Is It Illegal to Sell a Used Mattress? All You Want to Know

Is It Illegal to Sell a Used Mattress All You Want to Know

In many states, a used mattress can be sold if it meets certain labeling and processing requirements, like professional sanitizing, if being sold in traditional retailers, thrift, secondhand, or consignment stores. However, some states only permit the sale of used mattress’s individual parts, i.e. the springs).

Selling a used mattress could be a smart way to make extra money or even a cost-effective way to buy a new mattress, but keep in mind that there are some special difficulties involved. Please read on.

The State Law Regarding Used Mattresses

Depending on the state where you’re selling the mattress, different laws apply to new and used mattresses. As a result, you should use the table provided in the following sections to find the used mattress law in your particular state.

Some states demand that you properly label the used mattresses. This makes it simple for customers to distinguish between a used and a brand-new mattress.

And that’s not all.

Each state has its own specific laws. For instance, only specific mattress components, such as the coils, are legal to sell in some states. This severely reduces the amount of money you can recoup from selling the mattress.

When using tags, exercise caution. Some states demand that you attach color-coded tags to the mattress. This is to show whether it is sanitized or made with recycled materials.

Federal Laws of Selling Used Mattresses

The rules and laws governing the purchase and sale of used mattresses vary from state to state.

Legal considerations to consider before buying a used mattress:

  • Cleaning: Some states allow old mattresses to be sold as long as they are sanitized or disinfected in some way before the sale
  • Labeling: Some states have labeling requirements or the sale of used mattresses (sometimes red or yellow)
  • Filling: In some states, only certain parts of a mattress such as the springs can be reused or sold
  • Tagging: A color-coded tag identifying the used mattress’ condition is required by federal law in some states. If the mattress contains recycled materials or has been correctly sanitized (this does not apply to an individual selling a used mattress to another individual)

Red and Yellow Labels

  • Yellow Tag: The mattress has been sanitized
  • Red Tag: The mattress contains used material, typically the filling
  • Business or Retailers Only: Not required for individual to individual sales
  • Check Your State Law: To sell used mattresses the rules differ from state to state so check yours before buying
Is It Illegal to Sell a Used Mattress All You Want to Know
Is It Illegal to Sell a Used Mattress? All You Want to Know

Federal Flammability Standard

Since July 2007, there have been federal flammability standards in place, ensuring that the materials used to make the mattress are not as easily flammable. During the first 30 minutes of the safety tests, the mattress cannot generate more than 200 kW of peak heat. This reduces the likelihood of mattress fires and guarantees that, should one occur, a fire will not spread as quickly. Your used mattress needs to adhere to federal flammability requirements.

State Laws on Selling Used Mattresses

Is it forbidden to sell mattresses? The sale of mattresses with obvious stains is prohibited in California. The used mattress in Texas needs to be cleaned and has a tag that says it’s used. A used mattress is available for purchase in New York. Each state has its own laws, so for complete information on the selling used mattresses law in your state, contact the department of health there.

How to Sell a Used Mattress?

First and foremost, you need to make sure that your mattress is spotless because nobody wants to purchase someone else’s stained belongings. Again, depending on your local regulations, it might be necessary to have your mattress professionally cleaned and sanitized (though this might be a good idea regardless), but if it’s especially grimy, we recommend responsibly recycling it rather than selling. “Use your best judgement,” says Angelillo.

If you do decide to move forward with with selling, there are plenty of places to list your mattress. Popular choices include websites like OfferUp, eBay, Craigslist, and even Facebook Marketplace. Erin Carlyle, an editor at Houzz, also suggests asking local mattress retailers, “Sometimes the retailer will take your old mattress off your hands if you buy a new one.” As an alternative, finding out if friends or family are interested in buying could save you a lot of time.

Once you’ve determined where to sell, both Fish and Angelillo recommend gathering information around the brand, model, size, and age of the mattress to build a listing (according to data from OfferUp, a “Queen” is the most commonly purchased mattress size, while a “King” mattress is the least popular). “If you can, provide a link to the manufacturer’s website with more details about the mattress’s internal components,” Angelillo suggests.

She believed that a successful transaction required an appealing listing. “Be sure to include high-quality photos, thorough and honest descriptions, and do some research to make sure that your item is priced equitably to similar items on the marketplace.” She adds, “some people will pay extra if you deliver the mattress to them, instead of having them come pick it up.” But be ready: it might take some time for your item to sell. She advises reducing the price to attract more buyers if you want to sell your item quickly.

The Benefits of Selling a Used Mattress

Selling a used mattress can have a lot of wonderful advantages. You get some value back from your old mattress, which is the first advantage.

Let’s first clarify that a mattress is regarded as used even if you haven’t used it. The mattress will therefore be regarded as used if it is still covered in plastic or has tags on it. Similar to this, even a mattress that hasn’t been used all that much (like one in a guest room) will be considered to be used.

However, mattresses that have been barely used or never used can usually be purchased for a lot of money. Secondhand mattresses typically sell for around $250 on the open market. The mattress’s worth will significantly decline if you take it out of its protective packaging.

Recycling old items in your home is another advantage of selling a used mattress. It is possible to knit used fillings into brand-new mattresses that will still be sold as used mattresses. This allows you to organize your clutter and benefits the environment by generating less trash.

Foam, a polymer that doesn’t naturally degrade, is used to make the majority of mattresses. Consequently, it is a great way to protect the environment to recycle and reuse old fillings.

What Restrictions Are Involved?

Not all States, as was previously mentioned, have restrictions on the sale of used mattresses. Texas is one such state, though. According to Texas Administrative Code Rule 205.8, mattresses that are intended for resale in the state must be cleaned or sanitized. Numerous methods of treatment are permitted by the government, including steaming, chemical sprays, and industrial laundry.

Steam cleaning takes at least 20 minutes. Dry heat is another option when washing; the law requires the use of particular dry heat tanks that can maintain an average temperature of 230 degrees Fahrenheit for at least one hour and fifteen minutes. Commercial suppliers are required to maintain accurate records of the cleaning of used mattresses and make them available for inspection by the state. All used mattresses that are intended for resale, rental, or hire must be treated.

Some mattresses may have used slipcovers from previous mattresses to cover up stains. According to Texas law, recycling of these coverings is not allowed. Despite the cleaning agents, they must be disposed of before being sold. Washable new covers cannot be used in place of used covers. The state of Texas expressly forbids the use of unclean materials in the restoration or refurbishment of mattresses as well as other bedding, even if the materials are cleaned during antimicrobial treatments.

Retailers must separate new and used mattresses until old mattresses are properly disposed of. Prior to being properly disinfected in accordance with state regulations, resale mattresses are not allowed on the sales floor.


Most states require that used mattresses be clearly labeled before they can be sold by retailers. The law on selling used mattresses may change over time, so check with your local department of health for the most up-to-date information.

Although a mattress that has been taken out of its packaging but hasn’t been used is considered used, many people believe that buying a used mattress is unhygienic. If you’re looking to save a little money, a used mattress that has been expertly cleaned and clearly labeled may offer a tidy and comfortable sleeping environment.

Read about How Long Does a TempurPedic Mattress Last?

  • December 1, 2022