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Mattress Donation: How and Where to Donate a Used Mattress

Mattress Donation: How and Where to Donate a Used Mattress

by

Aoife O.
 | 
Jan 08, 2021

Unfortunately, mattress disposal is an environmental issue. An estimated 15 to 20 million mattresses end up in U.S. landfills every year, taking up critical space. But just because you’re done with your mattress doesn’t mean it should go to the trash heap. Your pre-loved mattress can go to a new home, helping someone in your community. In this guide, we’ll cover all the logistics of mattress donation and what options you have for rehoming your used bed.

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Can You Donate a Mattress?

Because mattresses are large, personal, and often heavily used, the donation process isn’t as straightforward as with other household items. If you’re looking to get rid of your mattress, you should start by searching your state’s laws on mattress reselling, donation, recycling, and disposal. These regulations vary from state to state, so you’ll want to research state-specific laws to learn about your options.


Depending on where you live, you may be able to donate your used mattress to the following:

  • A local charity or shelter
  • A national charity, thrift store, or shelter with a location nearby
  • Someone in your community via an online group or marketplace
  • A local or state-run mattress recycling program (Note: California, Connecticut, and Rhode Island have state mattress recycling programs through the Mattress Recycling Council. Oregon’s governor recently enacted legislation to get the program up and running there as well.)

Bed Frames, Box Springs, Bases, and Mattress Toppers

If you’re looking to re-home your mattress, you may also be interested in donating your bed frame, box spring, base, or mattress topper. Again, whether or not you can donate these items varies by state and by each charitable organization’s policies.


While box bed frames, box springs, and bases stay cleaner than mattresses, they’re still large items that are difficult to move and store, so not all charities and thrift stores take them. We recommend reaching out directly to your local donation center to ask if they’ll take your foundation.


Mattress toppers are much more manageable in size than mattresses, so they’re easy to repurpose or give to a friend or family member.


Are All Mattresses Accepted for Donation?

If a donation center, shelter, or other charity accepts mattresses, they’ll likely take any mattress type, including innerspring and memory foam. However, these organizations have to be strict about the cleanliness and condition of the mattresses they take.


When you go to donate a mattress, it will be assessed for:

  • Significant stains
  • Rips, tears, and holes
  • Serious sagging, indentation, or broken springs
  • Mold
  • Bed bugs


Where Can You Donate a Mattress?

If you think your used mattress is in good enough condition to donate, look up charities, thrift stores, and shelters in your area. We recommend calling them directly to ask if they can take your mattress off your hands. Unfortunately, many charitable organizations don’t have the resources to store or sanitize mattresses, which is required in many states for resale. To help you search, we’ve outlined the policies of a few well-known organizations below.

Catholic Charities

Most Catholic Charities locations do not accept mattresses, mattress pads, or box springs. Contact your local center for more information.

Furniture Bank Association of America

This network of furniture banks accepts all types of used furniture, including mattresses. Some even offer free pickup within 20 miles. Contact your local furniture bank for more information.

Goodwill

Most Goodwill locations do not accept mattresses or box springs. Contact your local center for more information.

Habitat for Humanity/ReStore

Habitat for Humanity mattress donation policies vary across the country, but in some locations, you can donate your mattress for resale at Habitat for Humanity's ReStore thrift shops. Contact your local center for more information.

Salvation Army

Many Salvation Army locations accept mattresses in good condition. Contact your local center for more information.

Local Thrift Stores

The vast majority of local thrift stores do not accept mattress donations, but it doesn’t hurt to call and ask.


If you can’t find a local organization that can accept mattress donations, you can always donate your mattress to someone directly. Reach out to friends and family and see if they or someone they know is in need of a mattress. You can also post to social media or online community groups, or list your mattress as free on a seller’s platform like Facebook Marketplace.

You can also post to social media or online community groups, or list your mattress as free on a seller’s platform like Facebook Marketplace.


How to Prepare Your Mattress for Donation

If you’ve found an individual or organization that can take your mattress donation, you’ll want to examine it thoroughly and prep it for pickup or dropoff. To get your mattress ready for its new home, follow these simple steps:

  • Remove all the bedclothes.
  • Vacuum the entire mattress, using the upholstery attachment to get into every crevice.
  • Check the entire mattress for severe stains, holes, bugs, or mold. If you find any, dispose of the mattress properly.
  • If needed, follow this guide to treat stains and refresh the mattress.

  • Store your mattress on its side on a dry floor. If you can, cover it with painter's plastic or tarp while you wait for pick up or a time when you can drop it off.

Conclusion

Hopefully, this guide has inspired you to donate, recycle, or resell your used mattress instead of throwing it away. It’s a win-win situation—someone gets a mattress they need, and there’s one less mattress headed to the landfill.

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