How to dispose of an old mattress
Buying a new mattress is a wonderful event. Especially when you find that your old mattress was pretty much gone and your best sleep is ahead of you.
However, you have a cuboid puzzle: the disposal of the mattress. The question of how to get rid of your old mattress raises many questions. For example, can you bring a mattress to the top? Can you leave it on the street Is it okay to have an unusual bonfire night celebration? (The answers to two of these questions should be self-explanatory, but please do not leave your mattress on the side of the road or set it on fire.)
Contrary to popular belief, old mattresses do not feature in global productions of The Princess And The Pea. Disposal of mattresses can result in large, multi-material items ending up in a landfill. Trash is not good in any form, but mattresses are really large pieces of trash so getting this right is important.
Because of this, we looked for the best ways to dispose of an old mattress. All of these are easy for you to follow and are good for the environment too.
READ MORE: Best Mattress: Our selection of the best memory foam, pocket spring, hybrid and budget mattresses
TO UPDATE: Unsurprisingly, UK coronavirus regulations have had a significant impact on how easy it is to dispose of your mattress. While many of the services described in this article are still running under Covid-safe rules, some retailers like Ikea and Simba have stopped their pick-up services. You can always find more information on Covid guidelines on the retailer’s website.
The article continues below.
How to Dispose of an Old Mattress: Quick Links
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Mattress Disposal: Everything You Need to Know
Are mattresses recyclable?
Yes! It is possible to recycle 100% of the components in a mattress. Recycling plants can be broken down into their individual parts and passed on to an industry that can use them.
Can I give away my old mattress?
If you believe that your mattress is no longer good enough for yourself, it is unlikely that someone else can sleep well or healthily on it. As a guide, the National Sleep Council suggests changing the mattress every seven years.
This means that giving a mattress to your children or donating it to a charity shop is an inexpensive way to deal with disposal. However, this is not necessarily the best idea.
Can I take my mattress to the top?
If all else fails, you can take your old mattress to the bin for personal disposal. However, if you can’t find a good recycling facility, disposing of your mattress at the top means it will likely end up in a landfill (which we don’t recommend given its environmental impact).
If you just throw it away, you might be charged a fee. So read on as we explore other, more environmentally conscious ways to dispose of your mattress.
How can I have my mattress picked up free of charge?
There are no ideal worlds, which is why you shouldn’t be surprised to learn that it is difficult to find someone to collect your mattress for free.
However, it is not impossible. Some charities, like the British Heart Foundation, offer to collect your old mattress (as well as bed frames, divans, and bedroom furniture) from you for free. Remember that the mattress must be in a clean, usable condition with no damage or stains. Given that you get rid of it first, it may not do so.
An alternative charity route is to arrange a pickup from Emmaus. This charity usually collects for free, but their website is well worth checking out. Your mattress will then be used as shelter for those Emmaus tries to avoid substance abuse or violence. The mattress must therefore be clean and in good condition.
Can I pay a company to dispose of my mattress?
Most mattress retailers go beyond simply providing a mattress and offer to collect your old bedfellow when his replacement is delivered. Here’s a quick rundown of what the top mattress manufacturers / retailers are currently offering in terms of collection and recycling:
Emma offers a mattress removal service for £ 35. Depending on the condition of the mattress, it will be donated to a partner charity (Debra, Shelter or The British Heart Foundation), recycled or sold on eBay as an “Emma Refurbished” product. Simply click on the “Remove old mattress” option at checkout to arrange a collection date (note that this must be different from the delivery date).
Emma mattress removal
Just like Emma, Dreams offers a pick-up service for mattresses ready for new pasture. You will need to prepackage your mattress for collection, but the Dreams website has plenty of details and guides you through the whole process. This service costs £ 30 for a single mattress (plus bed frames, divan bases and cots), £ 40 for a double bed and £ 45 for a king or superking. And you can rest assured that your old mattress is in safe hands with Dreams, who will dismantle the mattress and ensure that every component is properly recycled.
Dreams mattress disposal
Spoiler alert: most retailers offer the same type of service. Ikea is no exception and offers its customers the option of paying for mattress recycling at the checkout. It also offers by far the best option for collecting mattresses for just £ 20 (with a new one delivered). It’s a bargain!
Note that Ikea has suspended its collection service for the time being due to coronavirus restrictions.
Disposal of the Ikea mattress
Simba offers a moving service for £ 40 at the time of delivery (or £ 50 for an express service within two days) provided the mattress is in reasonable condition.
Unfortunately, Simba also had to stop its recording service due to the coronavirus. Please visit the brand’s Covid-19 update page for more information.
Simba mattress disposal
It costs £ 40 to use Otty’s mattress collection service which isn’t all that bad. The mattresses must be removed from the bed frame for the courier team to arrange pickup. Otty says the mattresses are recycled within a few days.
Otty mattress disposal
John Lewis charges £ 30 for his mattress collection service. The retailer says they will “responsibly” dispose of your old mattress. While this is interpretable, there is no denying the reasonable cost of this service.
John Lewis mattress disposal
When you buy a mattress through Mattress Online, you have the option of having your old mattress picked up upon delivery. Mattress Online is very proud of its recycling initiative in partnership with The Furniture Recycling Group, which ensures mattress components are segregated and distributed to industries that can benefit from the raw materials. The service costs £ 25, making it one of the cheaper options on this list.
In response to the coronavirus pandemic, some additional safety precautions have been taken. The Mattress Online pick-up service is still running, but you must leave your old mattress at your door on the day of delivery (unless you specifically requested delivery for two). More information can be found here.
Mattress online mattress disposal
Argos competes with Ikea for the cheapest mattress removal service and takes your old mattress for £ 20. You’ll need to buy a new one to use this service, as does every option on this list. Although Argos does not define the process very clearly, it does say that “a trusted recycling partner” will collect and deconstruct the mattress, with over 95% of the material being reused.
Disposal of the Argos mattress
Pay a waste company
If you really want to know where your mattress is going – and when – hire the services of a waste disposal company. It just requires a web search with location settings enabled to find the mattress collection and disposal company closest to you.
Most of the time, these companies claim that they recycle and offer great customer service and flexibility. So, if you want, you can have your mattress picked up and sent to a location you are happy with, but for a fee.
Collection of the Council
The municipal councils also offer a mattress collection and disposal service. Search Gov.uk to see what service your community offers. Most councils allow residents to choose an appropriate pickup day and arrange for other large items to be picked up at the same time. The service is not included in your council tax so you will have to pay a separate fee. It is best to send your local authority a quick email to see how the mattress will be disposed of. Ours confirmed that bulk collections are actually being recycled, which makes us feel better about the fee.