Don't Just Throw Out Your Old Mattresses, Donate Them!

Updated on April 5, 2016
Vietnam Veteran's of America Mattress Donation Pick-Up
Vietnam Veteran's of America Mattress Donation Pick-Up

Think your old mattress is not donation worthy? Think again!

Despite current sanitary bedding laws, there are still many donation agencies/options across the country that you can donate a mattress to. So, instead of adding to a local landfill with your mattress, you really could do something good with it (and something good for the environment). What's that old saying - "One man's trash is another man's treasure"? Well, this is a prime example of that. Typically, if your mattress is still in reasonable shape, with no noticeable stains or structural problems, then many organizations will take the mattress donation. Most donation agencies refer to them as 'gently used' mattresses. Many of them will even arrange to pick up the mattress donation from you! Some agencies will not take one without the mattress foundation, so you'll have to clear that up with them prior to the mattress donation. If you buy a new mattress, and they offer free mattress pick up (where they typically discard the old mattress), try the donation route first with your old mattress. Just think, by doing something kind like donating a mattress, it just might help you sleep better at night!

Agencies to consider for your mattress donation:

  • National Furniture Bank Association
  • Furniture Banks Across America partnered with National Furniture Bank Association
  • Catholic Charities
  • Vietnam Veteran's of America (depending on the location, some VVA's will not accept mattress donations, but others will.. depends on that chapter's policy and the condition and cleanliness of the mattress)
  • Local homeless or battered women's shelters
  • The Hope Clinic in Fairfax, VA serves local uninsured families with medical, spiritual and emotional needs. Many of the families come to them with very little finances and most have inadequate living necessities. So, if you're in the Washington, DC area, please consider this great organization for a mattress or other donation.
  • DonationTown.Org

Larger organizations like Salvation Army and Habitat for Humanity typically will not accept mattress donations due to sanitary bedding law and hygienic concerns. I have had experience with a few Salvation Army locations that you can donate a mattress to, however, if the mattress doesn't have any spots or stains, so you'll have to call and see what their criteria are for each location.

Other ideas to consider are: posting to your local Craigslist or website (let them know you're not selling it, and are willing to give it away if they pick it up, but be clear with your description of the mattress, i.e., any stains, structural problems, etc., and provide a picture of the mattress if you have it); posting flyers at local schools/universities; and, post on your Facebook page, you may have a friend locally that you could donate a mattress to.. Donating a mattress to a family or shelter in a natural disaster area (like a tornado, hurricane or fire) who lost their homes, is a great way to help out those in immediate need. I experienced this in Louisana after surviving Hurricane Katrina. We donated a couple of inflatable air mattresses to a shelter there. And don't forget, most of these organizations provide a donation slip to you, where you can provide a value for your mattress donation, and report the donation with your taxes.

Another option is mattress recycling. Certain areas of the country have mattress recycling centers that work with local charities to provide bedding to the less fortunate. These recycling centers typically use the undamaged structural elements of the donated mattress and replace the bedding material with newer, clean and safe bedding material.

Options for Your Current Mattress Problem

Mattress Dips/Hammocks
Mattress OK, but Too Firm
Mattress Soft/Unsupportive
Check Foundation for Bowing
Topper Pads Soften Up Mattresses
A New Foundation Can Help
Donate/Recycle Mattress
Plywood/Pressboard Over Base
Tips for Certain Mattress Conditions

Save Your Existing Mattress? Try A New Memory Foam or Latex Topper Pad..

Now, before you go throwing your existing mattress away or trying to donate your mattress (great thought, though..) because it isn't comfortable anymore, there are ways to improve the comfort quality of your mattress.. CONSIDER THIS: Memory foam topper pads, both in memory foam and latex form, are a great way to improve the comfort and therapeutic value of an aging mattress.. If your mattress is still in good condition (i.e., still relatively firm and even, with no dips or a hammock feel) then a topper pad can really extend the life of your mattress out for years, by giving you a supportive, body conforming material that really does help improve sleep, comfort and therapeutic levels.. They typically come in 2 to 3 inch thicknesses (sometimes 1 and 4 inches are sold), and depending on your size (typically someone who is over 190 lbs would require a 3 inch topper pad; anyone below that weight should go with a 2 inch topper pad) varying thicknesses are needed.

