Don’t Throw It Out: Ways to Give an Old Mattress New Life

old mattress

Most high-quality mattresses last between 10-15 years if taken care of properly. But when your old mattress begins creaking when you roll over or when you start waking up feeling achy, you might decide that it is time for a new mattress. 

So what should you do with that old mattress? 

While some companies are starting to produce eco-friendly mattresses made of natural material that will decompose more quickly, most older mattresses probably aren’t made of a biodegradable material. The idea of sending your old mattress to a junkyard to slowly decompose might make you feel sick to your stomach. 

 But don’t go shipping it off to the junkyard just yet. There are plenty of ways to continue to use an old mattress. Here are 7 alternatives for you to consider. 

Resell it to another family

Depending on the overall state of your mattress and the laws in your area, you may be able to resell your mattress through an online marketplace or a consignment store. Many families are not able to afford the price of a new mattress but are willing to purchase gently-used mattresses. Some areas may require you to clean your mattress or label your mattress in a certain way before it can be resold. 

Donate it to a nonprofit 

Another way to dispose of furniture in an eco-friendly manner is to donate it. Many churches and shelters are looking for mattresses that they can give to families in need. Look for nonprofits in your area that help people get resituated after a disaster. However, some larger donation centers might not accept mattresses. Before you donate your mattress, make sure to call the nonprofit to see if they’ll accept it. Some nonprofits will even come to pick it up so that you don’t have to worry about the price of hauling it. 

Give it to a pet shelter

Humans aren’t the only ones in need of a comfortable bed. If your mattress has reached the point where you don’t feel comfortable giving it to another family, call up your local pet shelter. Many pet shelters put mattresses on the floors of dog cages so that larger dogs have a place to sleep at night. Some shelters will want to make sure that the mattress is clean and free of bedbugs before they’ll accept it. 

Use it in your guest room

If your mattress has reached a point where there is still life in it but isn’t comfortable enough to sleep on every night, consider putting it in your guest room. There is no reason to spend money on a new mattress that will only be used a few times a year. If you would like to make the mattress more comfortable, consider investing in a mattress topper such as the ones featured on to give the bed some extra cushion. 

Reuse the parts

Many parts within mattresses can serve other purposes. Stuffing can be used for pillows, wood can be used for carpentry work, and metal springs can be used for DIY projects. People have used mattress springs to create outdoor planters, letter holders, outdoor wreaths, and more! If you’re a creative individual, tear your old mattress open and see what you can do with the parts. At the very least, you can always use the wooden frame for firewood. 

Turn it into a compost bin

Have you ever considered composting but aren’t sure how to get started? Your old mattress might be of help. Some people use the wooden frames of old mattresses to create wooden compost bins. After you have the physical bin created, you can use the stuffing from within the mattress as a way to protect the compost from the weather and to keep the compost warm. Warmer compost piles can break down organic materials faster. 

Let the kids have it

If none of the above methods sound appealing, let your kids have the old mattress — they’ll think of something to do with it! Old mattresses can be used as a trampoline, a bed in a fort, or something to keep handy when friends spend the night. Kids always have plenty of creative ideas, they just need the freedom to explore.  

Final thoughts

Don’t let that old mattress waste away at the dump! Whenever you find yourself buying a new mattress, think carefully about how your old one can be reused. And as you’re deciding on a new mattress, look for ones made of sustainable materials that won’t add more waste to our planet. 

Clay Miller
the authorClay Miller
I am the creator/writer of and I'm an advocate for oceans, beaches, state parks. I enjoy all things outdoors (e.g. running, golf, gardening, hiking, etc.) I am a graduate of the University of Kentucky (Go Wildcats!!). I'm also a huge fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers. I was born and raised in the beautiful state of Kentucky.

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