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Mattress Disposal Guide

There comes a time in everyone’s life when purchasing a new mattress is inevitable. In such a concentrated market, the search for the perfect mattress can become overwhelming quickly. Not only do you need to consider the type of mattress you want, price point, comfort level, warranty availability, etc., but you also have to figure out how to dispose of your old mattress. This is often the last thing on your mind during the process of finding the bigger, better, cleaner mattress of your dreams. Many people turn to tossing their mattress out on the curbside, unaware of the different options available to them for mattress disposal. In this guide, we outline a range of mattress disposal methods that may work for you.

When to Say Goodbye to Your Mattress

Experts have found that the average mattress has a lifespan of 7-8 years. However, this lifetime may vary depending on the type, the quality and the care of your mattress. For example, the average life of a memory foam mattress generally ranges from 5-8 years, while a traditional innerspring mattress can last up to 10 years. Remember, these averages are, also, dependent on how well your mattress is maintained over the years. BedInABox® mattresses tend to outlast these other mattresses, and are backed by a 10-20 year warranty to ensure their durability.

Other Signs You Need a New Mattress

In addition to the age of your mattress, there are other factors that can dictate when it may be time to get a new one. If any of the following apply, it might be time for that mattress upgrade:

  1. Body Aches: You wake up feeling sore after a night's sleep
  2. Lack of Sleep: You're not getting as much sleep or rest anymore
  3. Sagging: Your mattress foam or padding has softened and offers less support
  4. Wear & Tear: There are rips and holes in the mattress, perhaps even stains
  5. Noisy Springs: The springs in your mattress make noise when you move perhaps you can even feel the coils

The signs from the list above all give a good indication of whether you should get rid of your old mattress. If you need to do that, then the question becomes: How do I go about disposing of my mattress?

Ways to Dispose of Your Mattress

If possible, we want to avoid leaving old mattresses out for trash. You may be surprised to learn that this can actually be pretty damaging to the environment. The Mattress Recycling Council has estimated that in total, Americans discard 15-20 million mattresses each year. This annual amount is equivalent to 132,000 square miles of landfill space. In an effort to cut down on all of this waste, we want to encourage you to use alternative means of disposing. You’ll find some helpful tips on how to do so below.

Donate Your Mattress

There are actually places where you can donate your mattress to a charity who supports those in need. Of course, before you do this you need to make sure that your mattress is in relatively good condition. The mattress shouldn’t be infested with bedbugs or mold, nor should it be wet or stained, etc. Really, when donating your mattress, use common sense to conclude whether or not it is in the condition to be given to someone else. Once you’ve decided to donate it, you can give it to the following:

  1. The Salvation Army: Not only do they accept mattress donations, but they also offer pick-up service. You can schedule a time for them to pick up your mattress from your location.
  2. Habitat for Humanity: An organization that is dedicated to ensuring everyone has somewhere to call home. They do not offer pick-up service but they will accept mattress drop-offs.
  3. Furniture Bank Association of America: This organization recycles home furnishings for free to people who need them. They do offer pick-up service for furniture including mattresses, but it is typically limited to a 15–20-mile radius. You may have to drop off your mattress for this particular organization.

These are just a few examples of organizations that accept mattress donations. You can always visit the Donation Town online database for other local places near you. It’s, also, important to note that homeless shelters and women’s and family shelters may accept gently used mattresses as well.

Recycle Your Mattress

Instead of leaving your old mattress for a landfill, you can always recycle it. In doing so, your old mattress can be repurposed into something new! Some states now require mattress recycling by law. The following services offer mattress recycling:

  1. Bye-Bye Mattress: This program specifically designated for mattress recycling is one of the best in the country and is dedicated to counteracting the effects of overflowing landfills in the U.S. They only offer their services in three states, but our BedInABox® team happily recommends this service when you are ready to dispose of your mattress.
  2. Earth 911: They offer a national search engine that can help you locate a recycling center that will accept mattresses near you.

There is typically a small recycling fee collected with each mattress or box spring that is recycled. This fee can range from $10 to $40 depending on your location and whether you arrange for a mattress pick-up or a drop-off.

Break Down & Reuse Your Mattress

It may be surprising to hear that you can actually break apart your own mattress and reuse the individual parts. 90% of traditional innerspring mattresses can be reused for handyman or creative DIY projects. Here are a few ideas:

  1. Traditional mattresses often contain steel springs. This steel can be melted down and used for parts. Or they can be bundled together and sold for scrap.
  2. The foam found in memory foam mattresses can be shredded and repurposed for other furnishings such as couches, chairs, carpet padding, pet bedding, etc.
  3. The wooden parts of box springs can be used as firewood, lawn mulch, or parts in other projects.

If you choose to break down your old mattress or box spring, please do so with caution! Innersprings or coils contain many sharp parts that can lead to injury. It’s advisable to watch a tutorial video before you take on such a project.

Mattress disposal may seem troublesome at first, but hopefully this guide provides a bit of insight into what disposal options are available. However, in the event that these options are not available in your area, you can always call for local junk removal. Junk removal companies are widely available and will attempt to recycle or donate your mattress on your behalf.

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