From reclining to recycling - The life cycle of a sofa

Buying a new sofa is an exciting time, and when you consider that the average Briton spends 49 hours a week sitting, napping and chilling out on their sofa it’s an important purchase for most UK homes. But what becomes of the old sofas, the has-beens, the cast-offs? Where do all the old sofas go?

sofa recycling

At Sofa Bed Sofa we offer a collection and recycling service when we deliver your new sofa we can also collect and recycle your old one, but not everyone selects this option. 28% of UK residents have bought a sofa in the last 3 years, that’s roughly 18 million new sofas going to new homes and creating a demand for effective recycling.

If your old sofa is still in good condition then rehoming it rather than recycling it is the best option. Sadly lots of perfectly good and almost brand new second hand sofas go to landfill instead of living rooms due to one fatal flaw. Since the late 80s all sofas sold in the UK must display a valid fire safety label. Unfortunately many manufacturers place fire safety labels in unsightly positions which encourages people to cut them off, instantly confining that sofa to the rubbish dump the moment it is no longer wanted by the current owner.


We place our fire safety labels in discrete positions so that they can remain intact and not impact on the aesthetics of the design. Hopefully this placement will enable as many of our sofas as possible to go on to second homes and live a long and helpful life!


If you have an old sofa you are looking to dispose of then check for a fire label first of all. If it has one then there are many charities looking for donations of second hand furniture so that they can furnish hostels or sell it on to raise funds. These charities will also come and collect your old sofa for free making it an easy and worthwhile disposal option.

Here are just a few organisations you can contact:

The British Heart Foundation

British Red Cross


Furniture Donation Network

If your sofa doesn't have a fire safety label then don’t consign it to the rubbish, even though it can’t be re-homed it CAN be recycled. Recycling your sofa means that the metal and wood frame can be broken down and reused, and only the fabric and filling then go on to landfill, reducing CO2 emissions.

Currently only 17% of second hand sofas are recycled in the UK. Recycling just 1 ton of old sofas would save 1.5 tonnes of CO2 emissions so just a little thought and effort can result in worthwhile environmental benefits.

So the next time you have an old sofa to dispose of think re-home, or re-cycle before rubbish!


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