What Happens to Mattresses That Are Returned?

When someone buys a new mattress, they often have high hopes for a good night’s sleep. However, sometimes mattresses don’t work out and need to be returned. So, what happens to them? Do they go into the trash? Are they recycled? We will look at what happens to old mattresses and where they end up.

What Happens Really?

Depending on the company’s policy, there are a few different places that old mattresses can go. Some companies donate their returned mattresses to charity organizations or local shelters. Others resell them as-is at a discounted price. And still, others send them back to the manufacturer to be recycled or dismantled. The thing about mattresses is that they are bulky and not easy to recycle. The springs and foam inside can be recycled, but it is often easier and cheaper for companies to simply dispose of them in landfills. In fact, according to the EPA, Americans throw away approximately 20 million mattresses and box springs each year!

Some companies are working on innovative ways to recycle old mattresses. One company, TerraCycle, has created a mattress recycling program that allows consumers to send their old mattresses to be recycled for free. The company breaks down the mattress into parts and recycles the metal, wood, and foam.

What Do Companies Do with Returned Mattress?

When you buy a mattress, you usually have a set period to return it if you’re unsatisfied. But what happens to those mattresses once they’re returned? It turns out that there’s a whole process that companies go through to resell or recycle them.

First, the mattress is inspected for any damage. Then, the mattress is typically sent to a landfill if there are any tears or stains. However, if the mattress is still in good condition, it can be cleaned and resold as “used.” Usually, these mattresses are sold at a discount.

In some cases, mattresses can also be recycled. For example, the steel springs and wood frame can be reused, and the fabric and padding can be made into other products like carpet padding or insulation. However, recycling a mattress is more complicated and expensive than simply selling it as used, so not all companies do it.

Do All Mattress Selling Companies Have a Similar Return Policy?

No, not all companies have the same return policy. For example, some companies make it very difficult to return a mattress while others have a no-questions-asked policy. However, even though most mattress selling companies have a similar return policy, there may be slight variations between them. For example, some companies may require that the mattress be returned within a certain number of days, while others may give you a more extended period.

Others may also charge a restocking fee, while others may not. It is essential to read the return policy’s fine print before purchasing to know potential fees or restrictions. If you are unsatisfied with your mattress, most companies will allow you to return it for a full refund. However, you must note that you may be responsible for paying for the return shipping costs. Before returning your mattress, be sure to contact the company to find out their specific policies and procedures.

Who Is Responsible for the Loss From a Returned Mattress?

The company usually assumes the loss when a mattress is returned. This is because they are the ones who have to pay for the return shipping, as well as any restocking fees. However, the customer may be responsible for these costs in some cases. Therefore, it is essential to read the fine print of the return policy before purchasing so that you are aware of any potential fees or restrictions.

Even though companies assume the loss, this risk is typically included in the mattress price initially. This is because they know that a certain percentage of mattresses will be returned. So, for example, if a company assumes or foresees a 20% mattress return risk, it will increase the price to cover these costs. That is why you might wonder why mattresses are so expensive.

How To Tell If Your Mattress Is New or a Recycled One?

There is no sure way to tell if your mattress is new or recycled. However, there are a few things that you can look for that may give you a clue and determine if really the mattress you’re buying is typically new and has never been used or if it is just a pre-used mattress that’s refurbished, well-padded, and is being sold to you as new.

Check the Tag

If it says, “Do not remove under penalty of law, ” that’s a good sign that the mattress is new. If the tag has been removed, this may mean that the mattress is recycled. This tag mainly certifies that the mattress meets the federal flammability standards.

Look for Stains or Tears

If there are any noticeable stains or tears, this may signify that the mattress is recycled. Usually, companies will send mattresses with these types of damages to landfills.

Check the Price

If the price is significantly lower than other mattresses of the same size and type, this may signify that the mattress is recycled. This is because companies typically sell used mattresses at a discount.

Ask the Salesperson

Suppose you have any doubt about the mattress, you can always inquire with the salesperson. They should be able to tell you if the mattress is new or recycled.

Consider the Return Policy

Typically, companies have a no-questions-asked policy when it comes to returns. However, if the company has a restocking fee or only allows you to return the mattress within a certain number of days, this may be a sign that the mattress is recycled.


Can one return their mattress if they don’t like it?

Most companies will allow you to return your mattress for a full refund if you are unsatisfied with it. However, you may be responsible for paying for the return shipping costs.

Are Returned Mattresses Disposed of?

No, most companies will not dispose of returned mattresses. In most cases, the mattress will be donated or recycled.

What Happens to Recycled Mattresses?

Recycled mattresses are typically dismantled, and the materials are used to create other products. For example, the steel springs may be used to create car parts, while the foam can be used in furniture or carpet padding.


Now that you know what happens to returned mattresses, you can be sure to make an informed decision before purchasing one. Be sure to read the return policy carefully and ask the salesperson any questions that you may have. With this knowledge, you can be sure to find the perfect mattress for you.

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