According to most sources, the average lifespan of a mattress is 10 years. With that in mind, it’s likely there will be several times in your life when mattress disposal is at the top of your to-do list. So how do you dispose of a mattress? Most curbside waste haulers won't accept mattresses as part of the regular collection, so learn the various ways you can get rid of your old mattress.
How do you throw out a mattress?
Curbside Trash Collection
The process will vary based on your waste hauler’s policy for bulky item disposal, including mattresses, box springs, and bed frames. Check with your regular waste hauler to see if they offer a mattress pick-up option. Many will allow pick-up of bulky items for an additional fee.
Curbside mattress disposal may require putting the mattress in a mattress disposal bag. Check with your waste hauler to see if they have them available, or purchase them online.
Renting a dumpster is a great option, but first, you need to confirm whether or not mattress disposal is accepted. Assuming they do allow for mattresses in the dumpster, it’s a good idea to have other debris or junk to dispose of along with the mattress, box spring, and bedframe.
Since a standard 10 yard dumpster rental costs $250 to $300 on average, this is a pricey disposal option IF you don’t maximize the space in the dumpster to dispose of other junk or debris. Plan accordingly if you plan to rent a dumpster for disposing of mattresses, box springs, bedframes, etc.
Some dumpster companies charge an additional fee and require that you set bulky items like mattresses, car tires, etc. next to the dumpster for pick-up.
Junk Removal Service
Hiring a junk removal company to come pick up the mattress is generally a cost-efficient and convenient option. Although prices will vary by company and by the local market, many junk removal providers will charge their minimum fee (or close to it) for mattress pick-ups.
This could range anywhere from $50 to $150 or more, depending on where you live. Get the best deal by calling at least two or three junk removal companies for estimates.
It’s tough to beat the convenience of going with a junk hauling company for the job – you pay a relatively small fee, they come out to your property, haul out the mattress, and dispose of it for you. Oftentimes, this can be done the same day you call.
This option is only available when the mattress is in nearly-new shape. A 10+-year-old mattress is past its usable lifespan and not a good candidate for donation.
Check with local charitable organizations to see if mattress donation is an option in your case. Several charities that accept mattress donations include Goodwill, Salvation Army, National Furniture Bank Association, and local churches.
TIP: Repurposing a mattress with some life left in it may be an option in your situation. For example, use the mattress/bed at a family vacation home, cottage, cabin, etc.
Give It Away
Posting the mattress on Craigslist may or may not draw any interest. On Craigslist, your trash is oftentimes someone else’s treasure!
In many cities, it’s free to publish an ad on Craigslist. Post an image and short description in the “Free” section of your local Craigslist and see what happens. If there’s no interest, go with one of the other mattress disposal options above.
TIP: Similarly to Craigslist, putting the mattress in a garage sale or on the curb with a “Free” sign may be effective options if allowed in your area. Check with your local town or city hall to avoid potential fines.
How NOT to Dispose of a Mattress
Avoid fines, even jail time, for disposing of mattresses in an illegal way. Beyond the legal ramifications, it’s bad for the environment to dump any type of waste in area forests, fields, streams, or other areas not specified for legal dumping.
Do NOT do the following:
- Drop the mattress off in a forest, empty lot, field, stream, etc.
- Leave the mattress next to a commercial dumpster
- Burn the mattress
- Leave the mattress on the curb without first getting authorization
Dispose of beds and mattresses legally by searching for local waste haulers that can get the job done: