How to Buy a Used Mattress

Brand-new mattresses can be expensive, and finding the right one for your comfort and style can require lots of research, such as price, quality, brand name and warranty information. Buying a used mattress, on the other hand, may be the affordable solution, but you'll have to do your homework. Read on to find out how to buy a used mattress before you shake hands and seal the deal.

  1. Search for a used mattress on eBay, Craigslist or in your local classified ads. Many people sell good, quality, and affordable used mattresses that have hardly been used. Your safest bet, however, is to buy from your local used furniture store or from someone you know and trust.
  2. Be careful when shopping for a used, or rebuilt, mattress. Some states have laws that protect consumers against mattresses that contain health hazards that may not be visible to the human eye. Ask lots of questions before you make your purchase and, if you're buying from a used furniture store, make sure that it's reputable and that there have been no consumer complaints filed against it for selling mattresses that do not meet regulatory standards.
  3. Look for special tags attached to used or rebuilt mattresses that some states require. One tag may identify what materials were used to refill the mattress, and the other may indicate that the mattress was thoroughly cleaned and decontaminated.
  4. Determine that the mattress will not easily catch fire. Be certain that it meets federal regulations regarding flammability.
  5. Lie down on the mattress before handing over your money. If it's clean and of good quality but is sagging, too hard or soft or has loose springs, you won't be able to sleep comfortably. Pass it up and keep looking.
  6. Cover your used mattress in plastic or a mattress cover to protect yourself from any hidden dirt or parasites that may be lurking the mattress. Use a powder and a vacuum to get rid of hidden bugs.
  7. Have your mattress cleaned by a professional before you settle in for your first night's sleep.


  • Many people donate quality mattresses to thrift stores that are in perfect condition and sell for very low prices.
  • Buy a used mattress that is built to last and that is not torn or falling apart.


  • Not all states requires special tags be attached to their mattresses so be sure to ask lots of questions about how it was rebuilt or treated.
  • Look for noticeable odors, stains and tiny bugs. It's best to turn that one down and keep looking for a mattress that is clean and odor-free.
  • Avoid purchasing or taking as a gift a used crib mattress for your baby.

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