Mattress disposal: how should you get rid of your old mattress?

Mattress disposal is tricky. You’ve swapped it for a supportive new design, but how to get rid of the bulky old mattress? Follow our guide to find out

Mattress disposal: silentnight latex mattress lifestyle image
(Image credit: Amazon)

Mattress disposal is (literally) no small matter. Leaving something this sizeable out for the refuse collectors isn’t an option. You might be keen to keep it out of landfill, too. 

So, if you've bought yourself a brand new mattress (no doubt, from our list of the best mattresses), what is the right way to get rid of it? The list of options will depend on the condition of the mattress. If it hasn’t gone beyond its useful lifetime – it simply wasn’t the right design for you – you’ll have more choices. Use our expert guide to find the best mattress disposal strategy.

Get your new mattress supplier to take it away

Depending on where you’ve decided to buy the new mattress, you might be able to get the store to take the old one away. The company may take advantage of a specialist recycling service for mattresses. John Lewis, for example, works with the TFR Group, which diverts 100 per cent of the mattresses it processes from landfill.

Meanwhile, if you’re buying a new Ikea mattress, the company can take away the old one. It will be given to a local charity partner who will in turn donate it to someone in need or, if this is not possible, disassemble and recycle it in an environmentally responsible way, the company says.

Other companies that will take the old mattress off your hands when you swap to one of theirs include Casper and Emma

Bear in mind that there may be a charge for taking away your old mattress even though you’ve bought a new one from that company, so always check the T&Cs first.

Dispose of an old mattress yourself

If the store where you’ve bought a new mattress doesn’t offer removal for the old one, you might be able to arrange disposal yourself. Be wary that it’s not just disposal but recycling you’re arranging when that’s your preference.

Here, we look at some of the options:

1. Mattress removal by the council

You could take a look at the services available from your local council. Find out about waste collections in your area by inputting your postcode into the UK government’s site, or going straight to the local authority’s website. However, be aware that you're likely to be charged for this service – and that while some local councils do recycle old mattresses, many don't and they'll end up in landfill.

So, if what happens to the mattress next concerns you, be aware that you can’t assume it will be recycled. It could, for example, be shredded and used with other waste to generate electricity, or it might still end up in landfill. Where it’s not made clear on your local authority’s site, you’ll need to ask.

2. Take the mattress to the tip

You’ll have to be able to fit the mattress into a car, of course, to get it to the local waste centre. Mattress too big to squash in or don’t have a car? You might be back to contacting your local council to arrange collection, which as we've said above is likely to incur a charge.

3. Use a mattress recycling service

There’s also the option to contact a mattress recycling service, such as CollectYourOldBed.com, and arrange for it to take yours. Some of these services are free; others will levy a charge, depending on where you live, so always check first.

4. Freecycle: Donate your old mattress

For a mattress that’s in good nick, there’s the opportunity to find it a new home yourself. Freecycle and you’ll keep it out of landfill. Finding someone who needs a mattress in your local community means it won’t have to be hauled too far either.

5. British Heart Foundation: give an old mattress to charity

Like the idea of giving it to a charity? The British Heart Foundation accepts mattresses for its furniture shops if they’re in good clean condition with no rips, tears or stains. It’s important that the mattress still has its fire label referring to BS 7177 in place. If your mattress is up to scratch, book the free collection. 

Thinking Salvation Army mattress donation? Unfortunately, the charity isn’t currently in a position to accept them.

6. Donate the mattress to a low income family

You could also take a look at the Furniture Donation Network if you want to contribute to charity. Items it collects are given to low-income families, or sold to help fund its social welfare objectives. Once again, your mattress will need to have its fire label sewn in, and be in very good or excellent condition. If you’re not sure yours qualifies, upload a photo to the site and fill out the form to check. 

It’s also worth approaching local charities so long as the mattress has the appropriate fire label and is in great shape.

7. Sell the mattress

Advertising a good mattress yourself is an option, too, of course. Try Preloved, Gumtree or eBay to sell it secondhand.

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