How to dispose of a mattress.

So, you’ve finally decided to treat yourself to a comfy new mattress? You’ve been to the shops to test out the latest and greatest mattresses and are already dreaming of the hours of quality sleep you are going to get.

But then you realise – what am I going to do with the old mattress? Can I sell it, can it be recycled, can I throw it in a skip? In this guide, we will discuss your options for how to dispose of a mattress and answer some of the most common questions.

How to dispose of a mattress

The importance of a good mattress

Choosing the right mattress to help you get a good nights sleep is a big decision. After all, most people will spend a third of their life in bed asleep. Having a good mattress will help to improve your quality of life by reducing aches, pains and stress during the night.

A mattress might be an expensive purchase, but it is worth spending some time and money finding the best one that suits your needs.

Signs of a good mattress are durability, support and comfort. If you cannot find an affordable mattress that suits your needs, it might be worth spending a little more on a better quality mattress.

An uncomfortable or broken mattress can have negative effects on your sleep and overall quality of life. When the time comes to upgrade to a brand new mattress, how will you dispose of the old mattress?

How often should you replace your mattress?

As much as you love them and spend a lot of money on them, mattresses do not last forever, but they can last for many years, depending on how well you take care of them. According to the National Sleep Foundation, most people should replace their mattress every 8-10 years to maintain comfort and support.

If you feel that the mattress in your home is in poor condition, it might be time to buy a new one. Some of the most common signs of an old and worn-out mattress include:

  • The presence of uneven wear or depressions on the surface.
  • Fading colour on any fabrics.
  • An odour that fails to go away after cleaning with an enzyme cleaner or any other solution.
  • Feeling of discomfort in any area of the body while sleeping on it.

However, it is important to note that sagging in the middle of the mattress does not necessarily mean that your mattress is reaching its end of life. Sagging can be reduced by rotating your mattress from head to toe once every six months. This way, both sides will wear evenly and make up for the lost time.

If your mattress meets any of the conditions above, you should consider buying a new one. When you have decided to buy a new mattress, you must also choose how you want to dispose of your current mattress.

Available options for mattress disposal

When it comes to mattress disposal, there are several different options that you can choose from. Which option you choose will likely depend on certain factors, such as:

  • the condition of your old mattress
  • where you buy your new mattress from
  • where you are located

We will discuss some of the potential mattress disposal options below:

Give your old mattress to friends or family

If the mattress is still fully functional and in good condition, you might ask friends or family members if they would like to take it off your hands.

A new mattress can cost hundreds of pounds, so being offered a used mattress for free can help a lot of people out. This is especially the case when the mattress comes from somebody you know, so you feel confident that it has been kept clean and tidy.

Can I sell my old mattress?

Yes, you can sell your old mattress. But whether you can actually sell it and how much you get for it will depend on the make, quality and condition.

If you plan to sell your old mattress, you can always use online marketplaces like eBay, Gumtree or Facebook Marketplace. People often buy and sell used mattresses to get a new one with better features or when they simply cannot afford the cost of a brand-new mattress.

Can I donate my old mattress?

Instead of selling your mattress or giving it away to friends or family, you might want to donate your mattress to a local charity. Donating your old mattress can be a great way to support a local charity and ensure it goes to somebody who really needs it.

If you decide to donate your mattress, the process is relatively simple. You simply need to contact a charity organisation in your area, and they will come to pick it up from your home for free.

To donate your mattress, it will need to be in reasonably good condition, and the fire label on the mattress must be intact and clean. If it doesn’t meet these conditions, a charity wouldn’t be able to accept it.

You may be able to find a local charity in your area that will accept donations of old mattresses. But several national charities also offer mattress collections in the UK:

  • British Red Cross – They can collect for free in certain areas and resell the mattresses in their charity shops.
  • British Heart Foundation – Free mattress collection is available from your home. Once collected, it will be offered for sale in one of their stores.
  • Furniture Donation Network – To arrange a free collection, simply complete their online form and send some images of your mattress (so they can examine the condition). This charity aims to help people who have previously been homeless to furnish their new accommodation.
  • Emmaus – Emmaus has 29 locations across the UK and offer free mattress collections directly from your home.

