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Care Tips

How To Dispose of a Mattress [5 Easy Options]

    Last Updated
    August 24, 2023
    min read

    To dispose of a mattress, you can: donate it, recycle it, sell it, have someone pick it up, or dump it. Most states have free and affordable services such as charities, online marketplaces, groups, and city programs. You should research local options and state regulations before making a final plan.

    Out with the old, in with the new!

    Before you can enjoy a comfy new mattress, the old one must be disposed of. Mattress disposal is a common concern, but there are many ways to get the job done. In the United States alone, nearly 18.2 million mattresses are thrown away yearly.

    Thankfully, this shouldn’t be a regular activity within your home. Most mattresses last up to 10 years, depending on the quality and care taken for them. Eventually, they all give out, so knowing how to dispose of a mattress properly is important. 

    There’s more than one way to dispose of a mattress. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of some of the best methods. Follow along to discover the most common options for disposing of your mattress.

    Five ways to dispose of a mattress, including donation, recycling, selling, look into mattress removal companies, and taking it to a dump.

    1. Donate It

    Though not always possible, donating your mattress can help you and others simultaneously. Depending on where you live, many charities and shelters will accept mattress donations. Be sure to research available donation centers in your areas as different options have different criteria. For example, the Salvation Army no longer accepts furniture donations, and Goodwill only accepts mattresses at certain locations, such as Goodwill of Silicon Valley

    Mattresses also need to be in good enough condition for donation. Avoid donating a sagging, worn-out mattress. If it’s far past being useful for you, odds are it won’t be of much use for the charity. Use the list below to check your mattress for donation eligibility.

    Before donating your mattress, check for: 

    1. Mold
    2. Bed bugs
    3. Stains
    4. Odor
    5. Broken parts

    Most charities and shelters have guidelines for what types of mattresses they can accept. To save yourself any hassle, check the charity’s local website or call before you drop off a mattress.

    Where Can I Donate a Mattress? 

    Not all charities accept mattress donations. Be sure to check in with the local charity branch before attempting to donate. Here are a few places that welcome mattress donations:

    • Goodwill Industries (select locations): A non-profit organization that will take mattress donations at select locations. You can find a donation center near you using the store locator on their website. You can schedule a drop-off or pick-up service at most Goodwill locations.
    • Furniture Bank Association: Please note, they don’t accept king-size or larger mattresses. You can find a location near you through their donation center locator. The Furniture Bank Association also offers drop-off or pick-up services at most of its locations.
    • United Way: Donations to United Way go to support people to live healthier lives worldwide. Only drop-off services are available at United Way centers. Check your local listings for more information on mattress donations.
    • Homeless Shelters: Check your local homeless shelters to see if they are currently accepting mattress donations. A quick internet search can help you contact a shelter near you.
    • Local Churches: Many local churches accept donations to support their communities. You can contact churches near you to find out if they accept mattress donations.
    • Domestic Violence Shelters: Domestic violence shelters often need supplies and donations like mattresses. Conduct a simple internet search for shelters near you, then contact them to see if they have any needs for mattresses.
    • Facebook Yard Sale Groups: Check your local yard sale and community groups on Facebook to donate your mattress. Many people look to these groups to either donate or accept donations.

    Donating your mattress is just one option. If local charities can’t accept your mattress or if it’s past donation-worthy quality, you can always recycle it. 

    2. Recycle It

    Finding ways to be eco-friendly is always preferred, and recycling your mattress is a way to do just that. Most states have recycling facilities that allow you to recycle many items. Search for any local recycling facilities near you on the internet and contact them to see if they accept mattresses.

    Where Can I Recycle a Mattress? 

    There are several recycling services available to help you recycle your mattress.

    • Local Recycling Services: Not all recycling facilities accept mattresses, but odds are your local area has one location that does. Search local facilities online, or call to find out your options for recycling.
    • Local City Offices: Your local city office may take your mattress as a donation or for recycling if available. You can contact your local city building to see what options are available for disposing of your mattress.
    • Bye Bye Mattress: This program recycles mattresses into useful items to keep communities clean. Although they aren’t available in every state, you can use their store locator to find a facility near you.
    • Earth911: Earth911 recycles mattresses and a variety of other items. They’re considered the largest recycling database in the U.S. You can find Earth911 recycling services near you with their locator.

    Recycling is a great option for disposing of worn-out mattresses and old pillows. But if your mattress is still in good condition, you might want to consider selling it.

