Can You Cut Up a Mattress?

Can You Cut Up a Mattress?

Getting rid of your mattress responsibly is not necessarily easy. Mattresses are heavy and bulky, making them difficult to move, so they are often left on the sidewalk or illegally dumped. However, can you cut it up?

You can cut up a mattress when the right tools are used and specific steps are followed. However, there are a few things to consider before you decide that cutting up your mattress is the best way to get rid of it since there are more options to think of.

The rest of this article will discuss what to consider before you start, how you can cut up your mattress, which tools you will need if you decide to proceed, other ways to get rid of your mattress, and things to keep in mind before you make your next purchase. 

What to Consider Before You Cut Up a Mattress

What to Consider Before You Cut Up a Mattress

Reasons to Cut Your Mattress 

Old, used, or unwanted mattresses are a big issue for landfills because so many of them end up there. Instead of tossing our mattresses away, we could take them apart and reuse or recycle some materials.  


Many people don’t know that mattresses often have warranties of many years (sometimes even a full lifetime). This might be something you want to check before you get rid of your mattress and purchase a new one, especially since most mattresses give out before the warranty period is over. Also, taking a warranty into consideration when you’re buying a brand new mattress next time could save you money and be beneficial for the longevity of your mattress. 


All equipment you will need should be available at your local hardware store. Here is a list of a few items you will need in order to cut up your mattress:

  • Either an electric carving knife, a strong kitchen knife (long and ridged edges), a pair of strong scissors, or a utility knife. 
  • If you have a mattress with springs: wire-cutters are a necessity, so are thick gloves. 
  • Empty boxes or bags to put the mattress parts in after it’s been cut up. 


Perhaps obvious but important: use common sense when cutting up your mattress with a sharp object. For example, the springs in the mattress can give a nasty cut if you don’t pay close attention to what you’re doing. 

How to Cut Up Your Mattress

How to Cut Up Your Mattress

If you follow this step-by-step explanation, it will take you about 2 hours to cut up a mattress.

  1. Remove the cord from the edges of the mattress. Use your utility knife to remove the piping thread. Keep going until you can eventually pull it and remove it from the mattress. 
  2. The cords that bind the mattress together are now gone. The next step is to remove the sides of the mattress. You can pull the fabric, and it should give in and come loose. 
  3. Pull off the top and bottom part of the mattress. This step should be easy. Just keep in mind that the springs are underneath (unless you have a complete foam mattress), and you want to be careful not to cut yourself. 
  4. Put the gloves on because you don’t want to get hurt. Once they’re on, collect all the fabric and put it in the empty box or bag you have ready. These materials can be recycled, used again, or decomposed.
  5. Once all of the fabric is removed, it’s time to cut up the springs. Keep the gloves on and keep the wire-cutters on hand. The goal is now to cut the springs up as small as possible. Note: this is only for spring mattresses.

There you have it! Your old mattress can now be recycled and won’t have to go to the landfill.

Frequently Asked Questions About Cutting a Mattress

Frequently Asked Questions About Cutting a Mattress
  • Can you/should you cut a mattress topper too? Since a mattress topper is a lot thinner than an actual mattress, it would be easier to cut it up. You can use the same tools you’ve used for the cutting of the mattress and it should take you a lot less time. 
  • Can you/should you cut a memory foam mattress? If you have a memory foam mattress you can follow the steps mentioned above. Since it has no springs, it is easier to cut up than a spring mattress. 
  • Can you/should you cut a gel mattress? It’s not advisable to cut up a gel mattress since it contains gel beads. It can get quite messy if you try to cut it up. Further along in this article I will discuss other options to get rid of your mattress. 
  • Can you/should you cut a Casper Mattress? Consisting of three layers of foam, it is possible to cut up your Casper mattress, however, it’s not necessarily advisable. Casper offers a service where they can come to pick up your old mattress and bring a new one. They recycle the old mattress themselves. 

What to do With a Used Mattress

What to do With a Used Mattress

Sell It

If your mattress is still quite new or even in great shape, selling it is probably the best way to get rid of your mattress. This way you can have the buyer pick it up from your house, you won’t have to deal with it any further, and you will earn some money which is always nice, right? 

Give It Away

Only consider giving your mattress away if it is still in good shape and if you think that other people might benefit from having it. Additionally, you can let the person who you give it to come pick it up so you don’t have to transport it anywhere yourself. 


Donating your mattress to charity is a nice and sustainable way to get rid of your mattress. The downside is, however, that you will probably need to bring the mattress over there with your own transport. This can be far from ideal if you don’t have a car at your disposal or a helping hand.

The Salvation Army, however, does offer to pick up your belongings, so this might be a good alternative if a drop-off is not possible. 

Social Media

Perhaps the fastest and easiest way to make your mattress disappear without any hassle is letting someone pick it up for little to no money. There are plenty of Facebook groups or other social media platforms out there that focus on free stuff that people give away. It probably won’t take long before someone will be knocking on your door. 

Family or Friends

Check with your family and friends to see if someone might need a second-hand mattress. You can tell them they can have it if they collect it themselves. 

Store It

If you have no use for the mattress right now but you might in the future, storing your mattress could be a good idea. If the mattress is still in good shape or bought not too long ago, getting rid of it would be wasteful. 

Things to Keep in Mind for Your Next Mattress Purchase

Things to Keep in Mind for Your Next Mattress Purchase
  • Durability: When you’re purchasing a new mattress, durability might be an important feature to keep your eye on. If you choose a new mattress with good durability, it will last longer, making it a more sustainable and cheap option. 
  • Cheaper is usually not better: Going for the cheapest option often leads to regret down the road. However, more expensive doesn’t necessarily mean better. It is important to look out for a quality mattress, though, and usually, good quality products are simply more expensive. It’s smart to invest in a good mattress that is good for your body and your sleep quality. 

Final Thoughts

If you don’t mind putting in some effort, it is possible to cut up your mattress. While it might not be the easiest way to get rid of your mattress, it probably is the most sustainable way in most cases. 

If the five steps written in this article are followed, and the right tools are used, it should not take you more than two hours to get it done. 

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