Mattress Disposal Guide: How to Get Rid of Your Mattress

Shopping for a mattress and waiting for it to arrive can be very exciting, but there is one aspect of the process that isn’t always so fun: deciding how to dispose of your old mattress.

You’ll have a number of options when it comes to how you’re going to get rid of your mattress. The best one for you will depend on what kinds of facilities are local to you, whether you’re able to transport the mattress yourself, and more. We would always recommend going for the most environmentally friendly approach but understand that isn't always possible. Here's a quick overview of some of the main options and the pros and cons that come with them.

Pros Cons
Donate your mattress to a good cause
  • Mattress won't be sent to landfill
  • Collection possible
  • Supports a good cause
  • It's free
  • Mattress must be in good condition
  • You may have to transport it yourself
Sell your mattress on
  • Mattress won't be sent to landfill
  • Collection possible
  • You'll make some money
  • Mattress must be in good condition
  • Can be time consuming
  • You may have to transport it yourself
Take your mattress to a recycling facility
  • Mattress won't be sent to landfill
  • Collection possible
  • Mattress doesn't have to be in good condition
  • You may have to transport it yourself
  • Not as eco-friendly as reusing
Ask your local council to collect your mattress
  • Won't need to transport it yourself
  • Can be expensive
  • You'll have to wait for your mattress to be picked up
  • No guarantee of where your mattress will end up
Use a specialist mattress recycling service
  • Mattress won't be sent to landfill
  • You won't need to transport it yourself
  • You'll usually be charged
  • You'll have to wait for your mattress to be picked up
Contact a charity that offers collections
  • Mattress won't be sent to landfill
  • You won't need to transport it yourself
  • Supports a good cause
  • It's free
  • You'll have to wait for your mattress to be picked up
  • Mattress must be in good condition
Take the mattress to your local tip
  • Might be free
  • Can take your mattress at a time that suits you
  • You'll have to transport it yourself
  • Mattress is likely to end up in landfill
Throw it in your skip if you have one
  • Convenient if you already have a skip
  • Some companies will charge extra or won't take mattresses
  • Mattress is likely to end up in landfill

You should now have a rough idea of which options you're going to consider. But, to help you come to the right decision for your needs, we're going to give you more details about each choice. Here's what we'll cover.

Mattress Recycling

Mattress recycling is the most environmentally friendly disposal option. This means passing your unwanted mattress on to someone else who can use it or allowing its materials to be repurposed. Here are three different approaches to consider:

Mattress donation

If your mattress is still in good condition — perhaps it's only a couple of years old but you've decided to upgrade to a bigger size — consider donating it. We have a guide to knowing when to replace your mattress, which is well worth checking out if you're not sure whether your mattress is still in usable condition. If it's still comfortable to sleep on and there aren't any serious signs of wear and tear, it should be fine to pass on.

If there are a few marks on it, these will need to be removed before you donate your mattress. We have a mattress care guide that outlines how you can do this, or you can always ask a professional to refresh your mattress for you before donating.

You might be able to find a local homeless shelter, women’s refuge, or charity that is more than happy to take your old mattress off your hands and give it a new purpose. Not only will you be doing a good deed by giving your mattress to someone in need, but you’ll be doing your bit for the environment, too.

We should note that, if you would like to donate your mattress, it must still have the fire safety tag attached. Organisations will be unable to take it without one.

Sell your mattress on

If your mattress is still perfectly comfortable to sleep on and isn't showing any signs of wear and tear, you could sell it to someone who is looking to buy a second hand one. Simply list your mattress on the likes of Gumtree or Facebook Marketplace, and make sure you give potential buyers all of the information they'll need, such as how old your mattress is, what size you have, and whether there are any imperfections they need to be aware of. You will also need to set a desired price and outline whether you’re offering your mattress for collection only. This will be the best option if your mattress doesn’t fit in your car or you don’t like the idea of driving it round to potential buyers’ homes.

Selling your mattress on is a great way to give it a new lease of life, make a little bit of money, and save it from landfill. But, of course, this option will only be suitable if your mattress is in good condition.

Take your mattress to a recycling facility

If your mattress is not in good enough condition to pass on, consider taking it to a local recycling facility where there'll be experts who know how to deal with it responsibly.

Mattresses are 100% recyclable when handled properly, yet the End of Life Mattress Report 2019 shows that only 19% of old mattresses were recycled in 2017. So, it seems far more people are still choosing to send their mattresses to landfill instead.

You can find your nearest recycling facility using Recycle Now's search tool. We recommend getting in touch with your local centre to see if they accept mattresses. If they do, take your mattress along and they'll deal with it. Otherwise, you might wish to arrange for a company to come and get your mattress and recycle it for you. Read on for all you need to know about mattress collection services.

Arrange an old mattress collection

Mattresses are big and bulky, making them difficult to transport, even if you have a car. To take a lot of the effort and stress out of getting rid of your old mattress, you could arrange for it to be collected.