    3. Sell It

    Selling your mattress online is easier than ever. Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, and other online services make the process painless. Simply create a listing, wait for the best offer, and earn extra cash to go toward the purchase of a new one.

    If you’re not interested in earning extra money, you can use the same online services to give your mattress away for “free pickup.” This can save you the cost of removing it, which is oftentimes the primary concern for those disposing of their mattress.

    For safety and peace of mind, follow guidelines for online marketplaces. Craigslist and Facebook have guides to ensure your experience is safe and enjoyable for all parties.

    4. Have Someone Pick It Up

    In some areas, you can get your mattress picked up through local community initiatives. During these events, you can leave your reusable items outside for pick-up in your community. Check local community websites to find reuse, pickup, or donation days.

    Ready to buy a new mattress? Many retailers are happy to pick up your old mattress when you buy a new one. For example, Purple can offer free mattress removal with our in-home setup deliveries when you purchase a Restore™ or Rejuvenate™ mattress.

    5. Take It to a Dump

    We only recommend throwing away your mattress as a last resort. Throwing away your mattress takes a toll on the environment, and many cities and states will fine you if you don’t properly discard your mattress. Always check with your local and state laws before discarding your old mattress.

    Not every mattress will be in good enough shape to sell or donate. When there are no recycling programs near you and you’ve run out of options, there are plenty of ways to throw out a mattress.

    Where Can I Throw Out a Mattress? 

    Depending on where you live, it might not be possible to leave a mattress out for trash pickup. Check your city’s website for rules and regulations for disposing of large items. Official city websites can offer several suggestions, but we also have a list of options we recommend.

    • Waste disposal service: Your local waste disposal service company can be a great source of information. They must follow local and state laws, so contact them for any advice or services they offer. It’s easy to search. Just type in [your city] + “waste disposal service.”
    • Local city dumps: Your local city dump is a good option if you have a vehicle that can fit a mattress. Call ahead to schedule an appointment if necessary, and follow all transportation and disposal rules.
    • LoadUp: LoadUp is a mattress disposal company that can pick up and dispose of your mattress for a fee. Simply schedule an appointment, and they will take care of the rest. Visit their website for rates and available services.
    • 1-800-Got-Junk: 1-800-Got-Junk also offers junk disposal services, including mattress disposal. Just schedule an appointment online or on the phone, and they will dispose of your mattress for a fee. Check their website for rates and availability.
    • Purple can help: When you select an in-home setup with your new Purple mattress, we remove your old mattress at the time of delivery. We know mattresses inside and out — trust that we’ll dispose of your mattress properly every time.

    At Purple, we believe in offering you the best sleep possible. And that includes doing everything to ensure you don’t lose sleep over old mattress disposal. Now that you’ve learned the methods, it’s time to get your old mattress out the door.

    Before disposing a mattress, you should create a plan, check your warranty, and research your state laws.

    What to Do Before Disposing of Your Mattress

    Depending on your method of choice, there are several steps involved with each option that you should keep in mind prior to beginning the mattress disposal process. Mattress disposal involves managing disposal services and potentially renting a larger vehicle to name only a few. Use our suggestions below to think ahead and avoid unnecessary problems.

    Create a Plan

    Research the methods above for mattress disposal in order to find the option best suited for you. The method you decide upon will depend on your mattress, your budget, and where you live. Once you have your method, you can plan for each step.

    Example plan for donating your mattress:

    1. Inspect the mattress (check for bugs, mold, etc.).
    2. Make space in your vehicle (lower or remove extra seats).
    3. Ensure adequate fuel within the vehicle.
    4. Lift the mattress into the vehicle with a friend.
    5. Call donation drop-off before leaving.
    6. Download the directions.
    7. Drive to the drop-off location.
    8. Tidy your room before the new mattress arrives.

    You don’t need an overly complicated or detailed plan. It just needs to keep you organized and on schedule. Having a point of reference can give you confidence during a busy day.

    Check Warranty

    Always check your mattress company’s warranty before you dispose of your old mattress. You might be pleasantly surprised that it is still under warranty. Our Purple mattresses have a limited 10-year warranty to ensure you get the most out of your mattress and sleep your best.

    Research State Policies for Disposing of a Mattress

    Check the mattress disposal policies for your state. Three states – California, Rhode Island, and Connecticut – have extensive mattress recycling laws to make mattress disposal easy and eco-friendly. No matter where you live, check with your state for any disposal programs or requirements to avoid citations or fines.

