How to Sell a Used Mattress?

Are you trying to get rid of a used mattress? Have you considered selling it?

Some people want to replace their mattress because they have moved to a new place, bought a different size mattress, etc. If this is the case with you, you may wonder whether you can sell a used mattress or not.

In such situations most people decide that it is better to discard it instead of selling it, but selling it can turn out to be a great option.

Selling a used mattress, however, isn’t a simple process and it involves several steps such as determining a reasonable selling price, deciding whether you want to sell the mattress to brick-and-mortar retailer, through a consignment shop or directly to a potential buyer, creating a compelling advertisement, etc.

Step 1 – Determining a Reasonable Price

When selling a used mattress, it is likely that you will get a much lower price than its original retail value even if the mattress is barely used and in like-new condition.

In such case you can try selling it for some 70-80% of the original price. However, if you are unable to sell it for that much, you should consider reducing the price even further.

Factors that affect the condition of the mattress include:

  • Indentations or sagging in certain places
  • Splits or cracks in the sleep surface and coils or other materials protruding through the surface or side walls.
  • Loose threads, broken zippers and other issues with the cover
  • Signs of physical destruction such as cuts, scrapes, burns, stains from food or bodily fluids.
  • Lingering smells and odors
  • Buildup of dust mites and other allergens.

Besides the condition of a used mattress, there are other things that can affect its resale price such as the mattress’ age.

The average lifespan of a mattress is from 6 to 10 years. So, a mattress that has been used for a few years only or less will cost significantly more than one that has been used for longer.

Also, a mattress that has been slept on every single night may also sell for less than a barely-used mattress from a guest bedroom.

In addition, if your mattress has been used with a topper or mattress protector, it will be in much better shape than one that has not been used with these accessories.

The price of a used mattress will also depend on whether you are willing to deliver the mattress yourself and whether pillows, pads and other accessories are included with the used mattress. Including these options can add to the resale price of your used mattress.

Finally, a mattress brand can also make some difference in that the mattresses manufactured by well recognized and popular companies will usually cost much more than those made by less known companies.

To determine a good resale price for a used mattress, you can also compare your mattress to other similar used mattresses that can be found for sale online. Do some research and visit various sites that sell such mattresses to her an idea of the typical price range for used mattresses like yours.

When doing this, you should look at mattresses that are of roughly the same size, brand, age and condition like your mattress. All this will give you a realistic insight into how much such mattresses cost and what you can expect to get.

Step 2 – Research Mattress Resale Laws and Regulations

Now when you have an idea of how much a used mattress may cost, you should take a look at some laws and regulations concerning the practice of selling used mattresses in the United States. These laws and regulations, however, are enforced at the state level and, as such, they may vary from state to state.

They usually include:

  • Cleaning and sanitizing – In some states, before a used mattresses can be sold, it must be properly cleaned and disinfected. There are certain approved methods that include steam cleaning, commercial laundering, and/or chemical treatment.
  • Re-covering – While some states will approve the sale of a used mattress only if you put a new cover on it, the other states prohibit the use of new covers which can hide stains or any other signs of physical damage.
  • Flammability – The flammability of a mattress is enforced at the federal level, specifically the Consumer Product Safety Commission. According to this, the ‘peak rate of heat release’ for a mattress should not exceed 200 kilowatts during the standard 30-minute safety test, and the ‘total heat release’ during the first 10 minutes of the test should not exceed 15 megajoules. If you are not sure about the flammability status of your mattress, you should contact the manufacturer or the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
  • Tagging – In some states, certain color-coded tags should be used to show whether a used mattress has been properly disinfected and cleaned, or whether it has been rebuilt from used or recycled materials. But, tagging laws usually do not apply to individuals selling mattresses to other individuals.

Step 3 – Choose a Selling Venue

In most cases, used mattresses can’t be sold to a brick-and-mortar retailer. Even if a brick-and-mortar store accepts to buy your used mattress, it should be in new or like-new condition and the resale price will be quite low.

You will get much more money for your used mattress if you decide to sell it online via marketplace sites like Amazon and Craigslist. These sites allow you to advertise your used mattress, sell it directly to other people, and coordinate delivery and other details.

Social media pages, forums and community-based websites can also be used to sell used mattresses and they also allow you to post advertisements about your used mattress and negotiate terms directly with the potential buyers.

You can also try to sell your mattress through some of the consignment shops. These are furniture stores that will sell your used mattress on consignment, which means that they will sell your used mattress for you and take a percentage of the profit.

As getting the best possible price for your item is in the consignment shop’s best interest, you are likely to get a much better deal this way than you would selling your mattress to a brick-and-mortar retailer.

Step 4 – Advertising

To sell a used mattress at a good price, you may need to advertise it. When thinking of a perfect used mattress ad, it is important to present the real condition of a used mattress, take several quality photographs of the mattress from different angles and mention its exact height, size and licensing tags if it is intact.

When mentioning qualities and characteristics of the mattress, be sure to include the following:

  • The mattress height in inches and its size (Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, California King, or specialty size)
  • The construction of the mattress (the materials of which its layers and the cover are made)
  • The age of the mattress, in years or months
  • Whether the mattress was used every night as a primary sleep surface or in a guest bedroom.
  • Whether a mattress protector was used

Finally, don’t forget to list the mattress price somewhere in the advertisement and indicate that the price is negotiable.


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