If you’re thinking about replacing your mattress with a brand new upgrade for a better night’s sleep, then you’ve probably also considered what to do about getting rid of your old one and in a responsible, stress-free way. 

To help we’ve put together a handy guide on how to dispose of mattresses, including the range of free options available.

Is it time to replace your mattress?

According to the UK Sleep Council, which conducts independent research into the relationship between sleep and health, you should change your mattress after more than 20,000 hours of use or about seven years. 

If you bought your current one around five years ago, you should now start taking note of its condition.

Here are a few signs telling you that it could be time for a change:

  • Waking up with stiffness in the joints or numbness in your limbs

  • Feeling exhausted even after eight hours of sleep

  • Visible signs of excessive wear and tear, such as sagging, lumps or rips

  • Suffering from symptoms of dust mite allergies, such as coughing or wheezing

  • Ending up in the centre of your bed during the night

Mattress disposal for free or at low cost

Many local authorities will collect old mattresses for free, so check with your own council to find out if this is a service they offer. If a fee is charged, it is almost certainly going to be a more cost-effective and less labour-intensive option than doing it yourself. 

On the downside, you are unlikely to have any say in where the mattress will end up, so there is a good chance it will end up in landfill rather than being recycled.

Environmentally friendly mattress disposal

In the UK, we discard around 7.5 million mattresses per year, enough to fill Wembley Stadium five times over. However, less than 20% are currently recycled, even though they contain many recyclable components. The springs can often be melted down for use in manufacturing new metal products, while the synthetic filling can be converted into energy.

Knowing how to dispose of your mattress responsibly is more important than ever, especially as recycling rates have been falling in recent years and pressures on our environment grow.  If this is of interest to you, then search online for one of many recycling facilities springing up across the country. Your council or other organisation may also offer a recycling service for household items.

Mattress disposal for a good cause

If your mattress is still in a good, clean condition, then consider donating it to a local charity or homeless shelter. Some charities, such as the British Heart Foundation and the British Red Cross, will not only in many cases collect your old one, they will also resell it and use the proceeds to help others in genuine need.

There are also grassroots not-for-profit organisations, such as Freecycle, which will connect you with someone in your local area looking for a second-hand mattress for free.