Sofa Removal

Donating a Sofa: Where to Give & How to Prepare

By 5th March, 2024 March 20th, 2024 No Comments

We all know the drill. You browse online, fall in love with a new sofa, and impatiently wait out those 4-8 week delivery times for it to arrive. But now there’s another question looming – what on earth will you do with the old faithful sofa that served you well for years?

Well, hold that thought before calling your local dump. Did you know over 22 million unwanted pieces of furniture are in UK landfills yearly? It’s an alarming figure when around 60% of those discarded sofas are still perfectly usable.

Donating your sofa to charity is an eco-friendly no-brainer if it has some good years. But finding the right charity and prepping your sofa does take a bit of effort on your part.

Donating a Sofa: Where to Give & How to Prepare Rubbish Clearance

The crucial fire safety checks before donating a sofa

Let’s kick things off with the most important preparation step – ensuring your second-hand sofa meets UK fire safety standards for donating.

Under the Furniture and Furnishings Fire Safety regulations, all sofas sold second-hand legally require clear fire safety labelling. This identifies that they meet flammability standards for foam, fabric, and fillings.

This permanent label is stapled or sewn to the base beneath sofa cushions. It should clearly display the flammability compliance standard along with fabric composition details.

Without this vital label, charities legally cannot sell donated sofas to the general public.

Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll refuse to collect them. Many charities will still happily take donated sofas without the label to give away to those in need or use for community projects.

But the key is – you must let them know upfront it’s missing. They’ll then advise whether they can collect it based on their donation policies.

Top 7 Charities that’ll take that sofa off your hands

If you’ve confirmed your sofa is safe to donate, it’s time to explore the charities that’ll gladly take it off your hands!

As environmental waste is a growing concern, dozens of reputable national charities now offer free collections of preloved furniture like sofas.

I’ve rounded up 10 of the best options across the UK to ensure your sofa gets reused – not landfilled.

British Heart Foundation

With a whopping 770 stores spanning the UK and Northern Ireland, the British Heart Foundation (BHF) accepts over 140,000 furniture donations a year. Their collections team will happily donate your sofas and armchairs to cabinets and tables.

The BHF helps fund pioneering heart disease research projects and provides support services for those impacted. So you can feel good knowing your sofa will make a real difference to saving lives. Donating is quick and easy via their website. Just select your local store for free collection at checkout.

British Red Cross

A well-recognised name both in the UK and worldwide when it comes to humanitarian aid and relief, the British Red Cross also accepts preloved sofas donations.

With over 310 stores nationwide, they do great work providing health care, refugee support, education programs and community assistance. They have dedicated collection teams covering most regions. So simply locate your nearest Red Cross furniture store using the online store locator to arrange pickup dates.

Cancer Research UK

As the world’s leading charity dedicated to beating cancer, Cancer Research UK funds life-saving research and patient services. Across over 600 stores, the Cancer Research warehouse teams and store staff will gladly collect and coordinate sofa donations.

Give your local store a call to confirm dates for collecting your sofa. Around 2.5 million items are donated to Cancer Research UK every year.


As the national charity supporting individuals and families affected by Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB) – a painful genetic skin condition- Debra always seeks donated sofas for fundraising.

With dedicated sofa warehouses and over 100 Debra stores nationwide, you can easily book a free collection online and donate any sofa in reasonable condition. Debra also welcomes gift vouchers or ‘CAF’ charity vouchers against donations.


Oxfam, a highly recognised global charity focused on ending poverty, accepts sofa donations at many stores. With over 650 shops, their store volunteers and drivers can collect larger items like sofas to sell to the public.

Give your local store a call before dropping off the sofa to ensure they have the capacity to accept and repair it. Oxfam relies on 20,000 volunteers, dedicating over 200,000 hours per week.

Age UK

As a leading charity for the elderly, Age UK provides companionship, support and advice to older individuals nationwide.

With the aim to help pensioners truly get the most from later life across Great Britain, Age UK has several designated furniture stores where they accept donations like sofas.

Check if your nearest Age UK has capacity by calling them before drop off. Some can even arrange collections if you cannot transport the sofa yourself.


With a powerful focus on supporting the homeless, Emmaus works to provide shelter, meaningful work opportunities and training for people to empower themselves out of poverty.

Spanning 29 unique Emmaus Communities across England, Scotland and Wales, many sites accept donations of preloved sofas.

Check for your nearest Emmaus Community via their website, and then contact them to arrange free collections for any useable Sofa. For ease, they’ll collect within a 15-mile radius if the items meet their criteria. Over 4 million repurposed items were donated to and handled by Emmaus in 2021

Preparing your sofa for collection & drop-off

You’ve now decided on the perfect charity to take your sofa and breathe new life into it. The next step? Making sure it’s prepped and ready for a seamless no-contact collection. Follow this handy 6-step checklist to ensure your sofa donation goes smoothly:

Double check the fire label

Before confirming that collection slot, thoroughly check beneath and behind all sofa cushions and bases, seeking that all-important fire safety label. If you cannot locate it anywhere, immediately alert the charity when arranging the pickup date and address.

Clean every nook and cranny

Give that faithful sofa a loving, thorough clean from top to bottom before saying goodbye – it’ll be appreciated by charity staff and the new owner. Use an upholstery cleaner or shampoo to really give it some sparkle.

Photograph any visual damage

To help give complete transparency to charities, take a few snaps of any scratches, marks, scuffs or wear and tear. They’ll then know the exact cosmetic condition before dispatching their collections team.

Disassemble if possible

If you have a modular or flatpack sofa, it’s incredibly helpful to disassemble it and make it ready for transportation if you still have all the assembly hardware. Separating into neat stacks of bases, arms, backs, and cushions makes it less cumbersome to load and deliver.

Move near your entryway

With many charities still offering no-contact collections, position the sofa as close as possible to your front door or entryway. This avoids the need for collectors to enter your home unnecessarily.

Have your details on hand

Make sure you have your name, address and phone numbers written on paper to hand over. For COVID-safe no-contact drop-offs, pop these details inside a plastic sleeve or ziplock bag to pass to the collections team.

An easy alternative:

If going through a charity seems too complicated, you can also consider using our specialist disposal service. True to our name, we make disposing of bulky rubbish like unwanted sofas completely stress-free. 

Request a no-obligation quote online and arrange a suitable collection time. Our licensed waste carriers will then remove the sofa for ethical recycling or disposal. With minimal fuss, your old sofa will be gone and recycled responsibly without you lifting a finger!

So, for an easy, no-nonsense sofa removal and disposal service, we take care of the entire process quickly and affordably. No matter which avenue you choose, the good news is there are now more ethical ways to get rid of a sofa sustainably than ever before!