Why and how to recycle used mattress springs

Supplier: Enerpat Group UK
23 October, 2020

Nearly all of any given mattress can be recycled. Learn about the process, and what you can do to ensure your old mattress is properly recycled.

Why recycle?

Through mattress recycling, millions of unnecessary pounds of waste can be prevented each year:

  • Over 30 million mattresses are sent to landfills across the country each year!
  • Mattresses range in size from 27 to 60 cubic feet and average 60 lbs.
  • Mattresses decompose slowly in a landfill, often taking over a decade.
  • Mattresses absorb hazardous materials and store flammable pockets of air.
  • If thrown in machinery, mattresses can destroy compacter due to bulkiness and metal coils.


What we can do:

 When we first tore a mattress apart, we were surprised by the amount of foam, cotton, felt, wood, and metal that we found. After dis-assembly, Spring Back’s strength is the ability to source each of these materials to their respective buyers, recycling nearly 100% of each mattress.

So where do these materials go? As each mattress and box spring is deconstructed, each material is separated and baled appropriately. Material buyers then repurpose the scrap, giving new life to each mattress:

  • Our foam, cotton and felt is re-purposed into items such as carpet padding
  • Our Steel is melted at a foundry and ultimately re-purposed into new items.
  • Our wood is sent to the chipper and re-purposed into landscape mulch.


What can be recycled inside a mattress and box spring

Mattresses contain three main components.

  • The heaviest is the spring steel, which can go straight to a metal recycler.
  • Most mattresses have polyurethane foam, another highly recyclable product that can be used to make carpet padding and other products.
  • The remaining commodity in mattresses is cotton. It is the trickiest item to sell, but is sometimes used as insulation.


Box springs add a fourth component — wood, which makes up the sturdy frame. That wood can be sent to a recycling facility, where it is chipped and used to make garden supplements or burned as fuel.

Mattresses may contain dozens of other materials, including plastic; pads made from jute, sisal or waste textile material; cord handles for carrying the mattress; and the fabric covering. Most of these products cannot be recycled on a large scale, although they have some creative uses. Those jute pads are great for garden pathways, as they are sturdy and thick but will eventually compost into the ground. 

Any mattress recycler worth their salt will tell you that 85% to 90% of the average mattress or box spring can be recycled. It is a remarkable number given that, if you leave a mattress whole, nothing gets recycled and none of it will biodegrade. 

What machines can be as assistant for your mattress spring recycling business

UK Enerpat offers you kinds of professional recycling machine, like baler, shredder, recycling line.

  • Mattress Spring Metal baler


Baling mattress springs into block, then put it into the incinerator for fuel.