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Curbside trash pickup is one of the most wonderful inventions of modern society. However, there are some items that don’t qualify for curbside pickup. These bulky items can quickly become the bane of our existence, if we don’t find a good way to take care of it. King of this category is the old mattress.

There are often donating restrictions on mattresses, and it’s probably the least likely item of furniture in your home to actually sell if you post it on Craigslist. An old mattress is useful to no one, but they’re also inconvenient to dispose of, and that probably explains why they’re so often found junking up garages, yards, and houses. So how can you get rid of your old mattress effectively, and with minimal cost?

First, Try Recycling Your Mattress

According to the International Sleep Products Association, landfills in America receive about 50,000 mattresses PER DAY – that’s crazy! Mattresses and box springs take up a lot of space, and with their metal springs and potentially inorganic construction materials (synthetic fabric and foam and plastic frames,) it’s usually much better to find a way to recycle your old mattress, rather than chuck it in the garbage.

About 90% of the average mattress can be recycled and reused. However, mattresses are made of a variety of materials which have to be pulled apart and separated in order to be recycled. Wooden frames, layers of foam and latex, fabric cushions and covers, and metal springs all make up the overall construct of the mattress.

  • Foams and plastics can be shredded and used as carpet padding.
  • Fabrics are shredded and sanitized, then used for vehicle matting, yarn, and industrial padding.
  • Metals are melted down and then re-used just about anywhere.
  • Wood is easily chipped into mulch.


Donations are the most tricky part of mattress disposal. If it’s no longer good enough for you to sleep in, it might not be appealing to anyone else, either. And if it’s been outside, or has gotten infected with bed bugs, then no one wants to touch it. However, if your mattress is still in good shape, and free of contaminants, then you should look into donation options. Some places will even pick up the mattress themselves. Make sure to disclose whether it’s been in a house with pets, or smoking.


A lot of the cost of mattress removal will depend on whether you need someone to pick it up for you, or you’re able to take it to the facility yourself. Often, if you hire a professional junk removal service, they’ll take care of mattress recycling for you. If you take your mattress yourself to a disposal or recycling facility, there will likely be a fee at the door for dumping or for recycling. These prices can range from 10-50$, so you’ll want to do your research ahead of time.