How can I reuse or recycle a futon?

We’ve had an email from Nicki:

How can I recycle a futon? I think I’ve got a friend who will take the frame but she doesn’t want the mattress. What can I do with that?

I suspect, like all mattresses, they won’t be too not too popular secondhand as they’re hard to clean, especially if they’ve been slept on a lot. Occasionally used ones may be more popular on Freecycle/Freegle.

When we were talking about mattress frames a few weeks ago, I mentioned an article on radical recycling of mattresses – some of those reuses would apply to futon mattress too.

The frames are easier to pass on (as Nicki has already found) – furniture charities may be willing to take them even if they don’t want the mattress for bed bug/dirtiness reasons. It also might make interesting garden furniture.

Any other suggestion for the frame or the mattress?

(Photo by SusanMcM)

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8 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle a futon?”

  1. sam roger says:

    i used the bottom in my garden & have my pots on top – looks nice & used the bottom as a dog bed – which the dogs love :)

  2. Karmae says:

    What is it stuffed with? The one I had years ago was stuffed with 100
    percent kapok which is plant material from a tree. Wonderful stuff.

  3. Katie says:

    It sounds like a perfect bed for large dogs, maybe an animal charity would be interested.

    Personally, I’m a fan of sitting on the floor, so I would just throw it in a corner with some books and a sexy lamp and call it innovative design.

  4. Bellen says:

    Could it be taken to a commercial laundry and washed or drycleaned?

    If the cover is shot and the filling is washable, remove cover, put filling loosely in pillowcases, securely close and wash in hot water and vinegar to disinfect. Use to make couch or floor pillows or anything else that needs stuffing.

    If the cover has usable areas wash the whole cover then cut it up. Save any buttons or zippers.

  5. My mother cut my old futon mattress in half, recovered it, and used it as padding on the bench seating at her dining table. Some charities around here will only take solid foam mattresses and some will only take fiber-filled, and they both give the reason as being easy to steam sterilize!

  6. Tim says:

    For sure someone will pick it up on Craislist.

  7. Mike Morone says:

    Give Your Stuff Away Day
    May 14, 2011
    The World’s Biggest Recycling / Giveaway Event

    Free stuff will be available in neighborhoods all over on May 14, 2011.

    It’s an event Mike Morone is hoping to establish annually. This event could help millions, while shrinking landfills, reducing clutter, lowering costs, and boosting the economy.

    Don’t we all own items we don’t use or want any more? Why do we keep it all? In one weekend, let’s take this stuff and give it away, instantly creating the world’s biggest recycling / giveaway event!

    On May 14th, bring your stuff to the curb for others. Then go and get some new stuff!

    Mike Morone
    Give Your Stuff Away Day
    PO Box 21
    North Chili, NY 14514
    585 749-5107

  8. Sarah says:

    I have composted pure cotton fiber futons. It takes a while (years) but it also smothers those pernicious weeds that are impossible to get rid of. Some futons have polyester mixed in with natural fiber but you can test for that by burning a little. If there is any melting then you have polyester mixed in.
    Dog beds sound like a good idea. Then compost!

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