Last updated on 1 Oct, 2023

Can You Recycle An Air Mattress? - Expert Advice(2023)

– By Eric Smith

Can you recycle an air mattress? Air mattresses have become a common item in many households. They are excellent for visitor beds, tours, or if someone wants to have a comfy sleep but doesn’t have access to a traditional mattress or bed to sleep on.

But what happens when your trusty air mattress is not in the condition to be used anymore? Can you recycle it? Or is recycling an air mattress a good idea? Or, what should I do if my air mattress is non-recyclable?

Can You Recycle An Air Mattress

In this guide, we’ll answer all such questions that come to someone’s mind related to air mattress recycling.

Recycling of items is good for our environment, as it helps reduce waste in landfills and saves valuable resources. From understanding the materials used in air mattresses to finding recycling facilities near you, this guide contains them all.

Can You Recycle an Air Mattress? Is It Even Possible?

Can you recycle an air mattress? or Are air mattresses recyclable? They both are good question, as air mattresses are common in many homes nowadays. 

Fortunately, YES, you can recycle an air mattress.

Air mattresses are usually a combination of different materials, which include PVC, rubber, and fabric.

Some of these materials are easy to recycle; however some need special techniques, and still, you might not get the desired results.

Which is why recycling an air mattress becomes even more challenging, all thanks to their hybrid nature. Nevertheless, you still have some options to consider.

are air mattresses recyclable

PVC Components: You can easily give your air mattress a second life by disassembling it and separating the PVC parts. Later, you can give the PVC materials to recycling centres. However, remember that they should be able to handle large items such as your air mattress.

Rubber Parts: Recycling rubber components can be challenging, often requiring specialized skills. For rubber components, you can look for rubber recycling programs or consider creative ways to reuse rubber parts as an alternative.

Fabric Covers: It totally depends on the material of the fabric cover, whether it’s recyclable or not.

Natural fabrics like cotton are biodegradable, while synthetic ones like polyester may not break down easily. The fabric cover might be suitable if your area has textile recycling programs.

Additionally, air mattresses may contain non-recyclable components like valves, pumps, or metal parts. Properly disposing of these parts is vital to prevent environmental harm.

Materials Used in Air Mattress Construction

what to do with old air mattress

Our air mattresses are more than just inflatable beds. They are made up of different materials that play an essential role in their comfort, durability, and environmental impact. Let’s quickly see what those materials are and why they matter.

Usually, air mattresses are made of 3 types of materials: PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride), Rubber, and Fabric.

PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride)

PVC is the most commonly used material for air mattresses’ body and inner sections, such as for making air chambers.

PVC is highly famous for its durability, waterproof properties, and ability to keep air effectively. Yet, PVC is a type of plastic that doesn’t break down easily in nature. When disposed of improperly, it can harm the environment and release toxic chemicals.

Rubber

Rubber is another famous material found in an air mattress after PVC. It is frequently used for the inner parts like the air chambers. Rubber offers much more flexibility than PVC, which helps the air mattress keep its original shape for a long time. Because of which, the airbed becomes more comfortable to sleep on.

While rubber is one of the most durable materials out there, recycling it can still be a challenging part. It’s worth noting that the improper disposal of rubber can even lead to pollution issues.

Fabric

In air mattresses, the fabric layer is responsible for providing a soft and comfortable surface to sleep on. If you have an air mattress, see its outer cover. There is a high chance that it’s made of fabric.

Different types of fabrics may be used in air mattress construction. Natural fabrics such as cotton are biodegradable and break down easily over time compared to PVC and Rubber. On the other hand, synthetic fabrics like polyester may not decompose so quickly.

Why It's Good To Consider Air Mattress Recycling?

Recycling of an air mattress benefits both the environment and our society in many ways. In our research, we’ve got 5 significant points why you should consider recycling your air mattress.

Reduce Dump Garbage:

garbage

Air mattresses can take up significant space in junkyards as they are larger in size, and their material, which is most probably PVC, doesn’t allow them to break down easily in nature.

Recycling, on the other hand, keeps them free from these junkyards and reduces their burden. Furthermore, it also saves space for other wastes that don’t take too long to break down.

Conserve Resources:

Air mattress recycling means you are using valuable materials such as PVC, rubber, and fabric again. This step saves the aids needed to make these materials initially.

Saves Energy:

The recycling process for air mattress materials typically needs less energy than creating new materials. It saves energy and reduces carbon emissions, which overall contributes to a more hygienic environment.

It Provides Job Opportunities:

Recycling initiatives create jobs in collecting, sorting, and processing recyclable materials.

By keeping your air mattresses for recycling, you are unknowingly contributing to local economies and job growth, which is really good.

Reduce Environmental Impact:

Last but not least, the environmental damage caused by recycling air mattresses is less severe than the damage caused by improper disposal, such as incineration or landfilling. It reduces pollution and greenhouse gases linked with these disposal methods.

What to Do With Your Old Air Mattress?

1. Donate

donate

Donating the old air mattress is good to consider if it’s still in good condition. If you don’t need it anymore, consider donating it to charities, to people who need it the most.

Many people who are facing tough circumstances can sleep comfortably, all thanks to you and your old air mattress.