Here at Dormeo, we offer a free mattress collection service to anyone who buys one of our Octaspring mattresses. If you would like us to pick up your mattress, simply get in touch within 24 hours of making your order and we'll arrange everything for you. You can learn more about this on our delivery page. Here are some other mattress collection options:

Ask your local council to collect your mattress

Most councils will allow you to apply for a bulky waste collection and disposal service and then come and pick your mattress up for you. However, you should be aware that this can be expensive — it completely depends on where you live, but a collection of several items can cost more than £100 in certain areas. You also need to remember that, if you're getting rid of both your mattress and your bed frame, this will be classed as multiple items, which will be reflected in the cost.

There's often no guarantee of where your mattress will be sent, either. You might find that your council states it will recycle waste where possible, but mattresses contain a range of different materials, making the recycling process quite complicated. As a result, there's a high chance your council will send your mattress to landfill.

Some councils do offer a free mattress recycling service to deter people from fly-tipping, but these are rare. So, while asking your council to pick up your bulky household waste might be convenient, it's well worth considering the cost as well as the potential environmental impact.

Use a specialist mattress recycling service

There are companies that specialise in mattress recycling who will be able to collect your mattress for you. You'll typically be charged for these services, but you can be confident that the company you choose will know how to dispose of your mattress responsibly.

CollectYourOldBed.com is a business that does exactly what it says on the tin. They will ensure your old mattress is recycled and nothing goes to waste. Everything from the springs to the filling will be given a new purpose, and many of these elements will be reused to make brand-new furniture.

AnyJunk also offers a mattress removal service, and this is a great option if you want to get rid of your mattress in a hurry, as they offer a next-day guarantee. Simply book your mattress collection online and they'll come and collect it at your earliest convenience. They'll then ensure that it's disposed of in the most responsible way possible, so you don't have to worry about the environmental effects.

Contact a charity that offers collections

There are some charities that will collect your mattress for free, so they can either sell it on to raise funds or give it to someone in need. For this to be an option, your mattress will need to be in good condition, which means it's still comfortable to sleep on and isn't showing signs of wear and tear. It will also still need to have the fire safety label attached.

It's worth getting in touch with smaller charities in your area to see if they could use your mattress and would be able to pick it up. The likes of homeless shelters and women's refuges are often in need of essentials like this.

There are also charities that have locations across the UK that will be happy to collect your mattress for you. The British Heart Foundation, the Furniture Donation Network, and Emmaus are all fantastic choices that do a lot of great work to help those in need.

Take the mattress to your local tip

If you need to get rid of your mattress fast, you might consider taking it to your local refuse tip. There are some downsides to this, though: first, you'll have to transport the mattress yourself, which will only be possible if you have a vehicle that's big enough. Second, it's likely that any mattresses taken to your local tip will end up in landfill.

So, if you would like to do your bit to protect the environment, going to the extra effort of taking your mattress to a nearby recycling centre will be a better option. Or, of course, you can arrange for a specialist company to come and pick your mattress up, as we've already discussed.

Throw it in your skip if you have one

If you're renovating and have a skip outside your home, you might be tempted to just throw your mattress in. But it's wise to check with the provider before doing this, as some will charge extra for a mattress, while others prohibit them altogether. It can be a very convenient option if you get the green light, though, so it's well worth asking.

How not to dispose of a mattress

There are some less orthodox methods people use to dispose of their mattresses for free, but we wouldn't recommend any of them, as they can be dangerous, inconsiderate, or even lead to a hefty fine. Here are just a few approaches that you should avoid taking.

Don't burn your mattress

If you have some outdoor space and you're struggling to get rid of your mattress, you might be tempted to take it outside and burn it. However, a mattress fire can be very difficult to control, which means it could quickly get out of hand and become very dangerous. The fumes released by the fire can also be harmful to you, the people around you, and the environment. So, it's best to avoid going down this route and choose one of the other methods we've mentioned above.

Don't fly-tip

While you might see the odd mattress dumped by the side of the road when you're out and about, fly-tipping doesn't just ruin the look of an area — it's also illegal. The crime is punishable with up to 12 months in prison or a fine of £50,000, but a lot of people don't realise that it's such a serious offence that just isn't worth the risk.

Don't add it to a neighbour's household waste

If you see that a neighbour has hired a skip, or they've left items outside for the council to pick up, you might think nothing of adding your mattress to the pile. However, this is quite inconsiderate and could result in your neighbour being charged more for their waste disposal.

It's definitely worth asking your neighbour if they're happy for you to add to the load, but don't just assume that it's okay, because waste removal can get very expensive for the person who's dealing with it, and you won't want your neighbour to have to foot the bill for you.

Getting rid of your old mattress responsibly doesn’t have to be inconvenient or expensive. We hope our advice helps you find a suitable disposal option so you can make room for your new single, small double, double, king, European king, or super king mattress.

We also have plenty of other mattress buying guides and FAQs that can help to make your shopping experience even easier. So, whether you're wondering when you should replace your mattress, how to choose the right mattress, or how to care for the one you buy, make sure you check those out for more information!

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