Where to get rid of a mattress: 3 places to responsibly dispose of an old bed

Two delivery men take a mattress that is being returned and carry it to a white van
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Getting a new mattress means having to dispose of your old one, but it can be hard to figure out where to get rid of a mattress. They are bulky so you don't want them hanging around your home for too long, but you also want to get rid of them responsibly and without harming the planet.

The very best mattresses have a lifespan of around eight years on average (latex beds can last longer), so eventually they all need to be replaced. Here we go through where you can get rid of a mattress, with the top three places on this list being available locally. 

And if you are looking to buy a new bed, this month's Presidents' Day mattress sales are a great time to get a good mattress for way less. Here's what you need to know about where to get rid of a mattress.

Where to get rid of a mattress: 3 places to dispose of old beds

1. Non-profit organizations

If your mattress is in good condition and still has a lot of life left in it, the first thing you should consider is donating it to a charity or non-profit organization, such as a homeless shelter. Check with local shelters, youth clubs, community centres, charities and branches of nationwide organisations such as Goodwill or The Salvation Army to see if they take mattresses.

While you can ask if anyone is need of a free bed on platforms such as Facebook and Craigslist, some great charitable organisations include  The Furniture Bank Network, Habitat for Humanity and Donation Town.

Remember, to donate your mattress, it must have up-to-date safety information on the label and be free of the following: 

  • A ripped cover
  • Protruding springs or foam 
  • Odors, dampness, stains or mould
  • Bed bugs or mites
  • Sagging in the middle

A young coouple lift their old mattress into the back of a van

(Image credit: Getty Images)

2. Recycling center

If your old mattress is in no condition to be donated, then your next option is to take it to a recycling center. Check online to see if there’s a recycling center near you and find ask how much it will cost for them to take your mattress and separate it for you. Here are some great resources for finding out where you can recycle your mattress locally:

While some companies will also pick up your mattress as part of the disposal process, you can try breaking down the mattress yourself and taking each part to the recycling center instead.  If you decide to dismantle the mattress yourself, read our guide on how to know if your mattress has fiberglass so you're not risking exposure to loose fiberglass.

3. Mattress removal services

If there are no local recycling centers nearby to help you dispose of your mattress, then it's time to turn to a removal service. Sometimes when you buy a mattress online, the brand will offer you a white glove delivery option, which is a premium service that both sets up your new mattress and disposes of your old one. 

Some brands, such as Nectar Sleep, Leesa, and Bear Mattress charge you a fee for this service, but Cocoon by Sealy, Stearns and Foster, and Saatva offer this service for free. We look at this in more detail in our feature on mattress white glove delivery.

If your new bed didn't come with a white glove delivery option, opt for a local junk removal service. If your mattress has odors, bug infestations or mold, seal it in thick plastic sheeting otherwise the service may not be able to take it away. 

How long do mattresses last?

If you're wondering whether it's time to replace your mattress, the first thing you should do is figure out roughly how long you've had it. The average lifespan of a mattress is eight to ten years, so if you've had your bed for over a decade, then it's definitely time to get rid of it.

Some mattresses last longer than others. Innersprings, for example, last around seven years (the springs can wear out pretty quickly), while the best hybrid mattresses and the best memory foam mattresses can last around 10 years. Meanwhile, latex mattresses are super durable (and very expensive), so they can last up to 20 years. 

Frances Daniels
Sleep Staff Writer

Frances Daniels is a Sleep Staff Writer at Tom's Guide and her role includes covering all mattress and sleep news, in addition to mattress reviews and buyer's guides, plus sleep accessories such as pillows and mattress toppers. Frances is a PPA-accredited journalist and is hugely interested in the relationship between good sleep and overall health. When not writing about mattresses and sleep for Tom's Guide, Frances enjoys writing about women's issues, health and wellbeing, the environment, and her native Wales.