In order to donate, look for local organizations that accept mattress donations. Contact them to check their donation policies and whether they have specific requirements for cleanliness or condition.

2. Repurpose

shopping bag

Repurposing your air mattress is an innovative and eco-friendly way to extend its usefulness. Even if it’s no longer fit for resting, there can be many other ways by which your old air mattress can still be utilized.

For example, you can use the fabric cover to make soft cushions, pillows, or shopping bags. The fabric’s durability makes it ideal for these DIY projects.

On the flip side, rubber components, like the air chambers, can be used for various purposes around the house. They can act as extra padding for furniture, as cushions for your knees when gardening, or even as insulation for drafty windows and doors.

You can make storage racks, shoe organizers, or even a creative indoor plant stand from the rest of the PVC material.

3. Contact the Manufacturer

Your air mattress manufacturer can also help you in this case. Some companies have specific instructions for environmentally responsible disposal of their products.

You can get their customer service or go to their official website to find out if they have any recommendations or programs in place.

They might provide instructions on how to disassemble the air mattress for proper disposal or guide you to nearby recycling or donation centres.

4. Dispose Properly

recycle your air mattress

When you are dealing with an air mattress that’s no longer in the condition to be recycled or repurposed, make sure to dispose of it properly. Always focus on local waste handling guidelines to get rid of your old air mattress.

Illegal dumping can harm the environment and is also against the law, so avoid that.

Apart from that, you can contact your local waste disposal management to find out how to dispose of the air mattress safely. They can help you find drop-off locations or collection days for large items like air mattresses.

5. Look For Special Drop-Off Centres

Special drop-off centres can be a helpful option when disposing of an air mattress. These designated locations allow you to bring large items like mattresses for proper disposal.

  13 Specialist Mattress Recyclers In The US:

  1. Bye Bye Mattress
  2. Spring Back Mattress Recycling
  3. St. Vincent de Paul Society
  4. DR3 Mattress Recycling
  5. Mattress Recycling Council (MRC)
  6. Renewal Mattress
  7. Midwest Fiber Recycling
  8. 1-800-GOT-JUNK?
  9. Texas Mattress Makers Recycling Program
  10. Shake-A-Leg Mattress Recycling
  11. Mattress Depot USA Recycling Program
  12. Second Chance Recycling
  13. Blue Marble Materials

Contact your local waste administration or recycling authorities to find a special drop-off centre. They can provide information on the nearest drop-off locations and any specific guidelines or requirements for dropping off items like air mattresses.

6. Consider Repair

If you want to throw your air mattress just because it has a leak or a small tear, let me tell you that it can still be repaired and used. Repairing the air mattress with the right techniques can literally add years to its lifespan and also reduce waste.

To start:

  1. First, find the issue.
  2. If it’s a leak, use techniques like a soapy water trick to find the leak or listen for the hissing sound.
  3. Once you’ve identified the issue, use a patch kit designed for inflatable items to seal the leak.

If there’s a tear in the fabric cover, you can mend it with a simple sewing kit and some fabric glue. Just make sure to use good quality glue for the fabric type, and follow the instructions carefully.

7. Sell or Give Away

sell

If you have an air mattress that’s still in good condition but no longer suits your needs, consider selling it or giving it away to someone who can use it. There might be many people looking for a comfortable sleeping solution.

Selling the inflatable mattress online through platforms like CraigslistFacebook Marketplace, or a local classifieds website can earn you some extra cash while helping someone find a budget-friendly option.

Alternatively, you can give it away to friends, family, or acquaintances who might need an air mattress for guests, camping, or other purposes. 

Donating it to a shelter, community centre, or charitable organization is another generous option that makes sure it benefits those who don’t want to spend money on a new one. 

FAQs - Can You Recycle An Air Mattress?

What can I do with an old airbed?

If you have an old airbed and you don’t need it anymore, there are practical options to consider. You can donate it to help those in need if it’s still in good shape and inflates. You can also transform its material for making shopping bags, puncture repair patches, waterproof covers, ground sheets, etc.

Check if it’s recyclable in your area and clean it before recycling to get rid of pee stains, if any. If recycling isn’t possible, dispose of it responsibly at a waste centre.

What not to do with an air mattress?

While dealing with an air mattress, there are some important things you should avoid doing to keep it in good condition. First, don’t overinflate, as this can lead to bursting or damage.

Also, avoid placing it on rough or sharp surfaces, like rocks or uneven ground, as it can puncture the mattress. You can consider raising it off the floor, but don’t put it directly on the rocky ground.

Most importantly, don’t drag or slide the mattress across the floor, as this can cause tears or abrasions.

Where to donate an air mattress?

Many local charities and shelters, such as homeless shelters, disaster relief organizations, or organizations that support refugees, usually accept donations of air mattresses to deliver temporary bedding for people who need it the most.

Furthermore, check your local Goodwill, Salvation Army or other thrift store, as most of them accept such donations.

Another option is to give it to community or church groups, as they sometimes organize donations to assist people facing hardship.

About Eric Smith

eric smith - content writer

With 4+ years of experience dealing with air mattresses, Eric has gotten really good at making useful and interesting stuff for you to read. He loves helping people find the right air mattresses and fix any air mattress-related issues.

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