Can You Burn a Mattress

A mattress is one of the most frequently used household items. It provides you with a good night’s sleep and allows your body to recover for the next day. But can you burn your old mattress after buying a new one?

While you can burn your mattress, you must never do it. That’s because it can damage the environment badly and can also be harmful to your lungs.

In this article, we’ll discuss why you shouldn’t burn your mattress and what problems it can cause. We’ll also discuss some safe ways to get rid of your old mattress effectively.

While some states don’t have any strict rules placed specifically about burning mattresses, it’s actually illegal in most places. It releases toxic fumes and chemicals into the environment that are harmful to your health.

All types of open burnings, including burning a mattress, are generally considered illegal. According to the US EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), burning all types of industrial, institutional, commercial, or residential solid waste is prohibited.

You’ll fall victim to penalties and fines by burning a mattress in a public place or state land. Additionally, you still won’t be on the right side of the law even if you burn a mattress on your private property.

Can You Burn a Mattress?

One of the first questions that’ll come to your mind after buying a new mattress is how to get rid of the old one. Whatever you do, don’t consider burning it. As mentioned, open burning of any material including mattresses isn’t allowed and it’ll also affect the atmosphere negatively.

Keep in mind that almost all types of mattresses contain VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds). These compounds usually consist of carbon compounds such as ammonium carbonate, metallic carbides, carbonic acids, carbon dioxide, and carbon monoxide.

When you burn a mattress, these mattress materials are released into the air and damage the healthy environment. According to the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), volatile organic compounds can also lead to the following health problems.

  • Headaches
  • Throat and nose discomfort
  • Allergic skin reaction
  • Nausea and loss of coordination
  • Dizziness and fatigue

In the worst cases, these compounds can also damage your central nervous system, kidneys, and liver. So, you must never burn simple or memory foam mattresses.

Read also: Can you burn pillows?

So, What’s the Correct Way to Dispose of an Old Mattress?

If you have bought a new mattress and are planning to dispose of the old one, consider using any of the following methods. It’ll allow you to get rid of your old mattress without damaging the environment or risking your health.

Read also: How long does it take to adjust to a new mattress?

Contact Local Mattress Recycling Service

Giving your old mattress to one of your local recycling centers is one of the best ways to dispose of it. According to Mass.Gov, the official website of the Massachusetts commonwealth, up to 75 percent of the components of old mattresses can be recycled.

Depending on your state or area, you can find a local mattress recycling program or mattress recycling council. They’ll break down the mattress and use it for energy generation or manufacture underlays for industrial carpets.

So, instead of burning or sending your mattress to landfills, consider contacting your nearest mattress recycling facility to dispose of it properly.

Sell it Out

If you feel that your mattress is still in good condition and can be used, consider selling it out. Make sure that you get it cleaned by a professional cleaning service and sell it in a local thrift store that accepts old mattresses. Alternatively you can read our guide on how to disinfect a mattress, to get it looking and smelling fresh before sale.

Read also: Can you use a carpet cleaner on a mattress?

You can also use online marketplaces such as eBay, Facebook Marketplace, or Etsy to sell your mattress. Keep in mind that your aim is to get rid of the old mattress rather than to make money, so expect to make only a few bucks.

You’ll need to upload a few images so that the potential buyers can see the condition of the mattress before buying it. It’s also important to write down a detailed description so that the buyers can know what type of mattress you’re offering. It’ll increase the chances of selling your old mattress quickly.

You can also advertise it as a free mattress and ask the buyer to pay for the delivery cost. It’ll allow you to get rid of your old mattress easily without spending a penny.

Another great way to get rid of an old mattress is to donate it by contacting a local charity organization. It’s important to note that you should only donate an old mattress that’s in good condition and free of bed bugs. That’s because your old mattress donations will be used for people living in poor countries.

Make sure that you clean it thoroughly before contacting a charity organization. You can also try local churches, orphanages, and old houses if your mattress is in mint condition.

If you can’t find any place to donate your old mattress locally, consider giving it to one of your friends or relatives who can’t afford to buy a new one.

DIY Old Mattress Recycling

If you’re a DIY enthusiast, consider repurposing your old mattress for different DIY projects. It’s one of the best mattress disposal techniques that allow you to use your old mattress to add more character and beauty to your house.

You can use the old mattress springs to make attractive outdoor projects, such as structures for climbing plants, ornaments, or even wine racks. The outer foam of the mattress will make for excellent padding for your dog’s bed.

You can also use foam and fabric to create cushions and small pillows. But make sure that you clean the components of your mattress properly before using them in any DIY project.

Call Your Local Authority

If none of the methods discussed above works for you, consider contacting your local garbage disposal department or authority. You can ask them whether or not they offer any service to dispose of old mattresses.

You might need to pay a little fee to acquire this service but it’ll keep you from going through the hassle of disposing of the mattress yourself. That’s because the officials will come to your house to collect your old mattress and take it away for recycling or repurposing.


Is It Safe to Burn an Old Mattress?

No, it’s not safe to burn an old mattress as it’ll release many harmful materials into the air. Not only will it damage the healthy environment of your house and neighborhood but it can also lead to many health problems. Additionally, you can also fall victim to penalties and fines by law enforcement agencies.

How Do You Dispose of an Old Mattress?

The most effective way to dispose of an old mattress is to contact a local mattress recycling service. That’s because up to 75 percent of the components of your old mattress can be recycled. It’ll allow you to reduce your carbon footprint and help reduce landfill waste.

What Happens If You Burn a Memory Foam Mattress?

A memory foam mattress is made of polyurethane material which is considered flammable. While it takes some time to ignite this material, the fire spreads rapidly once it’s ignited. A burning mattress releases toxic compounds and dense smoke into the air.

Conclusion: Can You Burn a Mattress?

There are many methods that you can use to dispose of an old mattress but burning it shouldn’t be one of them. Not only is it prohibited by law but it’s also harmful to the environment and human health.

We hope this guide will help you understand the correct and effective ways to get rid of your old mattress without damaging the atmosphere and breaking any law.