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How to dispose of your old mattress

How To Dispose Of Your Old Mattress


Last updated: 12.09.2021 3 Min.

When your mattress has come to the end of its life cycle, deciding what to do with it can be hard.

Mattresses are expensive, huge items, making disposal that much harder 🤔

Luckily there are many ways to get rid of your mattress, and not all of them are going to cost you 💷

However, there are also a few things you definitely shouldn't do when disposing of your old mattress.

We're here to talk you through each step so you can find a new mattress, whilst getting rid of your old one.

Old Mattress
  • Overview
  • Replacing your mattress
  • Tips
  • Your next mattress

When to replace your mattress

There are a few misconceptions about mattress life spans.

On average, a mattress should last around 8 years, stretching to 10 if you own a really high-quality product.

However, a study from The Sleep Foundation in the US discovered that 67% of Americans don't change their mattresses with this in mind, expecting the mattress to last far longer than it actually does.

Mattresses do need replacing around 8 years in, as the wear and tear of the product begin to affect your sleep.

Here are a few signs of wear and their effects on the body 👇

  • Sagging: as the mattress sags, you will feel yourself waking up more tired and even achy

  • Bumps or lumps: you may find that your mattress no longer lies flat, which will make falling asleep that much harder.

  • Coils poking through/memory foam crumbling: common issues with these materials means you will be more uncomfortable quickly.

If you experience any of these issues, then you need to replace your mattress quickly.

Of course, different materials have different properties and last differnt amounts of time. Luckily, we can tell you just how long each material can last.

How long does memory foam last?

Memory foam lasts for around 8 years on average.

The composition of the foam plays a huge role in how long it can last, as well as how you look after and care for your mattress. Memory foam holds its shape and remains comforting for its lifespan, and if cared for correctly with a mattress protector.

Try and get a protector that is waterproof, as liquids can damage the foam!

Memory foam mattresses often prioritise hugging comfort over durability- that isn't to say they aren't durable- it just often isn't a primary concern in the mattress. Many memory foam mattresses perform greatly throughout their life cycle, but there are some that will fail faster than others.

One of our favourite memory foam mattresses, the Emma Original, has excellent durability for example.

How long do Spring mattresses last?

Springs have a similar life span as memory foam, but are often more durable than memory foam, stretching closer to a decade long life span.

Traditional springs, and now more common, pocket springs are tough to beat in a durability test. The working mechanisms and materials of springs mean they stand up against the general wear and tear of day to day life, resulting in a slightly longer life span in some mattresses.

Remember, a mattresses life span is down partly to how you care for it.

Changing your mattress

Once your mattress has ended its life cycle, then you need to choose whats next. Perhaps you want the exact same sleeping experience, or you're after something new.

Whatever it is, there are numerous options to choose from now. Check out some of our favourites below, and read our reviews to make the best choice for your sleep!

How you should dispose of your mattress

Now that you have your new mattress on the way, what do you do with your old one?

Getting rid of large forms of rubbish doesn't have to be tough if you know-how.

There are several safe options we suggest, and a few that definitely should be left alone!

Let's go over them now 👇

Local council collection

One of the easiest ways to get rid of your mattress requires speaking to your local council.

Every local council in the UK offers a collection service for large pieces of rubbish and waste to prevent people from fly tipping- the illegal disposal of waste in public areas such as roads and hedges.

In some areas, such as North Devon and Stroud, this service is free. For other areas of the UK, the average price of the collection is £20-50 💸

You can see a map of the UK; and each council's respective pricing here.

Each local council has a website with their contact information and process listed to read, and it is a mostly straightforward, legal, and safe way of disposing of a mattress.

Of course, we understand that for some areas of the UK, this is too expensive an option to consider, but it is relatively hassle-free and means you don't have to find a different method.

Dispose of your mattress

There's also no guarantee of where your mattress will end up once it is in your council's hands. A staggering amount of mattresses end up in landfills each year, causing major issues for your local environment and globally too.

Using a brand exchange offer

Some brands, such as Emma and Simba will take away your mattress when you perchase a new one and have it delievered to your door.

This is the easiest way if you want a seamless swap of products. You can place an order for your new mattress, keeping your old one right up until the new one is placed down.

Whilst this adds a further charge to your new mattress, this is a hassle-free way of doing things and ensures you get a good service, and likely promises your mattress will not end up in a landfill.

Some brands even prefer this option. Sustainably recycling or disposing of your old mattress is far better for the environment.

Mattress donation

If you believe your mattress is still in a good enough condition to be used, then you can donate it to your local charity.

Charity stores help plenty of shoppers get a discount on items all year round, and can help someone get a great product you no longer need.

Not only that but there are many charities across the UK doing amazing work for so many causes, and giving a mattress to your local store is a way of helping that cause.

We really do only recommend this if the mattress is still usable, however. The last thing you want to do is give your mattress causing you back pain to someone else 🙆

The things you definitely shouldn't do ⛔️

Starting a fire 🔥

It may seem obvious, but there are several people who claim to burn their mattresses when finished with them. Not only is this terrible for the environment with the gasses that can be released, but also highly dangerous. Mattresses are large and can create volatile fires at any given time.

This method is exceedingly dangerous.

Fly-tipping and skip disposal

As we covered earlier, fly-tipping is illegal, and can incur a hefty fine if you are caught. Not only that, it is anti-social and inconvenient for those around you, as the mattress will still need to be disposed of from the area.

If you happen to be using or renting a skip, and you have no other option, disposing of a mattress in this way is fine, although still not optimal. 'Borrowing' someone else's isn't a good idea either for similar reasons as fly-tipping.

There are dozens of safe and good options to get rid of a mattress, and hopefully, you don't need to resort to these ways.

The final steps

Hopefully, you've seen some good ways to get rid of your old mattress and some bad ones too.

Mattress disposal is constantly getting better, as we push for a more sustainable earth, mattress brands will hopefully innovate and find better ways to prevent mattresses from going to waste.

The end of your mattresses cycle is a chance to see what is out there, and how you can continue to get the night's sleep you need. Whilst the disposal of your old mattress isn't the primary objective of your route to good sleep, it is an important one, and one that should be done right.

Take a look at some of our reviews, and begin the search for your next mattress. Already have that sorted? Why not look for a new pillow!


My mum calls me "bear" because I like to sleep so much. I never knew that, one day, that would be a very useful skill. Can you tell that I've found my calling? 

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We can highly recommend these best-selling mattresses.

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