Donating a memory foam mattress in Oakland California
January 10, 2019 4:33 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a charity that will pick up a full-sized memory foam mattress in perfect condition in Oakland, California.

I ordered the mattress from Zinus, but I don't like it. Their return policy is that I have to donate it to a charity in order to get the refund, so I can't just give it away on Craigslist. I only slept on it for a week, so it's in perfect condition.

Salvation Army takes mattresses, but won't take a foam rubber mattress. Goodwill doesn't pick up. Out of the Closet, Teen Challenge, PARCA, Urban University and Habitat for Humanity won't take mattresses.

Have I missed something, or is it really the case that nobody will take my mattress?
posted by Surprised By Bees to Home & Garden (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Could you hire someone from Task Rabbit to come pick it up, let you ride along to Goodwill to get the donation receipt, and drop you back at your house? Probably more effort than you want but I imagine the refund is substantial.
posted by ananci at 4:40 PM on January 10, 2019

Ask what charity Zinus suggests, it's really on them to figure that out.
(Goodwill doesn't accept mattresses).
Or price it to SELL on craigslist/facebook.
posted by artdrectr at 5:10 PM on January 10, 2019 [2 favorites]

That's a super-fun return policy given most places' policies on accepting mattresses.

You might try churches or the International Rescue Committee.
posted by salvia at 5:20 PM on January 10, 2019 [2 favorites]

If you can't find a charity that will come pick it up, what about putting it on or your neighborhood's Buy Nothing Facebook group? I would consider that a donation. (Also, what a shitty policy.)
posted by radioamy at 6:00 PM on January 10, 2019

Would a pet rescue group or animal shelter take it for animals to sleep on?
posted by elphaba at 6:11 PM on January 10, 2019 [2 favorites]

I'd try reaching out to immigrants rights orgs that do direct assistance, like IRC (as someone else mentions upthread). If it's merely a matter of not having a vehicle for transport, I bet you could find a friend to help, and I know City Car Share has trucks and SUVs.

Alternately, I'm in the market for a new mattress, and make a mean donation receipt in Photoshop. Business name: Sisyphus Light Hauling.
posted by tapir-whorf at 6:39 PM on January 10, 2019 [3 favorites]

Check with Oakland Elizabeth House, even though their website mentions twin mattresses.
posted by pinochiette at 7:13 PM on January 10, 2019

It's a ways from Oakland, but Goodwill of Silicon Valley's main plant on 7th Street in San Jose has a mattress recycling program. They do not pick up but will accept mattresses for free. The catch is you must drop it off during weekdays and the times I've used this service, I did not see an attendant available handing out donation receipts. It's quite possible receipts are available in the Goodwill facility next door to the plant but call to ask before you drive all the way out here. Phone number is on the page linked above.
posted by jamaro at 8:40 PM on January 10, 2019

Many localities have ordinances that prevent the sale of used mattresses. It is about health and bugs really, but most charities won't take them. (My dad was a CEO in Goodwill)
posted by chocolatetiara at 4:59 AM on January 11, 2019

Thanks guys. I'm going to tell them that the charities in my area don't accept mattresses, and ask them if I can just give it to Tapir-Whorf. I will update when I hear back.
posted by Surprised By Bees at 9:10 AM on January 11, 2019 [1 favorite]

Do they require you to submit a donation receipt? If not, I would just give it to Tapir-Whorf and move on.
posted by radioamy at 11:00 AM on January 11, 2019

They do require me to submit a donation receipt, unfortunately. I contacted the company and they said that if I couldn't find a suitable charity I should arrange for it to be disposed of and provide proof of this.

I'm offended by the idea of disposing of this perfectly good mattress, and because of my health issues, this would be very difficult for me to do anyway. Many thanks for the suggestions above that involved bringing the mattress somewhere, but I can't do that, I need pick up.

I'm going to give it to Tapir-Whorf and forgo the refund. It's a very cheap mattress, it's not a huge sacrifice. But I won't buy from this company again.

T-W, I will mail you.
posted by Surprised By Bees at 3:41 PM on January 11, 2019 [2 favorites]

I did give the mattress to Tapir-Whorf. I showed the Zinus customer service people this conversation, and Tapir-Whorf sent them an email. This was enough, and they refunded my money.
posted by Surprised By Bees at 3:44 PM on February 4, 2019 [1 favorite]

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