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Zero Waste Made Easy

— by Sealy on May 28, 2024

We’ve all been there — you’ve just received your new mattress, and now you need to dispose of the old one. Researching how to do this properly can be a hassle, but it's important to do it correctly. Let us guide you through the process so you can purchase the perfect mattress without worrying about what to do with the old one.

A cocoon mattress delivered in a box to the front door

Properly disposing of your mattress helps maintain safety standards and local regulations. While getting a new bed can be an exciting experience, try to remain mindful of the negative impact that throwing away your old mattress can have on your community and the environment.

Did you know 50,000 mattresses are discarded daily in the United States alone? Adopting eco-friendly practices is crucial to building a sustainable future. Before disposing of your mattress, consider responsible options to reduce environmental impact and promote positive habits. We’ve compiled a list of the best options for your needs.

Get Creative

Upcycling old mattresses can be a clever way to give them a new purpose. With Pinterest, you can easily find inspiration and ideas to get started—a step toward a more eco-friendly world while allowing your creativity to flourish. Repurposing a mattress can be a fun and rewarding activity that helps you make the most of what you have. For example, you can shred the foam or cotton in your old mattress to make carpet padding, insulation, filters, seat cushions, pet bedding, pillows, and more. You can also turn the components into garden decor, wine racks or bottle holders, bookshelves, bird feeders, or even soundproofing for a room. By repurposing your mattress, you can save money, reduce waste and promote sustainability.

A Positive Impact

Recycling a mattress is an excellent way to save the environment and its resources. Every recycled mattress saves 500 gallons of water, conserves enough energy to power a home for three days, and reduces greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to driving 60 fewer miles. More than 75% of mattresses can be recycled.

You may also be able to find a pickup service near you for a small fee. Be careful when cutting up a mattress and handling all its materials. Separate any piping thread or binding cords from the edges and buttons or zippers from the mattress before cutting the top layer to make the recycling process more efficient.

Exploring Your Options

To donate your mattress to a charity or shelter, confirm it meets the organization’s requirements. Clean it by vacuuming the surface, removing stains, and using a disinfectant spray. Strip the bed down to the bare essentials and store it in a dry area until donation time. Consider giveaway groups such as Freecycle Network, Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, or local businesses if you can’t find a place to donate.


When discarding a mattress, explore donating, reselling, recycling, or repurposing. If none of these options work, avoid leaving it in a dumpster – each city may have different disposal rules. Check these regulations and utilize waste disposal services in your area whenever possible.

Although built to last, even Sealy® mattresses will eventually need to be replaced. Improper mattress disposal can result in fines or tickets, so check your local laws beforehand. Old mattresses may also harbor dust mites, allergens and bed bugs that pose potential health risks, making safe and responsible mattress disposal a necessity.

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