How To Recycle Mattresses: Your Guide to Mattress Recycling

January 5, 2021

Got an old mattress that you need to get out of the house? It seems like such a waste to just discard of an old and most likely once expensive household item. However, most people don’t know how to recycle mattresses.

You might be surprised to learn that mattresses are one of the most common household items that end up in the landfill.

There are several reasons you might be looking for ways to get rid of old mattresses. You may have had babies or toddlers moving into bigger beds; teens demanding double rather than single mattresses; you may be moving children out of home for the first time; or feeling increasingly uncomfortable on your mattress due to general wear and tear or specific medical requirements. It may just be that you want to treat yourself to a deluxe mattress for a better night’s sleep – and for that, we really can’t blame you!

Mattresses recycling is becoming increasingly crucial as textile and industrial waste becomes an intensifying problem right here in Australia! More than a million mattresses are discarded in the landfill in Australia annually. With mass consumerism prevalent in our society, it feels much easier (and cheaper) to buy a new mattress and dump the old one without a second thought. However, we urge consumers to investigate how to recycle mattresses in responsible ways, rather than mindlessly discarding of them. 

You might be contemplating; can mattresses be recycled? And if so, what’s the protocol on how to recycle mattresses responsibly? The answer to these questions is yes, and they can be recycled in a variety of ways. The expert team at Ridly are here to help guide you through how to recycle mattresses and the process of mattress removal in Sydney.

In this article regarding how to recycle mattresses, we will cover the following questions: what are the components of a mattress, how are mattresses recycled, what are the benefits of recycling my mattress, who can help me dispose of my old mattress, what are some alternative methods of disposing of old mattresses?

The Components of A Standard Mattress

Due to the long half-life of mattresses (meaning the time it takes for mattresses to break down properly), they can be extremely harmful to the environment. However, many of the materials that make up a mattress can be easily recycled.

Standard mattresses are commonly made of the following materials: steel, wood, foam and cotton.

Steel Springs

If you’ve got an innerspring mattress, steel is usually used to structure the perimeter of the bed, and are also used inside of the bed to support the weight of those sleeping on the mattress.

Inner springs are wire springs or coils that are knotted or wrapped that provide that ‘springy’ mattress feeling. Springs offer additional comfort to those sleeping on the mattress. Inner springs are fitted to the top and bottom of a wire frame. The way that springs are interconnected depends on the type of mattress that you have purchased and are sleeping on; however, the steel springs are all used to create the structure.

Steel springs are considered ‘hard waste’ of mattresses. Most recycling facilities will use a magnet to separate the wires and springs, or ‘hard waste’ from the rest of the mattress. Springs can be processed into new steel, which can then be used to create new steel-based items or other mattresses.

Mattress Foam

Mattress foam can include flexible polyurethane foam, viscoelastic foam, or latex foam. Wadding and latex from the mattress foam can be extracted through the process of separating hard and soft mattress materials, and it can be recycled into carpet underlay.

So, if you were wondering; are foam mattresses recyclable? The answer is yes. No matter what type of mattress and the different components that are included in that particular make of mattress, the materials can be recycled and used as carpet underlay, or recycled into another mattress’ elements.


Where there’s a mattress, typically there’s a quilt. Quilting can be made from cotton, wool, polyester or fleece fibres. The cotton and cloth that is recycled from old mattresses can be made into materials that can be used to create recycled clothes or other fabrications.

As you might expect, natural fibres such as cotton and wool are the preferred source for recycling materials. However, that doesn’t mean that polyester cannot be recycled the same way that the cotton is recycled to create fabrics that can be used to make other items such as clothing.

Wood Frame

Timber frames are typically used to support mattresses off the ground to make it easier to get in and out of bed physically. Wood frames are not only practical, but they can also be decorative in the bedroom. It’s likely that if you require disposing of an old mattress, you need to dispose of the wire frame with it. Wood frames can easily be recycled by being shredded and then turned into mulch.

So, How Are Mattresses Recycled?

Did you know that up to 89% of mattress components are recyclable? To answer the question of how are mattresses recycled, and give you confidence in the ability of organisations like Ridly in recycling mattresses, we’ve broken down the process for you in 3 easy steps. How are mattresses recycled:

Step 1: Separate the Soft Materials from The Hard

This step requires specific machinery and expertise. Specifically designed saws remove the soft materials from the mattress frame, while the metal pieces are magnetically removed.

Step 2: Shred the Remaining Materials

Whatever is left over from the process of removing hard materials from soft materials is then shredded and baled.

Step 3: Distribute the Recycled Materials Appropriately

From distributing recycled steel to providing flooring experts with recycled floor underlay, the recycled goods are then distributed to new homes and given a second life.

What Are the Benefits Of Recycling My Mattress?

Now that you know how to recycle mattresses, it’s natural to wonder what the actual benefits of recycling a mattress are, considering it might seem easier to take the mattress to landfill. Some benefits of recycling mattresses include:

  • Reduced greenhouse effects
  • Less energy consumption
  • A decrease in the usage of fossil fuels
  • Less acidification of water and soils
  • Personal satisfaction at making a valuable contribution to the environment

By choosing to recycle your mattress, you are actively making a difference to your environmental footprint, which, in our humble opinion, is always a positive!

Who Can Help Me Dispose of My Old Mattress?

Ridly are Sydney’s leading rubbish removal service, and we often get asked the question; can mattresses be recycled? Mattress removal starts from $69 and is fast, efficient and affordable. Ridly have carefully selected the recycling centres that we work with for their ethical and sustainable recycling practices. When it comes to mattress disposal, we're the best in Australia at recycling, and we wouldn’t settle for anything less than the best!

Alternative Ways of Getting Rid of Old Mattresses

Re-Using Old Mattresses:

Donating the mattress to someone in need, provided it is in a decent condition, is one way to ensure 0% of your old mattress ends up in landfill.

Charity Organisation Donation:

Best case scenario? If your mattress is in excellent condition, they can be donated to charity organisations such as the Salvation Army or Red Cross Foundation.

Re-selling Old Mattresses:

Mattresses that are still in decent condition can be re-sold via online channels, private selling or through a garage sale.

Organise a Store Swap:

If the store you’re purchasing the new mattress from has an individual system of recycling old mattresses when a new one is purchased, give us their number so we can congratulate them! Unfortunately, not every store will offer this, so always make sure you double-check with the company before arranging to have your mattress taken away by an alternate method.

Employ A Private Company to Help You:

That’s where we come in! Ridly’s expert mattress removal service offers 24-hour mattress removal. What’s more, you don’t even have to be home for us to collect your old mattress, as long as it’s in a spot that is easy to access.

Looking to Dispose of An Old Mattress? Ridly Is the Solution for You

We trust this article has given you confidence in how to recycle mattresses and the process that is involved. It relatively easy, you just have to know where to turn for help.

Dumping mattresses on the side of the road, or anywhere else, is simply not a feasible way to dispose of your old mattress. It can also lead to hefty fines; let alone the guilt you’ll feel when you know you could’ve done better!

Ridly is Australia’s greenest rubbish removal service, and we offer same-day service. We have no hidden recycling fees and will remove your old mattress, no matter where you are in Sydney. If you’re wondering how to recycle mattresses, look no further than Ridly – we’ve got the perfect solution for you and your mattress.

Ready to be rid of it? Grab a quick quote from our team.

Call us on 0488 846 336.

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