How to dispose of a mattress

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How to dispose of a mattress

    1. Dispose of a mattress by donating it.

The best way to dispose of a mattress is to donate it to charity. There’s always going to be someone, out there, who will appreciate the chance of a replacement mattress.

    1. A mattress can be collected by the local waste authority

Tell your local waste collection service that you want to dispose of a mattress. Expect for there to be a charge for the collection but at least it will get it out of your way. If you’re keen to have things recycled and made use of, this may not be for you. After it’s been collected, it will be up to the local council to put their interpretation to ‘how to dispose of a mattress’. They may do something useful with it or they may just send it to landfill.

    1. Dispose of a mattress by taking it to a rubbish tip

This will be an option if you have or can acquire a vehicle that’s big enough to transport such a bulky item. A van would be the ideal vehicle for carrying a mattress. If you’re planning on loading a mattress onto the roof-rack of a car, take extra care to ensure that you’ve got it well roped down. 

Nothing will attract the attention of the traffic-police more than a mattress on the roof of a car when it’s trying to migrate itself down to one side or the rear of the car as it’s moving along.

It may be possible to roll up a mattress and tie it up like a Swiss-roll and load it into a suitably big-enough vehicle. This is something that you may want to attempt out of sight. You won’t want to provide entertainment for others as you manage to roll up the mattress, or not, and then proceed to fail to insert it into the ever-decreasing space that you thought you had in your car.


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    1. Dispose of a mattress by selling it

Anything of value can be sold. A mattress that’s in good-enough condition will sell. For this you can try the old favourites of Ebay or Gumtree. There are others, Preloved and Shpock are places where things can be sold and people go and look for a bargain.

You will need to take photos of the mattress that you intend to sell that show it in its true condition. When it comes to setting a price for a mattress, take a look at what prices others are asking for, for their mattresses, as a guide. If there’s nothing to go by, the advice that I’ve been getting, regarding these matters, is to pitch a price that is about 30% of the price you paid for the mattress when it was new.

The buyer of the mattress will, in most cases, have to collect. They will need to visit you with a big enough vehicle that will take a mattress and they will probably appreciate assistants with loading.


    1. Find a company that will dispose of a mattress

One of the simplest ways you can dispose of a mattress is to buy a new mattress from a company that will take away and dispose of the old mattress as part of the deal for buying new. A forward-looking mattress company that does this is They supply a range of high-quality bedroom furniture including mattresses. know how to dispose of a mattress

While you enjoy the comfort of one of their new mattresses, they will take your old mattress and put it through their recycling program at their own ‘specialised bed and mattress recycling centre’.

How to get the best out of a mattress

You only need to think about how to dispose of a mattress when your mattress isn’t providing the comfort that you had when it was new. Your mattress is used every night and so, you can expect that, over time, there will be deterioration. 

However, there are things that you can do, or not do, that will prolong its life and put off the day when you actually need to dispose of a mattress.


    • Don’t use your mattress like a trampoline
    • Apply a mattress-protector to prevent stains on the surface of your mattress.
    • Allow your mattress to breathe by removing covers during the daytime.
    • If spills happen, use warm soapy water to remove as much as you can from the mattress
    • Wash bed linen at least every 2 weeks to keep your mattress fresh
    • Turn your mattress over regularly if the instructions on the mattress-label advise it.

Mattress rotation

Whether you need to rotate or turn a mattress will depend on which type of mattress you buy. If you buy a mattress that has a label on it stating ‘Single-Sided’ or ‘Rotate Regularly’, you need to rotate it from head to toe once a week for about three months. From then on, rotate once a month.

On a double-sided mattress you will see a label stating ‘Double-Sided’ or ‘Turn Over Regularly’. These types of mattress need to be turned over once a week for the first three months. Thereafter, turning over once a month will be enough.

Turning or rotating a mattress will help to prolong its life by maintaining an even settling of the soft material within it. The makers will tell you that you need to have two people on-hand to turn a mattress because there’s a risk that it may fall over and cause damage if attempting to manoeuvre by one person. The handles that are conveniently positioned on the side edges of a mattress are not there to be used for lifting or carrying. You can only use them to help rotate a flat-placed mattress and slide it to its intended resting position.

Cleaning a mattress

It is possible to clean a mattress if there has been a spill but it must be cleaned as quickly as possible using warm, soapy water applied by a cloth. Manufacturers suggest using a soft brush to remove dust and dry bits from a mattress but they don’t recommend using a vacuum cleaner or chemical cleaning agents.

It’s strongly advised to fit a mattress protector to a new mattress. This will prevent spills of anything getting through which would then be difficult to remove.

Keep a mattress aired by rolling away the covers to allow moisture to come away and any odours to escape.

What can you do about a sagging mattress?

Mattresses age and when they do, they tend to sag. When your mattress starts to show signs of sagging, this is when you need to think about replacing it. A firm mattress is important to maintain a good alignment of your spine. A firm mattress also tends to be more comfortable, giving you a good night’s sleep. 

If you notice signs of sagging, you can place sheets of wooden board under the middle of the mattress as a temporary solution. Just don’t allow it to become a permanent fixture. Manufacturers suggest that, on average, we need to replace a mattress about every eight years.

Why you shouldn’t dispose of a mattress by burning

Never dispose of a mattress by burning it. The rubber compounds in a mattress can lead to a ferocity of fire that may get out of control. The components of a mattress will burn but they need to be burned at a high-enough temperature to ensure complete oxidation. 

High-temperature burning will remove the risk of half-burned fumes from escaping. Low temperature burning may pollute the local area with potentially toxic fumes. You risk this happening if you try to burn an old mattress on a smouldering bonfire in the back garden.

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