What to Do with Old Mattress?

Have you purchased a new mattress and are now wondering what to do with the old mattress?  Would you prefer to keep it from being thrown into a landfill?  If you’d like alternatives to leaving it by the curb for the sanitary engineers to dispose of, you’ve actually got several options which we outline here.

1. Buy a cheap box spring and frame for it.

You can get a queen size box spring for under $100 and a frame for less than that.  So for under $200 you can have a decent bed for your guest bedroom.  Even if you don’t have a guest bedroom in your current home, if you plan to move to a bigger place in the next few years, it might be worth it to store the old mattress until you can make use of it.

2. Give it to charity.

If the mattress is in decent shape, many charities might be happy to have it.  These charities include homeless shelters, drug and alcohol rehabilitation facilities run by churches and non-profits, and those that raise money with resale shops.  Make a few phone calls to charities in your area.  You might be able to find one that will pick up the old mattress so you don’t have to borrow a truck to haul it anywhere.

3. Put it out by the road with a “FREE” sign on it.

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, as many of us have found out.  Make sure the weather is good because if the mattress gets soaked with rain you’ll have real trouble getting rid of it. A good time to do this is the evening before trash day when people often drive through neighborhoods looking for items in the trash that they can sell at yard sales or use for themselves.

4. Take it to the local recycling center.

Call to see if your local center takes mattresses.  Many do.  Strap your old mattress onto the roof of your car.  Cover it with the plastic cover from your new mattress if rain is expected, and take it down to the center. If your local center won’t take the mattress, search online for a private recycling facility that will.  In most of these, up to 90% of the material from the old mattress can be recycled into new uses.


You’ve got options for your old mattress other than tossing it in a landfill.  The alternatives we’ve offered here cover the DR3 approach: Divert, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.