The Ultimate Guide to Removing Your Old Mattress

Posted by Erika Lang on

With the joy of a new mattress to enjoy comes the inevitable question of, well, what do I do with my old one? Unlike other items, mattresses can be a tricky business when figuring out what to do next due to regulations and its size. That being said there are multiple options you have when it comes to getting rid of an old mattress. Can it be donated? Can I sell it? Does my mattress even need to be replaced? In this guide we’ll walk you through all of the different methods and help you figure out which is the best option for you. 

Step 1: Assess Your Mattress

Hand touching a mattress

The first step in any mattress removal process is to assess the condition of your mattress and figure out if it’s time to get rid of it or if there is still life left in your mattress. Let’s walk through some warning signs that it’s time to dispose of your mattress completely.

Firstly, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you wake up in the morning with stiffness in your limbs or back pain?
  • Do you find yourself constantly tossing and turning in the night?
  • Can you find any signs of wear and tear on your mattress? For example: lumps, indents on the surface, are there any protruding springs that you can see?

If you find yourself saying yes to the questions above it may be a good time to think about throwing your mattress away as opposed to passing it on to someone else. The typical lifespan for a mattress is around 7-10 years, but this is dependent on the quality of the mattress you are working with.

If the issue with your mattress is cosmetic, such as stains or spills, it can usually be resolved at home and does not mean you have to get rid of your mattress. Cosmetic issues with mattresses can usually be addressed and fixed, find a guide on how to clean your mattress here.

That being said, if you find your mattress has bed bugs, this is a deeper issue that needs to be addressed. Simply throwing away your mattress is an ineffective way to try and get rid of bed bugs as they can spread to other pieces of furniture in your home. When the time comes that you get your new mattress, bed bugs will be able to infiltrate that mattress as well. It is instead recommended that you focus on cleaning the mattress first. When it comes to bed bugs, they must be fully removed before any other steps are taken or else they might come back. Find more information on how to remove bed bugs here. At Bear we highly recommend that you add a mattress protector with full protection from bed bugs like the Bear Encasement.

After assessing your mattress you are left with two options, do you want to dispose of your mattress or is it in good enough condition that it could be passed on to someone new? We’ll walk through both options below.

Option 1: Dispose Of Your Mattress

Throwing Away Your Mattress

We’ll start off with the easiest option: Hire a Disposal Team!



White Glove Service

At Bear, we offer what we call White Glove Service. This is where we will work with you to have someone else deal with the mattress for you. We’ve paired up with LoadUp to provide customers with an easy, stress free way to remove your mattress. You simply checkout with the service, set your appointment date, and LoadUp comes to your home to handle the rest. The process of getting rid of a mattress can be time consuming and difficult, using a company like LoadUp can really help take the stress off your shoulders.

With White Glove Service you have three services on offer: Install Only, Remove Only, or Full Service. If you’d like them to simply take your mattress from your home, select Remove Only. If you’d like them to help you install any new mattress you’ve purchased, select Install Only. For both, select Full Service.

→ Shop White Glove Service

Another option for disposing of your mattress is looking into recycling it.

Recycling Your Mattress

Throwing your mattress away does have considerable effects on the environment. Every year around 20 million mattresses are thrown away to be added to a landfill. They add up to 5% percent of space and account for 250 million pounds of weight in landfills. The space alone of a mattress takes up an average of 23 cubic feet, this is even after it’s been compacted. However, there is an alternative. Mattress recycling programs are commonplace across the United States.

These programs usually involve a processing fee and require a drop off from you. So a car may be necessary to take your old mattress to the recycling plant. However, many cities do provide pick up options. It is important to check your local municipalities to determine whether a recycling program is one that makes sense for you.

But what if your mattress is in good enough condition to be passed along to someone else? Let’s walk through the options:

Option 2: Passing Your Mattress To Someone New


One of the ways to responsibly move your mattress on is to donate it to someone else, but it can be tricky. Keep in mind donated mattresses must meet a high standard to be passed on by the charity. If you have broken springs, large indentations, or a cleanliness issue such as bed bugs, donating your mattress will not be an option. It is important to note that many charities do not accept mattress donations. This is for a few reasons, the main ones being cleanliness and space. Due to the issue of bed bugs across the country, many charities will not accept mattresses for donation and many charities simply do not have the space for such a large item.

This varies from city to city and charity to charity of course so it’s important to understand if the charity you are looking to donate to actually accepts mattresses. Well known charities such as Goodwill, Habitat for Humanity, and Salvation Army for example do not accept mattresses in many locations. If you are looking to donate your mattress the best steps you can take is contacting the local charity and finding out if they accept mattress donations at that location. It varies from city to city.

Other options include passing the mattress on to a family member, friend, or member of your community. Here are some ideas on who you could donate your mattress to:

  • Recent graduates or college-aged individuals: Many young adults starting out on their own may appreciate a free or low-cost mattress
  • Handing it down to children or teenagers: If the mattress is in good condition, it can be repurposed for younger family members
  • Using it in a guest room: Transform your old mattress into a comfortable sleeping space for guests
  • Finding a new home through community groups: Online community groups or local social media platforms often have individuals seeking used mattresses

Selling Your Mattress

Of course selling your mattress is always an option as well. Selling used mattresses is generally not something allowed by the state when it comes to retailers, but it does vary from state to state so it may be worth looking into if your local area has any used mattress stores that would buy from you. However, the majority of mattress sales come directly from the former owners.

When reselling your mattress, the market price is around 20-30% of the original retail value. This is of course dependent on a few factors including:

  • The brand of your mattress (and in turn the reviews your mattress has)
  • The age of your mattress. Keep in mind that the average age of a mattress is around 7-10 years.
  • The condition of your mattress (was it heavily used?)

There are a few different places on the internet you can go to sell your mattress. Here’s a list of some commonly used websites and apps:

Facebook app

If all else fails and you aren’t happy with your current mattress, but getting rid of it in any way isn’t feasible due to whatever reason, there are ways you can improve the mattress you have.

Improving Your Existing Mattress

If your mattress isn’t meeting your expectations, but you don’t necessarily want to deal with getting rid of it via recycling, donating, or selling it, there are many ways to spruce up your mattress and improve your sleep. If your mattress still has some life left in it but requires minor adjustments or enhancements, consider the following options:

Mattress Toppers:

Mattress toppers are a fantastic option for extending the life and comfort of your mattress. If you find your mattress too soft or too firm, a mattress topper can balance out the feel you want every night when you go to bed. Toppers vary in terms of firmness, but they are also a great option if you’re looking to stay cooler at night.

At Bear, our mattress topper adds an extra layer of cushioning and support to any mattress, making it feel softer and more comfortable. So, if your current mattress is too firm for your liking, adding a topper is the way to go. However, if your mattress shows signs of wear-and-tear such as sagging, a topper will not fix the problem.

Pro Topper

→ Shop Pro Mattress Topper 

Protecting Your Mattress:

One of the best things you can do to preserve the life of your mattress is to buy the proper protection it needs. There are different types of protectors and layers of protection that they provide. If you are concerned about bed bugs for example, you would want something like the Bear Encasement that provides complete protection from bugs and bacteria.



Bear Encasement

→ Shop Bear Encasement

If you are more concerned about stains and spills, something like Bear’s GlacioTex Mattress Protector would be a great option for waterproof protection. It also provides ultimate cooling features that will help keep you cool at night.

 → Shop GlacioTex Mattress Protector

It can be intimidating when looking to get rid of a mattress, but the good news is that you have many options in your arsenal to consider. We hope this article helped you figure out which option is best for you. The more you understand about what options are available, the better you can make an informed decision.

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