How to Dispose of a Mattress

The proper disposal of a mattress is something many people have to do, but not many know how. When disposing of your mattress, it should be a high priority that you do so safely and responsibly.

Your used mattress does not belong at the bottom of the lake or even in your local landfill. Even though dumping a used mattress in landfills is permitted, it’s taken-up a large amount of space in landfills all around the world. Instead, you should consider recycling, selling, or donating a used mattress as your first option.

There are many different options when getting rid of your old mattress. These range from selling it online, dismantling and recycling the materials for crafts and DIYs, or simply donating it to a church!

Mattress disposal is becoming a big issue because many people don’t know how to dispose of one. Even though alternate solutions are easier than you think!

How to Dispose of a Mattress

The thing you need to do before disposing of an old mattress is to contact your local sanitation company. They may have specific sanitation guidelines you need to follow in order to avoid fines or disposal fees.

You can avoid local disposal fees and wait times by taking apart your old mattress on your own. It’s not hard at all and it can be done in less than 10 minutes even if you only have a utility knife. Below are 5 easy steps you can follow to take apart a mattress for disposal.Steps to Dispose of a Mattress

5 Easy Steps to Take Apart a Mattress for Disposal

Breaking down an old mattress to be repurposed or thrown away is much easier than you think. If taking this approach, it is recommended that you have a decent amount of floor space. The only tool you need is a utility knife or a strong kitchen knife.

  1. Cutting the Cords:
    You will start by cutting the mattresses binding cords, grabbing the cord and essentially peeling off the first layer of your mattress to reveal a layer of foam beneath. You only need your utility knife, but having a strong pair of scissors may also come in handy.
  2. Remove the Sides:
    After cutting the cord along the sides of the mattress, you will find removing the sides very easy. You can dispose of the fabrics from the sides of the mattress in the trash.
  3. Remove the Layer of Foam:
    Next you’ll want to remove the foam, and the easiest way to dispose of it is by ripping or cutting the foam into smaller pieces. You can shove it into garbage bags to take to your local recycling facility or simply throw away.
  4. Spring Removal:
    With the foam layer out of the way, you will now be able to see the metal springs. You can either leave them in-tact or cut them with wire cutters. If you’re feeling creative, you can reuse the metal pieces to make racks, or even leave it whole and put the springs in your yard standing upright to allow plants and vines to grow along with them.
  5. Box Spring Disposal:
    The final piece you are left with is the box spring. Here you only need to remove the remaining plastic or metal pieces with your knife or a screwdriver. Remove any staples with a pair of pliers, and cut the remaining wooden frame into smaller, more manageable pieces using a handsaw.
    You can also reuse the remaining wood from the frame for DIY crafts. A fun example would be converting it into a bookshelf or a rack, which you can paint over to make it all the more creative.

Donating Used Mattresses

Donating can be one of the easiest options to dispose of an old mattress. There are many places in your area that would be willing to take your used mattress.

Asking your local furniture stores, thrift shops, homeless shelters, churches, Goodwill, Salvation Army, and Habitat for Humanity are all good options for donating.

Though it is key you call and ask ahead of time if it is alright to bring your used mattress to make sure they’re able to take it. As some places might not be taking donations at that time.

Recycling Your Mattress

Have you ever wanted to recycle your used mattress but was unsure of where to start? There are many eco-friendly solutions to this problem. Recycling companies will take your old mattresses with no extra cost and repurpose the cotton, wood, box springs, steel, and foam into new products.

If you have access to a vehicle that can transport your mattress, you can drop it off at a local recycling center for free. It will be easier to handle by rolling it up or tying it down, and they’ll break it down for you! If that sounds like too much of a hassle, no worries! You can take apart the mattress and recycle the pieces yourself!

Preparing a Mattress for Trash Pick-Up

If you will not be donating or recycling your mattress, you will need to get it ready and prepared for pick-up.

Start by wrapping the mattress in a plastic cover and take it your local department store or moving supply store. You can purchase a mattress storage bag or a mattress disposal bag from any of these locations.

After the mattress has been properly wrapped, you can then leave the mattress on the curb by your garbage can during a heavy trash day. If you aren’t sure what day that is, you can contact your local waste management facility to find out.

Another method of mattress removal, is hiring a local disposal company. You can start by searching online for local companies in your area. You should keep in mind that hiring a disposal company will cost you the most of all these methods. However, it is well worth it if you have multiple mattresses or other large furniture to get rid of.

Girl selling her old mattress online

Selling a Used Mattress Online

Websites such as Craigslist and Facebook Marketplaces can be easy ways to meet up with someone in your area to sell your used mattress.

Posting pictures online can be a good way to get a fast reply! If you’re not very tech savvy and you’re looking for a way to simply get rid of your mattress, you could try asking friends, neighbors, and family members.

However, the most popular online platform to sell an old mattress has to be Ebay!

Ebay sellers and buyers are always looking for a good deal on old items people don’t want anymore. They have a very easy-to-use selling process that ensures both parties are satisfied.

When selling large items on Ebay, such as a mattress, you will need to select the “Local Pickup” option.


There are better, more eco-friendly ways to dispose of your used mattress than by unnecessarily dumping it in a landfill. If you’re looking to dispose of your used mattress, keep in mind that there are many ways to do so that don’t involve harming the environment.