If you find yourself with a mattress you no longer need, you’re likely puzzled as to what to do with it. Donating or recycling a mattress is an eco-friendly alternative to dropping it off at the dump, but how does the process work? What about selling it, or donating your mattress to someone in need? Let’s go over a few options for how you can dispose of your used mattress responsibly to make room for your new one.

Mattress Recycling

Because mattresses are relatively bulky, depending on the mattress size, they can be difficult to recycle. But mattresses contain several valuable materials that can increase its recycling market. About 80 percent of materials in a mattress can be recycled. When you throw a mattress in the trash, those materials are wasted.

Mattresses can be awkward and difficult to transport because of their size and weight, so the best way to recycle them is through a company who will haul it away for you. In the U.S., there are several options available depending on which state you live in.

Look for recyclers in your area using the resources available to you, whether that be a phone book or the internet. If you’re buying a new mattress, ask the store you’re purchasing from if they can haul away your old one for recycling. You can also call and ask your local recycling or waste pick-up program or second-hand store and ask similar questions.

Donating a Mattress

Before donating your used mattress, be sure it’s free of major defects. Wear and tear is normal, but donated mattresses that are in very bad shape to begin with will likely end up in the trash anyway. Address issues like stains, rips, holes, tears, mold, or bed bugs before donating.

While, sadly, Goodwill cannot accept used mattresses, some other second-hand stores can. The Salvation Army is one place you can usually donate your used mattress, as long as it still has some life in it. And they’ll even pick it up for you, so you won’t have to leave the house. Habitat for Humanity also accepts gently used mattresses.

If you’re set on donating your mattress, you can also reach out to homeless shelters and churches in your area to see if donating it to them is an option.

Alternatively, you can use an online database that matches those in need of home furnishings to those who can donate them.

Selling a Used Mattress

If your mattress is in great shape, you may decide to sell it to offset the cost of purchasing a new mattress.

Before you sell your mattress, look into applicable laws and regulations in action in your state. Others require used mattresses be professionally cleaned or disinfected before they are sold. Your local regulations will let you know which steps you need to take next in the resale process.

If your state does allow the sale of used mattresses, determine whether or not there is a used mattress store near you. Used mattress stores will usually have pickup or dropoff processes in place to purchase your mattress with little hassle.