How to Dispose of a Mattress in 2021
After making a big investment in your mattress, no one wants to part with it prematurely. How then do you know if your mattress’s life cycle is up? Mattresses typically last for around 7 to 10 years, so if you’ve had yours for this long, you’ll want to inspect it for wear and tear.
Before jumping the gun and tossing a perfectly good mattress away, inspect it for obvious signs of decay. Mattresses that have been lightly used and kept in good condition will last longer than ones that have been used by many different people and weren’t properly maintained.
Before Getting Rid of Your Old Mattress
So, you’ve decided it is time to get rid of your mattress. What are your options?
Check your warranty. There is a possibility that your mattress’s warranty has not expired yet. If so, check if your warranty covers both replacement and removal before you make unnecessary arrangements.
Know the law. Some states have well-implemented recycling programs and may even require companies to cover the cost of removal. These states often also have laws that strictly penalize improper recycling. You also may just want to avoid disrupting your city’s recycling flow.
Take precautions. If your state does have laws on the books about improper recycling methods, then you could face steep fines or even legal action. Knowledge is power.
Signs To Know When Your Mattress Needs Changing
It may be time to part with your mattress if you notice signs of:
- Sagging or lumpiness
- Broken coils
- Springs poking through
- Fabric bunching
- Waking up with aches and pains
- Allergies not brought about by other causes
- Decrease in comfortability
Methods of Disposal - Free & Non-Free Ways
There are 6 main methods of disposal, ranging from free to a small fee.
Recycling: Don’t contribute to the problem of improper recycling. According to Habitat for Humanity, over 20 million mattresses end up in landfills or incinerators every year. That’s enough mattresses to extend across the entire globe. This happens despite 85% of all mattress materials being fully recyclable.
If you are environmentally conscious, recycling is the best option. This is because even when you donate a mattress or have a company pick it up for you, you cannot guarantee where it will end up at the end of its lifecycle.
Given the fact that mattresses take over 10 years to decompose and take up a bunch of unnecessary space, many landfills won’t accept them. Find out if there is a mattress recycling program in your city. Typically, they send someone to pick it up for you for a small fee.
Donation: There are plenty of people in need of a mattress who may not be able to afford it. Reach out to family or friends and see if they’ll take it off your hands for you. There are charities, thrift stores, and church programs that could make use of it.
Call up your local thrift store and ask if they’ll accept used mattresses. If you have no luck finding a charity or friend who will take your mattress off your hand, you could try listing it on Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist for free. These are good ways of how to get rid of a mattress for free.
Goodwill accepts used mattresses if they are in good condition. Laws are in place preventing the donation of mattresses with rips or stains, as people in need can’t do much with unsanitary mattresses. Make sure to call your local Goodwill to make sure they have space for it.
Junk Removal: Some towns offer large trash pickups for free, but most have laws against leaving your mattress for the trash collectors. Contact a junk removal service that will pick up your old mattress for a fee. Using this method, you accept that it may end up in a landfill.
Landfill: This is not an environmentally-conscious option and it will typically cost you. Mattresses take up a lot of space and don’t break down easily, according to The Seattle Times. As a result, most landfills have increased their fees on mattress drop-offs, in an attempt to discourage it.
DIY: Avoid fees and cut out the middleman by breaking down your mattress yourself. Most of the individual parts can be separately recycled; throw the rest in the trash. Once separated, take the metal to a metal collector.
Another DIY option is to keep certain parts of the mattress and repurpose them for other uses. For example, you can use coils as a support system for seedlings in a home garden. Consumer Affairs recommends repurposing springs for outdoor art projects and wine racks.
How to Prolong the Lifespan of Your Mattress
While you should inspect your mattress after around 7 years of use to make sure it is still in good condition, Business Insider advises taking these steps to extend the life of your mattress.
Use a mattress protector: This protects your mattress from dirt and stains. It also provides a barrier between your mattress, making it less likely for bugs to burrow inside of it.
Continually rotate your mattress: You should be rotating your mattress every 3 to 6 months. This prevents premature sagging and can even out the natural wear and tear your mattress will endure from everyday use.
Vacuum: You should vacuum regularly to ensure that your mattress is clean. A mattress free of dirt and crumbs is more sanitary and will last longer than one covered in grime.
Wrap when transporting: On the off chance you have to travel with your mattress, you should cover it with plastic wrapping. You do not want to expose your mattress to contaminants on the way to its final destination.
The Final Verdict
Mattresses last for 7 to 10 years, so it is a good idea to check up on them after 7 years of use. Any other signs of wear and tear, such as sagginess, rips, or waking up with pains and feeling restless may also signify that it’s time for a new mattress.
There are an array of different disposal options, such as recycling, donating, or trash removal. You can also get creative by taking apart and recycling your mattress yourself or repurposing it for other uses.
Ultimately, ensuring you get the most of your mattress is up to you. Keeping it in good condition by maintaining cleanliness, continually rotating it, and wrapping it for transport, will ensure that you don’t depart with your mattress too soon.
Even when it is time to say goodbye, it’s important to take state laws, your environmental footprint, and others in need into account. You can use Earth 911 to find out if there’s a local recycling facility near you.
He is an Engineer, designer and jogging enthusiast. His team of product testers and reviewers are as passionate as he is about sleep improvement and are on a collective mission to reveal to you only the best sleep solutions and products.