Mattress with Hand On It

15 Creative Ways to Use Old Mattresses for Prepping

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When it comes to prepping, resourcefulness is key. And one item that often goes overlooked is the old mattress. While you may think of it as nothing more than a bulky object taking up space, it can serve various practical purposes in emergencies. Check out these 15 creative ways to use old mattresses for prepping.

As preppers, we try to be very conscious of the environment and not add to the challenges faced by the volume of materials in our local landfill. That means we should be aware of ways to put old mattresses to use, including the tips here, but also through a mattress recycling center. Trying to take advantage of a recycling center provides benefits in several ways.

The center may end up placing the mattress in a homeless shelter, breaking it down for materials reuse, or shipping it to a developing country for use there. Note that the center may charge you a small fee. Your local Lowe’s Store can provide guidance in finding a recycle center.

Many of the old standby donation centers like Deseret Industries, Salvation Army, and Goodwill don’t take old mattresses. This decision by your local charity could be due to conditions like bed bugs, extensive stains, broken springs, and dust mites. That’s why disposal at recycling centers is such a great option.

15 Creative Ways to Use Old Mattresses for Prepping

1. Insulation

Old mattresses can be an excellent source of insulation in survival scenarios. By disassembling them and using the foam or batting material, you can create insulation for walls, floors, or even makeshift shelters. What to Use for Insulation to Stay Warm

2. Firewood

Some mattresses are made of wood frames, which can be used as firewood. Break down the frame and use the wood for fuel in your campfire or wood-burning stove. What is the Best Firewood for Home Heating? The matching box spring may also have wood materials to burn.

3. Cushions for Seating

In a post-disaster situation where furniture might be scarce, old mattress cushion parts can be repurposed as comfortable seating options. Simply remove the cover and use the foam or batting to create makeshift padding cushions for places like window seats or patio chairs.

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4. Emergency Beds

If you find yourself with limited sleeping arrangements during an emergency, old mattresses can be a lifesaver. Use them as temporary beds by laying them on the floor or creating a raised platform for added comfort. Using Sleeping Bags for Prepping

If you decide to store the mattresses and reusing them later, it’s always a good idea to clean and deodorize them first. Then put them in a plastic mattress cover for protection, and store them on their side so they are less likely to gather dust and dirt or be used as a trampoline by your kids.

5. Weed Barrier

Gardening is crucial in times of crisis, and an old mattress can be transformed into a weed barrier. By cutting and laying the fabric over garden beds, you can help prevent unwanted weeds from taking over. 10 Great Reasons To Try Raised Bed Gardening

6. Insulating Windows

During cold weather or harsh climates, windows can be a significant source of heat loss. Cut sections of the mattress foam and place them over windows to provide extra insulation and keep your living space warmer.

7. Animal Bedding

If you have pets or livestock, repurposing old mattresses as animal bedding is a great way to provide comfort and insulation. Make sure to remove any springs or sharp objects before using the mattress material. By using the mattress fabric properly, it should be washable. Using them as a pet bed is a great way to use old mattresses for prepping.

8. Soundproofing

Mattresses can also be used for soundproofing purposes. Whether you need to dampen noise within your shelter or create a recording studio in a post-disaster setting, old mattress foam can help reduce unwanted sound. Prepping Appropriately for Emergency Preparedness in Every Season

9. Dust Barrier

When working on construction projects in a prepping scenario, dust and debris can pose health risks. Hang sections of an old mattress around the work area to act as a barrier, keeping dust and particles contained.

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10. Supplies Storage

Lack of storage space is a common issue during emergencies. Utilize the space within your old mattress by cutting it open, removing the inside materials, including the mattress springs, and turning it into hidden storage compartments for essential supplies. How To Store Your Food Storage

11. Camouflage Material

In outdoor survival situations, blending in with your surroundings can be crucial. Using fabric from an old mattress cover, you can create effective camouflage material for clothing or shelters. Moving Forward After a Disaster This will require you to go through the process of changing the fabric color.

