Whether upgrading your bed size or mattress type, we all eventually need a new mattress. But pause before tossing your current one into the landfill—even with a little damage, your mattress can find a new home or be repurposed.
For eco-friendly, financial, and practical reasons, donating is an excellent solution for old mattresses. And with a little research and creativity, it’s easy to give your old bed a second life.
Let’s dive into the many places and ways to donate your mattress, so you can rest easy, knowing your old mattress is being put to good use.
Say goodbye to the old, and hello to a new mattress and better sleep. Casper’s luxurious mattresses are designed for ultimate comfort and durability through the years.
#1 Charity Organizations for Mattress Donation
If your mattress is still sleepable, there’s a great chance you can give it to a charitable organization instead of trying to figure out how to dispose a mattress. However, it takes some planning to donate to a reputable institution. From top charitable organizations to proper preparation, here are some tips for how to donate an old mattress.
Where to Donate a Mattress
Whether living in a city, suburb, or rural area, you can almost always find a charity that accepts mattresses. Unsure where to start? Begin by checking for national organizations in your area, and then researching local options. Some charities that accept mattresses:
- Salvation Army – A popular source for clothing and household goods, the Salvation Army provides donated goods to domestic abuse victims, disaster victims, and other populations in need. Better yet, they even offer pickup services in certain locations—no need to pile your mattress on top of the car.
- Goodwill – An international and multi-faceted charity organization, Goodwill brings clothing, home goods, and employment opportunities to lower-income or maligned communities. Certain locations accept mattresses in relatively good condition.
- Furniture Banks Network – Search this database for a nationally recognized furniture bank near you. Most banks have quality standards for donated mattresses (no stains, no tears, etc.), so make sure to check each location’s requirements.
- Vietnam Veterans of America – With operations in 34 states, the Vietnam Veterans of America accepts all types of items for donation, including mattresses. Depending on your location, you might be able to access mattress pickup services, too.
- Habitat for Humanity – An organization centered around creating homes for underserved communities, Habitat for Humanity takes mattresses at specific locations. They ask for new or gently used varieties only and typically offer free pick-up.
- Catholic Charities – Across the country, many Catholic organizations work with shelters to provide furniture and bedding. While the requirements tend to be strict for mattresses (new or new-like conditions), it’s a great donation option for those who potentially bought the wrong size or model for their liking.
- Local Charities – If you’re far from any national donation banks or charities, check out your local options via the phone book or internet. As a benefit, organizations like homeless shelters, churches, and small furniture banks often have looser rules for mattress donations. However, pickup services are probably restricted, so make sure you can deliver your own goods if you decide to donate to a local charity in your community.
How to Prepare Old Mattresses for Donation
Donation doesn’t mean tossing it to the side. In fact, donating a mattress requires a certain level of care—after all, someone else will have to sleep on it. Before you think to donate, old mattress owners must consider all requirements.
To start, let’s review your mattress’s condition. One or two sagging spots? Your mattress is probably good to give away. A few tears, some liquid stains, and a lingering smell? Most likely, a charity will consider this a bad bed and won’t accept it. Here are some typical conditions necessary for mattress donation:
- Working springs
- Minimal or zero stains
- Functional cushioning (no extreme sags)
- No tears or rips
- No infestations, mold, or bed bugs present
If your mattress meets these conditions, then it’s time to move onto preparation for furniture donation. Most charitable organizations also require some form of planning and cleaning before your mattress finds a new owner. Below, we have a typical timeline for mattress donation:
- Scheduling – Since mattresses are quite large to store, many donation banks require a scheduled pickup or dropoff date. Mark a calendar date that works for both you and your chosen organization.
- Stripping – Remove all sheets, coverings, toppers, and casings. You should only hand over a bare mattress to donation organizations.
- Cleaning – Clean your mattress, either with professional help or by yourself. If working solo, start by vacuuming every surface. Then move to spot treatments for any stains (use specialized cleaning product for the stain type). Finish off with sprinkling baking soda over all surfaces, letting it sit overnight, and then re-vacuuming all surfaces.
- Storage & Packaging – Store your old mattress in a dry, clean area until donation time. If necessary, package it for pickup or drop off.
#2 Give Away (or Sell) Online or in-Person
So you have a usable mattress, but it doesn’t quite pass donation quality standards. Don’t give up just yet—cut out the middle man, and consider giving away your unwanted mattress by yourself.
