New mattress

How to safely and effectively dispose of your mattress

You’ve picked out a brand-new mattress and you’re looking forward to its arrival, but what should you do with your old mattress? In this blog, we look at some of the options, from tipping it to recycling it, and giving it away.  

How do you effectively dispose of your mattress? 

Getting rid of your old mattress cheaply and safely is no mean feat. The easiest option is to use the collection service offered by some retailers when you buy a new mattress.

This is the most popular way to dispose of a mattress, according to a survey by Which? but it’s not a feasible option for everybody. Instead, there are other ways to get rid of a mattress: 

  • take it to your nearest council-run recycling centre 
  • donate it to charity or give it away to a friend or family member 
  • pay for it to be collected by a waste removal company

There are pros and cons to each one, and we’ll cover these in the sections below. 

Can you take a mattress to the local tip? 

Most local authority tips and recycling centres take mattresses, but it’s worth checking before you make the journey because let’s face it transporting it won’t be easy. 

You can find out if your local tip accepts mattresses by calling the council or searching for a list of restricted items on their website. 

This all sounds simple enough, but be aware that some local recycling centres don’t allow commercial vehicles on site – even if you’re only carrying domestic waste. Call the council first to arrange temporary access if you’re considering using a van to take your mattress to the tip.

If it doesn’t say that your mattress will be recycled then assume it won’t be. Not all UK tips have the facilities to break down a mattress for recycling so there’s every chance that it could end up in a landfill. 

Arranging a bulky waste collection in your area

If you don’t fancy lugging a great big mattress down the stairs to squeeze it into a car or van , there is an alternative. Most local councils offer a collection service for bulky household items like furniture and mattresses. 

You’ll likely have to pay for this service, but some councils will do it for free. Several London boroughs, for example, will collect your mattress free of charge.

Ask your local authority for information about how to pay for and arrange a collection. 

Just like with the tip, unless it expressly says that your mattress will be recycled then assume it won’t be. If it’s important to you that it’s recycled, then it’s worth double-checking before you arrange for it to be collected. 

Mattress and pillows

Can you recycle your old mattress? 

Many of the constituent parts that make up a mattress are recyclable – the springs, for example, can be melted down to make new metal products, and the foam can be used to produce carpet underlay.

Yet few people recycle their old mattresses, and that’s partly because it’s quite hard to do. According to the UK’s National Bed Federation, less than a fifth of the mattresses thrown out in 2017 were recycled

Unless you’re a pro, recycling a mattress by yourself is a big ask. That just leaves you with the option of finding someone to do it for you. 

There are lots of waste collection companies out there that promise to recycle your mattress, but you will have to pay for it to be collected.

Collect Your Old Bed, for example, offers UK-wide collections from just £24. In some areas, it works out cheaper than using the council’s bulky waste collection and it’s guaranteed not to end up in a landfill. 

Can you donate your mattress to charity? 

Some charities will pick up your mattress for free to re-sell in their shops or use as part of their work with people who need shelter. The British Heart Foundation and some branches of Emmaus are two examples of charities that accept mattresses. 

Consider how much life there is left in your mattress before you give it away (or sell your mattress). A good quality mattress will last between seven to ten years, so if you’ve had it longer, the chances are that it’s not fit to be passed on to someone else.

Most charities will only accept a mattress if it’s in good condition with no visible stains and it has the original fire safety label still attached.  

Mattress disposal – the key takeaway 

There are lots of ways to effectively dispose of your mattress, but if you want to guarantee that it doesn’t end up in a landfill your options are limited. The most convenient way to get rid of your old mattress is to pay for a verified recycling company to collect it.

We’ve partnered with Clearabee – an environmentally-friendly clearance company –  to offer our customers a discounted rate on mattress collection. When you buy an everyday-use storage bed from Furl, you can arrange to have your old bed frame and mattress picked up at the same time.