Can You Sell A Used Mattress? - A Detailed Guide

Can You Sell a Used Mattress? Yes, you can. The question to ask is how!

You see, of all the items you wish to sell before you move (or simply when you decide to buy a new one to replace them), the mattress is the toughest and most complicated.

Can You Sell a Used Mattress? - A Detailed Guide

After all, most people would cringe at buying a used mattress because it is unhealthy. However, some people would gladly buy your used mattress, provided you follow certain rules and laws. Yes, there are state-by-state laws about disposing old and used bedding and mattresses. But once you know the said rules and laws, you can easily get your used mattress off your hands.

After all, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Some people would gladly buy used mattresses as they are economical and a great way to save a ton of money.

So, without further delay, let us find out things you can do to sell a mattress.

Can You Sell A Used Mattress – How To Go About It

Can You Sell a Used Mattress? - A Detailed Guide

Step 1 – Know the laws

Every state has certain rules and regulations when it comes to disposing or selling a used mattress.

Check your state’s laws about selling a used mattress and what labels to use. For example, California does not allow the sale of stained mattresses whereas in Texas, you can sell a used mattress that is disinfected, cleaned thoroughly, and tagged before sale.

Check out all of the 50 state-by-state rules regarding the sale of used mattresses here.

Step 2 – Clean the mattress

Cleaning and sanitizing the mattress are the next steps in selling a used mattress. Mattresses harbor a lot of body oils, sweat, dust mites, germs, and pathogens. Disinfect it completely using the following steps:

Gather your cleaning supplies

You will need a brush, lint roller, a vacuum cleaner with a mattress/upholstery attachment, some mild soap/shampoo/detergent to get rid of odors and stains (alternatively, you can use vinegar and baking soda), hydrogen peroxide to eliminate tougher stains and odors, cleaning rags or microfiber towels, and warm water.

Start the cleaning

  • Strip away the pillows, bedsheets, comforters, etc. For ease of cleaning and with the help of a partner, stand the mattress against the wall.
  • Brush or use the lint roller all over the mattress on both sides. This step will remove pet hair, human hair, dead skin cells, etc.
  • Use the vacuum cleaner on the mattress to remove tiny dust particles left behind by the lint roller. The vacuum is especially handy to clean around the seams.

Spot-clean the mattress

  • Now, it is time to spot clean the mattress to remove stains. Never spray or soak the mattress with too much cleaning liquid, as that can seep through into the filling where it can become moldy.
  • Mix a quarter cup each of vinegar and baking soda with half a cup of water. Dip a cleaning rag or microfiber towel and rub it over the stains.
  • If needed, you can use hydrogen peroxide to remove tough stains like urine, vomit, and blood. Dilute the peroxide and spray it on the stains.
  • Let it sit for a few minutes.
  • Dip the cloth in warm water and rub the treated areas after a few minutes. The stains will have lightened considerably.

Treat the entire mattress with baking soda

  • Place the mattress flat on the bed frame.
  • Treat it with baking soda by sprinkling it all over the mattress.
  • Place the baking-soda-treated mattress in the sunlight as it will help disinfect the mattress.
  • Vacuum again.

Flip the mattress and treat the other side

  • Repeat the steps above for the other side.

NOTE: If the mattress is very heavily soiled, please consider professional cleaning it before selling it. Also, if it is downright old and dusty, please consider recycling its filling rather than selling it.

Step 3 – Label the mattress

The next step in selling a used mattress is to label it based on state laws. In general, a yellow label means that the mattress has been cleaned and sanitized. A red label means that the mattress is filled with used filling.

Some states require that these labels are compulsory only for retailers. If you are an individual selling to a known person, then you need not add labels. However, it is still necessary that you clean and disinfect the mattress as stated above.

Also, if you are discarding a bed-bug-infested mattress, tightly wrap it in plastic, label it clearly as “bed bug infested,” and then take it to the landfill. You might have to pay a small fee to dispose of it.

