How to Cut Up an Old Mattress

For homeowners who want to reduce their environmental footprint and make sure that old furniture isn’t just taking up room in their landfill, learning how to cut up an old mattress is a great way of recycling your furniture.

How to Cut Up an Old Mattress

Not only can it save you money if you plan on making new items from the parts, but it also helps protect our planet by keeping resources out of landfills and putting them back into use. This blog post will show you step-by-step instructions on cutting up an old mattress so that you can start creating new DIY projects this season!

Why Cut Up an Old Mattress?

Before we dive into the process, let’s discuss why cutting up an old mattress is a beneficial practice. First and foremost, old mattresses take up a lot of space in landfills. They are not easily compacted and can lead to overcrowding in already overflowing landfills. By cutting it up, you can reduce its size and make it easier to dispose of or recycle. Additionally, mattresses are made up of various materials such as foam, wood, metal springs, fabric, and cotton which can all be repurposed for other projects instead of going to waste.

Supplies You Will Need to Cut Up an Old Mattress

1. A sharp utility knife or electric carving knife

2. Scissors

3. Pliers

4. Gloves

5. Face mask

Step-by-step Guidelines on How to Cut Up an Old Mattress

Step 1: Prepare the Mattress

Before you start cutting, make sure to prepare the mattress by removing all bedding and covers. Lay it flat on the floor or on a large work surface. If the mattress has a removable cover, unzip it and remove any foam or cotton batting inside. Preparing the mattress will make it easier to work with and prevent any accidental cuts or damage to your tools.

Step 2: Cut the Cover

Using your scissors or utility knife, cut along the seams of the mattress cover to remove it completely. Be careful not to cut through any underlying layers. Once removed, you can discard or repurpose the cover depending on its condition. While cutting, you may come across buttons or zippers that can be removed with pliers to make the process smoother.

Step 3: Remove the Foam

Such as Creating New Cushions

If your mattress has a foam layer on top of the springs, carefully cut around it and remove it from the underlying layers. You can use this foam for other projects such as reupholstering furniture or creating new cushions. Be sure to cut the foam into manageable pieces for easier handling. Removing the foam will also expose the springs and wood frame of the mattress.

Step 4: Remove Springs and Frame

Using your pliers, carefully remove all metal springs from the mattress. These can be recycled at a local scrapyard or used for various DIY projects such as creating garden trellises or wall decor. Once all the springs are removed, you will be left with a wooden frame. Use your utility knife or electric carving knife to cut the wooden frame into smaller pieces for easier disposal.

Step 5: Clean Up

After all the cutting is done, be sure to clean up any leftover debris and dispose of it properly. This could include foam scraps, fabric pieces, and wood splinters. Be mindful not to leave anything behind that could potentially harm the environment. Make sure to also clean and disinfect your cutting tools before storing them.

Following these step-by-step guidelines will help you successfully cut up an old mattress and repurpose its materials for other DIY projects. Remember to always handle sharp tools with care and wear protective gear such as gloves and a face mask. By learning how to cut up an old mattress, you can not only save money but also reduce your carbon footprint and contribute towards a more sustainable future. Happy recycling!

Additional Tips and Tricks to Cut Up an Old Mattress

1. When cutting up a mattress, it is important to have the right tools. Make sure you have a sharp utility knife or saw and a sturdy pair of scissors before you begin.

2. Consider wearing protective gloves to avoid any potential injuries while cutting through the mattress.

 Use Wire Cutters to Carefully

3. If your old mattress has a coil spring system, use wire cutters to carefully remove the springs without damaging them. These can be recycled or repurposed for other DIY projects.

4. To avoid making a mess, place the mattress on a drop cloth or tarp while cutting it up. This will make cleaning up much easier.

5. Consider enlisting the help of a friend or family member to make the process go quicker and smoother.

6. If you are planning to repurpose the materials from the mattress, such as foam or fabric, make sure to cut them into manageable sizes for easier use. For example, foam can be cut into squares or strips for use in pillows or cushions.

7. Keep a trash bag nearby to throw away any excess materials that cannot be repurposed or recycled.

8. Use caution when cutting through the layers of the mattress, as there may be metal components such as springs or wires that can cause injury if mishandled.

