​Spring new life into your old mattress

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
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Are you constantly tired? Feeling cranky from tossing and turning through yet another night? It might be time for a new mattress. Like light bulbs, mattresses are usually another element in our homes that we don’t pay much attention to, as long as they keep working. The difference, however, is that you immediately know when that light bulb’s time is up. It is quite different for your mattress. 

Many of us are guilty of using our mattresses way longer than we should, which can spell bad news for our health and mental state (sleep is important, you know!). And when we eventually do purchase a new one, lots of mattress stores will haul away our old one for free – but is that really the best way to go about it?

With a lot of people jumping onto the green-living bandwagon, shouldn't you do your part for the environment as well? We are not suggesting clinging on to that mattress through sore backs and sleepless nights at all. But let’s have a look at other ways in which you can breathe new life into that old mattress one you acquire a new one.

Sell it

Fulham Penthouse: modern Bedroom by Yohan May Design
Yohan May Design

Fulham Penthouse

Yohan May Design

Looking to make some extra money? In this case, you will definitely want to invest in properly cleaning that old mattress before pawning it off. 

Once it’s spick and span (free of stains and weird-looking smudges), take a decent photograph and post it on the board / site where you want to advertise it. Be sure to add a detailed description of how it’s been cleaned and maintained, as that can definitely attract some buyers.

Also include in your advertisement the brand, a description of its firmness and other features, as well as the price you originally paid for it. And don’t see this as an opportunity to make a profit (you will not get anywhere near what you originally paid for that mattress). Including this information only helps to build the legitimacy of your post.  

Your mattress might even be picked up by a second-hand shop in your community. Google shops nearby and phone them up first to make sure that they do purchase old mattresses.

Give it away

This might sound like an obvious one, but not many people opt for this option (or even think about it). One man's trash is another man's treasure, after all, and giving your used mattress to somebody else is a much better alternative to having it dumped on a landfill. 

Chat to your colleagues, friends and family (especially cousins or nieces/nephews who are moving out of their parents’ houses). You can even post your message on a community board or social media site. Offer up your free, gently used and still good-looking (we hope) mattress in return for the new owner to come pick it up from your home. 

Should you feel generous, you may even have it cleaned before giving it away. However, unless you’re going to sell it or give it to an organisation with rules about accepting mattresses, the onus of cleaning can fall on the new owner.

Take it apart for other usage

If you have a craft hobby or you love a DIY challenge, that old mattress might present some other advantages for you than selling it. There are many components that make up a mattress that you could use in a project or two.

Love to sew and consider yourself a magician with fabric? Those buttons or cloth from the mattress could be very useful, and the stuffing can be used for new pillows or even reupholstering furniture. 

If you’re a craftsman, you can use the wood from the frame for carpentry work, or simply to add to your next campfire. Even those springs can be reborn as wine-bottle holders or some other creative venture you can conjure up. 

That’s a much better use for it than having it end up on a smelly landfill.

Donate it to an animal shelter

Humans aren’t the only ones who can benefit from an old mattress. There are numerous shelters that take care of four-legged friends, and they are always in need of donations. Your old mattress could definitely be used as beds for animals that have been rescued and are awaiting adoption. 

A doggie day-care centre or other similar business might also be interested, so be sure to phone around. Although an animal shelter might not be as concerned about a stain or two (as long as they know the mattress is clean), it would still be decent of you to have the mattress cleaned before donating.

Reuse it for kid's playtime

If you have little ones (or somebody close to you does), chances are that your old mattress will be a welcome addition to their playtime. 

It could serve as a protective layer at the bottom of their jungle gym, or be a creative alternative for a trampoline. And you know how young children love to play with an empty box for hours upon hours, letting their imaginations take over? That mattress could also serve as anything they imagine it to be, from a spaceship to a boat. 

Again, be sure to have it professionally cleaned before letting children play on it. You may think you've kept it in perfect condition, but years and years of body sweat and dust mites, invisible to the naked eye, have sunk into it, and can cause illnesses. Rather be safe than sorry! 

Be sure to scope out our stylish tips for: Kids Bedroom Wallpaper Ideas.

Get creative with compost

In every aspect of life there is an opportunity to turn green and help the environment. Your old mattress is no exception.

Both the wooden frame and stuffing can be used to create a compost pile in your backyard or garden. The wooden slats of the frame can be used to make an actual bin for the compost, while the foam padding or cotton stuffing can be a cover to protect the compost from the elements and keep the pile warm. This effectively accelerates the composting process, so your old mattress would lend a helping hand.  

Another option would be to use the stuffing as landscape fabric to keep weeds out of your garden, and repurpose the springs as trellises for climbing plants.

What other ways can you dream up to make use of an old mattress? We’d love to hear your ideas so share with us, below...
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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