Mattress Sagging? Try This Trick..

Sometimes, if you have a sagging mattress, the problem can be the mattress foundation. So, by placing a board (1/4" to 1/2" thick pressboard or plywood) over your existing mattress foundation, this can (but is not always a solution) make your mattress perform better, and reduce the sagging issue.. You can pick these up at Lowes or Home Depot, and have them cut the wood/board to size for you. I would recommend you cutting the wood at least and inch short on width and length, so you don't have any wood protrusions.. If this doesn't work, purchasing a new mattress foundation could extend the life of your mattress, and improve the comfort quality of your existing mattress. If it's a foam mattress (memory foam or latex), you'll need a solid, uniform bottom foundation for this type of mattress (examples at right on Amazon.Com)..

More on Catholic Charities


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    • profile image

      Nay 12 days ago

      Hello so anyone out there have a bed they can give to me i am in need of a mattress for me and my daughter please help

    • profile image

      Karen A hamm 5 weeks ago

      I have a gently used bob-o-pedic green size mattress. No stains. Looks and feels brand new. Free.

    • profile image

      Kelly 2 months ago

      Ken Lee, you are welcome to my king size mattress, if you still need one. It is used, but fairly clean. I am in Southern Florida.

    • profile image

      Terry 2 months ago

      Can you donate or recycle a king-size sleep number bed?

    • profile image

      Georgiann M 5 months ago

      Free queen size mattress and foundation. Restonic brand. 4 years old and very clean and in great shape. Holton indiana

    • profile image

      Kathi H 5 months ago

      I have a king size mattress to donate. My 10 year old only used it for about a year before we decided to purchase a queen sized bed. Simmons and in good bed bugs or pee stains.

    • profile image

      Nancy Drigotas 5 months ago

      I am in Tucson AZ. I have a little used double bed, mattress, and frame to donate. When I did use the bed it had a 4 inch memory foam pad on top so I did not sleep directly on the mattress. Free to anyone who needs it.

    • profile image

      Ken Lee 5 months ago

      We are an elderly couple living on Social Security and we are in desperate need of a mattress. Ours has collapsed on one side and it tends to make you roll off the bed. We cannot afford to purchase one. Is there anyone out there than can help us get one. We need a king sized and preferably on the med to soft side.

    • profile image

      debbie 7 months ago

      hi i have several mattress single & double, is this something that you would be able to take off me? do you do a collection service? and if not where are the charities shops near CV7 area?

    • profile image

      Lori 9 months ago

      Vietnam Veterans will not accept matteresses

    • profile image

      Carie Villanueva 4 years ago

      [quote]8192 characters left.[/quote]

      Perfectly spoken without a doubt! !.

      Nicely put. Cheers!

    • superfly47 profile image

      David McKenzie 5 years ago from Canada

      When you buy a new mattress the business you buy it from will often take your old one and recycle it. So even if you can't find someone to take your old one, no excuse for dumping into a landfill.

    • Brian Anderson profile image

      Brian Anderson 5 years ago from United States

      Hi Vince - Depends on what part of the country you're in.. Different VVA's will, by my own experience being in Louisiana, Virginia and Maryland, pick up a mattress if it is in good condition (no stains, no structural damage).. So, you're local VVA may not pick up mattresses, but it's not true as a whole with VVA..

    • profile image

      Vince 6 years ago

      I just spoke with Vietnam Veteran's of America and they no longer pick up mattresses - 2/17/2012.

    • Brian Anderson profile image

      Brian Anderson 6 years ago from United States

      Hi - Check with your local VVA chapter store. I have donated a bunch of mattresses to the VVA in the past, and maybe (if you're lucky), you can find a mattress in good condition with them.. Hope this helps, Brian

    • profile image

      Whitney 6 years ago

      Hello, My father is a veteran and I'd like to get him a new bed asap(I'm in college and don't have the money to purchase a new one) because the one he has isn't suitable for his back and the boards keep coming out. I see a lot of information about donating beds, but what about any veteran services that give beds to non homeless vets?