    A graphic shows six signs it’s time to replace your mattress.

    6 Signs Your Mattress Is Past Its Prime

    Most mattresses should last up to 10 years before requiring a replacement. A mattress's lifespan depends on its quality and how you care for it. Here are the six tell-tale signs your mattress is past its prime:

    1. Sagging: If you see noticeable sagging, you are no longer getting the support your body needs for comfortable rest.
    2. Lumps: Lumps could mean your mattress has broken coils, broken foam, or structural damage.
    3. Noise: If your mattress squeaks or creaks while you sleep on it, it may be time for a new mattress.
    4. Back Pain: Any new signs of soreness or stiffness when you wake up in the morning means you’re no longer getting the support and cushioning you need.
    5. Restless Sleeping: If you or your significant other move a lot and wake each other up throughout the night, it might be due to the quality of your mattress.
    6. Odors: If your mattress gives off an unpleasant odor, even after attempting to clean it, you should consider purchasing a new mattress.

    You’ll know your mattress is past its prime if it looks different, feels different, or smells off. Don’t put up with a deteriorated and unhealthy mattress, especially if it’s still under warranty. Your health matters and good sleep is part of a healthy lifestyle.


    The steps for mattress disposal depend on your state, city, mattress type, and size. Don’t worry if you still have questions because we’ve got you covered.

    How Do You Know If Your Mattress Is in Good Enough Shape for Donation?

    Contact your local donation center to find out if they accept mattress donations. Many donation centers accept mattresses of a certain size and quality. Generally, well-kept mattresses in good condition are fit for donation.

    How To Dispose Of a Mattress For Free?

    You can dispose of a mattress for free in several ways. You can donate your mattress, recycle it, give it to a friend, or list it on an online marketplace. If your mattress is in good condition, you can try selling it. You will want to avoid dumping since most disposal services and city dumps charge a fee.

    What Is the Best Way To Get Rid Of a Mattress Without Taking It to the Dump?

    We recommend several options to remove your mattress without taking it to the dump. You can try giving it away or selling it online, donating it to a local organization, or recycling it at a local facility. Most of these options are free or cost-effective.

    How Do You Dispose Of a Large Mattress?

    Disposing of the biggest beds on the market isn’t much different than other mattress sizes, but there are a few considerations. 

    • Donating: Call ahead to ensure the facility accepts large mattresses.
    • Dumping: Call your city dump or disposal service to make sure they can handle your size mattress. There might be a larger fee as well.
    • Online marketplace: Remind potential buyers to bring a vehicle with enough storage space.

    We don’t recommend cutting up your mattress to make it smaller. There are safer options, such as the mattress removal services we’ve listed above. Best of all, professionals can make the job simple, safe, and affordable.

    How Do You Dispose Of a Waterbed Mattress?

    Waterbed mattresses are not like other mattresses since they use thick waterproof material. What’s more, the large amount of water inside can cause significant damage to your home. 

    Always contact professionals to remove a waterbed mattress. They have the tools and experience to do the job and know how to properly dispose of the specialized materials. Companies like LoadUp have special waterbed mattress removal and disposal services.

    Replacing Your Old Mattress

    How often you replace your mattress depends on its quality and how you take care of it. Generally, your mattress should last a solid 10 years. But no mattress can last forever, and you will eventually need to find a replacement.

    Now that you know how to dispose of a mattress, you can choose a replacement that works for you. Think about why you wanted to replace your mattress in the first place. Your new mattress should give you the support, temperature regulation, comfort, and durability you need.

    Purple understands the value of a mattress built to last and designed for comfort. Purple mattresses come with a 10-year warranty, a 100-night trial, free shipping, and free returns. Explore our mattress collections to discover the best mattress for you, guaranteed.

    About the authors

    April Seifert

    April has nearly a decade of writing experience, with 3+ years specializing in sleep content. Her work has been covered by sites like BuzzFeed, Entrepreneur, and Money Under 30. She has an M.A. in Magazine, Newspaper, and Online Journalism from Syracuse University and a B.A. in Communication Studies. As a self-proclaimed expert in all things cozy, she sleeps better at night, knowing her writing helps others sleep in comfort, too.

    Kristen Olson-Turner
    Senior Director of Merchandising, Mattress and Bases

    Kristen Olson-Turner is the Senior Director of mattresses, where she has spent 10+ years understanding customer needs and integrating solutions into Purple products for better sleep and comfort.