Is It Time for You to Replace Your Mattress? Here's How to Dispose of It, According to Sleep Experts

Recycle the piece whenever possible—it could have a new lifecycle.

modern mattress on bed frame
Photo: atiatiati / Getty Images

On average, mattresses last between six and eight years—and possibly longer under the best conditions. According to Brooke Alexander, a sleep expert at Nest Bedding, there are a few signs that it might be time to toss yours out. The first? Everything from stains to torn fabric are indicators signs that your mattress has seen better days. "Naturally, your mattress will start to show signs of wear and tear over time," she says. "This can include sagging, lumps, and coils that are felt or seen through the mattress." Other signs of an old mattress include excessively noisy springs (which could mean they are weakening) and worsening allergies (this happens when dust builds up in the material). "You should consider replacing your mattress if it begins to feel less supportive or cause pain upon waking up in the morning," Nicole Slinger, a certified health and sleep science coach, adds. "The right mattress will be supportive enough to keep your back aligned and plush enough to contour to your body's pressure points."

So, when you know your mattress needs to be replaced, what should you do with the old one? Here, find three expert-approved ways to dispose of it.

Recycle Your Mattress

Part ways with your mattress by recycling it whenever possible, as these big pieces often lead to unnecessary waste. "They are usually comprised of memory foam, which is a petroleum and chemical based material and they are typically wrapped in a plastic fabric, like microfiber or polyester," Alexander says. As a result, when they are dumped in landfills, they do not decompose. Go online and check to see if your state offers a recycling program; try the Mattress Recycling Council. (Some locales even offer pickup services, free of charge.)

Donate Your Mattress

"If your state does not offer this option, you can donate your mattress to secondhand locations such as the Salvation Army, Goodwill, or to a local charity in your area if the mattress is in good condition," Alexander says. "Lastly, if these options are not available to you, you can always free-cycle your mattress to someone online via Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace." By going these routes, you can avoid sending your mattress to a landfill.

Use an Online Service

Check online at your mattress' manufacturer's website; many retailers, like Luuf, offer mattress disposal services (this brand, in particular, provides its mattress disposal services when you purchase a new one to make the transition as seamless as possible). Casper also has a bedding recycling program, called Resnooze & Recycle, which allows you to retire your old piece. Simply bring your mattress to a participating Casper sleep shop. From there, they'll recycle and offer a discount on a brand new bed.

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