Donating a Mattress

With bedbugs on the rise, it’s harder than ever to donate a mattress. But it can often be done if the mattress is clean and bug-free. If not, you may be able to recycle it.

A mattress in great condition — with neither sags, stains nor pests — may find a home in your own circle or community. Check with:

  • Family, friends, neighbors and employees.
  • Places of worship (yours or others).
  • A local homeless shelter, battered women’s shelter or refugee resettlement program.

If you don’t find success with the above or your mattress is in less than stellar condition, but still clean and sanitary, try:

Mattresses in poor shape can be recycled as long as they are not infested. (Some recyclers may even take mattresses with bedbugs if you take special steps. Call to check.)

To find other local recycling options, visit Earth 911.

If you are buying a new mattress, ask if the vendor will take the old one (many do) — and what it will do with it. If the answer is recycle it, see if you can get the name of the recycler to verify it’s true.

Please add any suggestions of your own.


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10 Responses to Donating a Mattress

  1. Bonnie Margolis August 23, 2010 at 5:58 pm #


    A truly noble thought, but bedbugs are epidemic and one cannot be too careful. Are you certain Salvation ARmy, or anyone for that matter, takes used mattresses? Seems a bit foolhardy.

    • WhyNot73 October 7, 2010 at 3:10 pm #

      Salvation Army will gratefully take them! Acutally you are more likely to bring a bug home from the airport or the mall in your luggage or purse than in a mattress! Savy shoppers don’t carry a purse especially into a dressing room. A wise traveller unpack before bringing luggage indoors. “Bed Bug” is such a misnomer!

  2. Bonnie Margolis August 23, 2010 at 6:00 pm #

    As a PS…thank you for the information. I honestly did not think anyone would take mattresses today.

  3. Jilann August 23, 2010 at 6:19 pm #

    Thank you so much for this very valuable article! I love all your articles, but this one is especially useful because it’s hard to find this information and literally everyone can benefit. Thank you for all that you do!

  4. Eve Chenu August 23, 2010 at 7:01 pm #

    I posted my used futon on Craigslist in the free listing. I was amazed how many responses I had immediately. Someone picked it up within a few hours.

  5. Lmag August 23, 2010 at 7:43 pm #

    Bed bugs? You may not have to throw out your bed!!!
    If you have bed bugs in the mattress & box spring, you can completely exterminate them by bagging each with plastic mattress bags (can get them at a U-haul or storage facility) and setting them in the summer sun where the temp. will get over 100 degrees inside the bags. In AZ where I live, they are dead within an hour. Longer for other areas. This will rid the mattress & box springs of both the adult bugs and the eggs. I’ve done this procedure with my tenants and it’s worked every time. If you are in a temperate climate, wrap them in black plastic so it heats up to over 100 degrees. I swear by this technique. Save your mattress this way and save yourself some money. Make sure you also bag & heat all linens, clothing, and get an exterminator to rid the room of the bugs.

  6. anna kovach August 23, 2010 at 10:31 pm #

    In Binghamton, NY there is an organization called Beds for Kids, although I can’t find a website, they have a phone number

    Donate beds and bedding: If you live off campus and have a bed (mattress, box springs or frame) or bedding you will be discarding, don’t throw them away. Give them to a needy child. Call Beds 4 Kids at 607-722-3934.

    • Sy November 15, 2010 at 4:36 pm #

      Actually Beds 4 Kids does not accept mattresses from the public. There is however an organization called Project Concern on Katellville Road in Chenango Bridge that accepts good, used mattresses.

  7. Dee October 22, 2010 at 2:33 pm #

    Thanks for the good information, glad to know that there are organizations for this. More people should know the thing to do when they are ready to get a new mattress, instead of dumping them on the side of the road somewhere. I’ve been wanting to buy an organic mattress and now I know what to do with my old one. Thanks!

  8. Lacey Small December 25, 2010 at 9:01 pm #

    Cheryl: A truly noble thought, but bedbugs are epidemic and one cannot be too careful. Are you certain Salvation ARmy, or anyone for that matter, takes used mattresses? Seems a bit foolhardy.