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How to Get Rid of An Old Mattress: 10 Eco-Friendly Ways

We all know the golden rule of mattress shopping: don’t get rid of your old mattress before your new one arrives. So, what happens when your new Memory Foam Warehouse mattress has been delivered and unrolled?

Although heading to the dump can be tempting to dispose of bulky items when you’re short on time, there are plenty of cheap, easy and environmentally friendly ways to get rid of old mattresses. We’ve got 10 simple ideas for you on how to get rid of an old mattress the eco way.

So, before the urge to chuck your pre-loved mattress into a landfill takes hold, consider this...

Mattress facts

Before you get rid of your mattress, take a look at these mattress facts;

  • The second most common way of disposing of an old mattress is taking it to the tip (Which)
  • In 2016, old mattresses accounted for an estimated 215,000 tonnes of UK landfill waste (Centre for Remanufacturing & Reuse)
  • 1 in 10 people who are in serious debt don’t have a bed (BBC News, 2017)
  • 10 million household items are sent to UK landfill every year, 3 million of which are fit for re-use (Furniture Donation Network)

So, what’s the alternative? The 10 charities and organisations listed below provide the chance for your old mattress to live a second life, providing comfort and support to those who need it most – and they all offer free collection!

But first, let’s check if you’re ready for a new mattress.

How Often Should You Change Your Mattress?

The average lifespan of a mattress depends on the size, the type of mattress, its quality and how you look after it. Here’s how long you should expect a good quality mattress to last;

Memory foam

A good quality memory foam mattress should last up to 15 years! The higher the quality of memory foam, the longer it will last. Rotating your mattress from head to foot regularly and using a mattress protector will help prolong the life of your mattress.

Pocket sprung

Pocket sprung mattresses and box spring mattresses should last around 8-10 years. Keeping the same mattress for longer than this period can start to cause health issues. As the coils sag over time, the mattress becomes less supportive.

How to Tell if Your Mattress Needs Changing

Here are a few warning signs that it’s time for an update!

  • Your mattress is over 10 years old
  • You wake up feeling tired
  • You wake up feeling achy or in pain
  • If your spring mattress starts to squeak or creak
  • If you notice dips or sagging
  • If you experience a dust mite allergy outbreak
  • If you gain or lose a significant amount of weight you may need a mattress of a different density 

Can Mattresses Be Recycled?

The short answer- yes! Most mattresses are made of recyclable materials. Everything from the springs to foams and fillings can be disassembled and reused as carpet underlay or pet cushions. These recycling programs take place at different recycling centers dedicated to different materials.

Who takes old mattresses?

You don’t have to disassemble and dispose of your mattress yourself. There are plenty of collection services that can do the hard work for you;

Local Authorities

Most local councils will come and take your old mattress away for a fee if you leave it outside your house.

Do Charity Shops Take Bedding and Mattresses?

It depends on the charity organisation as to whether they will accept your old mattress and bedding. Plenty of charity shops will take old mattresses, read on to find out which ones!

How to get rid of an old bed and mattress for free

We’ve got 10 eco-friendly ways to dispose of your old mattress for free. These organisations accept mattress donations to help make someone’s life a little comfier; 

1. British Heart Foundation

If your old mattress fulfils the requirements, the British Heart Foundation will dispatch a van to come and take it off your hands. Your mattress will be sold in a second-hand store to support the fight against Coronary Heart Disease, the UK’s single biggest killer. Collection is free and can be organised online or over the phone.

Requirements: Mattress must be in a good condition, clean, fit for use, and have a fire label intact.

2. British Red Cross

The British Red Cross collects old mattresses to resell in its second-hand furniture and electrical stores, which are dotted across the UK. Items sold will raise money to help people in crisis, both in the UK and abroad, with efforts including the Grenfell Tower disaster. Contact your local Red Cross second-hand furniture and electrical shop to find out if free collection is available in your area.

Requirements: Mattress must have a manufacturer label stating, ‘Carelessness causes fire’ and/or compliance with fire and safety regulation BS7177.

3. Stella’s Voice UK

Stella’s Voice UK is an organisation working to end human trafficking and sex slavery. Free collection of old mattresses in spotless condition can be arranged in Hampshire and Aberdeen, and there are plans in progress to expand this service. Fill in the online form to arrange.

Requirements: Mattress must be in spotless condition with a fire safety label intact.

4. Emmaus

This community project provides work and accommodation for over 750 people in the UK who, in return, promise to refrain from substance abuse, violence and claiming state benefits. There are 29 Emmaus hubs across the country, each of which has different guidelines for donating mattresses. But generally, free collection is available.

Requirements: Mattress must be clean, saleable and have a manufacturer fire safety label intact.

5. Gumtree

Spend 5 minutes setting up a Gumtree account and access a free online platform to advertise your pre-loved mattress to people in your local area. What we like about Gumtree are the clear rules regarding the format of advertisements to protect users from spam and misleading descriptions.

Requirements: Mattress adverts must have clear images which truthfully represent your product, and we strongly recommend that fire safety labels are intact.

6. Furniture Re-use Network

For a poverty-stricken family, your donated mattress could be the difference between sleeping on the floor. Furniture Re-use Network provides free collection and works with 200 charities across the country to make sure your pre-loved mattress provides comfort for someone in need.

Requirements: Mattress must be in pristine condition with fire label intact.

7. Mustard Tree, Manchester

Looking to support a local cause? Major cities with independent charities are always looking for donations. The Mustard Tree sells pre-loved mattresses, duvets and pillows in pristine condition to combat poverty and homelessness in Manchester. Call to arrange your free collection.

Requirements: Mattress must be in pristine condition with fire label intact.

8. The Shelter Trust, Jersey

For outlying islands, local shelters should be your first port of call. In Jersey, The Shelter Trust passes second-hand furniture to members of the local community who are in need. Unfortunately, lack of storage means the Trust can only accept your old mattress if there’s demand, but if there is, they’ll collect it free of charge and pass it on.

Requirements: Mattresses must be clean, hygienic and with a fire safety label intact.

9. The Freecycle Network

This free, online marketplace allows you to find, donate and exchange second-hand goods with people in your local area. Simply search by location, list your old mattress ad, and when someone snaps up your offer, arrange a time for them to come and take it off your hands.

Requirements: There aren’t any requirements listed on the website, so it’s a case of being honest about the condition and uploading images alongside your post but we recommend that your mattress has fire safety labels intact.

10. RecycleZone

RecycleZone’s mattress removal and recycling services make it easier for you to live sustainably. They remove your old mattresses from your home and dispose of them in a sustainable, environmentally friendly way at minimal cost to you.

They pledge that 90% of their waste is recycled, and if it can’t be recycled they ensure that it doesn’t end up in a landfill. If your old mattress is in good condition, they will rehome your furniture to those in need, such as hostels or hospices.

Switching Your Mattress

Next time you’re planning on buying a new mattress, consider an environmentally friendly course of action! For future reference, Memory Foam Warehouse offer a paid mattress removal service. Simply select the relevant delivery option when you’re checking out online and we’ll collect it hassle-free!


In the meantime, browse our range of memory foam mattresses to find your perfect mattress update.

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