Can You Put a Mattress in a Dumpster

Do you have an old mattress on your hands that you’re looking to part with? Though that dumpster at the end of the street might seem convenient, you could end up paying far more than a removal fee for putting a mattress in a dumpster!

In most cases, it’s not okay to put a mattress in a dumpster. Mattresses can become fire hazards, they can overload a dumpster, and they can cause issues for waste service vehicles. Local waste removal management services may levy a hefty fine against you if you toss out your old mattress without prior permission. 

Let’s address some of the best ways to get rid of an old mattress to help you avoid unwanted dumpster-related fines and fees.

Best Ways to Dispose of an Old Mattress

You might think that putting your old mattress into the local dumpster is the best and most convenient way to get rid of it. However, you should try several other options before resorting to illegal, wasteful, or potentially hazardous dumping.

Getting rid of your old mattress is as easy as following five steps. Just be sure to:

  1. Sell
  2. Donate
  3. Gift
  4. Recycle
  5. Remove

By cycling through these steps, you can ensure a positive return on your mattress. If your mattress doesn’t put cash into your pocket, you may be able to donate it and claim a tax deduction on your gift or donation. 

If your old mattress and box spring are in awful shape, you can recycle them and repurpose the parts, making new objects. And if none of these options appeals to you, take heart in knowing that many mattress purveyors offer free mattress removal services upon delivering your new mattress!


If you could turn a profit on an old mattress that you were about to throw out, wouldn’t you? Unless your mattress is significantly damaged, you may be able to sell it to a private buyer or a used mattress retailer. 

Of course, before you start taking photos of your old mattress and creating online sales posts, you’ll want to assess its condition. It’s crucial to be honest with yourself and with potential buyers when declaring your mattress’s state. 

Don’t try to sell your mattress to private buyers if it has:

  • Bed bugs
  • Residue from pesticides
  • Mold growth
  • Significant staining
  • Rips and tears
  • Broken parts
  • Lingering odors

However, if your mattress is in great shape, you’ll want to take lots of high-quality pictures of the mattress. A variety of photographs taken from many angles and proximities will help boost buyer confidence and ensure that you remain a transparent, honest, and reliable seller. 

And once you’ve got your pictures ready, you can choose an online or local market!


Craigslist is one of the longest-standing online marketplaces, and it could be one of the best options for those trying to sell an old mattress. Because Craigslist is a trendy site, sellers can attract a lot of free attention quickly.  

Facebook Marketplace

If you currently use Facebook, you may want to try listing your mattress on Facebook Marketplace. This service helps you connect with buyers in your area, much like Craigslist. However, your seller ID is backed up by your current Facebook profile. 

Additionally, you’ll be contacted by other Facebook users, allowing you to vet out potentially scammers or problematic buyers. Overall, those that feel unsafe or unsecure when using Craigslist might prefer Facebook Marketplace.

Used Goods Apps

There are quite a few apps you could use to help you sell your old mattress. Some of the most popular used goods apps include LetGo and OfferUp. 

If you’re always on your smartphone or tablet, you may want to try one of these retail apps. They’re straightforward to use, and app-based notifications can help you stay up-to-date with interested buyers.

Local Retailers

Unless you live in a rural area, there’s likely a used mattress retailer in your town or county. If your old mattress is in great shape, your local used mattress retailer might be willing to come to pick it up and pay you for it. 

Just use your preferred search engine or GoogleMaps to find a used mattress dealer near you! Still, some retailers might turn you down, citing your mattress’s age or condition. If you feel like your bed is in excellent enough shape to do some good in the world, you can always donate it to someone in need.

Donating your old mattress is a smart way to free up room for a new model. It also ensures that someone who needs a mattress has access to one. Some of the most popular non-profit organizations include:

  • Goodwill
  • The Salvation Army
  • Habitat for Humanity

Be sure to contact your preferred organization to ask about mattress removal and pick-up services. Some organizations offer curbside pick-up and removal, but others require you to bring your donation to the nearest donation center or drop-off location. 

Mattress donations may count as a tax deduction, so be sure to keep a receipt of your gift. You might end up saving money when tax season rolls around!


Do you have a friend or family member that could benefit from using your old mattress? If so, you might want to give that mattress away as a thoughtful gift. 

Of course, if your chosen recipient isn’t able or willing to pick up the mattress, you might still need to hire someone to help you move it to its new home. If you’re not looking to take this extra step, or you don’t know anyone who wants to take your old mattress, it’s time to consider recycling.


