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How to Dispose of a Mattress with Bed Bugs: A Complete Guide

From the Puffy Editorial Team | 6 min read.
How to Dispose of a Mattress with Bed Bugs: A Complete Guide

Dealing with a mattress infested with bed bugs can be a stressful and daunting task. Understanding how to properly dispose of such a mattress is crucial to prevent the further spread of these pests.

This comprehensive guide provides step-by-step instructions on how to handle a mattress with bed bugs, from identification to disposal.

What Does a Mattress with Bed Bugs Look Like?

  • Signs of Infestation: Look for small, rust-colored stains from bed bug excrement, tiny eggshells, or shed skins.
  • Physical Evidence: You may also find live bed bugs hiding in crevices, seams, and folds of the mattress.

Should You Throw Away a Mattress with Bed Bugs?

  • Considerations: Throwing away a bed bug-infested mattress is not always necessary or the best course of action, as bed bugs can inhabit other areas of your home.
  • Professional Opinion: Consult with a pest control professional to assess whether disposal or treatment is the better option.

How to Dispose of Mattress with Bed Bugs

Disposing of a mattress infested with bed bugs requires careful handling to prevent the spread of these pests. Here are detailed steps to follow:

  1. Encase the Mattress:

    • Use a specialized bed bug-proof mattress encasement. This will trap the bugs inside and prevent them from escaping during disposal.
    • Ensure the encasement is durable and tear-resistant to withstand transportation.
  2. Plan the Disposal:

    • Check with local waste management authorities for specific guidelines on disposing of infested items. Some areas have designated procedures for bed bug-infested materials.
    • Schedule a pickup if available, to avoid transporting the mattress yourself.
  3. Labeling the Mattress:

    • Clearly mark the mattress as ‘infested with bed bugs’ using a permanent marker. This is a crucial step for public health and safety.
    • This labeling warns sanitation workers and prevents the mattress from being picked up for reuse.
  4. Safe Transportation:

    • If you must transport the mattress to a disposal site, wrap it in thick plastic sheeting in addition to the encasement, and seal all seams with strong tape.
    • Use a vehicle where the mattress can be transported without risk of spreading bed bugs to other areas.
  5. Protective Measures:

    • Wear protective clothing, including gloves and long sleeves, to minimize your exposure to bed bugs during disposal.
    • Immediately wash and dry your clothing at a high temperature after completing the disposal process.
  6. Post-Disposal Cleaning:

    • After disposing of the mattress, thoroughly vacuum and clean the area where the mattress was stored, including the bed frame and surrounding space.
    • Consider a professional pest control treatment in your home to ensure all remaining bed bugs and eggs are eliminated.
  7. Proper Disposal Site:

    • Ensure the mattress is taken to an appropriate waste disposal facility that can handle infested items. Avoid leaving it out in public spaces or in dumpsters where it can pose a risk to others.

By meticulously following these steps, you can safely dispose of a bed bug-infested mattress, helping to curb the spread of the infestation and protect public health. Remember, handling a bed bug situation with thoroughness and caution is key to effective resolution.

Interested in how Puffy stacks up against other brands? Check out our mattress comparisons: Puffy vs Purple, Puffy vs Nectar, Puffy vs Casper, Puffy vs Leesa, Puffy vs Saatva, Puffy vs DreamCloud, and Puffy vs Tuft and Needle.

How to Move a Mattress with Bed Bugs

Moving a mattress infested with bed bugs is a delicate process that requires strategic planning and careful execution to prevent the spread of the infestation. Here are detailed steps and precautions to take:

  1. Initial Preparation:

    • Before moving the mattress, vacuum it thoroughly to remove as many bed bugs and eggs as possible. Focus on seams, crevices, and folds where bed bugs are likely to hide.
    • Immediately dispose of the vacuum bag or contents in a sealed plastic bag outside your home.
  2. Encasing the Mattress:

    • Use a bed bug-proof mattress encasement to seal the mattress, trapping bed bugs inside. Ensure the encasement is secure and intact with no rips or tears.
    • Over the encasement, wrap the mattress in sturdy plastic sheeting for an additional layer of protection. Tape all edges and seams securely.
  3. Safe Transportation:

    • When transporting the mattress, avoid bringing it through common areas of your residence to reduce the risk of spreading bed bugs.
    • If using a vehicle, line the transport area with large plastic sheets to protect the interior. After transport, thoroughly vacuum and clean the vehicle.
  4. Personal Protection:

    • Wear protective clothing, including gloves, long sleeves, and pants, to minimize direct contact with the mattress.
    • After moving the mattress, remove and wash your clothing immediately at a high temperature.
  5. Minimizing Spread During Transport:

    • Avoid resting the mattress on other furniture or areas of your home. Keep it isolated and contained throughout the moving process.
    • If you need to temporarily store the mattress, choose an isolated location, preferably on a hard, non-porous surface for easy cleaning.
  6. Post-Move Cleaning:

    • After moving the mattress to its new location or disposal site, clean the area where the mattress was stored as well as the pathway used for moving it.
    • Use a steam cleaner on the mattress’s previous location and along the moving path to kill any remaining bed bugs and eggs.
  7. Disposal or Treatment:

    • If disposing of the mattress, follow local guidelines for the disposal of bed bug-infested items.
    • If keeping the mattress, consider a professional pest control treatment to eliminate any remaining bed bugs and eggs.

By taking these comprehensive steps, you can move a mattress infested with bed bugs with minimal risk of spreading the infestation. It’s crucial to handle the situation with utmost caution and thoroughness to protect your home and others from bed bug exposure.

Check out Puffy mattress reviews from real customers and see how we compare with other brands.

How to Clean a Mattress with Bed Bugs

  • Vacuuming: Thoroughly vacuum the mattress, focusing on seams and crevices. Dispose of the vacuum bag immediately in a sealed plastic bag.
  • Steam Cleaning: Use a steam cleaner to penetrate deep into the mattress and kill bed bugs and eggs with high heat.

How to Deep Clean a Mattress with Bed Bugs

  • Dismantling the Bed Frame: Inspect and clean the bed frame, headboard, and surrounding areas as bed bugs can hide in various nooks.
  • Insecticides: Apply bed bug-specific insecticides, following safety guidelines and manufacturer instructions.
  • Regular Follow-Up: Continue monitoring and cleaning for several weeks to ensure all bed bugs are eradicated.

In cases where a mattress needs to be replaced, consider investing in a Puffy Lux Mattress, which offers comfort and peace of mind, especially after dealing with a bed bug infestation.

Use our store locator to find the closest furniture or mattress store near you and feel the cloudlike comfort of our Puffy Mattress in person.


Disposing of a mattress with bed bugs involves careful planning and execution to ensure the infestation does not spread. By following these guidelines, you can effectively manage the situation and create a bed bug-free environment. Remember, consulting with pest control professionals is always advisable for effective bed bug eradication strategies.

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