What Is a Refurbished Mattress?

Oubria Tronshaw

The quality of your mattress determines the quality of your rest. Choose wisely to ensure comfortable nights and rested, productive days. Not everyone can afford a brand new mattress; however, buying a refurbished mattress can save you hundreds of dollars.

Refurbished mattresseses need to be disinfected before re-sale.

If you're wondering whether to purchase your mattress new or used, weight the pros and cons first. If you decide a refurbished mattress is the way to go, inspect it carefully before taking it home.


A refurbished mattress has been used, discarded and renewed for second-hand sale or donation. They are found at thrift stores; furniture stores that sell new and used items; as well as garage sales and charity drives for needy families. The practice of mattress refurbishing has expanded into mattress recycling. Whether or not mattresses are passed on to other owners after their initial owner has moved on, there comes a time when all mattresses out live their usefulness. According to the Environmental News Network, up to 90 percent of the materials found in a mattress can be recycled. Some recycling plants sell the wood from an old mattress to a wood chipper, the foam and cotton padding go toward carpet bagging and insulation. The melted down springs are sold to a steel company.


There are some advantages to using refurbished mattresses. They're cheaper than new mattresses, and eliminate bulky waste from being tossed in a landfill. They provide low income families with alternatives to sleeping on the floor.


Buying a refurbished mattress can be risky if the item hasn't been carefully inspected and thoroughly disinfected. Bed bugs, urine and feces stains, bodily fluids, food particles, roaches, fleas and bacteria could all be present in a used mattress. Weigh the risks against the benefits when deciding to purchase a refurbished mattress; if you have small children or elderly people in your home you might decide to go ahead and spend the extra money on a new mattress.


Only purchase a refurbished mattress from a reputable store. If you accept one from a friend, relative or charity organization, ask questions about the previous owner and what steps have been taken to sanitize the mattress before passing it on. Only purchase refurbished mattresses with a tag that says "refurbished"; this is the seller's guarantee that the mattress has been cleaned and sanitized. Ask the seller about his cleaning process and obtain a written copy of his return policy.