When you decide to get a new bed, you’ll have to decide what to do with your old one. You can resell lots of household goods on online marketplaces — but can you sell a used mattress? The process of selling a used bed isn’t as easy as posting it online. There are several federal and state regulations around mattress sales you must follow to avoid legal troubles. Also, you’ll need to determine a fair value for your bed and decide if it’s worth the hassle.
Whether you’re thinking about selling or buying a used mattress, keep reading and we’ll share the details about the research you need to do and steps to take.
Can You Sell a Used Mattress?
Yes, you can sell a used mattress — but only if it is in good shape and you follow federal and local regulations around mattress sales. You shouldn’t try to sell your bed if it is more than seven years old — it’s probably past its lifespan and should be recycled instead. Also, if it has visible wear and tear, it won’t be worth much (or anything), so it would likely be a waste of time for you to try to sell it.
If your bed is less than seven years old and is still in good condition, you can probably sell your mattress depending on your state’s regulations.
Different State Laws and Regulations
Depending on where you live, you may need to meet certain requirements in order to resell your mattress. These regulations are designed to make sure the used mattress won’t pose any health or safety risks to the buyer. Double check with your state’s health department to find the regulations on used mattress sales you’ll need to comply with.
Cleaning: Some states require you to clean and sanitize your mattress prior to selling. For example, in the state of North Carolina, you have to sanitize your mattress prior to selling it. It may be worth having it professionally cleaned to maximize its value and make sure its condition is up to par.
Labeling or Tagging: Some states require salespeople to attach color-coded labels or tags to a used mattress prior to selling. This law is targeting mattress retailers to ensure the condition of the mattress is transparent to any potential customers. In most states, a yellow tag signifies a mattress has been sanitized, and a red tag means the bed contains used materials.
Many states don’t allow retailers to sell used mattresses regardless of condition or labeling. Some states, such as Washington, Maryland, Louisiana, and Indiana, don’t allow retailers to sell used mattresses. However, individuals can still sell used mattresses in those states. In the state of Kansas, selling used mattresses is not allowed at all.
Filling: Some states only allow certain parts of a mattress to be reused or sold. Check with your state’s health department to see if selling mattress filling is regulated in your state.
Federal Flammability Standard
The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission put in place the Federal Flammability Standards, also known as 16 CFR Part 1633, in 2007. This standard requires all mattresses for sale in the U.S. to demonstrate in a test that the mattress will limit the flame and heat created when exposed to fire to limit the risk of injury or death to a sleeper. You’ll need to ensure your mattress meets this standard before you resell a mattress.
Determine the Mattress Value
In most cases, you’ll be able to sell a used mattress in good condition for about 20 to 30 percent of its full retail value when new. Before you stick a price tag on your bed, however, consider these other factors.
You’ll need to consider how old your mattress is in relation to its total lifespan when deciding how to price your mattress. Different mattress types tend to age differently — latex mattresses typically last 10 to 15 years, memory foam beds last eight to 10 years, and innerspring beds last five to 10 years, on average. You’ll be able to get more money for a mattress that is practically new than one that is closer to the end of its lifespan.
Frequency of Use
You’ll also want to think about how often you used the bed when determining its price. For example, a mattress that was used occasionally as a guest room bed will have less wear and tear than one that was used nightly in a main bedroom.
How Often it Was Cleaned
Your mattress will be worth more if it was regularly maintained. If you kept it wrapped in a mattress protector and rotated and cleaned your mattress every six months, your mattress will be worth more than if you didn’t maintain it.
Take a look at the way your mattress looks and feels. If you notice any cosmetic blemishes, such as stains or tears in the fabric, you’ll need to mark down the price of the bed. Likewise, if your mattress is visibly sagging or has indentations on the surface, you’ll need to mark down the price.
Quality of Mattress Brand
If you have a mattress from a brand with a reputation for quality and reviews to back it up, you’ll be able to charge more for your bed than a generic or lesser-known mattress company.
Delivery or Pick-Up Options
You’ll want to charge more for time and labor if you’re going to deliver the mattress to the buyer. Consider marking down the price if the buyer has to pick up the bed themselves.
How to Sell a Used Mattress
After making sure you can legally sell your mattress and coming up with a fair price, you’ll be ready to sell your bed. Here are some ways to get started:
Advertise Your Mattress
Gather information to write an advertisement about your bed. Try to capture all the details that would answer all the questions a customer might have about the bed. Make sure to include the following info:
- Brand and model
- Mattress size
- Mattress type and materials/fabrics used in construction
- Age of the mattress and how often it was used
- Steps you took to clean and protect it
- Whether you had pets in the home
- Any other information that could be relevant to a potential buyer
After you’ve gathered all the info you need to advertise your mattress, it’s time to list it for sale online. In addition to letting friends and family know your bed is for sale and creating posts on social media, you may want to list your used mattress on the following online marketplaces:
Make sure to always follow safety protocols when selling online. If you haven’t gotten any interest in your mattress within a week or two, you may need to lower your listing price or tweak the listing.
Consider Donating Your Mattress
If you haven’t had luck selling your bed, don’t drag it to the curb just yet. You can try recycling or donating your mattress. Avoid throwing away your bed at all costs if you can —- around 80 percent of mattress materials can be recycled. Check out our article on how to dispose of a mattress to learn more.
Are used mattresses worth anything?
If your used mattress is clean and in good condition, you may be able to sell it depending on the regulations of the state where you live. Used mattresses are typically worth 20 to 30 percent of the retail value.
Is it legal to sell a used mattress?
It is not illegal to sell a used mattress under federal law as long as your bed meets the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) standards. However, states have varying restrictions on the sale of used mattresses. Check with your state health department for more information.
How do you sterilize a used mattress?
You can clean your used mattress with household cleaners that you likely have under your sink. If you are getting your used mattress ready to sell, however, you may want to enlist the help of a professional cleaner to make sure the mattress is clean enough to meet your state’s regulations.
Is it okay to sleep on a used mattress?
Used mattresses can come with health risks if they aren’t maintained and sanitized properly before you bring them home. If you must buy a used mattress, make sure it has been thoroughly cleaned and meets the standards of your state’s regulations before you consider taking it home.
What’s the risk of a used mattress?
Used mattresses can cause health risks to the buyer. Used beds can have bed bugs, dust mites, mildew, or biological fluids. They could have a compromised level of support from wear and tear caused by prior owners and often do not come with warranties.
If you decide to sell your used mattress, make sure it is in good enough shape so the buyer can safely sleep on it, and that it is clean and meets federal and state regulations. We don’t typically recommend buying used mattresses due to the potential for bed bugs, questionable cleanliness, and quality of the mattress. If you’re shopping for a new bed on a budget, check out our roundup of the best cheap mattresses or the best ones under $1,000 before you consider a pre-owned bed.