How to dispose of your old mattress
5 ways to dispose of your old mattress
Looking for mattress disposal options? Here's a complete list of the 5 ways to get rid of your old mattress. With details about convenience and prices as well as useful links:
- Donate or sell your mattress
- Retailer take-back
- Take it to a recycling centre
- Council bulky waste collection
- Man & van mattress removal
1. Donate or sell your old mattress
You can get rid of your old mattress for free by donating or selling it. You can donate to a charity or donate or sell the mattress to an individual.
Firstly, in order to donate your mattress to charity, it needs to have a fire safety label. Unfortunately, if you don’t have one, charities are not legally allowed to accept them. A fire safety label looks like this:
If you have a fire label - it’s worth searching if any local charities, homeless shelters or women’s refuges are looking for mattress donations. In addition, national charities are normally happy to receive good quality, clean mattresses. See a full list below.
Organisations that reuse mattresses
Giving away to individuals
Don't worry if you don't have a fire label. You could still get rid of the mattress for free. The best places to give things away for free online are LoveJunk, Freecycle and Freegle. If you’re hoping to get a bit of cash, you could try selling it on websites like Facebook Marketplace, Gumtree and Preloved.
Increase your chances of success by including photos with good lighting and a clear (and true!) description. For example, 'second hand mattress in great condition' sounds much better than 'old mattress'. Most importantly, let people know if there are any imperfections. Better to be transparent than to waste people's time.
2. Retailer take back
Some retailers offer a mattress take back service. In other words, when you buy a new mattress, they will take away your old mattress for an extra charge. Note this service is only available if you buy your new mattress from them at the same time.
The table below shows which retailers will remove your old mattress, the price they charge, and how to book.
Table of retailers offering a mattress disposal service
3. Take it to the recycling centre
So, what if your mattress cannot be reused and your retailer doesn't pick up? One of your options is to take it to your local tip. Otherwise known as a council household waste recycling centre (HWRC) or civic amenity centre.
Other than donating your old mattress, taking it to the tip is usually the cheapest disposal option. The majority of HWRCs around the country are free to use. The only disadvantage is the transport. You’ll need a car to get there and your closest recycling centre may not be close to where you live, especially if you live in a rural area. Also, fitting the mattress in the back of your car could be tricky depending on the size of your car and whether or not the mattress rolls up.
Use our Interactive Map of Council Tips to find your nearest site.
4. Council bulky waste collection service
Most councils offer a bulky item collection service for any household waste too big for your wheelie bin. Check your council’s website for price and conditions. Prices vary from free to more than £70. The average charge is around £33.
The main downside of using the council service compared to a private collector is how long you need to wait. Wait times can often be more than a couple of weeks. In addition, council collectors can only remove items from outside the property.
Fancy seeing how your council’s service compares to the rest of the country? Check out our article on Council Large Item Collection Prices.
5. Man and van mattress removal
Man and van mattress removal is the collection and disposal of your mattress by a licensed waste carrier. This solution is speedier than the council bulky service. You will normally be able to find a collector who can pick up within 24 hours or lesss. Other advantages of using a private waste contractor are that they can collect from inside your property and also remove other waste at the same time.
When you use a private waste collector, you have a ‘Duty of Care’ to make sure the waste isn’t fly tipped. Unfortunately, this is very common and the industry has a lot of cowboy operators who dump your old mattress illegally after picking it up cheaply. If the authorities can trace the waste back to you, you’ll get a fine. So, when you hire a waste carrier, always check they are properly licensed by the Environment Agency.
Note: all waste collectors on LoveJunk marketplace are EA licensed and fully insured to remove waste. You can also read verified reviews from past customers.
Prices - How much does mattress disposal cost?
The typical cost to have a mattress removed by a licensed waste collector is between £30-£70 (the average price is £50).
If you’d like to get some removal quotes for your old mattress, all you need to do is post a listing on the LoveJunk marketplace. Creating a listing is free of charge and no obligation.
Here are some priced examples of mattress collections that happened recently on LoveJunk: