How to Dispose of a Mattress
The Best Options for Mattress Removal
Wondering how you should dispose of that old mattress? Despite being bulky and heavy, mattress disposal is fairly simple – so long as you know where to go and how to go about it. So before you attempt to toss your mattress out with the trash, take a moment to research some of the mattress removal options below.
Assess the Current Condition of Your Mattress
Before judging your mattress by its cover, check the tag at the foot of the mattress for the manufacturing date. If the tag is missing, call the manufacturer directly and give them the series and model numbers, if available. At the very least, they should be able to tell you the year your particular model was made. If the mattress is over 10 years old, it’s likely time to replace it.
Of course, age isn’t everything. So before you try to throw away your mattress, look for these common signs of wear:
- Frayed Edges
Option #1: Donate Your Mattress
You may not have to get rid of your mattress if it doesn’t show much wear. If it’s also less than five to seven years old, it could still be useful to someone else. Check with relatives and friends who may be looking for an extra mattress, or simply want to replace their current one.
There are also numerous nonprofit organizations and institutions that would gladly take your gently used mattress. The groups below generally accept mattress donations, though local policies may differ:
- Salvation Army: Offers both local pickup and drop-offs.
- Goodwill Industries: Offers local drop-off centers.
- Places of Worship: Churches, temples and synagogues may also accept clean mattresses.
- Local Charities and Shelters: Local charities occasionally need mattresses as well.
Option #2: Recycle It
If your mattress is old and unsuitable for donation, the next best thing you can do is recycle it. But where can you get rid of a mattress that will also recycle it? In California, Connecticut and Rhode Island, mattresses are legally required to be recycled through a program administered by the Mattress Recycling Council, with costs varying from $9 to $11 per mattress.
Otherwise, there are over 20 states with at least one mattress recycling facility. Use either Earth 911’s database or Sleep on Latex’s list of 100 recycling locations to find a facility near you.
Option #3: Throw Away Your Mattress
If there’s no recycling center near you, your last resort is to simply throw out your mattress. However, it’s not as easy as dropping your old one on the curb. Since mattresses are heavy, bulky and are made with a variety of materials, most municipal trash collection services won’t accept them. You should still check with your local sanitation department to see if they offer mattress removal as part of their bulk collection service.
Apart from your curbside service, there should be plenty of other mattress disposal options in your local area:
- Dumpster Rental: Depending on state and local disposal regulations, you may be able to dispose of your mattress through a dumpster rental service. Additional disposal fees may apply, ranging from $20 to $100 per item due to local disposal fees charged by the landfill or transfer station.
- Local Dump: Most local landfills or transfer stations will allow mattresses to be dropped off directly, barring any policies or regulations otherwise. Additional fees may apply.
- Junk Removal Service: Services that pick up junk for you are another option, though rates vary between $100 and $200 depending on the size of the mattress.
Mattress Disposal FAQs
How do I know if a mattress can be disposed of in a dumpster in my area?
If you are renting a dumpster for a home cleanup or specific project, ask our customer service team if we accept mattresses in your area beforehand. If we do, there may be an additional charge for each mattress you are disposing of due to local disposal fees charged by the landfill or transfer station.
Why is there a fee?
Mattress disposal fees usually only apply when the local landfill or transfer station must break down or recycle the mattress. These charges are directly imposed by the local facility.
Can I break apart my mattress and throw away the accepted materials?
You can break down your mattress yourself to make disposing of it easier, though you may still be subject to any associated disposal fees.
Have some other tricky items to dispose of? Check out our other disposal how-tos to learn how to get rid of other bulky and difficult debris.