Can You Sell a Used Mattress? - A Detailed Guide

Step 4 – Set a price

To set a price, consider the mattress’s age and how it has been used. A mattress that is 3 to 4 years old can easily fetch twice more than one that is 7-9 years old. Also, you must consider the external signs of wear and tear. A stained, sagging mattress may not fetch a good price.

Step 5 – Know where to advertise/list itNow we come to the most important aspect of answering the question“Can you sell a used mattress?”

You will want to consider the places that buy a used mattress. Here are some platforms and methods:

Social media

Many social media websites offer “virtual marketplaces” where you can easily sell your used mattress. Facebook Marketplace, Instagram, CraigsList, eBay, etc. are popular places to list your cleaned and disinfected mattress.

Here are some other great options for re-selling gently used stuff:

  • com
  • Close5
  • Bookoo
  • Recycler
  • Mercari

Once you have decided where to sell, create a listing that clearly states the mattress’s specifications, size, color, years of use, cleaning/disinfection information, and the price. Note that queen- and twin-sized mattresses sell faster than king-sized. You can also provide the website link to the mattress if you bought it online.

Here are the factors the listing or advertisement should include:

  • A clear photo/photos showing the mattress from all angles
  • Make, brand, color, model, size
  • Materials, filling used
  • Age of the mattress
  • Whether the mattress was used in a household with patients/smokers/pets, etc.
  • Reason for selling (you are moving, etc.)
  • Expected price (and whether negotiable)

Once you have created an advertisement or listing, you now need to wait for buyers.

Speak to several buyers before you finalize a deal. Negotiate the price and sell once you are satisfied. In case you do not hear from buyers, you might have to lower the price.


Many times, you can simply sell gently used mattresses through word-of-mouth. If you are moving, you can let your friends and family know you cannot carry your bulky mattress and have cleaned and disinfected it. They might be interested in buying it or might know someone who will gladly take it off your hands. Decide on a price convenient for both of you and seal the deal.

Re-sell it to a dealer

Many mattress retailers will gladly buy your gently used mattress and adjust the price in case you are purchasing a brand new one from them. They even offer to pick up the used mattress, which can be very convenient, as transporting a mattress can be quite a hassle.

Step 6 – Consider recycling parts of the mattress

In some states, it is mandatory to only sell certain parts of a used mattress. These include the filling, mattress topper, springs, etc.

Here is a map showing some places you can recycle your mattress’ filling.

Step 7 – Consider donating it

If, despite several months of listing your mattress, you are unable to sell it, you could consider donating it to Goodwill, Salvation Army, and Habitat for Humanity, to an assisted living facility, or to friends/students in need of a mattress.

FAQs on “Can You Sell a Used Mattress?”

Q. Does anyone buy a used mattress?

Yes, you can find a buyer for a used mattress, provided you know where to look. Make sure you know your state’s rules about selling a used mattress. Also, it all boils down to how well you advertise it. Use one of the platforms above, create an attractive ad, and you will surely find an interested buyer.

Q. Do mattress stores buy used mattresses?

Yes, depending on the condition, brand, make, size, and materials used, some retail stores might buy back your old mattress, especially if you are buying a new one from them.

Note that it is at the store’s discretion whether or not they think your used mattress is worth buying.

Q. Can I dump my old mattress in the landfill?

Always contact your local planning office/waste management company about discarding used/infested mattresses. It is illegal to dump a used mattress just about anywhere as it can harm the environment. However, you can legally discard the old mattress in the landfill provided you pay a small fee and your state regulations allow it.

Q. Why can’t you sell used mattresses in some states?

Many states have very strict regulations about reselling used mattresses. Some have even banned it completely. Others might allow it provided your mattress is cleaned, disinfected, labeled, and tagged.


If you are planning to sell a used mattress, please research the laws, rules, and regulations in your state regarding used mattress re-sale.

Once you know you are allowed to sell a used mattress, make sure you clean it and follow the other steps given above. If nothing else works, you can always recycle the mattress’ parts such as springs and filling. And if that is not an option, you could consider donating the mattress to a charity organization or others in need.

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