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Sam is moving to a new flat with his girlfriend. While he is excited about the new chapter of life, he has one problem to solve–he doesn’t know the best way to get rid of his old single mattress. The mattress seems to be still in good condition, and Sam wants it to reach its maximum potential and be reused by someone, but he is not sure whether his old mattress is eligible for reuse, nor what the best way to do this is if it is eligible.

Sam is not alone. Research [1] shows that over 7 million mattresses are thrown away in the UK every year, and a quarter of them are only used for less than four years when the average lifespan of a mattress is 7-10 years. With so many mattresses heading to an early end, donations are becoming of rising interest to many people. However, various questions arise when pondering this: where do I start if I am thinking about donating my old mattress? Who benefits from the donations? How do I know if my mattress is eligible for donation? This article will delve into these questions and provide practical solutions to your concerns.

Who benefits from mattress donations?

Mattress donations can benefit a wide range of people. To start with, donated mattresses can help low-income families set up homes. Families facing financial difficulties may struggle to afford essential household items, including mattresses. Donated mattresses can provide much-needed support and comfort for families who cannot afford to purchase new ones. 

Mattress donations can also contribute to refugee resettlement programmes. Refugees who have been forced to flee their homes due to persecution, violence, or conflict often arrive in their host countries with limited resources. Donated mattresses, among other urgently needed items, can help them rebuild homes in asylum housing, supporting them to regain a sense of stability. 

In addition, some social enterprises and charities take in donated mattresses and sell them to raise funds for charity work. For example, some charities would clean and resell old mattresses to raise money to support local hospices. 

How do I know if my mattress is eligible for donation?

The standards regarding the suitability of mattresses for donation vary among different charities. However, after examining several standards set by major charities, King Size Recycling has put together some general guidelines for you to use. 

Major issues that should stop you from donating your mattress:

Infestations: Charities usually refuse to accept mattresses with bed bugs and other mite infestations. Bed bugs or other pest-infested mattresses may pose a health risk to people handling them, and other furniture items in the warehouse may be infested because of the mattresses.  

Significant structural issues: If the springs are broken and poking through the fabric or other structural problems, you will have a hard time selling or donating your mattress. 

Odours: For minor odours, sprinkling baking soda all over your mattress and letting it sit for 24 hours before vacuuming it can neutralise less pungent odours. However, if your mattress has a strong and unpleasant smell, it is often ineligible for donation.

Stains: Large stains will undoubtedly affect the reusability of your mattress. It also means people are less likely to purchase your mattress from a charity shop.

Rips, tears, and holes: Lastly, rips or holes mean that the mattress is categorised as damaged, so charities are likely to refuse the donation. 

Fire safety label: Permanent fire safety labels are legally required on upholstered items and furnishing such as a mattress, with the intention of letting people know that the item complies with British Fire Safety Regulations. To be able to donate your mattress to a charity, the permanent fire safety label must be attached. 

Questions? Reach out for hassle-free and flexible mattress disposal options!

If you’re unsure whether your old mattress is eligible for donation, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at King Size Recycling! We offer flexible and hassle-free disposal options. After receiving your mattress, we’ll assess the condition to determine its suitability for donation. If it qualifies, we’ll send it to one of our partnered charities to give it a new life. If it doesn’t meet the criteria, we’ll recycle it, ensuring it contributes to the circular economy and avoids ending up in a landfill. Our goal is to provide a hassle-free service, making eco-friendly mattress disposal as easy as possible for you. Contact us today!

Work Cited

[1] North London Waste Authority. “Brits’ bad bed habits sending 2.9m mattresses a year to an early end | NLWA.” North London Waste Authority, 25 February 2022, https://www.nlwa.gov.uk/news/brits-bad-bed-habits-sending-29m-mattresses-year-early-end.