Aside from being one of the most difficult things to transport - large, heavy to carry and you never know where to grab them -, trying recycling one and you're in for a treat:
1. mattress manufacturers want to have absolutely no business taking them back for the raw materials (I called)
2. most people are paranoid about bed bugs (understandable)
3. most people are uncomfortable with using another person's old mattress (probably the most personal piece of 'furniture')
4. it is illegal to sell a used mattress in the state I live in (bye bye Craigslist)
5. places such as the Salvation Army or Goodwill very rarely accept them
6. shelters for the homeless welcome mainly single / double size, but not bigger
Therefore, a very likely ending is this one:
So the question is: WHY?
Why do we keep making > selling > using > discarding such inconvenient objects, with a lifecycle which doesn't loop?
Ok, mattresses are, technically, among the awesomest inventions to put on bed frames, and do whatever you use a mattress for. Which makes them very tricky to renounce to.
2 ideas I've been mulling over recently:
- BYE BYE KING AND QUEEN!
Replace the solid king and queen sizes with two halves that can be strapped together with a clever device. That way when you move, you only transport 50% of that inconvenience at the time. Also, the two halves of a couple could each have the firmness they enjoy - say goodbye to compromise!(and couples therapy bills)
- HELLO JAPANESE FUTON:
'the traditional style of Japanese bedding consisting of padded mattresses and quilts pliable enough to be folded and stored away'. Heavenly for transporting.
Folded shikibutons and kakebutons - photo by renfield
From personal experience - sleeping for three months on a futon on a wooden floor - the comfort level is pretty high. Not as bouncy as a spring mattress of course, but cushy enough. You do feel the straightness of the floor below you, but nicely buffered, and maybe even good for your back.
Futons in action - photo by Debs