How To Get Rid Of A Mattress In The UK. The RIGHT Way To Do It


A fantastic mattress relaxes and refreshes you for a new day but once it can’t do that anymore, it needs to be replaced. Now, how will you get rid of it? This is how to dispose of a mattress the correct way in the UK!

Your Mattress’s Lifespan

Mattresses aren't cheap to purchase. They usually cost at least two hundred pounds, depending on the material, quality, size, and brand. With all this in mind, it becomes difficult to replace it.

We expect to keep a mattress for at least ten years and will only change it once it looks aged or doesn't feel quite right. But even when it doesn’t feel right, you might still be hesitant to give it up. So, when’s the right time to replace your favourite mattress?

The Sleep Council recommend replacing your mattress after seven or eight years. This duration takes into consideration all the sweat we release during sleep and the general wear and tear it goes through after nightly use.

Sometimes our OWN needs change and we require something new from a mattress.

If you have a hard time sleeping, you wake up with muscle pains and aches, or you are unable to find rest easily, it might be time for a new mattress. But where should your old mattress go?

Here are five ways you can dispose of your mattress and one method that you should definitely not do.

Mattress Disposal Methods

1. Recycle It

The first thing you could consider doing is to recycle it! Turns out that mattresses are fully recyclable but unfortunately on average only 16% of them are actually recycled in the UK.

Having your mattress recycled is the most sustainable and eco-friendly disposal method, especially since all its parts can be used for better causes.

Just think— your old mattress helping the environment! Mattress springs and coils are melted together and used for new items. Foam, cotton, and fibre could be reused for padding or could be burned for energy.

Fabric and internal lining can likewise be given new life as upholstery for other items.

To recycle your mattress, there are services available that specialize in collecting beds for a small fee. However, be warned, not all services will recycle mattresses. Unfortunately, a lot of them will just throw your mattress in a rubbish dump, which could have a harmful effect on the environment since it’s not a biodegradable object.

There’s a lot of valuable material within each mattress and, while it can't serve you any longer, it might still be able to help out other people as well as the environment.

2. Donate It

The next possible method is to donate it or give it away. If it’s still clean, usable, and safe, there’s no harm in donating it to charity or in giving it to someone you know who could need it.

Donation is a marvellous way to save the environment whilst helping out someone in need. In the 3R’s, this would fall under the category ‘reuse'.

There are a number of charities that accept mattresses as donations. By donating to them, you can be reassured that your old mattress will go to someone in need. Each charity has its own mattress requirements that need to be met.

However, the downside to this is that it might take some time to arrange the collection.

If your mattress qualifies for donation, check these out:

Charity Mattress Requirements Fee
British Heart Foundation Clean, usable, with a fire label intact Free collection
The Freecycle Network No set requirements Personal collection
Furniture Donation Network Good quality with no obvious defects, fire label intact Free collection
Furniture Re-Use Network Excellent condition with fire label intact Unstated
Emmaus Clean, with fire label intact Unstated

3. Sell It

Another option for a pristine mattress is to sell it!

Before you sell your mattress, you’ll first have to make sure that it’s actually fit for sale. This means no stains, no funky smells, no wonky springs, and preferably the fire label is still intact. If your mattress fits the bill, feel free to list it!

If your mattress doesn’t really meet these conditions but you still really need to sell it, being honest about its condition and lowering its price is the way to go.

Remember to agree on a collection/delivery with any potential buyer, the logistics of transporting a mattress can be somewhat difficult, to say the least!

If you’re ready for that, there are a number of platforms that’ll allow you to sell second-hand mattresses. You’ll be setting the price, and it would be better to post with authentic pictures.

If you’re unsure of how to set a figure to it, it’ll be reasonable to sell around 20% – 30% of its sale price, while still considering the mattress size and quality!

Some marketplaces to consider are eBay, Gumtree, Preloved, and even Facebook Marketplace.

4. Have Someone Else Take Care Of It

Of course, there’s also the option of having someone else take care of it. If you’re getting rid of it, chances are that it’s at the end of its lifespan already, making it unfit for donations or selling.

If so, many organisations will gladly dispose of it for you. Here are a few groups you can call to collect your old mattress, as with all things,  be aware that they might charge you for their services.

The most popular option would be to call up your Local City Council for their large waste collection service. It used to be free of charge but this changed in recent years, in order to minimise costs and to encourage residents to look for cost-friendly methods to reuse and recycle mattresses.

Council fees vary per locality so we recommend looking it up online. It would also be good to check how they’ll dispose of it. Not all councils recycle them, choosing instead to send them to landfill.

Another option is to use a mattress disposal service. Some mattress brands and retailers offer to collect your old mattress, so long as you buy your new one from them (not all retailers offer this service).

Another mattress disposal service is Collect Your Old Bed, a UK-wide mattress, and bed collection service. They’re dedicated to recycling every bit of your old mattress for a small fee, starting at only £11.99!

Head over to their website for additional helpful mattress disposal information. We recommend you check out their page, you might find an answer to one of your questions there.

5. Take it to your local tip

Your final option is to, sadly, tip it. We say sadly because there are so many valuable resources in a single mattress that would go to waste at the local landfill. However, we understand that not everyone has the time or patience to research and coordinate with recycling centres, charities, and councils.

Taking your mattress to the tip is quick and might not even come with any fees involved, but could still come with challenges. Loading it in your car and driving it to your local tip will cost you fuel and time, and you’ll also have to consider your car space and also how far the landfill could be from you. Alternatively, a service such as Tiptapp or LoveJunk would do.

If you are trying to kill two birds with one stone and you have a big collection of furniture to get rid of then you could consider hiring a skip. However, hiring a skip for one queen-sized mattress could prove a pricey option!

Either way, both are perfectly acceptable and legal, if a little wasteful to think about the materials that could otherwise be given new life.

How Not To Do It!

Now that you’ve seen 5 ways to get rid of your old mattress, here is one thing you should definitely not do, even if it’s extremely common.

Fly-tipping is an unfortunate go-to for waste disposal, and is defined by the Collins Dictionary as the “deliberate dumping of rubbish in an unauthorised place.”

Leaving your old mattress and other waste on private property or by the side of the road is harmful to the environment and to human life, as these can be harmful pollutants. You can also be fined up to £50,000 if you’re caught doing this.

Final Thoughts

In summary, there’s a boatload of ways to get rid of your old mattress, with many advantages and disadvantages to consider for each. Some methods come free of charge while some will need you to pay a fee upfront.

We recommend that you either recycle or donate your old mattress, in order to make a healthy impact on the environment and on society. It also usually comes free of charge, making it a win-win situation.

Related Articles