Getting rid of the old mattress when you buy a new one is a natural choice. Mattresses are big and take up a lot of space and not everyone has the luxury to move a mattress to another room. But do people buy used mattresses?
People do buy used mattresses but don’t expect it to sell for much. The resale value of mattresses is terrible and only a very small percentage of people will even consider buying a used mattress.
However, there are several strategies to try and sell your used mattress, or what to look for in a good used mattress. I’ll take you through the things to look for in a mattress and things to avoid if you do want to buy one or sell it quickly.
Is It OK to Buy a Used Mattress?
Legally you can buy used mattresses in most areas. You always want to consider local laws and regulations, as there are sometimes prohibitions on selling used mattresses.
If required, mattresses may need to be properly sanitized or labeled “used”. Some areas disallow the sale of used mattresses but allow for the sale of certain components of the mattress. Or you may be in a jurisdiction that has little to no regulations, which means sales of used mattresses are generally fine particularly if it is a private sale.
Sometimes you may be required to have the mattress’ flammability checked or recovered if the fabric is damaged. It is vital you check what rules apply in your area before trying to sell a used mattress. You can find this information via your local government websites, coming under human services, consumer affairs, licensing, waste collection, and/or agriculture department.
As with all used items, it will be a better buy if in good condition. The use of mattress protectors and mattress toppers will help prevent staining and preserve a mattress’s overall condition. A mattress described as ‘as new’ is better than one with significant sagging, animal smells/stains, cracking, holes, or similar.
If the mattress was in a smoker’s room or has other cosmetic issues then it is probably better not to buy it. Having a receipt to show the purchase date may help sell it quicker and should be checked if you are buying a used mattress.
If the mattress was being used as a main mattress so that it is being slept on every night it is going to be in worse condition than one used in a guest bedroom.
Will People Buy an Old Mattress?
Out of all the household items you could sell used, a mattress is one of the hardest to sell.
There are markets for used mattresses that can be seen on most sales websites. Even commercial retailers can sell used mattresses although this is not very common and you’re unlikely to get as much as if you were to do it privately, however you do avoid a lot of hassle this way.
Delivery is often a sticking point so offering to transport the mattress to the buyer’s house could be an option. This can help the sale go through easier and should definitely be mentioned in the listing if you’re willing to do it.
Given that the average mattress only lasts seven years, it will be very difficult to find people who will buy one older than this.
Warranties will not apply once a mattress is on sale. The old phrase caveat emptor should be kept in mind as even if there is time remaining on the warranty it ends on sale. Buyers will want to see a used mattress in person rather than relying on photos because there may be other qualities, like a smell, that will not come through in the photos.
Less than 10% of people surveyed would even think about buying a used mattress, versus 100% who would buy a used table. Concerns over hygiene were the biggest reason why they wouldn’t buy a used mattress, no surprises there.
There are a few key pieces of information that should be put in your listing. Without these you are unlikely to have much success, The price, size, height, type of covering and internal materials, type of support (such as innerspring), age of mattress, the usage patterns (eg primary sleep surface or guest bed), and whether the mattress had sheets on it.
Most buyers are wary of sellers trying to hide the condition of the mattress. At least four photos from different angles should be included with any advertisement, as otherwise, it may look like you’re trying to conceal blemishes or stains. Buyers would appreciate a concise history of how you got the mattress and why you’re selling it.
How Much Should I Pay for a Used Mattress?
A used mattress is only going to be worth a fraction of its original retail value. Various Craigslist postings’ prices when compared to the same mattress’s retail price show that you can only get 20-30% of the price as new. The price dips dramatically for every year older a mattress is, but the quality is not going to be very good.
Be careful of brand recognition inflating a used mattress’s price. Tags or identifying marks are good information to know but do not guarantee quality.
Timing is also a big consideration. January and July are good months to buy mattresses so you may see more stock, therefore a better chance of getting a good deal. This is because of the many sales and new styles being released in stores that put people in a furniture buying mode. Listing on Friday night is also likely to catch people planning for the weekend’s activities or want to pick up new furniture with their days off.
Is It Unsanitary to Buy a Used Mattress?
There are definitely serious hygiene concerns including infestation concerns like bed bugs. This is even a concern if the mattress is relatively new. Given the price of mattresses and the rock bottom resale value, you have to think exactly what makes someone want to sell a mattress if it is only a few years old.