Home Improvement Magazine

How to Cut a Mattress in Half

By Richard Morse @insidebedroom

Why should you need to know how to cut a mattress in half? The answer is simple: a mattress can be a costly item, and it seems a shame just to dispose of it once you have decided you need a new one. Most people would simply dispose of an old mattress, but sometimes that is not so easy to do.

How to Cut a Mattress in Half

It doesn't take much to utilize your old mattress in imaginative ways, such as using the foam for cushions or for the cat or dog. If you cut an old king size mattress in half, you can often make two serviceable twin or single mattresses out of the halves. You can use slabs of foam as car seats, particularly for the kids. There are many imaginative uses to which an old mattress can be put, and the first step is generally to cut it in half. Here's how!

How to Cut a Mattress in Half

A mattress can consist of a number of different layers of various types of foams and also springs. We shall explain how to do this with an innerspring mattress. Innerspring mattresses are the most difficult to cut in half, though not as difficult as you may think. A foam mattress is easier since you have no metal parts to cut.

The instructions below apply whether you are cutting a mattress into the half down the length or into two parts across the width. Cutting across the width will give you two half-length mattresses while cutting down the length will take longer, but give you two serviceable single mattresses.

Equipment Needed:

First get your tools ready. For a foam mattress you will need:

  • Stout scissors
  • A sharp knife, box cutter or scalpel
  • Tape measure
  • Staple gun
  • Sewing equipment: needle/sewing machine, thread, pins, thimble
  • Spare mattress cover.
  • Staple gun or large stapler.

For an innerspring or hybrid mattress you will also need:

  • Dremel tool or bolt cutter if you have one - this makes it easier to cut the springs.
  • Pliers

Cutting a Mattress in Half: Procedure

  1. Use the tape measure to establish the center and mark this down the length or the width of the mattress according to which way you want to halve it - down or across. Make an initial cut in the mattress cover, then use the scissors to cut the full length or width of the cover down or across the center of the mattress.
  2. Using the cutter or scalpel, cut through the top comfort layers until you reach the springs.
  3. Mark the center of the springs with the cutter, making the marks easy to see when to start cutting.
  4. Cut through the springs using the bolt cutter or Dremel tool. Be careful to cut the springs down the center line of the mattress. The markings you measured on the springs should make this fairly easy to do. If using a Dremel tool or rotary grinding disk, make sure you hold it steady for a clean cut.
  5. Check the cut and use the pliers to remove any metal bits the cutters or Dremel tool were unable to cut off.
  6. Fold the cut ends of each spring down into the mattress to form as flat a mattress edge as possible. This also prevents any sharp ends of cut springs injuring those who sit on it. Tie the springs at the new edge together using twine or strips of cloth.

Finishing Off

Cover the mattress and the new ends with the new mattress cover. You can use a new cover or an old one, whichever you prefer. Sew on the new cover then staple up the ends. If you want, you could sew a piece of material over the open ends or sides, then sew and staple on the new cover.

How to Cut a Mattress in Half: Conclusion

When people change their mattress for a new one, the old mattress is often serviceable for one purpose or another. Sometimes the two halves of a mattress can be used for twin or single beds, or even cut down as cot mattresses. Some other ideas may also appeal to you, such as beds for your pets or even a soft play surface for young children. They can be of particular use in the garden or backyard: for sunbathing or placed beneath climbing frames as a soft landing if a child falls.

However, unless you use the mattress in its original size, you will have to cut it down. The above instructions explain how to cut a mattress in half correctly and safely. Repurposing a mattress can put it to far better use than just scrapping or recycling it. You may even cut your mattress up into sizes to fit your car simply to avoid collection charges for disposing of it. However, there many other uses for old mattresses and their springs including floral displays, wine racks and anything your imagination can come up with.

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