What Can You Do with a Used Mattress?

You’ve slept soundly on your faithful mattress for the past few years, and it’s served you well. But now you’ve decided it’s time to source a replacement. You’ve dragged your used mattress from its bedframe. You’ve hauled it down the stairs and now it’s propped up in your hallway. All you need to do now is figure out what to do with a used mattress.

Your mattress is in relatively good shape, so getting rid of it seems a waste. Besides, if you just throw your mattress into the trash it’s going to end up on a heaving land-fill site (it’s estimated around 20 million mattresses are dumped in landfill annually). Do you really want to unnecessarily add to the world’s garbage problem? Let’s explore your other options.  

Donate A Used Mattress

If your mattress is in decent condition how about donating it to a worthy cause? Donate a used mattress and help out a person or family in need. Whilst this seems like a nice idea you do need to ascertain who will take a used mattress. Not all charities will! This is generally due to concerns around hygiene and bed-bugs. Some charities do accept used mattress donation (in certain locations) but rather than re-selling the item they opt to recycle it instead.

If you’re keen to donate, we suggest you talk to local charities. Ask if they would welcome your mattress donation and don’t forget to ask if there’s a chance, they can provide used mattress pick up. If they can’t you will have to organize drop off yourself.  

You don’t have to get a charity involved to go a good deed. Help out a person or family that are struggling financially by bestowing your mattress for free. You might have someone in mind who might benefit from the gesture. Alternatively, you could advertise online at a recycling or freebie website.

Can I Sell A Used Mattress?

If your mattress is in good condition you could make a little extra cash by selling it. You can’t just stick a “for sale” sign on your mattress and shove it outside. There are a few things you should know:

Is it Illegal to Sell a Used Mattress?
You can sell a used mattress providing you follow the outlined state and federal laws. These vary from place to place so you do need to do your homework.

As a general rule all states prohibit the sale of badly soiled and stained mattresses. Some ask that used mattresses are thoroughly cleaned, sanitized and re-covered. However, in certain states sellers are asked NOT to re-cover used mattresses – this allows potential buyers to see any damage or stains for themselves.

There are a number of states that request retailers such as used mattress stores
(not individual sellers) to label mattresses to indicate their condition.

  • White label: Mattress is new. 
  • Yellow label: Mattress has been cleaned.
  • Red label: Mattress has been rebuilt with used materials.

Before you consider selling a used mattress, we suggest you find out the laws for your state – contact the department of health, consumer affairs, licensing or agriculture.

How to Sell A Used Mattress?
First off check those all-important state laws to make sure you fully understand what to do with any used mattress that you’re planning to sell. Next, you’re going to have to think about the price you want to charge.

As a general rule of thumb, you can ask for around 20-30% of the original price. It’s wise to consider the age and condition your mattress before you set a price – and keep in mind sellers are often keen to negotiate on price too!

It goes without saying that your mattress should be clean and sanitized before selling. Once you have everything in place, you can write an advert and choose the right venue to sell your mattress. We’ll talk about this in more detail shortly.

If you do craft an advert promoting your mattress make sure you tell the truth so potential buyers know exactly what they will get for their money. Take a couple of clear photographs to show off the size off your used mattress and to illustrate that it’s in good condition. When you write your accompanying description include:

  • Mattress age: How many years have you had it?
  • Mattress use: Has the mattress been used regularly or sparingly?
  • Mattress condition: It goes without saying the condition should be good.
  • Mattress size: Include the height of the mattress.
  • Mattress materials: e.g. memory foam, latex etc.
  • Mattress core – e.g. latex, foam, springs etc.
  • Mattress over – e.g. made from wool, cotton etc.

Where to Sell A Used Mattress
Wondering where to sell a used mattress? The best place is usually online. Selling online allows you to place an advert, reach a wide target audience, connect you’re your buyer and work out the best way to get your mattress to them.

Take a look at popular marketplace websites such as Craigslist and eBay. Alternatively, hit social media and tell the world via Facebook or another common platform. You could also consider selling via a local forum, advertising in the local news or pinning a notice in a local shop window.

My Mattress Is in Poor Condition – I Can’t Sell or Donate It!  

If your mattress isn’t in good enough condition to sell or donate don’t head straight to landfill. Instead, find a nearby recycling centre that can accommodate mattresses (around 80 to 90% of mattress parts can be used to make something new)! You will have to pay for the privilege of helping the planet – but surely a good conscience is worth a few dollars?

Buying a Used Mattress

We’ve looked at how you go about selling or donating a used mattress, so now let’s take a look at how you go about buying a used mattress.

Should I Buy a Used Mattress?

If you want to replace your current mattress, but can’t afford to splash the cash, you could consider replacing it with a used one. You might have reservations about buying one, and may be asking “Is it safe to buy a used mattress?”

As we’ve already discovered, most states have rules pertaining to the sale of used mattresses. These rules are in place to ensure sellers don’t offer soiled, badly-stained or flammable mattresses for sale. They are designed to protect the buyer – so you don’t get a mattress that’s full of bed-bugs etc!

Used Mattress Buying Tips

Have you decided to go cheap and cheerful and buy a used mattress? Here are a few used mattress buying tips to help you find the right one.

  • Look for a used mattress that’s been purchased but rarely or only lightly used.
  • Check the label (if there is one).  
  • If you’re buying from a retailer, such as used mattress stores, choose a reputable company.
  • Double-check – are there any indications of bedbugs being present?
  • Think about investing in a waterproof / bug proof mattress cover.
  • Check that the seller has sanitized and refurbished the mattress.
  • Ask the seller if they are willing to throw free-delivery in with the price.
  • Go one step further and sanitize the mattress yourself (see below).

How to Clean a Used Mattress

Wondering how to sanitize a used mattress? Even if you’ve been assured your used mattress has already been treated, cleaning a used mattress again is definitely a worthwhile task.

Buying used mattresses can be problematic and cause health issues if you opt for one that’s not been “purified” before being passed on. Opt for peace of mind instead and make your used mattress safe.

For best results choose a dry, sunny day and manoeuvre your mattress outside (cover the yard or grass beneath it). Then use antibacterial cleaner to thoroughly wipe over the surface and leave your mattress out in the fresh air to ventilate.

Alternatively, you could ask the experts to help you out – they know how to properly disinfect a mattress. You could check out commercial cleaning options, take the mattress for a steam clean or opt for a chemical treatment.

 A good laugh and a long sleep are the two best cures for everything

We do like this old Irish proverb, it’s so very true! Allow us to take this opportunity to reiterate the importance of a good night’s sleep. Sleep refreshes your mind and body, it provides clarity and focus when you awake, it allows your body to repair itself whilst you slumber. Sleep allows you to escape reality and immerse yourself in your dreams (even if only for a short time)!

Studies indicates you should ideally replace your mattress every few years (around seven years has been suggested). However, the average life of a mattress often depends on the quality of it, how often it’s used and how you sleep on it.

If you’re starting to feel uncomfortable when you wake, or aren’t sleeping very well, it could be time to seek a replacement. Remember – if you do opt to buy a used mattress go for one that’s been cleaned and sanitized (and ideally hasn’t been used very much).

 We hope you enjoyed this brief overview to buying and selling a used mattress – and wish you a pleasant slumber.