Mattress Guides

How to Get Rid of Your Mattress

Learn when it’s time to say goodbye to your old mattress and understand your disposal options

By Katie Terrell Hanna

Wondering how to get rid of a mattress? First, we want to commend you on not just throwing it out by the trash for the garbage men or property manager to deal with. Did you know that more than 50,000 mattresses are discarded per day and nearly 90% of a mattress can be recycled? With those kinds of numbers, we think it’s worth choosing a more eco-friendly disposal option.

Depending on the age and condition of your mattress, you can either recycle or donate it at the end of its life. However, laws on mattress recycling vary from city to city, and quality standards for donation vary from charity to charity. In this guide, we will walk you through your options for mattress disposal based on the above criteria. But first things, first. How do you know when it is time to replace your mattress?

When Is It Time To Get Rid of Your Mattress?

Before we get into the methods for mattress removal, let’s first determine whether it is the right time to dispose of your mattress. You may just be ready to upgrade, and that’s totally fine too. But just in case you’re wondering if your mattress is still in good shape or if you should buy a new mattress, let’s go over a few factors that can help you decide.

You might have heard the old adage that you should replace your mattress every ten years, but there is a little more to it than that, especially with the advancements in mattress durability of recent years. Here are a few signs to look for when considering if you should part with your current mattress.

Its Condition is Less Than Subpar

Mattresses don’t hold their shape forever. If you feel a sag begin to form or you find yourself sliding towards the middle or edges of the bed, it’s a safe bet your mattress is no longer in good condition because it’s lost its structural support. Additionally, if there are a lot of stains, tears, or uneven areas, we’re sorry to tell you it’s time to let your mattress go. It’s had a good life and fulfilled its purpose. But for the sake of your sleep (and your hygiene), it’s time to say goodbye.

It Makes You Achy

If you experience chronic aches and pains when you go to sleep or wake up, then it’s likely time for a new mattress, regardless of age. Discomfort caused by your mattress is caused by a lack of support. This means the materials in your mattress are losing their shape and structure; therefore, the can no longer properly support your body weight. 

It Causes You to Cough or Sneeze

This could mean two things. First, it could mean that you have an allergy to the material the bed is made out of and you may want to consider a hypo-allergenic replacement. If the mattress is several years old, that could be the reason as well. Allergens like dust mites, mold, and bed bugs can build up in a used mattress that is well past its prime. Either way, it may be time for a new mattress.

These are just a few of the important indicators that you need a new bed. But before you dump your bed, review your mattress warranty. Checking in on your mattress warranty is pretty important because if you feel your mattress is past its prime, but your warranty hasn’t run out, you may be able to get the mattress replaced. It’s important to note, however, that warranties have restrictions so it’s important to check what is covered in your warranty before you try to submit a claim.

What Are My Options for Mattress Removal?

Once you have assessed the condition of your mattress and reviewed your warranty, you can decide the fate of your mattress. Depending on where you live, the condition of your mattress, and what charities are nearby, you have three options for mattress removal: donation, recycling, or using a junk removal service.


There are several thrift stores, charities, and organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, Salvation Army, and the American Cancer Society that accept furniture donations, many even offer pickup services for your mattress and/or box spring. However, some have stipulations as to what constitutes an acceptable mattress donation whereas some won’t accept used mattresses at all. So be sure to check their requirements before you stop by or schedule a pickup.

Disposal Services

There are some companies who turn a profit as a junk removal service. Basically, they coming out to remove items that people no longer want and may be too cumbersome to remove themselves. For example, mattresses. Many like 1-800-GOT-JUNK and College Hunks Hauling Junk will even attempt to donate or recycle the mattress to help preserve landfill space. However, beware that junk removal services may default to taking the mattress to the landfill depending on the city and county they operate in. Be sure to call and find out where your mattress is going after it leaves your possession.

Recycling Services

Another option is using a recycling facility or service like Bye Bye Mattress that will help you find a place to recycle your mattress or pick it up and do it themselves. Keep in mind these services typically charge a fee for this so check with the company before you arrange a drop-off or pick up. They may have stipulations on what kind of mattresses are accepted (i.e. foam, innerspring, hybrid, or latex) but a quick chat with their customer service department will clear that up.

Whether you just feel like buying a new mattress, or your current mattress is showing signs of wear, we hope this article will help you find a positive solution for mattress disposal. 

Looking for a good replacement? Check out our best mattress buying guide here.

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