5 Easy Ways to Get Rid of Your Old Mattress, from Recycling to Donating

published Dec 28, 2023
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The only thing that can damper the excitement of buying a new mattress is getting stuck with the responsibility of tossing your old sleeper. You might be inclined to drag and shove it out of your house to leave it next to your garbage can, but most cities won’t take your old mattress during regular trash pickup. 

So, what are you supposed to do when you want to get rid of an old mattress? Of course, your options will vary by where you live, but here’s a guide to what you can do. 

Check Your City’s Recycling Rules

You may live in a place where your city will pick up your old mattress for free from your curb, like some places in California, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. These three states are part of the Mattress Recycling Council, which means they provide easier access to free and low-cost mattress removal.

If you don’t live in one of those states, you can check your local municipality’s garbage and recycling rules. Where I live in Chicago, the city won’t pick up a mattress curbside, but I can drop off an old mattress at certain Goodwill or Salvation Army locations.

Have a Mattress Company Remove It

Most companies will haul away your mattress for a fee. Mattress Firm, for example, will set up your new bed and haul away your old mattress for $99.99. If it’s not clear whether there’s a mattress haul-away service available, it doesn’t hurt to ask about a company’s mattress removal policy. If you’re getting a new mattress anyway, it’s something to consider. 

According to the Bye Bye Mattress Mattress Recycling Council program, it’s California state law that mattress companies must remove your old mattress for free when you buy a new one — but note that doesn’t account for delivery or set-up fees. (Connecticut and Rhode Island don’t have similar laws.)

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Try a Mattress Recycling Company

If your local government doesn’t provide mattress recycling, you can look for private or nonprofit companies. Generally, this is a more sustainable practice since these companies recycle the mattresses into new products or dispose of them in an eco-friendly way. Costs and removal methods (e.g., curbside or dropoff) will vary. 

Use a Junk Removal Company

Prices will vary based on which company you use, but a quick Google search will populate plenty of junk removal companies near you. Most of these places use price quotes, so you’ll have to call or email to see what the actual cost will be. You can usually find a company that will come right to your house and pick up your mattress, so you won’t have to worry about getting it out of the house. Most companies will do their best to dispose of your mattress in an environmentally-friendly way, but you’ll have to check with whoever you use about what their recycling and disposal policies are.

You can also use TaskRabbit or similar services to see if an independent contractor is available to remove your mattress.

Donate Your Old Mattress

If there’s nothing wrong with your mattress — meaning it’s clean and doesn’t have bugs or structural damage — you can try to donate it to a local charity or a national organization like Habitat for Humanity. Before you take your mattress anywhere, call and check if that organization accepts mattresses. If they do, you can drop it off or inquire if they do curbside pickup.