Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be, The last of life, for which the first was made: Our times are in His hand Who saith "A whole I planned, Youth shows but half; trust God: see all, nor be afraid!" - From "Rabbi Ben Ezra" by Robert Browning

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Recycling an Old Mattress Set

When John and I got a new mattress set last year, we put the old one, a queen size set, in storage, not sure if we'd ever need it again, but not wanting to be too quick to dispose of it on the chance that we might indeed need it again. Well, it's spring cleaning time, and I need the storage shed cleaned out so I can organize the storage and put necessities in there. So it was decided that the mattress set would be the first thing to go.

John and I are frugal people. Waste not, want not is practically our motto. And I do what I can to be eco-friendly. As it is, I recycle so fervently, we only have enough trash to haul every four months. So John, knowing that we were going to dispose of the mattress set, started thinking about what he could possibly do with it.

Recycling a used mattress set
In the first photo you can see the breakdown of the set: the box spring frame, the inner mattress coils, the foam pads, and the mattress covers, a bit stained, but otherwise useful.

The box frame and inner coils will be adapted for use in the garden as trellises. Might take a little more work and a lot of imagination, but we're thinking they will work just fine.

The foam pads and the mattress covers will be cut and sewn into comfortable dog beds

Hanging over the chain link fence in the background at left is this really interesting piece of plastic mesh. My first thought is that it would make an interesting addition to a wicked Halloween costume! But it might also do made into a bag for drying onions or garlic, or as a cover over a chick brooder, or as netting over fruit bushes or brambles to deter birds. If I think on it a bit longer, I'm sure I'll come up with some other great ideas.
Cotton batting from the box spring and mattress

In the next photo you'll see feed bags* (another item pressed into recycling use) full of cotton batting removed from the inner-springs and mattress.

John did his research on the materials. The darker cotton in the trash can on the left is not usable, but the white cotton in the three feed bags* is not treated with any toxic or otherwise harmful chemicals, and is safe for us to use. So this cotton will be used in the smokers for tending the bees. This amount will last us quite a long time.

*Feed bags accumulate quickly on the farm. John is always expressing to me the intrinsic value of these versatile bags. I don't care for them or their use, because they are not aesthetically pleasing to look at. But practicality has to win out here at 5~Acre Farm.

Not only are feed bags good for storing this cotton, but John uses them as insulation in the dog houses, and as a waterproof roof on the chicken kite. He intends to use them layered as insulation in our new well house, and wants to use them as insulation in the storage shed. These bags are excellent for holding garden produce, and could be used as mulch, or even sand bags if needed.

So I can't complain too much. Practicality has to win out over aesthetics sometimes, especially on a farm.

I hope this post inspires you to be eco-friendly and recycle something you have that up until now you thought had no further use.  If it does, please come back and leave a comment to tell me about it!


  1. I can organize the storage and put necessities in there. So it was decided that the mattress set would be the first thing to go.

  2. Awesome job! I know it was hard work but they are beautiful! Thanks for the inspiration.Oak Bunk Beds