It’s best practice to replace your bed at least every seven to ten years. But when you need to dispose of a mattress, it’s not as simple as leaving it on the curb or in a dumpster.
Many municipalities charge fines or have regulations for dropping mattresses outside—partly due to the health risks of bed bugs and other critters spreading. Fortunately, there are mattress removal methods that guarantee your discarded bed finds an appropriate new home.
From pick-up to donation, the Helix Team will walk you through mattress removal so you can make room for your new mattress.
Mattress Removal Methods
1. Charities That Handle Mattress Disposal
Many charities accept all manner of donations to benefit populations in need. But mattresses are on many charities’ do-not-accept lists.
The issue typically comes down to storage space. If non-profit organizations don’t have room to store the beds you’re donating, they can’t give them to people who need them.
Keep in mind that places like The Salvation Army and Habitat for Humanity may be selective about what they accept. They may also refuse to take your bed, depending on the facility size and location. It’s always best to check in advance.
Many thrift stores and furniture banks accept clean or unused bedding, bedroom furniture like bed frames, and other household goods. They may even know of a community agency that will take your other items – so it’s always worth asking.
2. Mattress Removal Services
If you’re unable to donate your mattress, you may wonder how to get rid of an old mattress.
Fortunately, many organizations offer mattress disposal and even mattress pick up. Junk removal and other pick-up services may provide pickup at no cost, while others charge a small fee. Helix always covers these charges for our returned mattresses.
You can try organizations like:
Be sure to ask about your specific address when consulting a mattress removal service. Some places may not accept box springs or bed frames, so you must find out what parts of the bed they’ll take. Also check on pricing, if applicable, to determine whether it’s worth the cost to have someone remove the bed.
Figuring out how to get rid of an old mattress is often tougher in small towns, but you may still have options. You can even inquire with your local refuse authority on whether their vehicles can pick up mattresses.
Many communities also have household cleanup days, during which you can place your bed on the curb for pickup.
3. Recycling Your Mattress
In many communities, mattress recycling centers offer an environmentally friendly way to get rid of unwanted furniture. Finding those organizations can be as simple as searching online for a ‘mattress recycling center near me.’
Of course, there are other ways to get your mattress to the recyclers:
- Check with the Mattress Recycling Council for recycling facility programs in your area
- Contact organizations like Bye Bye Mattress for help.
- Search online for recycling centers near you, including drop-off options.
- Contact your neighborhood trash company to check for community cleanup dates.
- Connect with your community to see if anyone in need would like your old mattress.
- Repurpose the materials inside the mattress.
The Bye-Bye Mattress recycling program, for example, promises to recycle instead of discarding your mattress. The Mattress Recycling Council oversees the program, which currently operates in California, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. In other areas, searching online for nearby recycling centers may provide options. Not all organizations offer curbside pick-up, but it’s worth asking about.
You can also repurpose the mattress materials by DIYing projects with the metal springs and wood components. Selling steel scraps can earn a bit of recycling income, the foam material can help insulate a home or protect valuables while moving, and wood is great for household projects. Memory foam mattresses also make excellent insulation and padding, and they’re easier to break down.
What if There Are No Recycling Programs in My Area?
If you can’t find a recycling location in your area, consider reaching out to larger communities with more resources. Some charity programs will travel within a specific mile range to pick up donations. Other larger cities offer programs that more remote residents qualify for, including free pick-up.
You can also check with local non-profits to see whether they accept donations of furniture. It doesn’t hurt to ask.
My non-profit organizations maintain strong community ties. Consider checking with places like:
- Your local food banks
- The neighborhood community center
- Nearby churches and religious organizations
- Women’s shelters and pregnancy crisis centers
- Homeless shelters
- Thrift stores
- The Sheriff’s department or local law enforcement
Even in small communities, there are often people in need who would appreciate the donation of your mattress. You can check with neighbors and family members, too. Someone may be thrilled to receive your gently used gift. While getting a new bed for yourself is ideal for your sleep quality and overall health, passing your old mattress along to another person is impactful, too.
Does It Matter If I Have a Foam Mattress?
Determining how to dispose of a mattress may be a challenge. Depending on the type of mattress you have, the mattress could be cumbersome. The box spring could be bulky, too.
But in general, getting rid of a foam mattress versus a conventional innerspring model tends to be easier. Many can even fold, making them fit in smaller vehicles rather than massive delivery and disposal trucks.
In contrast with a standard mattress, a memory foam option doesn’t include steel springs or any other bulky material. Therefore, foam mattresses tend to be easier to dispose of. In fact, you may even be able to cut it up to make removal easier. But let’s not get too hasty yet—other mattress disposal options don’t require DIY methods.
Make Room for Your New Mattress
Once you figure out how you’re getting rid of your old mattress, it’s time to think about where you’re getting your new one. Helix Sleep builds mattresses that are made for specific sleep positions, body types and comfort preferences.
Take our Sleep Quiz to find your perfect match.