9. Once you have finished cutting up the mattress, make sure to properly dispose of any remaining materials. Check with your local waste management company for guidelines on disposing of large items like mattresses.

10. Finally, consider donating any usable materials from the old mattress to charities or organizations that may be in need of them. This is a great way to give back and reduce waste at the same time.

Following these additional tips and tricks will make the process of cutting up an old mattress much easier and safer. With the right tools and precautions, you can successfully repurpose or recycle your old mattress without any hassle. Happy cutting!

Precautions Need to Be Followed for Cutting Up an Old Mattress

1. First of all, before you start cutting up your old mattress, make sure that, if it’s still usable, you give it away. If the mattress is not in a good condition for donation either, then only should you consider cutting the mattress up.

2. Keep in mind that cutting up an old mattress can be difficult and dangerous, as mattresses are heavy and contain springs and other potentially dangerous materials. It’s best to wear protective gear such as gloves and eye protection while handling an old mattress.

3. Also, make sure that you have a clear work area with enough space to move around and work comfortably. This will help prevent any accidents or injuries while cutting the mattress.

4. Check if the springs of your old mattress are made of metal or plastic. If they are made of metal, you can use a saw or bolt cutters to remove them. However, if the springs are plastic, then it’s best to use scissors or a utility knife.

You Can Use a Saw

5. Before cutting the mattress, mark out the areas where you want to make your cuts. This will help ensure that your cuts are straight and even.

6. If your mattress has foam layers, it’s best to use a serrated knife or an electric carving knife to cut through them. Make sure to use slow and steady movements for a clean cut.

7. Once you have removed the springs, cushions, and foam layers from your old mattress, you can then cut up the fabric covering using scissors or a utility knife. Be extra careful not to tear the fabric while cutting.

8. Dispose of all the materials properly, following your local waste management guidelines. Remember that mattresses are not recyclable and should be disposed of properly to avoid causing harm to the environment.

Following these precautions will help ensure a safe and efficient process of cutting up an old mattress. Remember to always prioritize safety while handling any heavy objects, especially those containing potentially hazardous materials.  So, before you start cutting up that old mattress, make sure to follow these steps for a hassle-free experience. Happy cutting!  

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Recycle My Old Mattress Instead of Cutting It Up?

Yes, you can recycle your old mattress. This is usually the most preferred and environmentally friendly option. However, not all areas have a mattress recycling program available, and disposing of a bulky item like a mattress can be quite costly. If you are unable to recycle your old mattress, then cutting it up into smaller pieces for disposal may be necessary.

Can I Donate My Old Mattress?

Generally, most charities and donation centers do not accept old mattresses due to health and hygiene concerns. However, some organizations may accept gently used or lightly stained mattresses if they are in good condition. It’s best to reach out to your local donation center directly to inquire about their policies on mattress donations.

Used  Lightly Stained Mattresses

How Do I Disassemble My Old Mattress?

The first step in cutting up an old mattress is to remove the outer fabric and foam layers. These are usually held in place by staples or screws, which can be easily removed with pliers or a screwdriver. Once the outer layers are removed, you will have access to the inner springs and frame of the mattress. Using a saw or sharp knife, you can cut the frame into smaller pieces for disposal.

What Should I Do With the Mattress Springs?

The metal springs inside a mattress can be recycled at your local scrap metal recycling center. If you are unable to find a recycling center in your area, contact your municipality or waste management company for guidance on how to properly dispose of the springs.


Now you know how to cut up an old mattress and properly dispose of it. Remember, recycling is always the best option if available. If not, be sure to check with your local donation centers before attempting to cut up and dispose of a mattress yourself. Also, don’t forget to recycle the metal springs for a more environmentally friendly solution. Happy disposing!

Photo of author

Adrian Green

Adrian is a woodworking hobbyist and has loved Woodworking since he was 10 years old. Back then in childhood, his father used to have a furniture shop. He used to help his dad and learned a lot from him about how to fix woodworking furniture, basic carpentry knowledge and also about how to work hard and take care of business. He enjoys woodworking as a hobby. He loves the feeling of creating something with his own hands, and the satisfaction that comes from seeing his finished products used by others.

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