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How to Dispose of a Mattress

Last updated: April 2024

How to dispose of a mattress

How to Dispose of a Mattress

When it comes to replacing your bed, it can be tricky knowing how to dispose of a mattress. The 4 best methods for mattress disposal in the UK include selling your mattress, recycling your mattress, donating your mattress to charity or replacing it using a company that offer a disposal service.

How to dispose of an old mattress?

If you're ready to purchase a new mattress, you're probably considering ways to dispose of your old mattress. There are various methods to discard your mattress that are both cost-efficient and eco-friendly.

Can you take mattresses to the tip?

Although it might seem the easiest solution to break up your mattress into individual components and take it to the tip, this is not advised. It contributes to the UK's landfill problem and can sometimes have legal consequences. Instead, consider more responsible alternatives for disposing of your used mattress.

Selling your mattress

An obvious solution when it comes to old mattress disposal is to sell your mattress if it’s in good condition. Sites like Gumtree, Preloved, Ebay and Shpock are good places to start. If in doubt, price your mattress at about 20% or 30% of the original price to guarantee a sale.

Donating your mattress to charity

If your mattress is in good condition, one of the easiest disposal methods is to donate it to charity. This way you know that your mattress is going to someone in need rather than landfill. Contact your local charity shop to check whether they accept and sell mattresses. Many charities even offer free collection if you are unable to bring the mattress to the store yourself. Popular charities that collect your items include British Heart Foundation, Red Cross, and the Salvation Army.

Recycling your mattress

Although you can't easily throw away your mattress, your local recycling centre will most likely take it off your hands. However, do a little research in advance. Your local council's website will list your nearest recycling centres and what materials they do or don't accept.

Bear in mind that you'll need a car big enough to fit a mattress inside to transport it to the centre. You cannot take waste into recycling centres by foot. If you don't have transport big enough to fit a mattress, you can request that it is collected by the council for mattress recycling. Most councils charge around £10-£20 to pick up bulky items but this will differ depending on which city you live in. You can request council collect via your local website.

How is a mattress recycled?

At a recycling centre, the materials of your mattress can be broken down into individual compo-nents and made into new products. The mattress will be either shredded or stripped and the recyclable materials will be extracted.
Take a look at the process from the UTEC mattress recycling centre in Massachusetts, USA.

Which parts of the mattress can be recycled?

Mattresses are composed of several materials that can be recycled.

  • Wadding: This is another name for mattress fillings, and this can be recycled for cushions, bedding and new mattresses themselves!
  • Springs: These can be melted and then used as construction materials.
  • Mattress covering: The mattress covering can be tricky to recycle. However, when it's mixed with Kevlar, it can be made into body armour.
  • Foam: This can be used as insulation for flooring underlay.

Why should you recycle your mattress?

Whilst it's easy to think 'out of sight, out of mind', your mattress can do so much more if you re-cycle it rather than throw it away. As mentioned, mattresses take up a lot of space in landfill sites and can create fire hazards. Meanwhile, recycled mattresses use existing materials to make new products, using less energy and fewer resources. The less that goes to landfill, the better it is for our environment and the future of our planet.

Dreams delivery van

Using a mattress company’s disposal service

Finally, the most efficient way to get rid of your old mattress is to leave it in the hands of the company you are buying a new mattress from. For example, at Dreams we offer an additional recycling service to collect your old bed or mattress directly from your home when we deliver your new one. Your mattress then goes on to be recycled at our own specialised bed and mattress recycling centre.

Are you unsure whether it's really time to part with your mattress? Our Replace Every 8 mantra lets you know when it’s time to get rid of your mattress. And, if you think it's time for a new one, take a look at our full range of mattresses.

How not to dispose of an old mattress

Street dumping

Leaving a mattress on a street or in a public area is not just unsightly, it's also illegal. Not only does it degrade the environment, but it can also lead you to being fined and penalised.

Burning mattresses

Once your mattress is burning, it can be difficult to control and can cause a hazard. Also, the chemicals that are released can be harmful for you and the environment.

Renting a skip

Hiring a skip is not an environmentally friendly option as it can contributes to land fill issues. If you can't get rid of the mattress yourself, there are lots of options to organise a pick-up by an-other recycling service.

More on our recycling