If you’ve decided to buy a new mattress, you are likely wondering what to do with your old one. To help offset the costs of a new one, many people choose to sell their used mattresses. However, of all the household items you could sell used, a mattress is one of the most difficult. If you’re wondering how to sell a used mattress, this guide breaks things down step-by-step. Please note, if your mattress is over five or six years old, it’s probably not worth being sold at all, as the average lifespan of a mattress is around 7 years.

The process of selling a used mattress involves researching local laws and regulations, setting a price, advertising your bed, and finding a buyer. Here’s a step-by-step guide to getting rid of your old mattress:

1. Research Applicable Laws & Regulations

First off, understand that the sale of used mattresses is subject to far more regulation than most household items. In most parts of the US, used mattresses are allowed to be resold – but they must meet certain labeling and/or processing requirements.

Used mattress sale laws are regulated on the state level, so you’ll need to check for specific regulations in your local area. Some states require that mattresses be professionally sanitized before being sold. Most states require that used mattresses be properly labeled as “used”. Others disallow the sale of used mattresses, but allow for the sale of certain components of the mattress. Still others have very few, if any, regulations.

If your state allows retailers to sell used mattresses (most don’t), see if there are any used mattress stores in your area. If so, selling your bed to a retailer will likely be your easiest route. You won’t get as much for it as you would selling directly to a buyer, but there will be far less hassle involved.

2. Set a Price

If you’ve determined that it’s legal (and worth your time) to sell your used mattress, it’s time to determine a good price for it. Generally speaking, a fair market price for a used mattress will be somewhere around 20-30% of the original retail value. So,for example, if you paid $1,000 for a memory foam mattress originally, you will likely be able to sell it for $200 to $300.

With that said, various factors can influence the fair market value of a used mattress:

  • How old it is (a 3 year old mattress may fetch twice as much as a 7 year old mattress)
  • How often it was used (primary bed vs. guest bedroom)
  • The mattress’ physical condition, stains, visible sagging, etc.
  • The mattress’ brand and reviews
  • Seller perks (delivery included, or pick-up only)

3. Write an Advertisement

Next, it’s time to write up an advertisement describing your used mattress. You want to be truthful and honest about its current condition, while also highlighting its selling points. Try to include all of the following information:

  • Brand and model
  • Mattress size (if you’re unsure, measure it and check out our mattress size guide)
  • Mattress type (innerspring, hybrid, or all-foam)
  • Materials used (polyfoam, springs, latex, memory foam, etc.)
  • Fabrics used in the cover
  • The age of the mattress
  • The use of the mattress (guest bed vs. primary bed)
  • Whether or not you used a mattress protector/pad
  • Any issues you have had, or other details worth highlighting

List your asking price, and whether or not your price is firm. If you’re open to offers, you can mention that your price is “Or Best Offer” (OBO).

Lastly, you’ll want to mention where the item is located, if you’re able to deliver it, and if you’re comfortable having people come to your home to check it out. Be sure to also list your contact information.

4. Choose a Marketplace

Next, you’ll need to select where to advertise your mattress. In most cases, outlets such as Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace will be your best bet. Here are some options to try:

  • Facebook Marketplace
  • Craigslist
  • OfferUp app
  • LetGo app
  • eBay Classifieds
  • Kijiji (Canada)

You’ll likely want to select whichever website or app is most active in your area. In most cases, this means either Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, or OfferUp/LetGo. All of these marketplaces are free for sellers, so there is no harm in listing across multiple venues.

In most cases, online shopping marketplaces like Amazon and eBay are impractical for mattresses, as they require sellers to ship their items. So, you’ll want to stick to local-focused, pickup-driven marketplaces.

5. Sell Your Mattress!

Once you’ve listed your used mattress on Craigslist or another used local marketplace, it’s time to wait for inquiries from prospective buyers. If a week or two has gone by without much interest, you can try one of several strategies:

  • “Bump” up or repost your listing
  • Lower the price
  • Change the listing title to be more eye-catching
  • Offer to deliver the item, and highlight this (many people are unable to pick up a used mattress)

Depending on your local area’s population and other factors, you may have to wait a while to sell your mattress. Used mattresses are not generally in very high demand, as most people prefer to buy new.

6. Consider Donating

If you are unable to sell your mattress, or the process seems like too much of a hassle, a good alternative is to donate your mattress. Local charities like Habitat for Humanity, Goodwill, and various religious organizations may accept used mattresses in good condition. Homeless shelters are another potential option.

Since each charity is different, it’s best to simply call around to see who may accept your donation. Be sure to accurately describe your bed, and let them know if you can deliver it, or if you require it to be picked up.

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