Some mattresses are too tattered and torn to live another life cycle with new owners. But if you can’t sell, donate, or give away your mattress, there’s no need for panic. Recycling your old mattress is a positive, simple, and often affordable solution.

You’ll want to contact a mattress recycling facility or think of some neat repurposing ideas when recycling your old mattress. Either route is worthwhile, though you’ll want to consider your mattress’s composition when choosing the best option. 

After all, some mattresses contain toxic chemicals that can be dangerous if inhaled or touched. If you’re hoping to chuck out an old memory foam mattress, for example, you might want to skip the upcycling option and head straight for your local recycling center.

There are quite a few things you can do with an old coil-and-spring mattress. You could cut away the padding and cover and sew them into furniture covers or cushions. You might even turn your mattress into mulch.

If you’re artistically inclined, you could even find a way to work your old mattress into a new art project. No matter how you decide to repurpose your old mattress, be sure that you’re using the components safely and wisely.


When all else fails, it’s time to consider mattress removal. Fortunately, you have tons of options. But these can be divided into two primary categories. Firstly, there are paid mattress removal services. These are typically low-cost pick-up services scheduled for specific locations and dates.

Secondly, there are free and low-cost mattress removal services offered by mattress retailers. If you’ve purchased a new mattress to replace your old one, you might save a small bundle (and some frustration) by asking the mattress purveyor to haul away your old model when they bring the new one.

Let’s explore both of these options to ensure you choose the right one for you.

Mattress Removal Services

Mattress removal services typically specialize in hauling away awkwardly-sized household items. Some offer discounted at-home pick-up services, while others offer free location-based pick-ups. The availability of these services varies depending on where you live.

For example, Bye Bye Mattress in Rhode Island and Connecticut offers residents quite a few mattress removal options and services. They’re a part of the Mattress Recycling Council. In most cases, these pick-up services’ cost ranges from no-cost to a small fee of about $20. 

If you can’t find a helpful removal organization in your area, a junk removal company might be the better option. These companies often offer rental dumpsters and haulers to help you get rid of large amounts of stuff. If you’re cleaning out at home and need to get rid of a lot of old junk, you’ll want to invest in one of these disposal options.

Buying a New Mattress

When you buy a new mattress, your retailer may offer to pick-up your old mattress upon delivering your new model. If so, ask if there’s an associated cost for this service. 

In many cases, there isn’t. And when there is a mattress removal fee, it’s usually incredibly affordable (less than $50). 

Mattress Disposal FAQs

Below, you’ll find the most frequently asked questions about putting a mattress in a dumpster and how to get rid of an old mattress. 

How do you throw a mattress away?

If your mattress is in terrible shape, you might not be able to sell it, donate it, or give it away as a gift. In this case, you might want to throw your mattress away. 

However, some of the internal components might be reusable and recyclable. Contact a mattress recycling service before opting to bury your old mattress in a landfill. 

Of course, if recycling isn’t an option for you, a junk removal service might be the better choice. If you live in a rural area, it might be wise to invest in a dumpster rental service designed for mattress disposal.

Do I have to wrap my mattress before throwing it out?

If you’ve contacted your local waste disposal services to schedule a pick-up day for your old mattress, you’ll likely need to wrap the bed in plastic before they arrive. Many old mattresses may be infested with pests or covered in bodily fluids, which technically makes them hazardous waste. Wrapping them in plastic helps reduce hygiene dangers for haulers. 

What should I do with my old mattress?

When trying to get rid of an old mattress, the first thing you should do is consider selling it. If you’re getting any offers, you might want to donate your old mattress or gift it to someone you know. 

Of course, some mattresses are beyond saving. If your mattress is super saggy, ragged, stained, or infested with pests, you’ll want to invest in a recycling or mattress removal service. The last thing you want to do is illegally dump your mattress by tossing it in a dumpster or leaving it on a random lot.

Final Thoughts

You shouldn’t put your mattress in a dumpster. If you dump a mattress without permission, you may face fines. And many local waste removal services charge mattress removal fees. As such, putting a mattress in a dumpster is one of the worst ways to dispose of an old mattress.

If your mattress is in good shape, you could sell it, donate it, or give it as a gift. Of course, if your old mattress is badly stained, infested with bugs, or torn, you’ll likely want to recycle it or have it hauled it away. All of these solutions are more rewarding than tossing it into a dumpster.