5 Ways to Donate a Mattress

You have a brand new mattress and you’re excited to get a good night’s rest. There’s just one big, mattress-sized problem: what you were sleeping on before. Getting rid of an old mattress can seem like a real hassle, and many people seek the easiest solution. In most cases, that means dragging it to the curb. About 20 million mattresses and box springs are discarded this way every year, and they typically end up in landfills or incinerators. Want to know just how much that is? If you lined up every mattress thrown out in a year, they would circle the entire Earth.

You don’t want your mattress to contribute to that waste. Instead, you can donate your mattress. Whether you’ve outgrown it, are upgrading because of a move, need more space for a partner or child to sleep with you, or suddenly find your current mattress to be too firm for your taste, someone else can get use out of it. Housing insecurity has hit many people hard, and the pandemic has exacerbated it. These folks need support and a mattress can go a long way toward providing a bit of stability that they desperately need. On top of it simply being the right thing to do, you’ll get something out of it, too: mattress donations can be tax-deductible, depending on the organization you give it to. 

Give your mattress a second life by looking into mattress donation. If you’re wondering how to donate a mattress to a homeless shelter or are wondering, “Does Goodwill take mattresses?” you’ll find all the answers to your questions here.

Can I Donate A Mattress And What Is The Impact of My Donation?

Generally speaking, if your mattress is still in decent to good condition, you should be able to donate it. Plenty of local charities, nonprofit organizations and even homeless shelters are often interested in taking mattresses.

However, much like you probably don’t want to hang on to a grubby, worn and torn mattress, those organizations also don’t want to simply handle your trash. Make sure your mattress is not covered in stains, holes, mold or experiencing other issues like bed bugs. If your mattress is worn down to the point that it doesn’t have much life left, you might be better seeking other options to discard your mattress. But if it is in good shape, you can try to donate your mattress to a good cause.

New mattresses are expensive, and many people can’t afford the cost despite the necessity. A recent survey found that one in four Americans spent less than $200 on their mattress, including 16 percent who spent nothing at all. Nearly half a million Americans experience homelessness, and more than 200,000 are unsheltered and sleeping outdoors. These are people in need, and providing them with a mattress helps to eliminate one expense while providing them the opportunity for a better night of sleep.

How to Donate a Mattress

While it may seem like a bit of a task to donate a mattress, it actually can be quite easy. There are local and national charities that work on affordable housing issues, housing security, and homelessness that are often willing to take mattresses in good shape. There are also local marketplaces that can help connect people looking to get rid of a mattress with people looking to acquire one and may not have other options.

  1. Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit organization known for building housing for low-income families and developing communities. Habitat for Humanity often accepts furniture, including mattresses, as long as it is in good or usable condition. Make sure your mattress is clean and contact your local Habitat for Humanity.

  1. Local charities

Other local organizations like homeless shelters and groups that help people in unstable housing conditions are often looking for mattress donations. Search “mattress donation” and your city to find charities interested in repurposing your mattress.

  1. Furniture Bank Network

The National Furniture Bank Association is an organization dedicated to getting furniture to people in need, including the previously homeless, unemployed, immigrants, individuals with disabilities and victims of natural disasters, among others. They take furniture in “good, usable condition” and help it reach a new home.

  1. FreeCycle

FreeCycle is a nonprofit organization that seeks to list free furniture in communities across the country. You can list your mattress for donation in your city and allow someone looking for a mattress to get in contact with you.

  1. Facebook Marketplace/Craigslist

More broad than FreeCycle, Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist allow you to list items for free, including mattresses. Users can contact you if they are interested in picking up your mattress. It’s not a charity, but it will get your mattress to someone who needs or wants it.

What Extra Steps Should I Take To Donate During the Pandemic

Given that we are still in the middle of a global pandemic and health considerations must be taken when giving away or donating goods, it is necessary to take additional steps to prepare your mattress before donating it or passing it on someone else. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends using reusable or disposable gloves while cleaning or disinfecting any item you may want to decontaminate. The CDC also recommends following the manufacturer’s instructions on cleaning or laundering the surface, so check your mattress for cleaning instructions. Research suggests that the coronavirus can remain on surfaces for as long as two days, and mattresses are no exception, so if someone infected has been sleeping in the mattress, make sure you wait several days before donating to ensure safety.

Additionally, charities and homeless shelters are often looking for bedding that accompanies mattresses, like sheets, blankets and pillows. Washing and drying this bedding before donating it should be enough to ensure that it will not spread coronavirus, as the virus struggles with the type of heat that it would face in a dryer. Handle the bedding with disposable gloves to make sure not to turn it into a vector for spreading coronavirus after washing.

Final Thoughts

While getting rid of a mattress can seem like a major hassle, there are many ways to move on from your old mattress in a way that will allow it to get more use. Mattress donation is an option to take it off your hands and allow someone else to use it. Many local organizations and homeless shelters are interested in used mattresses in good conditions. Habitat for Humanity often will take mattresses and other furniture and provide them to low-income families. Marketplaces, including FreeCycle and the Furniture Bank Network or, more general ones like Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist, are also good places to donate your mattress directly to someone who wants it.

While Goodwill and Salvation Army may seem like the first places you would think of for donating your mattress, they often do not take mattresses. You can always contact your local Goodwill or Salvation Army to ask if they accept mattresses, but many do not. Instead, turn toward other local charities, which can get your mattress to someone in need.

FAQs About Mattress Donation

Where can I donate a mattress?

You can donate a mattress to Habitat for Humanity or other local charities and organizations. Typically, groups that work with low-income or home-insecure communities are interested in mattresses in good condition. You can also donate your mattress directly to someone using the Furniture Bank Network, FreeCycle or other marketplaces.

Does Goodwill take mattresses?

Goodwill typically does not accept mattresses. You can contact your local Goodwill to ask if they are looking for any. Often, Goodwill does not take mattresses for health and safety concerns. Check with your local Goodwill location for more details.

Can I donate a mattress to a homeless shelter?

Yes, you can often donate mattresses to homeless shelters. Search for your local homeless shelter and contact them regarding their donation policy and procedure.

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