There are countless ways to self-advertise your old mattress. But to avoid scams and shifty deals, it’s best to use verified online marketplaces or community connections. Some reputable ways to post your mattress for the taking:
- Facebook Marketplace – With trackable profiles and direct messaging, Facebook makes selling your old household items simple. Make sure you post clear photos, an honest description, and a reasonable price (or “Free” label) for your mattress.
- FreeCycle – This handy website connects you with nearby community members seeking free or used items. Try FreeCycle for mattresses with too much wear and tear to properly sell.
- Mercari – Along with your mattress, you may be wondering what to do with old pillows or bedding. For a quick or small cash boost, consider posting your mattress, paired with old pillows or bedding on Mercari. This resale site is an easy source for used household goods, bedding, and more.
- Family or friends – Lend a hand to loved ones by asking friends or family if they need a mattress. Odds are, someone could reuse or repurpose your old model.
Keep in mind that if you decide to sell your mattress, certain states have laws around selling a used mattress. Be sure to check if your state prohibits the sale of used mattresses first.
#3 Mattress Recycling Programs
If your mattress lived a good and long life, consider reincarnation instead of adoption—i.e., mattress recycling.
What does it mean to recycle a mattress? Overall, recycling centers break down a mattress into its materials for new uses. From steel spring to memory foam, recycling can repurpose many mattress varieties.
Typically, recycling programs extract these valued materials:1
- Steel – Mattress springs contain precious steel, perfect for remelting and reusing on a number of constructive products.
- Foam – Latex, polyurethane, and memory foams can be repurposed for a number of products, ranging from carpets to vehicle seating.
- Natural and synthetic fibers – Fabrics like cotton, wool, and polyester are all excellent candidates for a new life as furniture filling.
As an eco-friendly option, recycling can reuse up to 90% of a mattress.2 Better yet, recycling is open to mattresses with a few rips or tears—perfect for owners who can’t sell or donate. If this option sounds fitting, check out these recycling programs and databases:
- Earth 911 – With a zip code search feature, Earth 911 makes recycling of all home goods easy. They can connect you with local mattress recycling facilities, some even with potential pickup services.
- Bye-Bye Mattress – Similar to Earth 911, Bye-Bye Mattress offers contacts for mattress recycling programs local to you.
- A Bedder World – With guaranteed pickup services, A Bedder World is a great recycling choice for those who can’t easily drop off their unwanted mattress. However, pricing varies depending on the location and the number of mattresses.
- City Recycling Programs – From city websites to phonebook pages, you can find local mattress recyclers with a little research. Certain city governments even offer pickup appointments for their bedding recycling programs.
#4 Home Mattress Recycling
For the crafty at heart, there’s a creative option for old mattresses—DIY home breakdowns. From repurposed foam to art projects, there are countless ways to upcycle mattress materials. A few of our favorite methods:
- Furniture cushioning – Plush-ify your couch, armchairs, or pillows with some leftover mattress foam to make a comfy seat.
- Steel hardware – For hardware fanatics, steel springs and nails are precious commodities. Or to make a quick buck, sell any steel parts to scrap yards or recyclers.
- Insulation – Certain polyurethane foams in mattresses have excellent insulation power. Line your attic, cellar, or door bottoms for winter weather and rain protection.
- Arts & Crafts – Organic mattress materials equal fair game for crafting materials. Unleash your inner artist by creating home decor, toys, and more with old mattress parts.
Don’t Just Dump—Donate!
Whether it’s a sock or mattress, it can be tempting to chuck old items in the trash. But there are so many sustainable and charitable options to consider before the landfill pile. Through just a few minutes of research and planning, you can make a difference for a sleeper in need.
As you’re looking for your next mattress, consider picking a high-grade model, like Casper’s designs, which can help your mattress stay usable for years—even when you’ve moved on.
When you choose Casper quality, you can ensure your mattress has the second life that it deserves.
- The Basics of Textile Recycling. LeBlanc, Rick. https://www.thebalancesmb.com/the-basics-of-recycling-clothing-and-other-textiles-2877780
- How to Dispose of a Mattress. Williams Kate. https://www.consumeraffairs.com/homeowners/mattress-disposal-options.html