So you’re looking for a new mattress.

This means you need to get rid of your old one. Are you asking yourself “Do I throw it out? “, “How can I recycle it?” and “Is it even possible to recycle a mattress?”.

Let’s find out.

Getting rid of an old mattress is not easy. After looking everywhere and asking a lot of people, you still don’t know what to do. Even if you do, transporting a mattress of over at least 15 kilograms is difficult.

In order to find out if you can recycle or dispose of a used mattress, you need to first find out what kind of a mattress you have. Some mattresses like cotton filled and spring ones are recyclable, but others like inflatable air mattresses are nearly impossible to recycle. 

Health concerns like years of dead skin cells and dust mites accumulation makes recycling tricky. However, there are ways of repurposing and reusing your old mattress. 

If nothing works out, you could always get rid of your used mattress by donating it to charities like old age homes and orphanages, or even animal shelters.

Let’s look at what that means and what you can do about it.


The first thing you should consider is what kind of a mattress you have.

We have a whole bunch of mattresses in India, from Ortho and Latex mattresses to Spring and plain old Cotton ones.

A typical foam mattress from Amazon

Let’s figure out which one you have.

The following table shows the different kind of mattresses and their typical features.

Plain Cotton MattressFoldable mattress.
Filled with cotton.
Usually unbranded
Foam MattressMemory mattresses.
Consists of several layers of foam.
Very soft to feel.
Ortho MattressMedium-firm feel.
Usually covered with polyester fabric.
Spring MattressHas a lot of metal coils suspended between other layers.
Offers a lot of bounce.
Air MattressInflatable mattress.
Latex Usees latex foam instead of memory foam.
More firm at the bottom compared to the top.
Hybrid Could have a combination of above categories – like gel and foam or air chamber in foam.

Still can’t figure out which one you have?

Just look for your mattress’s brand and try and find out from their website, if you can. You can also look at the tag, like in the image.

For specifications of your old mattress – Check the tag

If not, no worries. Let’s move on.

The kind of mattress you have affects whether it can be reused or recycled.


Do you know when it is really the time to get a new mattress?

Studies like this have shown that mattresses play a huge role in the quality of sleep, and objectively increase sleep efficiency and reduce motor activity.

Buying a mattress is also not regular or a cheap affair. It takes years for us to decide to change one.

The reasons for you to change could be:

  • Lumps in the mattress, or sagging in certain areas.
  • Your quality of sleep is very bad, you are uncomfortable and move a lot in your bed.
  • The mattress is torn and the foam/cotton is exposed.
An example of a totally unusable mattress

The last one is a big health risk and you should consider changing your mattress as soon as you can.


The next big question you need an answer to is, can you really recycle your used mattress?

The answer is both yes and no. Let’s explore.

A study on dust mites’ population in Indian households showed that a survey of homes with dust mites, 60% of the dust mite population is reported from the bed, mattresses, and pillows, 30% in upholstery, and 10% in the carpet.

Dust mites find their way to your bed through your clothes and even your pets. Another article by Mirror UK explains how an average adult sheds 454 grams of dead skin cells per year and shed 285 millilitres of fluid every night!

These dead skin cells are what dust mites feed on – so now you know why 60% of all dust mites in your home are found inside your mattress or on your bed.

All of this is going into your mattress, for years on end. Let’s face it – none of us cleans our mattress as often as our sheets or duvets. 

So when it comes to your own mattress, recycling it depends on what type of mattress you have.


If you have a foldable cotton-filled mattress, you definitely can extend its life by getting cotton refilled in it from time to time.
This could be done once in a few years. Any local mattress repair shop near you is the best place for this.

If you have a spring, foam or ortho hybrid mattress (in most cases), it is not possible to repurpose it further. However, you could recycle it.
Ask your local old paper mart, or junk mart near your house if they could transport it to the right place. They even pay you for your mattress most times.

Old Mattresses can be recycled in processing centers

For inflatable air mattresses, it depends.
Is your air mattress damaged and cannot be filled with air? If so, it can be repurposed. Try your local furniture shop or cotton mattress shops. You could get it fixed.

If it is completely unusable, you have two options :
1. Ask your local junk mart if they will take it for recycling.
2. If not, ask your sanitation worker to dispose of it for you.

If you really want to go the extra mile and be a great citizen of your community, you could donate it after getting it fixed for a small fee.


Mattresses are big and heavy. The smallest 6-inch single foam mattress (74 x 36 inches) could weigh as much as 15 kilograms.
This means it’s impossible to carry it out on your own or fit it in most cars!

Wouldn’t you like it if your retailer could pick up your old mattress while delivering your old one?

Ecommerce giants usually do not pick up your used mattresses, but there are some online stores of brands, that do.
You could consider directly buying from them.

One of the best examples of this is Sunday Mattress.

Sunday has a wide variety of both budget-friendly and premium latex mattresses of all sizes – so you can pick the best one to have that healthy night’s sleep you’ve always wanted.
They even have a no-commitment 100-night free trial.

Why Sunday mattress’ reverse pick up could be right for you:

Sunday picks up a maximum of 3 mattresses per household.
They do not dump mattresses. In fact, they say they either donate the mattresses to charities or to the needy.

If it is completely unusable, they will transport your old mattress to a designated dump yard of the municipality.

You can be sure of proper disposal and never lose sleep over it.

If you’re buying at a local mattress shop, you could ask them for a similar service. They might even give you a small discount for exchanging your used mattress if it means more business for them.


If you absolutely can’t find a way to recycle your mattress or exchange it in any way, here’s a list of what you could do.

1. Donate it to your local animal shelter.

Animals that are recused need a place to sleep on, and animal shelters are always looking for donations to help them.

Help Animals in shelters by donating your used mattresses

Look for your nearest animal shelter or dog kennels and contact them. You’ll be surprised by the acceptance and how much they actually need help.

2. Contact some old age homes or orphanages in your locality and have it transported there.

If your old mattress is in a fairly good and usable condition, you could also contact old age homes and orphanages or other similar charities.

This could go a long way in helping them. This also gives you some satisfaction in doing a good deed.

3. Have your local municipal sanitary worker dispose of it for you.

The last resort is for you is to ask your local municipal sanitation worker if he could get rid of your used mattress for a small fee.

This could save you the trouble of having to do it yourself.

The next question you might have is “How can I transport my old mattress to these places?”

If they won’t pick it up, you can use a facility like Porter or LaLa Move.

The rates are very nominal, and you could also get discounts for your first transport order.


To sum up, getting rid of your used mattress can be quite a challenging task. You need to look for people who will help you with it, and in most cases donating makes the most sense.

The best option would be for you to buy your new mattress from online stores like Sunday Mattress, where they will pick up your old ones – or ask your local retailer if they pick it up.

If nothing works out, the best thing you can and should do is have it fixed and donate it.

How was your experience disposing of your used mattress? Did you find any retailer offering a discount for exchanging your old mattress?

Let us know by leaving a comment!

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