Can I Recycle My Old Mattress?

Do you throw mattresses in a local dump? Recycling is an eco-friendly way to dispose of old mattresses.

Each year, millions of mattresses are disposed of in landfills where they absorb harmful chemicals and create flammable air pockets. Some mattresses are made of bulky non-biodegradable materials that may harm the environment. To reduce this pollution, you can recycle, sell, and donate your old mattress and dispose of a mattress responsibly. Recycling is the process of changing used items into new objects. This process is the ideal way to discard old mattresses because it reduces man’s carbon footprint.

Why Mattress Recycling Is Good for The Environment

Synthetic foam mattresses emit greenhouse gases that pollute the environment as they slowly rot. Recycling old mattresses reduce these emissions significantly. At least 80% of mattresses in the market are recyclable and a manufacturer repurposes them into environmentally friendly products. Lastly, recycling creates jobs for people who work along its chain.

How Mattress Recycling Works

A recycling plant inspects an old mattress to check if it’s reusable. Mattress conditions like bedbug infestations are not ideal for this process. The recycler deconstructs an old mattress into springs, foams, upholstery, fibres, and wood. Manufacturers repurpose these materials into the following items.

  • Box springs and coils can make new steel. Recyclers sell them as scrap metal for steel mills, building sites, and workshops.
  • Foams can make paddings for seats, pillows, cushions, and other textiles.
  • Fibres or upholstery can make industrial filters, cushions, and pillow covers.
  • Wood can make mulch, biomass, fuel, and animal bedding.

There are over 50 mattress recycling facilities in the States that you can contact. California, Rhode Island, and Connecticut have a recycling program called Bye Bye Mattress. The Mattress Recycling Council also offers guidelines on how to recycle a mattress. Lastly, Earth 911 is an excellent online tool that helps you to search for recycling centres near you. 

Most mattress recyclers charge $20 to $40 per recycled mattress. Their centres offer pickup services that collect your old mattress at a small fee conveniently. Recyclers charge you for this process because dismantling and recycling mattresses is a tedious process. Mattress retailers also have recycling programs that offer a mattress disposal service. Your retailer can connect you to an ideal recycling centre or your mattress manufacturer. 

If you want to dispose of your mattress for free, contact non-profit organizations such as Salvation Army, Goodwill, and St. Vincent De Paul, which operate mattress recycling collection centres. You can donate your old mattress if it doesn’t have visible tears, odours, and stains. The mattress should also have working springs that do not sag excessively. You can donate old mattresses to charities and home shelters.

You can also get crafty with your old mattress. Platforms like Pinterest have ideas on how to repurpose your old mattress. Some people use old memory foam mattresses to make pet beds and others make cut-outs as cushions. Mattress coils or springs make beautiful interior design decor, paperweights, candleholders, etc.

Signs It Is Time for A New Mattress

According to The National Sleep Foundation, you should replace your mattress after 6 to 8 years. Some people stretch this lifespan to 10 years if their mattress is in good condition. An old mattress is damaged or lumped and squeaks louder than usual. Replace your mattress if you wake up feeling tired, groggy, stiff, sore, and your allergies flare up. You can buy a new mattress by looking through Slumber Search to find the best brand.

Notably, recycling an old mattress doesn’t get rid of all its waste. You should consider getting a high-density mattress made of natural and non-toxic materials which last longer and are eco-friendly. If you can’t recycle, donate, or sell your old mattress, use a mattress disposal bag and leave it to a junk removal service. Dumping any waste is illegal and punishable by law. Lastly, burning an old mattress isn’t recommended because the flames release toxins that harm the environment.


Mattress recycling protects the environment. Manufacturers repurpose old mattresses into reusable items like scrap steel parts. You can contact your mattress retailer or a recycling center to dispose of your old mattress in an eco-friendly way.

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