Can a mattress be recycled?

Most mattresses are made from a combination of materials, including metal springs, textiles and fillings. As a result, it isn’t easy to recycle a mattress as the materials need to be separated before processing.

At the very least, some parts of your mattress will be recyclable, and all of it may be. Recycling a mattress necessitates removing the mattress’s springs and coils, as well as foam and cloth materials that may be reprocessed into new products or used as insulation.

Recycling a mattress is a time-consuming process, but fortunately, many facilities across the UK can recycle them. These facilities will deconstruct your mattress into recyclable components, including springs that can be melted down and remade into new metal goods. Foam underlay, for example, can be utilised to make carpet underlay or else sent to a plant where the waste may be converted into energy.

The quickest and most effective approach to recycle your old mattress is to pay for it to be taken away. However, whether you choose your local council’s recycling department, the company delivering your new mattress, or a specialist mattress removal firm, make sure it’s stated that the item will be recycled.

Otherwise, assume your old mattress won’t be recycled, as most aren’t. This is why for future reference, if you are buying a new mattress, it’s good to look for mattresses that are organic or are made from recycled content.

What if I decide to dump the mattress?

If you simply want to dump it somewhere on your own, there are a few things that you must consider first:

Do It Yourself (DIY)

If you have a car or van, taking your old mattress to the local council tip or civic amenity centre is usually the cheapest option since tips do not charge anything. The only disadvantage is that it may be far from where you live, so taking it to the tip might take up a significant amount of time.

Keep in mind that while you can compact memory foam mattresses by rolling them up, a conventional pocket sprung mattress is difficult to fold. As a result, you may not be able to fit the mattress in your car, especially if it is a double or king-size mattress. You could hire a bigger vehicle or a van to transport your mattress, but this will, of course, cost you money.

Council collections

If you think disposing of the mattress yourself is not an option, check if your local council offers a mattress collection service. If this is the case and you meet the criteria (e.g., permanently occupying the property), you should look into this as it may be a quick and easy solution.

In many cases, your local council will charge a small fee to collect your old mattress. This will be offered as part of their bulky waste collections, which will usually allow you to dispose of up to 5 large household items. This could include a bed, a wardrobe, an old kitchen table or a sofa.

If you have several other large items to dispose of, using your council’s bulky waste collection service to dispose of your old mattress is a good option.

In most cases, you will need to arrange to place the items near to the road on the collection day. They will not go into your house or onto your property to remove the mattress and other furniture for you.

So you will need to keep this in mind if moving the items on your own will be an issue.

Waste removal company

You should be aware that there are specific rules and regulations for this type of disposal because the mattress can contain harmful materials to the environment, such as foam and other potentially hazardous components.

You must follow all the regulations to dispose of the mattress in an environmentally friendly way. A waste removal company will be able to take over this headache for you. Usually, the costs will be based on the weight and volume (e.g. how much space the mattress will take up in the removal van or lorry).

Can I put a mattress in a skip?

Skip hire can be a cost-effective solution for this type of disposal, especially if you also have other household rubbish to get rid of.

However, before you go ahead and hire a skip, you must check with your skip hire provider that you are allowed to put a mattress in the skip. This is because some skip hire companies prohibit mattresses.

You should also remember that skip hire may not be a sensible choice if you only have a mattress to get rid of. This would make it a costly option.

However, if you don’t have other rubbish to dispose of, you could save some money by organising a skip with your friendly neighbours. This will help to share the cost while at the same time providing a solution for your mattress disposal problem.

To find the best prices on skip hire in your area, enter your details into the search box provided at the top of this page.

If you are interested in learning more tips on how to dispose of your old mattress or need some advice on other aspects of waste disposal, contact a member of our friendly support team.

At Wastefair, we provide skip hire, waste management and recycling services to households and businesses across the UK. We partner with local and national waste management companies to offer the lowest prices on a full range of services.