even get a bit of extra cash doing it. This process will involve separating the mattress cover from the frame, foams, and springs.

The job will require bags for separating materials, a saw, pliers, a pair of gloves, a bolt cutter, utility knife, and a seam ripper. The fluffy foam inside the bed can be used to revive old furniture that could use some new padding. You can also break down your box spring and use the wood and springs.

The springs inside your mattress or box spring can be recycled as scrap metal and the wooden frame can be used in the garden or for home projects.

Creative Ideas for Your Old Mattress

If none of the options above apply to your situation, you can also upcycle your mattress to make it something entirely new. Here are some creative ideas when you’re wondering what to do with your old bed:

Vertical Planter

If you’re getting rid of an old innerspring bed, you can make a vertical planter or living wall on an outdoor patio area. You can display plants in pots or wrap them in fabric liner and place them in the coils for a lively addition to your backyard space.

Pet Bedding

If you’re not up for the task of breaking down your bed to recycle all the materials inside, you could compromise by cutting it down to half size to use as a pet bed. To do this, just cut the mattress to the size you’d need it to be for your pet and wrap the edges to make sure it’s safe.

Garden Lighting

You can use the bed of coils from your old mattress to create a frame for garden lighting. Hang the coils from the ceiling or wall and then place LED lights or candles in them for a rustic and old-fashioned look.

Memo Board

If your old bed frame doesn’t have coils, you can use the solid panel to create a memo board. Use it to post photos, to-do lists, and reminders for your day to day life.

Once you’ve determined that your mattress is at the end of its life or is no longer of use to you, there are countless options for what to do with your old mattress. Whether you’re feeling generous, trying to make a buck, want a hassle-free experience, or are in the mood to craft, there’s an option for you.

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