Donate or Recycle Your Old Mattress

What did you do with your last mattress after you bought a new one? Haul it out to the trash and let the garbage truck take it away to a landfill? If you’re like most people, then you did and when most people are throwing away their mattresses, landfills are filling up with everyone’s dirty mattresses. About 20 million mattresses are thrown away every year just in the United States and for every 10,000 people that either donate or recycle their mattresses, it would save eight feed of landfill space–An entire American football field.

In some places, throwing out your mattress is illegal requiring people to donate their mattresses where recyclers can separate the fiber, foam, steel, and wood for remanufacturing and can make new mattresses.

There are a few options for you if you’re looking to get rid of a mattress. You can either donate it to either a crisis center, halfway house, Craig’s List or Freecycle. Make sure you clean your mattress before donating it! For instructions on how to properly clean a mattress, check out Instructables.

To recycle your old mattress, go to Earth 911, type in “mattress” in the start recycling “what do you have?” field and your zip code in the “where are you?” field for a recycling drop off sight near you.

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Holly is a writer with a penchant for sarcasm, aspiring domestic goddess, and stress baker. She is the founder and editor of Woman Tribune, and lives in rural Northeastern, Pennsylvania with her husband and their 5 cats.

14 Responses

  1. Vinay says:

    Selling a used mattress on Craig’s List is rather easy – and you make some money too.

  2. Jj says:

    Glad you mentioned the cleaning issue – no one wants to get bed bugs. Actually, I think I’d have a difficult time using a “used” mattress but I love the fact that they can be recycled, didn’t realize that. Thanks for the very helpful information!

  3. Vanessa says:

    Through recycling the mattress we have we make money from it, yes it’s true.
    I was interested with the cleaning instructions.
    It helps me clean my matters effectively.
    Thanks for the information…

  4. Kris says:

    It is really important that more people start donating/recycling their old mattresses. Not enough people know how to properly clean them

  5. dhaval says:

    This is a nice blog.I really impressed when i read this article.Also this article give us good information about donating that people may not know.

  6. Angela says:

    Ack… my ex just threw out our kids old bunk beds. I tried to talk him into donating or recycling them, but they were specially made for the bunks (which are dilapidated) and he didn’t think anyone else would get any use out of them. I hate throwing things like that out.

  7. Julia says:

    Be careful – many places have restrictions on selling OR donating used mattresses. Sometimes even if you want to donate your mattress you may not be able to because of state regulations on bedding (see Massachusetts) or because of the recent ‘bedbug’ scares.

  8. Mattressblog says:

    I am using latex mattresses as they are made from eco friendly products because i am suffering from skin allergy.

  9. sade says:

    I am in need of a mattress. My air bed broke and I cant afford to buy a new one so I am sleeping on the floor. I try to find a free bed on craigslist but I am having trouble with people responding after I send them a email. If you or anybody you know has a mattress that can fit 2 I would appreciate it. you can email me at I check my emails everyday. thank you n God bless :)

  10. this is a great idea. while most of us wouldn’t consider buying or using a secondhand mattress it is easy to forget there are unfortunately many people out there that would be very grateful to receive a secondhand mattress.

  11. Solar says:

    We never thought of doing this, cheers for the post.

  12. Sten says:

    I confess frankly, recently my neighbor burned his mattress … I live in Russia, a different mentality. And the idea is certainly great.

  13. Elizabeth says:

    I think whoever takes the mattress should clean, that’s why people prefer to dispose in landfill. If I need that mattress I would clean it anyway. I would not trust someone elses cleaning. I am about to move and dont know what to do with mattress.

  14. Maryanne says:

    Would you please give me the name, email address of the shop who buys 2nd hand mattresses? Thanks

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