    • profile image

      paul smith 6 years ago

      Hi my name is Paulo Smith and iv,e been looken and serching help for free mattress for my pregnant wife an I and allso for my 2 baby boys and step son too. we lost our beds due to bed bugs along with other things. but my main focus is needing help with beds for my family.So please if theirs someone who don't need or throwen out the old mattresses,plesae Email me at thank you very much! Paulo Smith.

    • profile image

      Sharon Rasch 6 years ago

      Reputable achieve up, that was operational grouping, makes me tariff to buy one. me and the fam are in the mart for a new mattress. Chichi to see pics of the menage. Thanks!

    • Venus Cow profile image

      Shirley Yanez 6 years ago from UK

      Hello Brian, thank you for sharing these recycling gems. When you are sleeping on the floor, someone's loved but no longer needed mattress is the greatest gift.

    • profile image

      Warren38 6 years ago

      This is really my very new here, wonderful looking website. I uncovered so many useful issues in your website especially its debate.

    • Ask_DJ_Lyons profile image

      Ask_DJ_Lyons 6 years ago from Mosheim, Tennessee

      This was great information. If a friend of ours does not want our old mattress after all, I will look into some of your suggestions. Thanks!

    • profile image

      Anne Webster 6 years ago

      Nice Post. I’m thinking of getting one as bed. This multifunctional bed-bench-table is so nice to look at. Thanks for the information. I will check this out.


    • thelyricwriter profile image

      Richard Ricky Hale 6 years ago from West Virginia

      Very good point and well written Brian. No need in tossing it when others can use it. I know many people that would love to have a bed. Voted up.

    • Brian Anderson profile image

      Brian Anderson 6 years ago from United States

      Thanks, Masmasika! Appreciate the nice comments.. There certainly aren't enough mattresses to go around..

    • profile image

      masmasika 6 years ago

      great hub and very thoughtful suggestion. In my country there are countless people who need beds so people wishing to donate might as well do that. This is one of the best ways to minimize garbage around. voted up.

    • profile image

      Shirley Chisolm 6 years ago

      Wow. I really agreed about your post. Don't throw out your old bed mattress in a garbage. You can donate it to the agencies which collect bed mattress. You can earned little or you can donate your old mattress to the people who needs a bed especially to the poor people. In this way you can help for your fellowship. Thank you because I've enjoyed reading your blog and this is great because it can give lesson for the readers. Keep it up.

      mattress los angeles

    • profile image

      Mari 6 years ago

      Hello, I'm in need of a king size mattress or 2 twin mattresses. My mattress has bed bugs and I need to replace it immediately, but I don't the money to buy a new one. I appreciate any information. I'm in NYC. Thank you so much.

    • profile image

      mscscott 6 years ago

      I am currently working on a shelter in west tennessee. want to know how to get on a list for donated mattresses.

      we can only accept twin and baby mattresses.

      thanks, Scott

    • Brian Anderson profile image

      Brian Anderson 7 years ago from United States

      Hi Lisa - Try this link for homeless shelters in Los Angeles area: Enter your local area info, and check out the shelters in your area. Hopefully, one of them will take your mattress. Thanks for the comment..

    • profile image

      Lisa 7 years ago

      Just called about 20 different places, nobody wants a used mattress in Los Angeles!

    • profile image

      Crystal 8 years ago

      I have a CAl King mattress and box springs in excellent condition that I would love to donate. Not as easy as you might think!

      If anyone knows someone that can pick it up - it's theirs.

      Must be picked up by 12:30 tomorrow (Sunday)

    • Brian Anderson profile image

      Brian Anderson 8 years ago from United States

      Glad the information helped you, Michael and Annie.. The shelters certainly need them.. Best of luck to you.

    • profile image

      Michael and Annie 8 years ago

      Thanks for this information. We had two sets of lightly used mattresses that we will be donating to a local (Central Florida) homeless shelter. Many blessings to you and yours for supplying this valuable information.

    • Brian Anderson profile image

      Brian Anderson 8 years ago from United States

      Thanks, Jim. I have updated the information you suggested. Appreciate the help! Brian

    • profile image

      elephant bean bags 9 years ago

      Its really a wonderful information. I have two such mattresses and want to donate them. I was not aware of this useful information. Hope to get the organization's name if you have. Thanks for the nice hub.