A comfortable mattress will eventually go from your haven of peace to a massive nightmare once it reaches the end of its lifespan. For public health reasons, municipalities usually have strict regulations regarding the disposal of mattresses. But there are several ways to make this tedious task much easier. Trash haulers can get rid of it, recycling companies can keep your mattress out of a landfill, and if your mattress is in great shape, you might even be able to donate it.
How to dispose of a mattress
When it comes to disposing of your mattress, there are different options depending on your local laws. If you’re buying a new mattress, the company you buy it from may even have a free disposal option.
Pay for disposal: If you’ve just purchased a new mattress, ask your mattress dealer if they have a take-back program for old mattresses – Avocado and DreamCloud are two companies on our best mattresses list that offer take-back services if you buy .
Clearance companies: Private waste haulers are experts in disposing of bulky items like a mattress. Most cities have many companies that provide this service. You’ll pay a fee, but it’s one of the less complicated options — the company will just bring a truck to your front door and take that old mattress away.
Garbage collection : Some cities offer mattress disposal as part of your regular trash service. You will likely need to call your local waste disposal service for pricing and to schedule a mattress pickup. You may also need to place the mattress in a plastic mattress bag before throwing it on the sidewalk.
How to recycle a mattress
Recycling is one of the greenest ways to dispose of an old mattress. There are often useful materials inside your old mattress, like metal springs or foam, and a licensed recycler can turn these items into products instead of sending them to a landfill. Not every state has a mattress recycler. You can see if you have a local recycler at Bye Bye Mattress, which maintains a national list of mattress recycling services here.
Step 1: Prepare the mattress.
Start by calling the mattress recycler ahead of time to find out if there are any special requirements before you drop it off, says Amanda Wall, spokesperson for the Mattress Recycling Council.
“Consumers need to keep their mattress clean and dry so that the components can be extracted and made into other products like carpet padding,” Wall says.
Step 2: Pay the fees.
In some areas mattress recycling is funded by the local government. However, in most cities you will have to pay a fee for recycling a mattress and box spring.
Step 3: Schedule pick up or drop off.
Many recycling companies will offer mattress pickups for a fee, or you can save money and drop the mattress off at the recycling center yourself.
How to donate a used mattress
If your old mattress is still clean and in good condition, donating it is a great option. But most thrift stores will reject any mattress that has been damaged, so make sure your mattress is still in good, used condition with no rips, holes, or structural damage. It needs to be in good enough condition for someone else to reuse it.
If your old mattress is stained or appears to have suffered water damage, it should not be donated. It’s best to call your local thrift store to find out their mattress donation requirements.
When to buy a new mattress
Investing in your sleep is one of the best things you can do for your health – poor quality sleep is linked to many diseases – and a squeaky old mattress is a huge obstacle to good quality sleep.
Sagging mattress: If your mattress seems to be collapsing towards the middle, it’s a sign that its structure is damaged and it’s time to replace it.
Muscle stiffness: If you wake up with stiff muscles and an aching back, it’s probably time to explore some new bed options. Our bodies are constantly changing and that can mean that a mattress that was once perfect no longer provides a quality night’s sleep.
Pointed springs: The materials on the springs wear out faster than the springs themselves. It can leave you with very little matter between you and those metal coils and, if it gets really bad, the stinging sensation of a metal spring stinging you.
Congested awakening: Mattresses contain allergens like pet dander, pollen, and dust mites that irritate allergy sufferers. If you find yourself waking up flushed or with allergies, it might be time for a change.
Noisy mattress: Does your bed creak and moan every time you go to bed? Loud noises are a sign that your bed materials are wearing out and it’s probably time to replace them.
The weight increases: Increasing the weight of your mattress can change how it works. If you’ve recently added a new sleeping partner to your bed or gained weight, it might be time to buy a new mattress.
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Why you can trust us: 312 mattresses searched
At US News & World Report, we rank the best hospitals, the best colleges, and the best cars to guide readers through some of life’s most complicated decisions. Our 360 Reviews team uses this same unbiased approach to evaluate the products you use every day. To compile our ranking of the best mattresses of 2022, our certified mattress and sleep science specialists studied over 312 mattresses and analyzed 20 reviews. Our 360 Reviews team does not take samples, giveaways, or loans of products or services we review. All product samples provided for review are given after review. Additionally, we maintain a separate sales team that has no influence over our methodology or recommendations. See more details on our 360 methodology for mattress evaluation.