With over a decade of experience in the mattress industry, I'm here to help you decide which mattress foundation is best for you.
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 your mattress to a local landfill, you really could do something good for the environment and society.
As they say, "One man's trash is another man's treasure," and 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 beforehand. 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. Just think, doing something kind like donating a mattress might just help you sleep better at night!
Agencies to Consider
- National Furniture Bank Association
- Furniture Banks Across America (partnered with the 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. It 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.
Does Salvation Army Take Mattresses?
Larger organizations, like the 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, it's only 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.
Where to Post Your Mattress
You can also consider posting your mattress online or around your community:
- Your Facebook page
- Paper flyers at local schools/universities
In all of the above cases, your post should clarify that you are not selling your mattress—that you are giving it away for free if the interested party picks it up. Be clear with your description of the mattress; i.e., mention any stains, structural problems, etc., and provide a photo if possible.
You may also have a local friend who 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 also a great way to help out those in immediate need. I experienced this in Louisiana 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 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
Plywood/Pressboard Over Base
Want to 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 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 (though sometimes 1 and 4-inches are sold) 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.
What About a Sagging Mattress?
If you have a sagging mattress, sometimes the problem can be the mattress foundation. By placing a board (1/4" to 1/2" thick pressboard or plywood) over your existing mattress foundation, this can 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 cutting the wood at least an inch shorter both width and length-wise so that 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 its comfort quality. If it's a foam mattress (memory foam or latex), you'll need a solid, uniform bottom foundation.
Marie LaMair on December 18, 2019:
Have twin beds-almost new-
mattresses, bedding, blankets, etc.
John R on October 14, 2019:
I have a NEW (defective) twin extra long foam mattress than I will/can donate to some charity or individual who can use it. Also, an “old” inter spring twin mattress - if desired. John R Sonoma, CA (located 1 hour north of San Francisco).
Douglas Pratt on September 18, 2019:
I have contacted Catholic Charities, VVA, and the Furniture bank in Colo and none of them will take mattress or box springs.
Mia on August 01, 2019:
I live in Homewood Birmingham Alabama I had 1 matress donation
Gloria on May 27, 2019:
king mattress must go
Brian Anderson (author) from United States on February 12, 2019:
Hi Royce - Since I don't know your area, I would use the links and suggestions I have in my article here.. I've had the best success with Craigslist.. Hope this helps, Brian
Royce on February 11, 2019:
where can we donate a twin xl mattress and adjustable bed frame that only needs a new motor. Otherwise good condition.
Glen Smyth on December 23, 2018:
I have a new queen mattress and box spring for pickup nlt than 12/27?
Kathy Meyers on December 11, 2018:
I have a king size Mattress and box to donate, this is not clear at all who to contact?
Rebecca on December 10, 2018:
I have a good quality king size mattress with boxspring and bed frame can someone pick up the 21st of Dec?
Andy on December 04, 2018:
. I can donate and deliver within 5 mi.
Coco on November 15, 2018:
I have a good quality queen size bed frame and box springs that want to donate to someone able to come to pick up at 92127
Dave Lauder on November 08, 2018:
I have a Queen size mattress & box spring I want to get rid of by tonight or tomorrow morning
ashish khare on June 04, 2018:
i would like to donate cal king size sealy brand mattress and box spring. who can i contact?
Fran on May 19, 2018:
Would like to donate queen box spring and mattress in excellent condition. Who can I contact?
anna on April 22, 2018:
I have full size bed frame and mattress, computer desk, couch, lamp, light etc to donate! where or who could I call for pick up? I tried so many places and want to charge me. I just want to give, why so hard to give for free?
Bhumika Tirkey on April 11, 2018:
I have a queen size mattress. How can i donate to any one.
vedika on March 29, 2018:
I have a queen size mattress and box spring for donation. Used for 3 years...
Nay on March 12, 2018:
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
Karen A hamm on February 16, 2018:
I have a gently used bob-o-pedic green size mattress. No stains. Looks and feels brand new. Free.
Kelly on December 29, 2017:
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.
Terry on December 26, 2017:
Can you donate or recycle a king-size sleep number bed?
Georgiann M on October 23, 2017:
Free queen size mattress and foundation. Restonic brand. 4 years old and very clean and in great shape. Holton indiana
Kathi H on October 21, 2017:
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 shape....no bed bugs or pee stains.
Nancy Drigotas on October 18, 2017:
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.
Ken Lee on October 15, 2017:
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.
debbie on August 01, 2017:
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?
Lori on May 30, 2017:
Vietnam Veterans will not accept matteresses
Carie Villanueva on July 24, 2013:
[quote]8192 characters left.[/quote]
Perfectly spoken without a doubt! !.
Nicely put. Cheers!
David McKenzie from Canada on February 28, 2013:
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 (author) from United States on July 13, 2012:
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..
Vince on February 17, 2012:
I just spoke with Vietnam Veteran's of America and they no longer pick up mattresses - 2/17/2012.
Brian Anderson (author) from United States on January 28, 2012:
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
Whitney on January 27, 2012:
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?
paul smith on December 29, 2011:
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 Ole7Allen@yahoo.com thank you very much! Paulo Smith.
Sharon Rasch on November 22, 2011:
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!
Shirley Yanez from UK on November 07, 2011:
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.
Warren38 on October 27, 2011:
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 from Mosheim, Tennessee on October 13, 2011:
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!
Anne Webster on October 06, 2011:
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.
Richard Ricky Hale from West Virginia on October 05, 2011:
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 (author) from United States on September 10, 2011:
Thanks, Masmasika! Appreciate the nice comments.. There certainly aren't enough mattresses to go around..
masmasika on September 10, 2011:
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.
Shirley Chisolm on August 11, 2011:
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
Mari on June 15, 2011:
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.
mscscott on June 11, 2011:
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.
Brian Anderson (author) from United States on October 23, 2010:
Hi Lisa - Try this link for homeless shelters in Los Angeles area: http://www.homelessshelterdirectory.org/california... 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..
Lisa on October 22, 2010:
Just called about 20 different places, nobody wants a used mattress in Los Angeles!
Crystal on January 30, 2010:
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 (author) from United States on January 17, 2010:
Glad the information helped you, Michael and Annie.. The shelters certainly need them.. Best of luck to you.
Michael and Annie on January 17, 2010:
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 (author) from United States on October 17, 2009:
Thanks, Jim. I have updated the information you suggested. Appreciate the help! Brian
elephant bean bags on December 19, 2008:
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.