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How to Dispose of Old Mattresses and Box Springs

How to Dispose of Old Mattresses and Box Springs

Unlike some things in life, your mattresses aren’t built to last a lifetime; in fact, many mattress manufacturers recommend that you change them every 8 to 10 years. Whether you own a fancy memory foam or natural mattress, you’ll have to dispose of it at some point, which is why we’ve created this handy guide for you.

How do I know if I should discard my old mattress? 

Before we get into how best to dispose of your old mattress and/or box spring, you should double-check whether it’s ready to be thrown out. While manufacturers encourage you to replace your mattress every 8-10 years, this isn’t set in stone, and you should only throw out your mattress if it is showing its age. Symptoms of a mattress past its prime include:


When a mattress loses its firm, springy form, it will start to sag. Unfortunately, all mattresses will become saggy over time, as continued use wears out the springs and elasticity of foam materials, which will leave you feeling achy and tired after a night’s sleep. While you can mitigate some of the sagginess by using a mattress topper, turning your mattress or replacing the base, the only way to ‘fix’ it is by sending your mattress is by sending it for a complete repair, so it’s easier to replace a saggy mattress…


Over time, your mattress may form lumps due to the uneven distribution of weight, especially if you sleep in the same position every night. While certain materials – such as memory foam and the cottons used in natural mattresses – are more resistant to lumps, lumps and saggy spots are inevitable on older mattresses and can seriously compromise comfortable sleep.

Pinching coils:

Another common problem with spring mattresses is that, after a certain amount of time, the coils inside the mattress poke through the upper layers. In extreme cases, the springs may even poke through the mattress top, scratching your skin as you sleep, and this type of damage is extremely hard to fix, so you should seek a replacement mattress right away.


Worn-out spring mattresses may make squeaking sounds as you move around on the bed due to deformed or worn-out springs which rub together or creak as they compress. Although this issue is unique to sprung mattresses, a noisy and uncomfortable mattress will put a serious dint in your quality sleep and should be replaced soon.

How do I know if I should discard my box spring? 

A box spring (or divan) is an upholstered frame with springs or slats designed to add height and improve the support of your mattress. Like a mattress, your box frame will wear out over time and the most common signs of a box spring in need of repairs or replacement are:

  • Damage to the springs/slats. 
  • A saggy base.
  • Squeaking and creaking noises.  

How to dispose of a mattress? 

Now that you know the symptoms of a mattress that is past its best, let’s discuss what you need to do when getting rid of an old mattress or box spring. There are four main ways to dispose of an old mattress, and they are:


One of the best ways to get rid of an old (but still comfortable) mattress is by donating it to someone who needs it, as this helps that person and the environment. There are plenty of charities in the UK that accept secondhand furniture, but you should always ask before leaving your mattress at their doorstep and ensure that it is still usable by checking for:

·         Usability: 

Before donating your mattress, make sure that it is still in (relatively) good condition and supports a good night’s sleep, because nobody wants a broken mattress, lest of all a charity.

·         Tears and holes: 

Tears and holes in the mattress cover are obvious signs of wear that indicate serious damage, so make sure that your mattress isn’t obviously damaged to improve the odds that your mattress donation is accepted.

·         Stains and odour:

Stains and nasty smells on your mattress are another red flag for charities, as they can only accept items which are safe and hygienic. If your mattress has an ugly stain or nasty smell that household cleaning products can’t remove, then you should consider recycling or disposing of it.


 If you can’t find a charity that will take your old mattress or fear that it isn’t fit to be used again, then you should consider recycling it at a local recycling centre. However, you need to double check that your mattress can be recycled first – while natural mattresses can easily be recycled, plastic-based memory foam one may not – and then contact the local council or private recycling company to arrange a visit or collection.

Sending it to the manufacturer: 

As more and more businesses adopt eco-friendly policies, many mattress manufacturers accept old mattresses for recycling, meaning your old bed can be returned to sender. If you’re unsure of a manufacturer’s recycling policy, check their official website or get in touch to request a collection to give your old mattress a fitting end.


However, if you’re unable to donate or recycle your mattress for whatever reason, you’ll need to dispose of it responsibly, which entails a specific set of rules and regulations. You can’t just put your old mattress in your houses black bin, so contact your local council or private skip to make sure they can process it before arranging a visit.

How to dispose of a box spring? 

Just like mattresses, the construction and materials of box springs mean that they must be disposed of in specific ways, not just left outside for the binmen to collect. You can get rid of your old box spring by:


Many recycling companies will collect and dispose of box springs, either by reusing the springs or breaking it down into raw materials which are sent to spring producers, etc. Generally, recycling is better for the environment and the economy than just sending your old box spring to a landfill, so you should always try to recycle it with the local council or a private recycling company before disposing of it.

Throwing out: 

Unfortunately, the cumbersome nature of box-springs means that many people just dispose of them at the tip. While this is a rather wasteful way to get rid of an old box spring and most will end up in a landfill, you can responsibly dump your box spring by going to a tip or contacting a waste disposal company to collect it.


Even if you buy the sturdiest mattress and box spring on the market, there will come a day when you need to replace them and dispose of your old ones. But now that you know the signs of an old mattress and how to responsibly dispose of them you’re well on your way to a peaceful night’s sleep on your new memory foam or natural mattress.

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