What to do with an unwanted mattress
Maybe it’s time to upgrade your old mattress with a shiny new one. ✨
But now we have another dilemma…
What do you do with the old mattress? 🤔
Consider these options:
- Take the mattress to a recycling centre
- Donate the mattress to charity
- Hire a mattress removal service
- Contact your local council
- Buy a new mattress that comes with a disposal service
We’ll go into more detail about these different options further down. 👇
2. Donate the mattress to charity
If your mattress is reasonably good, you might consider donating it to charity. ❤️
A clean mattress with a few years left could be an excellent option for those who can’t afford a brand new mattress.
You don't need to take the mattress to the charity shop.
In fact, the charity usually offers a free mattress collection service, saving you the inconvenience of transporting it yourself. 😅
The following charities accept mattress donations:
- British Heart Foundation mattress collection UK
- British Red Cross mattress collection UK
- The Salvation Army mattress collection UK
You should contact your chosen charity to discuss the details of the mattress donation.
4. Contact your local council
If you haven’t got the amenities to drop your mattress off at a recycling centre, or it’s in too poor a condition to donate, consider arranging a council collection. 🚚
You can apply for a special collection of bulky items via gov.uk.
The price for these bulky waste collections depends on your area and your local council rates.
There is typically a minimum fee plus an additional charge dependant on the item.
You should compare the prices with other mattress removal services and see what’s the cheapest. 💰
How to prepare my mattress for disposal
If your mattress is being collected by a charity, removal service, or retailer offering mattress removals, you’ll want to prepare it for disposal.
Typically, this involves:
- Fully undressing the bed and removing any pillows.
- Creating a safe entryway for the removal men (i.e. removing any fragile items and pictures from the walls.)
- Sometimes you’ll be asked to pop the mattress in a disposal bag.
- Other companies will require you to take the mattress from the room and leave it on the doorstep.
The individual requirements will depend on the conditions of the company removing your mattress.
You should check the relevant website in advance, so you have time to prepare. 💻
Can you cut up a mattress for disposal?
A mattress isn’t exactly a small item - and you may be considering cutting it up to transport it for disposal more easily. 🤔
If you have pre-arranged a removal service to collect your mattress, you should leave the mattress in one piece.
If you’re disposing of your mattress yourself and need to transport it more efficiently, or you want to reclaim or recycle the materials, then you can cut it up.
Before you start, ensure the following:
- You use safety glasses and cut-resistant work gloves when cutting the mattress. 🥽🧤
- You have the necessary tools (i.e. box cutter, pliers, etc.) ✂️
- You have a safe outside area to work in. 🏕️
- You have previous DIY knowledge or experience with tools. 👩🔧
We also recommend having someone nearby to assist and watch out for your safety.
The below video shows how you can safely cut up your mattress for disposal:
As you can see, you should cut up the mattress layer by layer, starting with the cords, removing the outer fabric, and then each of the individual layers.
How not to dispose of your old mattress
You should follow any of the above recommendations for getting rid of your old mattress. 👍
These are the safest and most convenient ways of getting rid of your old mattress.
But how should you NOT get rid of your old mattress? 👇
Fly-tipping is defined as depositing waste illegally.
This includes leaving your mattress on the curbside, road, or other unauthorised areas. 😮
This makes the area look unsightly, but it can also be hazardous to the public and harmful to the environment.
Between 2018 - 2019, over 1 million instances of fly-tipping were reported in the UK.
If you are caught fly-tipping, you can receive a fine of up to £50,000 from local authorities and a 5-year prison sentence. 👮
Burn your old mattress
It may seem obvious, but you should never burn your mattress as a way of disposing of it. 🔥
It’s illegal to burn material that has been treated with chemicals and can create harmful fumes which are dangerous for the environment.
Burning mattresses are regarded as the same or similar offence as fly-tipping and can include hefty fines of up to £50,000. 😱
Sell a second-hand mattress as new
Although it’s technically not illegal to sell a used mattress, we discourage you from selling a mattress over 7 years old. 🤢
A well-used mattress will be unhygienic and not offer the same support as a new mattress.
If you are thinking about selling your mattress, you must also be transparent about how long it has been used and any stains or other damage it includes.
You can sell a used mattress online, but it’s better to look into selling locally to family, friends, or local pages first to avoid hefty shipping charges. 💰