In general, mattresses intended for donation must be clean, free of stains or tears, and in good condition, however each organization that accepts mattresses may have other restrictions so it is best to check with them before scheduling a pickup. For example, Community Warehouse accepts 15-year-old or newer mattresses, and the Wish Project doesn't want king-sized or platform beds. Mattresses being donated to organizations must also be free of bedbug and other insect infestations.
Preparing a mattress for donation involves ridding it of dust, stains and odors. Eliminate dust on a mattress using a vacuum upholstery attachment, picking up dust from the top, sides and box springs. If dust mites are a problem, run a household steamer over the mattress before vacuuming. Use a pet stain upholstery cleaner to remove stubborn stains, following directions to avoid harming the material. Choose a disinfectant spray or cleaning agent that includes baking soda for odor removal.
Finding takers for a donated mattress can be challenging, depending on the community. Some places that might need mattresses are shelters for battered women or the homeless. Organizations sheltering refugees is another option. Family, friends and neighbors might know someone looking for a used mattress. If the donation route fails, bring it to a recycling center for proper disposal.