When it comes time for a new mattress (experts recommend getting a new one every 10 years), you might be wondering what to do with your old one. According to SleepFoundation.org, you have a few options: recycle it (between 80 and 90 percent of mattresses can be broken down for this purpose!), donate it, throw it out, or in some cases, sell it. Selling a used mattress might be an economical way to purchase a new one, or even a smart way to earn extra cash, but bear in mind, there are some unique challenges to doing this.
What Do You Need to Consider?
While it is possible to sell a used mattress, it might require a bit of research. Bill Fish, Managing Editor of SleepFoundation.org tells House Beautiful, "selling a used mattress can be difficult, as there are different laws in each state as to the legality." SleepFoundation.org also warns that the "sale of used mattresses is subject to far more regulation than most household items."
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. Other states, however, only allow components of a used mattress to be sold (i.e. the springs). In any case, proper research into local laws and requirements is a must.
You might also want to consider if your mattress is even in good enough condition to be sold in the first place. Your 10-year-old mattress you've had since college probably isn't sell-worthy, but a mattress that has been used sparingly and has been maintained well might be. "If you have a relatively new mattress, but might not like the feel of memory foam, or don’t feel the mattress is right for your body type and sleep preferences, then it could be a good time to sell," says Fish.
Natalie Angelillo, Vice President of Community at OfferUp also suggests taking into account household conditions, such as pets or smoking. "[These things] might affect the quality of the mattress and someone’s decision to purchase it." As when selling anything, you'll want to be upfront about these conditions to any potential buyers.
How Do You Sell a Used Mattress?
First and foremost, you want to make sure your mattress is clean—no one wants to buy someone else's stain-covered 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. Sites like OfferUp, eBay, Craigslist, and even Facebook Marketplace are popular options. Erin Carlyle, an editor at Houzz, also suggests asking local mattress retailers, "If you purchase a new mattress, sometimes the store will take the old one off your hands." Alternatively, seeing if friends or family are interested in purchasing 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.
According to her, an eye-catching listing is key to a successful transaction. "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 prepared: it might take some time for your item to sell. If you're looking to make a quick sale, she suggests lowering the price to attract more buyers.
So how much can you expect to make from selling your mattress? While it varies, Fish says you can expect between 20 and 30 percent of the retail price if it's in good condition. Happy selling!
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