12. Flooding Protection

Old mattresses can protect from rising water levels during floods or heavy rains. Place them strategically to create barriers and divert water away from your living area. The metal springs in the mattress help it to maintain its shape. You’ll need to design a support frame to hold the mattresses in place. 3 Ways to Prevent Flooding

13. Mulching Material

Transform your old mattress into mulch for your garden. Shred the foam or batting and spread it around plants to help retain moisture, regulate soil temperature, and suppress weed growth. 20 Reasons You Need Survival Cows

The materials from mattresses can be used on a limited basis as part of your compost pile. You’ll need to take the fabric and cut it into small pieces so they’ll disintegrate and break down more quickly as part of the compost process. Cotton or wool make the best recyclable materials.

14. Pillow or Quilt Stuffing/Batting

If you enjoy crafting, repurposing the stuffing components from old mattresses can be a valuable resource for making craft pillows. Simply remove the foam or batting and use it as a filling for DIY pillows or quilts.

15. Emergency Stretchers

In case of injuries or medical emergencies, an old used mattress can serve as a makeshift stretcher. Lay the mattress flat and secure it to a sturdy frame like 2 x 4’s to transport injured individuals safely. Are You Prepared for a Medical Emergency?

Final Word

Don’t let your old mattresses go to waste. With a little creativity, they can become invaluable assets in emergencies. From insulation and firewood to seating cushions and emergency beds, the possibilities are endless. When you take the time to repurpose these often-overlooked items, you can enhance your prepping efforts! Learning to use old mattresses for prepping is a little easier than you think. May God Bless this World, Linda

Copyright Images: Mattress with Hand On It tDepositphotos_685099320_S by NewAfrica, Mattress White with Hand Depositphotos_577628608_S by NewAfrica

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  1. And more than one life has been saved by climbing into a bathtub and pulling a mattress over you during tornadoes. That said, Jane and I have been sleeping on air beds for more than 30 years.

    1. Hi Ray, wow, yes, you are so right about the bathtub and the mattress! Thank you for the reminder!! I had to Google air mattress. The only ones I knew about were the blow up beds for guests. But I also read how great they are for pressure points! Great tip! Linda

  2. I have two that I use as an archery backstop. Helps me not have to hunt arrows in the woods/leaves behind the target. (most of the time anyway. LOL)

    1. HI Leam, oh my gosh this is the best story ever! Tony Finau (famous golfer from Utah) learned to play golf hitting balls into a mattress in his families garage. Look at him now!!! Love this story! Thanks for sharing, Linda

  3. I came across two old cotton-batting mattresses in the attic a few years back. I really didn’t want to pay the dump to take them, so when I planted a row of grape vines in the steep hill behind the barn, I laid the mattresses downhill from the vines. I figured it would both prevent erosion, and would also hold water in the soil. Seems to have worked! (LOL, I *did* find quite a bit of cotton batting in odd corners since then, used by nesting rodents, obviously!)

    Be a bit wary of mattresses used for bedding, etc., with livestock. Even with metal innards removed, I’d worry about somebody chewing/swallowing bits of mattress. Synthetic fabric or padding (or even natural versions!) could easily block the digestive tract and require emergency veterinary intervention, quite easily even causing death. And in a SHTF situation, vet care (especially emergency abdominal surgery) would be iffy.

    I’m also a little worried about use of synthetic materials used as mulch or weed barrier, with all the information about microplastics in the environment. Once foam padding is *in* the soil, especially if shredded, it’s pretty hard to get it out.

    1. Hi Rhonda, great idea for the mattresses below the grapes, great idea. Rodents will nest in just about anything, those darn critters! LOL! Great remider about the wires in the mattresses, they would not be safe for sure. We would have to evaluate the inside of the mattress and then tak eto the dump if it’s not acceptable to recycle the insides. Linda

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