4 Options for Keeping Your Old Mattress Out of a Landfill
Mattresses typically don’t last more than ten years. The average person has several mattresses in their lifetime. When beds wear out, they need to be replaced with a new mattress and disposed of. Parents need to be especially mindful as they will be buying even more mattresses than the average adult.
Unfortunately, nearly 20 million mattresses are brought to landfills each year. This can be a serious problem because mattresses don’t compact well and can take up a lot of room.
But it doesn’t have to be this way.
Mattresses can be resold, donated, reused, or recycled. In fact, approximately 80 percent of mattress materials can be recycled or reused. Mattress materials that can be reused or recycled include steel, foam, wood, and fabric.
How to Resell Your Mattress
If your mattress is still in good condition, you may be able to sell it. Make sure it’s free of stains, sagging, bed bugs, and other major defects before putting it up for sale, and consider getting it cleaned as well.
Don’t expect to get even close to what you paid for it — most used mattresses don’t sell for more than $200.
Post your mattress with photos and a general location on sites such as OfferUp, craigslist, and on the Facebook marketplace. Make sure you include details including the brand, size, firmness, and other features.
Keep in mind that selling used mattresses is illegal in some states, such as Massachusetts. It’s a good idea to verify local laws before putting your bed up for sale.
How to Donate Your Mattress
Another option for mattresses that are still in good shape: donation. Local charities may accept furniture and mattress donations. As with reselling your mattress, make sure it’s clean and free of defects, especially bed bugs and stains or odors.
Not all charities accept used mattress donations, so call ahead to verify that they want your mattress before dropping it off. Check with homeless shelters, domestic shelters, and your local chapter of Salvation Army or Habitat for Humanity.
How to Reuse Your Mattress
Many of the materials in mattresses can be reused, including steel springs, foam, wood, and fabric. You can break down your old mattress and turn its materials into something new.
Steel springs can be used for craft projects or sold for scrap metal. Wood can be used for gardening projects. Foam and fabric pieces can be reused as pet bedding and other plush household items.
How to Recycle Your Mattress
If you’re not able to sell, donate, or repurpose your mattress, consider recycling before hauling it off to the dump. Many locations have a recycling center that accepts used mattresses. You can find locations using resources including Earth 911 and Bye-Bye Mattress.
Recycling your mattress will probably require a fee. If you can drop it off, you can expect to pay between $10 to $20. If the recycling center picks it up for you, you’ll likely pay between $20 to $40.
About the Author:
Rick Blanchard is an expert on sleep product materials and manufacturing for BestMattressReviews.com. His research covers the entire life cycle of mattresses and bedding, including production, wear over time, and disposal. Rick lives in Tarrytown, New York.