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bare mattress on a bed in a bedroom.

You’ll have to get rid of an old mattress at several points during adulthood. It’s one of the many tasks that really hammers home the mundanity of getting older. Disposing of a mattress isn’t as simple as throwing it away in your general waste or recycling bin at home though.

A good mattress is important for your day-to-day happiness. Sleep is a delight, even if it’s to escape from responsibility for a few hours, and you might as well spend a third of your life feeling comfortable. To do that, you need to invest in a good bed and dispose of your old mattress when it stops giving you the support you deserve.

Find out how to dispose of a mattress in this guide.

Mattress Disposal

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How to get rid of a mattress

Getting rid of a mattress isn’t the simplest task. It won’t fit in your bin, your local council probably won’t collect it, and leaving it in a field will land you with a fine. Unlike old sofas or clothes, there isn’t a particularly big second-hand mattress market, unless you find someone who’s a bit weird.

Still, there are ways to dispose of your old mattress safely and securely. These include arranging mattress collection by a professional waste firm, taking it to the tip, or donating to a worthy cause. Our team at Divert are no strangers to mattress collection and here we explain your options when it comes to getting rid of an old mattress.

Can I recycle my old mattress? 

As much as it’d be a dream to recycle your own mattress, the truth is that mattress recycling isn’t easy. It’s a labour-intensive job but more facilities for recycling mattresses are popping up around the UK. However, transporting it yourself isn’t ideal as you’ll need to squash it into the boot of your car and drive it there.

Your closest facility for recycling a mattress might be miles away, adding to fuel costs. Ultimately, the best way to ensure your old mattress goes to the right place is to hire a company to collect and recycle it for you. Do yourself a favour by hiring a competitive, caring company like Divert to do the hard work for you.

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When should I get rid of my mattress?

Most mattresses last between seven and ten years, regardless of the type you own. Even if it’s firm or was sold to you as something that’ll outlast the roof over your head, it simply won’t. The longevity of a mattress depends on a few things:

  • Not flipping or turning it regularly can mean you get problems in specific areas where you sleep.
  • Using a mattress on the wrong bed base can lower its lifespan, as it won’t get the support it needs.
  • If you’re chunkier than the average monkey, certain mattresses – especially cheaper ones – might give up quicker, thanks to their creators basing people’s physique on catwalk models, athletes, or the Borrowers.

Most importantly, it depends on the type of mattress you have.

  • The lowest on the performance scale is the standard spring mattress. While technology has improved a lot, you’ll most likely have to get rid of a spring mattress sooner than any other type.
  • Pocket-sprung mattresses are more popular than ever, but they still need care and attention to get the most out of them.
  • Then there are memory foam mattresses – massive monsters that might be really comfortable for some, but at the expense of being heavier than your car.

Neither pocket-sprung or memory foam options last longer than ten years. If anything, you might find that problems with these two types of mattresses are more obvious quicker than old-school, standard spring types. Either way, if it’s time to get rid of your mattress, you need to weigh up your options.

How can I get rid of my mattress?

Firstly, if you’re thinking about setting fire to your mattress, don’t be a dick. Not only does it throw a load of chemicals into the air, but you’re still going to be left with a load of metal coils or other bits after it’s finished burning. This won’t look great on your property – and, of course, you’ll get fined if you ditch it elsewhere.

Luckily, there are a few options for what to do with an old mattress in the UK, but some are better than others.

Can you put a mattress in a skip?

You can dispose of a mattress in a skip, but you probably shouldn’t – especially if you’re looking to save money or do things in an eco-friendlier way. Skip hire for a mattress-sized bucket could set you back at least £200 – more if you don’t have off-street parking and need a roadside permit.

It’s also shocking for the environment. Skips need two big trucks to ferry it to and from your house, and nine times out of ten, it’ll end up in a landfill, where it’ll take hundreds of years to decompose. You’ll save money now, and lives in the future, by going a different route.

Skip hire vs man with a van

Can you dispose of a mattress at the tip?

You can dispose of a mattress at your local tip or household waste recycling centre (HWRC) in most cases. Check with your nearest tip that they accept old mattresses first. However, taking a mattress to the tip isn’t the best option as it could end up in landfill.

You’ll also need to load your old mattress into or onto your car and drive it there, then unload it at the tip. When disposing of such large items there may also be a limit on how many you can get rid of at the tip each year and you might have to show proof of address.

mattress on a bed.
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Mattress Collection

Can I get my mattress picked up by a disposal company? 

Well, why else would we be giving you this explainer? Of course you can get your old mattress collected by a disposal company – and very few, like our team at Divert, will do it in an environmentally friendly way. The benefits of getting your mattress collected are obvious:

  • We’ll pick it up from anywhere in your house, in a safe and responsible way, saving you all the leg work
  • Our vans only need to do one trip, meaning you’re more responsible with the environment
  • We’ll either donate it to a worthy cause, or recycle it to ensure you’re doing everything you can to help the environment

When it comes to mattress removal, don’t just trust any man in a van – after all, fly-tipping from unlicensed or dodgy “companies” could land you with a massive fine. With companies like Divert, you’ll know where we’re taking your rubbish, and you’ll have all the documentation to prove that you’re doing the right thing.

Can I give my mattress to charity – or donate it? 

Charity mattress collection does exist, and it’s a great way to avoid landfill, but it may have to meet specific, hygiene-wary circumstances. Your classic UK stalwarts like the British Heart Foundation – which operates furniture shops – will happily take and resell your mattress, if it’s clean enough. Meanwhile, other groups like the Furniture Donation Network will give your old mattress to someone who needs one.

Luckily, most of these organisations will pick it up free of charge. You’ll have to take pictures to prove it’s fine, and you’ll need to have the fire label intact – something a lot of people often remove.

You can always list it on a site like Freecycle or Gumtree. We’ve all happily seen other people’s trash as our own treasure, even if mattresses might be a bit more niche and questionable on a second-hand basis than a sofa, freezer, or BMX. Still, someone might take it off your hands and even collect it for free.

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Will the council get rid of my mattress? 

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Very few councils will pick up your old mattress in the UK – and those that offer the service will most likely charge you. Many also have long waiting lists, meaning you could find yourself with a weeks-long wait before the wire-mesh Ford Transit turns up, waiting for you to hurl your mattress in the back.

Check with your local council though, as some may take your mattress as part of their bulky waste collection service (if they run one). Luckily, councils that do offer the service tend to operate good recycling services.

Where can I get rid of old mattresses?

At Divert we run a man and van service across Yorkshire that can collect and responsibly dispose of any type of old mattress from homes and businesses. You can get rid of an old mattress from the following locations and their surrounding regions:

How to dispose of a mattress with Divert

We may be biased, but we believe the best way to dispose of a mattress is with Divert. Why? We’ll provide a free no obligation quote based on your needs to start with. If you’re happy to proceed we’ll arrange to come and remove your mattress at a suitable time and date that slots in with your schedule.

Two or more of our team will drive over in one of our purple vans, hop out, carry your old mattress out of your house, load it off and drive off. You don’t need to do any lifting or carrying, or put it outside, and we’ll ensure the mattress is recovered, recycled, or reused and always diverted away from landfill.

Call 0333 444 0118 or contact us online for your free quote for mattress collection today.

no hidden charges

Get your mattress collected

Get a quick FREE quote for mattress removal

  • Quick quote within 1 hr
  • All types of mattresses
  • Claim your free bins
  • Nationwide coverage