Sustainability and Mattress Disposal
Like many others, the National Bed Federation (NBF) – our parent organisation – is on a sustainability journey, getting to grips with the bed industry’s challenges of “going green” whilst encouraging and advising our bed manufacturer members and supplier members on their journeys too.
Buying a bed with sustainability in mind
When it comes to buying a new bed or mattress, we encourage you to buy one that has been made with ecodesign in mind. What does that mean? The bed manufacturer has carefully selected component products and processes that are kind to the planet – such as using recycled materials like refurbished spring units and repurposed fillings, and raw materials such as timber and cotton that have been sustainably and ethically sourced.
Use our Product Finder to find bed brands that make mattresses using recycled materials.
Recycling your mattress
Did you know that 4.75 million mattresses end up in landfill or are incinerated annually in the UK? We can change that.
A bed designed with the environment in mind also means that when the mattress is ready to be replaced, it can be recycled and given a new lease of life – a circular economy is critical to the bed industry’s future. Springs can be recycled with other scrap metal, and foam may be recycled for carpet underlay or sent to a waste-to-energy plant, along with textile material such as mattress covers.
Visit mattressdisposal.co.uk to find your nearest local authority mattress recycling centre. Check too with the company delivering your new bed, which might have a takeback scheme.
We are also aware of the below private, genuine mattress recycling companies and collection services. If you’re unsure if a collection company is legitimate, check online if it has a waste carrier licence (they may be listed under a different name).
Private recycling companies and collection services
There are several private collection services operating throughout England and Wales in most postcodes including Collect Your Old Bed, We Are Mattress Recycling and The Mattress Recycling People – these three companies all guarantee to send your old mattress to a recycling centre. The charges will depend on your area and the size of the product but usually range from £30 to £50 for a standard-sized double mattress.
Love Junk, an app-based marketplace for bulky waste disposal, helps you find your cheapest, most responsible disposal option by connecting you to local licensed waste collectors and reuse organisations. Prices vary depending on the condition of the mattress and ease of pick-up and it excludes Highlands, Islands and Northern Ireland. Check out recent mattress removal prices here.
Beware of mattress van collectors
Be very wary of van collectors who offer to take away bulky household waste items, such as old mattresses, for a charge. Many simply fly tip what they pick up – and some of them have been known to rent a warehouse, dump goods there, and then disappear. Others have old mattresses recovered to look like new and then sell them as ‘bankrupt stock bargains’ or ‘cancelled orders’ by cold calling around residential areas and selling to unsuspecting householders. Read more about how to avoid a mattress van scam.
How to prolong your mattress’ lifespan
Take good care of your bed to prolong its lifespan and get your money’s worth!
We also encourage you to invest in a mattress that will last 7-10 years than one that needs to be replaced within the first few years because it has degraded that much. So, if you can, spend as much as you can reasonably afford. The better the materials used and the better the workmanship, the better the support and comfort and the longer the bed will last. Read further details on the different types of mattress and fillings available.
Remember to check your bed regularly – is it still providing you with the support and comfort you need to sleep well? Here’s how to decide if you need to replace your bed.
Your bed base can also affect your mattress’ lifespan. A bed base with flexible slats works with the mattress and will prolong its life and improve comfort levels, whereas rigid slats have no give and work against the mattress, leaving it to do all the work.
What the NBF is doing to support the bed industry to go green
The NBF works hard with manufacturers and suppliers by guiding them through its EcoDesign Principles, helping them design products that achieve lower environmental impacts throughout their life cycle without compromising fitness for use.
In 2022 we launched the NBF Green Pledge for Our Planet and ecodesign assessment toolkit for members that have committed to becoming more sustainable. The NBF also regularly produces reports on mattress recycling and end-of-life and has published our policies on used and reused components.