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Does Goodwill Take Mattresses – Donation Guide

Many often ask “Does Goodwill take mattresses?”, and with us covering the A-Z of living greener and promoting sustainability, many have asked what are the options for giving your mattress a second life.

TL;DR: The short answer to this question is, unfortunately, no, Goodwill does not typically accept used mattresses due to sanitary concerns and potential legal restrictions. However, this policy can vary between different Goodwill locations.

Understanding Goodwill’s Donation Policies

As many experts have noted, Goodwill has a strong reputation for accepting a wide range of donated items, from clothing to furniture. However, mattresses present unique challenges.

As a nonprofit organization dedicated to enhancing dignity and quality of life, Goodwill has to ensure that all the donated items are clean, safe, and beneficial to the community it serves.

Why Doesn’t Goodwill Accept Mattresses?

The core reason Goodwill often refrains from accepting used mattresses is primarily due to health and safety concerns. Mattresses can be a breeding ground for pests, allergens, and bacteria, which could potentially pose health risks to the next user. This issue is further exacerbated by the fact that it’s difficult to thoroughly clean or sanitize a used mattress.

Furthermore, legal restrictions come into play. Some states have laws that prevent the sale of used mattresses to minimize the spread of bedbugs and other potential infestations. It’s essential to understand that Goodwill has to abide by these regulations.

The Environmental Impact of Mattress Disposal

The decision not to accept used mattresses can seem perplexing, considering the environmental impact of improper mattress disposal. Approximately 20 million mattresses end up in landfills annually in the U.S., taking up a considerable amount of space due to their size and non-compact nature.

Mattresses are predominantly non-biodegradable, meaning they can remain in landfill sites for many years, contributing to environmental pollution. Furthermore, they are made up of a mix of materials, such as metal, foam, and fabric, which can be a challenge to recycle efficiently.

Incorporating Sustainability in Mattress Disposal

Despite the complexities, it might be worthwhile to consider the potential benefits of recycling mattresses. A study by the University of Sheffield found that up to 85% of a mattress’s components can be recycled.

Additionally, recycling one mattress can save nearly 65 pounds of toxic material from entering landfills and can reduce CO2 emissions equivalent to driving a car over 400 miles.

What Should You Do With Your Used Mattress?

Considering Goodwill’s reluctance to accept used mattresses, what are the alternatives? A useful suggestion would be to explore the following options:

  • Recycling Programs: Your local waste management facility may have a mattress recycling program. Specific organizations dedicated to mattress recycling and repurposing may also operate in some regions. An example of such a program is the Mattress Recycling Council’s “Bye Bye Mattress” program, which operates in California, Connecticut, and Rhode Island.
  • Manufacturer Take-Back Programs: Certain mattress companies offer take-back programs for used products, which they recycle. These companies frequently repurpose the components into new mattresses or other products. For instance, companies like Leesa and Tempur-Pedic have take-back and recycling programs.
  • Donation to Other Organizations: While Goodwill might not accept mattresses, other charitable organizations do. The Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity ReStores, and certain homeless shelters may accept clean, gently-used mattresses. Be sure to call these organizations in advance to verify their policies and procedures.
  • Sell or Give Away: Online platforms such as Craigslist, Freecycle, or Facebook Marketplace can be used to sell or give away your used mattress. This not only helps you get rid of your mattress but also helps someone else who may need it.

To determine if your mattress is suitable for donation or sale, consider the following:

  • Condition: Most organizations only accept mattresses that are in good, clean condition. If your mattress has significant stains, tears, or structural problems, it may not be accepted.
  • Age: If your mattress is over seven years old, it may not be considered suitable for donation. The typical lifespan of a mattress is seven to ten years, so older mattresses may not provide adequate support and comfort.
  • Pests: If there’s any sign of bedbugs or other pests, organizations will not accept your mattress. It’s crucial to check for these signs before attempting to donate or sell your mattress.


To reiterate, the question “Does Goodwill take mattresses?” has a straightforward answer – typically, they do not. However, considering the environmental impact of incorrect mattress disposal, it’s important to seek out other sustainable options.

As we continue to strive towards a more sustainable future, I recommend researching local recycling programs orother organizations that accept used mattresses. It’s essential that we do our part to minimize the strain on our planet’s resources and reduce our individual and collective environmental footprints.


Does Goodwill Accept Any Bedding Items?

Yes, Goodwill typically accepts clean and gently used bed linens, blankets, and comforters. Always check with your local store before donating, as policies can vary.

Can I Donate a Mattress Topper or a Box Spring?

As with mattresses, these items can have similar issues with hygiene and pests. Most Goodwill stores are likely to decline these items, but it’s always worth contacting your local store to confirm their policies.

Are There Any Organizations That Accept Mattresses?

Yes, organizations such as The Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity ReStores, and some homeless shelters might accept used mattresses. Always call beforehand to verify their policies.

Are Mattresses Recyclable?

Yes, up to 85% of a mattress’s components can be recycled according to a study by the University of Sheffield. Many local waste management facilities offer recycling programs for mattresses.


  • Jen Wheeler

    Jen Wheeler, co-founder of Recycling-Revolution.com, holds degrees from UC Berkeley, Yale, and Stanford. A renowned environmentalist, she's championed sustainable practices at global events and leads EcoBright Solutions, focusing on recycling education and eco-friendly products.

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