Why and how to recycle a futon - A Detailed Guide

It is always better to donate a gently used futon rather than trashing it. This way, someone else can use it and get more years out of it. Recycling futons is the best way to reduce the strain on our exhausted landfills and also prevent the pollution that comes from burning trashed items.

In this guide, we will discuss reasons to recycle futons, the importance of doing so, and some resources to donate futons or get guidance for the right way to dispose of them. Finally, we’ll answer some frequently asked questions on the topic!

Why and how to recycle a futon

How to Recycle a Futon

Recycling a futon is not something most people would think about, but there can come a time when a futon reaches the end of its life. At such times, it is best to recycle a futon rather than trash it because trashed futon mattresses can add to our already strained landfills and often take years and years to degrade.

In this guide, we will discuss everything there is to know about recycling a futon.

Why and how to recycle a futon

Reasons You’d Need to Recycle a Futon

A futon can outstay its welcome in your living room or bedroom when it reaches the end of its life.

Here are some reasons you might want to consider recycling a futon:

It’s broken

Hinges can break, wood can crack beyond repair, and the futon mattress itself can become thin and worn out.

In case you are unable or unwilling to fix these issues, you might want to recycle it. Many people would happily take your futon and put it to good use. You can check out replaceable futon mattresses for the frame, in case that is in a good shape, but if you are looking for a change, then it is best to consider recycling.

It’s infested

Bed bug infestations can be a nightmare.

If you are dealing with one, and it is a relatively older futon, then you might want to trash the mattress as well as the futon frame. Always mark all discarded items as ‘Bed Bug Infested’. This way, some poor old soul won’t be the next victim of these bugs. Wrap and seal the mattress in a large box or plastic bag, mark it as infested, and trash it. Some people even burn their futon mattress when it is infested beyond repair.

You might want to check with your local garbage department about the safe and hygienic disposal of large items like these.

You are redecorating

The best time to recycle a futon is when you are looking to change your room’s look and décor. You can buy a new futon mattress or simply discard the frame and mattress and select a completely different style or color to suit your new interior design.

You are moving to a new country

In case you cannot take your futon with you, you can always use the resources listed below.

Why and how to recycle a futon

Importance of Recycling a Futon

Recycling is a great concept and its benefits apply to everything you recycle.

Futons are no different. When you transform a used futon into something new and usable or you donate it to someone who uses it, you are doing our planet a huge favor. You prevent the wastage of materials and resources and also save a lot of energy that would be expended in manufacturing new futons.

Recycling centers are opening up in many cities and that is adding to the economic growth by giving employment to many people. Like they say: when you recycle locally, you impact globally.

Why and how to recycle a futon

How to Recycle a Futon

Get informed

You might want to do some research about the rules and regulations about recycling in your area. You can contact your local town office and find out how to recycle safely and in an eco-friendly manner.

Understand the regulations and stick to those rules. You can also speak to friends and neighbors about this. This can help you in several ways: they can tell you about their own experiences about recycling and one of them might even be interested in taking your futon for their own home.

You can also go online to find out where the recycling centers are in your town. Visit the Earth911 Center. It is the largest recycling center in the Northern United States.

Contact the recycling departments/centers

Find out about the type of containers needed for recycling your futon mattress and/or frame. Ask them  when they can collect it or whether you need to drop it off at the center.

You can then schedule the pickup/drop-off accordingly.

Use Freecycle or Freegle

Freecycle is a country-wide recycling resource. They let you list things you wish to donate, including mattresses and futons.

Freegle is also a similar resource for donating your gently-used futon frame and mattress.

Check with furniture stores about futon frame recycling

If you are shopping for a new futon, you can ask the shop/manufacturer whether they buy back older frames and futon mattresses. Some might refuse to buy mattresses for beg bug/hygiene reasons. But many manufacturers do take the frames. They even give you some discount on the purchase of your new futon and offer to collect your older one for free.

Give it away to students

Students are always willing to take old futons. If there’s a university town near you, you can post advertisements/flyers of your futon.

Contact your local church

Many churches, student youth hostels, women’s homes, orphanages, senior homes, assisted living facilities, and homeless organizations would love donated futons. Contact one near you and arrange to drop it off or have it picked up.

Thrift shops

Salvation Army, Goodwill, and Habitat for Humanity also accept old futons and mattresses as long as they are clean and hygienic. Donate the futon by contacting these organizations. You can also contact local thrift stores to find out their policies.

Simply place it out on the street

If nothing works and you simply wish to dispose of the futon, then you can place it on the curb. If it’s in good condition, chances are someone will find a good use for it.

How To Recycle A Futon Mattress

Mattresses are often more difficult to get rid of due to infestation/hygiene reasons. We’ve listed many ideas on getting rid of your mattress, some of them being a bit alternative.

Reuse and recycle the foam inside the futon mattress

You can remove the threads from the futon’s mattress and recycle them. You can also remove the foam inside the mattress, wash it, and use it for stuffing inside quilts, pillows, and other DIY projects.

You can use the thicker layers of cotton and wool over compost to keep it warm. If there is coconut fiber under the mattress, you can use it in place of peat. If it is in very good condition, you can recycle it into bags or purses or use it at the bottom of planters before adding in plants.

Here is a great resource for tips on reusing and recycling mattresses.

Call your garbage pickup department

Some town garbage departments offer to pick up your bulk waste including old appliances, mattresses, etc. They might charge a small fee. The city’s sanitation department can also guide you as to where to leave the mattress. The fees are calculated based on the number of items they will pick up as well as the yardage or measurements of the mattress. It isn’t too much, so don’t worry.

You can leave your mattress out on the curb a few hours prior to the pickup. Keep the mattress away from the road, vehicles, foot traffic, trees, etc. Follow all clearance-related instructions for the mattress as stated by the department of sanitation/garbage collection.

Never burn it

Many people are tempted to burn futon mattresses. This is especially true in the case of bed bug infestation. However, burning a futon mattress is harmful to the environment as it releases smoke and chemicals into the air and pollutes the place. It is also illegal unless you burn the mattress on your own property and there are no neighbors nearby to complain about it.

Donate it

Like the futon, its mattress can be donated as long as it is clean and not infested with bed bugs. Pet rescue shelters, women and children’s homes, senior living facilities, orphanages, churches, and other organizations might take the mattress and put it to good use.


How do they recycle futons in Japan?

Japan has very strict rules and regulations about garbage disposal, particularly in the case of large items like futons and futon mattresses. You have to call and book an appointment and also pay a fee for their disposal.

How much is a futon worth?

Futons can cost anywhere from $300 on the cheap end to $1,000 if they’re made of high-quality materials. Metal frame futons with 6-inch mattresses are an example of higher-priced futons, costing anywhere between $700 and $1,000.

If you plan on selling your futon, you can list it in Craig’s List or arrange for a garage sale. Mark the futon price accordingly.

Can you put a futon in the dumpster?

Most towns have strict regulations about dumping large items in dumpsters. Please contact your zonal office regarding the safe disposal of your futon and its mattress. There may be a fee for the disposal in case you have to trash the futon in the landfill.


It is always better to donate a gently used futon rather than trashing it. This way, someone can use it and get more years out of it. Recycling futons is the best way to reduce the strain on our exhausted landfills, prevent the need for more futons to be created (which would cost more resources), and also prevent the pollution that comes from burning trashed items.

We hope this guide gives you some ideas about recycling a futon.

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