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How to Dispose of Your Mattress Without Destroying the Planet

How to Dispose of Your Mattress Without Destroying the Planet

How to dispose of your mattress without destroying the planet

We all know that parting with your bed is one of the hardest things to do. There will come a time, though, when you have to say goodbye to your bed friend, permanently. Or, more accurately, your mattress. 

Yes, like everything else, mattresses have a limited lifespan. 

When it’s time to get rid of your old mattress, you may be at a loss for what to do with it. If you don’t want your mattress to join the 20 million mattresses that go to landfills every year, the task is even more daunting. 

But never fear! We’re here to guide you through the process of disposing of your mattress without destroying the planet. 

sage green eucalyptus sheets

Can't go wrong with green sheets and green mattress disposal options

should you donate your old mattress?

Your first thought when trying to responsibly dispose of your mattress may be to donate it to a charitable organization. We certainly applaud your charitable instincts but, unfortunately, donating a mattress can be more difficult than it sounds. 

Many local charities will refuse mattress donations due to a fear of spreading bed bugs or other health concerns. And who could blame them? The thought of little creepy-crawlies in your bed is enough to give anyone a lifetime’s worth of nightmares. 

That said, there are still some charities and shelters who will take your mattress as long as it’s in relatively good condition. Organizations like Salvation Army, Goodwill Industries, and Habitat for Humanity are all solid places to start. If none of those organizations operate near you, try any local homeless shelter, domestic violence shelter, or even an animal shelter. 

Any one of these charities would likely be very grateful to receive your mattress as a donation. 

Woman asleep in bed wearing purple eyemask

Taking a farewell nap on your old mattress.

recycle your old mattress

Ah, this old classic. Recycling is one of the best ways to get rid of your old items while still caring for the planet. Mattresses are no exception. 

You might be surprised to learn that more than 75 percent of the materials in mattresses are recyclable. Letting all those recyclable materials pile up in a landfill instead would really be a waste. Literally!

The easy way to recycle your mattress is to find out if your local recycling program does bulk waste collection and accepts mattresses. If so, that’s a sound choice. If not, recycling your mattress is still on the table (or bed frame?), it just gets a little more involved. 

Taking your mattress apart to recycle the pieces separately will get the job done so long as you’re willing to put in the work. The metal springs, foam, wooden frame, and other mattress components can often be recycled once you separate them. You just might want to consult a guide on how to disassemble a mattress first. 

reuse your old mattress

If you’re not going to recycle your mattress, why not upcycle it? (AKA creatively reuse it, for those not up on the lingo) Mattresses aren’t just good for getting deep sleep, they can be used in all sorts of other ways.

Some ideas for reusing your mattress are:

  • Turn it into a wine rack using the innersprings
  • Use it as a room divider
  • Move it to the guest room
  • Turn it into a headboard
  • Use it as a crashpad for the kids
  • Make it into a pet bed 

Dog in bed

"Yeah, a bed for me sounds like the best idea." -Your pet, probably

With a little creative thinking you can save your old mattress from the landfill and give it a new purpose. 

While you’re at it, why not try one of these ways to repurpose your old bed sheets, too?  

The next time you have a mattress to get rid of, consider opting for one of these eco-friendly options rather than just throwing it out. Planet Earth will thank you!

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