Tips for getting rid of an old bed
Purchasing a new mattress is a joyous occasion. Especially when you realize your old mattress was well past its prime and your best nights' sleep are still ahead of you.
Mattress disposal, on the other hand, is a cuboid-shaped puzzle. Many questions arise when considering how to dispose of an old mattress. Can you, for example, take a mattress to the landfill? Can you leave it on the sidewalk? Is it acceptable to hold an unseasonal 'bonfire night' celebration? (The answers to the first two questions should be self-explanatory, but just in case, please don't leave your mattress on the side of the road or set it on fire.) )
Contrary to popular belief, old mattresses are not cast in international productions of The Princess And The Pea. Mattress disposal can result in the disposal of large, multi-material objects in landfills. Waste is never good in any form, but mattresses are particularly large pieces of waste, so getting this right is critical.
That's why we've researched the best ways to dispose of an old mattress, all of which are simple to implement and environmentally friendly.
READ NEXT: Best mattress: Our recommendations for the best memory foam, pocket-sprung, hybrid, and budget mattresses
UPDATE: Unsurprisingly, the UK's coronavirus regulations have had a significant impact on how easy it is to dispose of your mattress. While many of the services discussed in this article continue to operate under Covid-secure guidelines, some retailers, including Ikea, have suspended their collection services. Check the retailer's website for more information on its Covid policy.
The rest of the article is available below.
Quick links for removing an old mattress
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Everything you need to know about mattress disposal
Mattresses are they recyclable?
Yes Many of the components that comprise your mattress are 100% recyclable. Recycling plants can break them down into these components and redistribute each to an industry that can use it.
Can I donate my old mattress?
If you believe your mattress is no longer suitable for you, it is unlikely to be suitable or healthy for anyone else to sleep on. The National Sleep Council recommends replacing your mattress every seven years.
This means that, while passing down a mattress to your children or donating it to a charity shop is a cost-effective way to dispose of it, it is not always the best option.
Can I take my mattress to the landfill?
If everything else fails, you can take your old mattress to the skip and dispose of it yourself. We do not, however, recommend this course of action. Mattresses, as previously stated, are recyclable; however, unless you find a good recycling plant, disposing of your mattress at the tip means that it will most likely end up in landfill.
Furthermore, simply dumping it may result in a fee, so keep reading as we explore other, more environmentally responsible ways to dispose of your mattress.
How can I have my mattress picked up for free?
Because ideal worlds do not exist, it should come as no surprise that finding someone to collect your mattress for free is difficult.
However, it is not impossible. Some charities, such as the British Heart Foundation, will offer to pick up your old mattress (along with bed frames, divans, and bedroom furniture) for free. Keep in mind that the mattress must be clean and usable, with no damages or stains. Given that you're getting rid of it, this may not be the case.
Another option for charity is to organize a collection from Emmaus. This charity usually collects for free, but it's worth checking out their website. Your mattress will then be used in housing for people who Emmaus is attempting to assist in avoiding substance abuse or violence. As a result, the mattress must be clean and in good condition.
Can I hire someone to dispose of my mattress?
Most mattress retailers go above and beyond simply selling a mattress by offering to pick up your old bed-pal upon delivery of its replacement. Here's a quick rundown of what the leading mattress manufacturers/retailers currently offer in terms of collection and recycling:
Emma charges £39 for mattress removal. The mattress will be donated to a partner charity (Debra, Shelter, or The British Heart Foundation), recycled, or sold on eBay as an 'Emma Refurbished' product, depending on its condition. Simply select the 'old mattress removal' option when checking out to schedule a collection date (which must be different from the delivery date).
Emma mattress disposal
Dreams, like Emma, provides a collection service for mattresses that are ready for pastures new. You'll need to pre-wrap your mattress for pickup, but the Dreams website goes into great detail and walks you through the entire process. This service costs £30 for a single mattress (including bed frames, divan bases, and children's beds), £40 for a double, and £45 for a king or superking mattress. And you can rest assured that your old mattress is in good hands with Dreams, who will disassemble it and ensure that each component is properly recycled.
Mattress recycling Dreams
Warning: most retailers provide the same level of service. Ikea is no exception, allowing customers to pay for mattress recycling at the checkout. It also happens to be the best value mattress collection option, with prices starting at £20 (on delivery of a new one). That's a steal.
Due to coronavirus restrictions, Ikea has temporarily suspended its collection service.
Mattress removal from Ikea
It will cost you £40 to use Otty's mattress collection service, which isn't too bad. Mattresses must be removed from bed frames for the courier team to arrange collection, and Otty claims that mattresses are recycled within a few days.
Mattress disposal Otty
John Lewis charges £30 for mattress collection. The retailer states that it will dispose of your old mattress "responsibly," and while this is open to interpretation, you can't argue with the reasonable price of this service.
Mattress disposal at John Lewis
Mattress Purchase Online
When you buy a mattress from Mattress Online, you can have your old one picked up at the time of delivery. Mattress Online is extremely proud of its recycling initiative, which it has developed in collaboration with The Furniture Recycling Group, which ensures that mattress components are separated and distributed to industries that can benefit from the raw materials. The service is £25 and is one of the more affordable options on this list.
In response to the coronavirus pandemic, some additional safety precautions have been implemented. Mattress Online's collection service is still available, but you must leave your old mattress by your front door on delivery day (unless you have requested two-man delivery). More information can be found here.
Mattress Disposal Online Mattress Disposal
Argos will take your old mattress away for £20, competing with Ikea for the title of 'Cheapest Mattress Removal Service.' You'll need to buy a new one to take advantage of this service, as with every other option on this list. Although Argos isn't entirely clear on the process, it does say that "a trusted recycling partner" will collect the mattress and deconstruct it, with over 95% of the material re-used.
Mattress disposal at Argos
Paying a waste removal company
Hire the services of a waste disposal company if you really want to know where your mattress is going - and when. To find your nearest mattress collection and disposal company, simply conduct a web search with your location settings turned on.
These businesses frequently claim to recycle and to provide excellent customer service and flexibility. So, for a fee, you can have your mattress collected whenever you want and delivered to a location of your choosing.
Collection by the Council
Mattress collection and disposal services are also provided by municipal governments. Look up your local council's services on Gov.uk. Most municipalities allow residents to choose a convenient collection day and to schedule other large items to be collected at the same time. The service isn't included in your Council Tax, so you'll have to pay a separate fee. It's also a good idea to send your local authority a quick email to inquire about how the mattress will be disposed of. Ours confirmed that bulk collections are recycled, so we feel better about the fee.
Upcycling is becoming more popular. Not only does it benefit the environment, but repurposing old products into new, more useful ones has personal benefits as well (plus it can be a fun DIY activity).
However, unlike repurposing tin cans into planters, repurposing a mattress is a massive undertaking. In fact, unless you're an experienced upcycler, we'd recommend using one of the more convenient recycling methods outlined above before attempting to disassemble your mattress yourself. However, if you have the means and ability to do so, and you're feeling particularly inventive, upcycling your old mattress isn't entirely out of the question. Check out the Happy Beds blog for some ideas.
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