How to dispose of a mattress: Everything you need to know

Got an old mattress that needs shifting? Here’s how to dispose of it pronto.

Couple removing mattress: how to dispose of a mattress

by Eleanor Weaver |

If you’ve recently bought yourself a new mattress, it can be difficult to know what to do with the old one. And no doubt, you’ll want to get rid of it ASAP to save it from taking up valuable space in your home (trust us, we’ve been there). Luckily, there are plenty of easy options when it comes to mattress disposal so you can get rid of your old mattress quickly and efficiently.

Related: The best mattresses to buy

To save you the hassle, we’ve included everything here you could possibly need to know about mattress disposal, including if it’s time to consider giving up your current one, so you can get on and enjoy your brand-new, dreamy mattress to the max.

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Do I need to dispose of my mattress?

Generally speaking, your mattress should be replaced every six to eight years. The Sleep Council recommends that you replace your mattress every seven years, as this means it's had over 20,000 hours of wear and tear, playing host to all the fluid and skin cells we lose while sleeping.

However, this isn’t necessarily a reason alone to get a replacement. If you’re wondering if it’s time for a change, here are some other tell-tale signs to look out for that’ll help you work out if it’s time to get a new one:

• It’s making more noise than usual, most common in spring mattresses

• It’s noticeably saggy

• There’s visible damage

• You can feel the coils through the top of the mattress

• The mattress is uneven, with lumps or hammocking

• If you suffer from allergies, you may find these worsen

• There are changes to your sleep quality

You may find you’re having a hard time getting comfortable, wake up feeling stiff and achy, or in fact sleep better when not in your own bed.

If this is the case, now’s the time to take the plunge and invest in a new mattress that’ll not only feel luxurious in comparison, but do you sleep health and hygiene a world of good.

Read next: Studio by Silentnight Memory Hybrid Mattress: 60-second review

How do I dispose of a mattress in the UK?

Donating your mattress

Donations for charity
©Getty Images

If your mattress is in good condition, one of the easiest ways to dispose of your mattress is to give it to charity. Not only does this prevent your mattress from ending up in landfill, but it’ll help a person in need - we all know mattresses can be pretty expensive and not affordable for many.

You can donate your mattress if:

• It is free from stains, odours, infestations, and damage

• The fire label is attached - it is a legal requirement that all upholstered items have this to meet British safety standards in order to be accepted as a donation

• It is in a good, clean condition and fit for reuse

Of course, make sure to check the requirements with your chosen charity before you organise a donation.

UK non-profits that take mattresses:

British Heart Foundation

The Salvation Army Donation Centres

The British Red Cross

Stella’s Voice UK

Emmaus

The Free Cycle Network

Mustard Tree

The Reuse Network

Selling your mattress

Selling mattress
©Getty Images

Alternatively, if your mattress is in good nick, you may want to consider selling you mattress to offset the cost of your new one.

Here are some top tips for selling your mattress online:

• Make sure it’s in a good condition and you fully clean and sanitise your mattress before selling it on.

• Make sure your mattress meets legal requirements – as with a donation, your mattress needs to retain its fire label.

• Make sure to check the specific rules of condition and regulations for your chosen site. For example, Ebay does not allow products that are banned, recalled, or dangerous to the buyer.

• Make sure to gather all the information on the product, including brand, model, age, size etc., and a link to the original retail listing if available.

• Make sure to take high quality photos and provide an honest description – it’s prohibited to claim that a bed is new when it’s not.

Related: The best cheap mattress to get a great night's sleep

It’s worth noting that if your mattress is over eight years old and has been used for that length of time, it’s unlikely to sell as it’ll be reaching the end of its lifespan. Some more well-know, reputable brands will sell better than others – you can check how other sellers have priced their mattresses, but you can expect to sell your mattress for about 20-30% of the original price.

Sites in the UK for selling your mattress:

Gumtree

Facebook Marketplace

Ebay

Preloved

Shpock

Recycling your mattress

Mattress recycling
©Getty Images

If your mattress isn’t fit to be sold or donated, you can take it to your local recycling centre where the individual components can be recycled into new products.

You can enter your postcode here to find out your nearest recycling centres, their opening times, directions, and what materials can be recycled there. If you are taking your mattress to your local recycling centre yourself, you’ll need to make sure your car is big enough to transport it – you can’t take items in by foot (we’d wish you luck trying to carry a mattress from home!) and you need a permit to use a van or trailer.

Don’t have a car or one large enough for your mattress? Your local council may offer a bulky waste collection service which you can arrange for a cost via your local gov website.

Alternatively, you can arrange a collection via an independent mattress recycling service:

RecycleZone

The Mattress Recycling People

AnyJunk

Use a mattress company’s disposal service

Mattress removal service
©Getty Images

Your final eco-responsible option is to arrange your old mattress to be collected when your new one is delivered – simple as that! Many companies now offer this service and it means you can efficiently swap between your new and old mattress, with your old one being removed and responsibly recycled.

Before collection, make sure the item is reasonably hygienic, it’s stripped of an linen, and it’s easy to access.

Companies that offer old mattress collection:

Dreams

John Lewis

Next

Argos

Furniture Village

Bensons for Beds

Emma

Eve Sleep

Simba

Can I just throw out my old mattress?

Mattress in skip
©Getty Images

Technically, yes, but this should be your last resort if it’s not possible for you to donate or recycle your mattress.

If so, you should make sure to dispose of it legally – do not chuck it in someone else’s skip, fly-tip, or burn it. Not only will it be hard to control but dangerous for you and the environment.

If you don’t mind sending your mattress to a landfill, put it in a skip of your own or take it to a tip for disposal.

Eleanor Weaver is a Commercial Content Writer for titles such as Yours, What’s The Best, Modern Gardens, and Mother&Baby.

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