Do advertisements for used mattresses make you cringe? Sometimes, this is a valid response. Other times, though, buying a mattress secondhand is a great way to get a good deal on an awesome bed. If you have just gotten a new mattress, selling your old one can be a good way to make a little cash.

Before You Sell

So, you have a new bed and you’re not sure if you should sell your old one. When deciding whether or not to sell your mattress, there are a few things to consider.

  • The age of your mattress. Different mattresses last different amounts of time, but many can last 10 years or more if they are properly cared for. If your mattress is at the end of its life, you may not want to bother trying to sell it. If on the other hand, it is somewhere in the middle, selling might be easy.
  • The type and brand of your mattress. If your mattress is an upscale or well-known brand with a good reputation, it will be easier to sell than if you bought it somewhere obscure. The type of mattress may influence your choice, too. Foam or latex mattresses tend to be harder to sell because people believe they don’t last as long as spring mattresses.
  • The care your mattress has received. Mattresses aren’t hard to care for, but there are a few things that can improve their resale value. You don’t want to sell a dirty, shredded mattress, or one that has weaker places or indentations from frequent use. If it’s in good condition, though, selling could be a great idea.

When You’re Ready to Sell

So your mattress has some life left, it’s the right kind, and you’ve taken good care of it. If you’re ready to sell, here are some steps you can take to get the best price:

  1. Clean your mattress. Even if you’ve kept it in pristine condition, use upholstery cleaners and sanitizers to help your mattress present its best face to the world. You can also use a steam cleaner to give the mattress a deep clean and assist with disinfection.
  2. Advertise. There are many ways to advertise your mattress for sale. You may want to actually sell it to a local secondhand shop, or you can advertise on Nextdoor, Craigslist, and other local listings.
  3. Be honest. If you’ve taken care of your mattress, say so. If you haven’t, or if it has some damage, note that in your advertisement. You may also want to take photos of anything that might raise a question, so potential buyers can see what’s going on and decide for themselves about your mattress.
  4. Take good photos. Try to photograph your mattress in natural light with a neutral background. Take pictures of anything you specifically want a customer to know about, like any damage or proof that you are actually selling the product you say you are selling (tags, labels, etc.)
  5. The brand and product name. Be sure to include the brand and product name in any listing. If you aren’t sure, you can say that, too. The more details you can give, the better chance you have of finding someone who is looking for your exact mattress.
  6. Your price. The best way to price a mattress is to see what similar used items are going for in your area. You are not likely to get anywhere near what you paid for the mattress, but you will make more in some parts of the country and less in others.

Maximizing Returns on Your Mattress

Even if you didn’t take good enough care of your previous mattress to sell it, you can make some changes so you can sell your next one. Here are some good ways to protect your mattress, so you can get the most value out of it when you resell it.

  • Rotate or flip it regularly (usually every 3-6 months).
  • Keep your kids and/or pets from playing on the bed. Jumping and clawing can cause extensive damage.
  • Keep candles away from your bed. Many mattresses catch fire easily and no one will buy a burned bed.
  • Use a protective mattress cover on your bed from the moment you get it. This may also be necessary to maintain your bed’s warranty.
  • Clean up all spills quickly and thoroughly, according to the manufacturer’s instructions
  • Wash your bedding regularly.

What If it Doesn’t Sell?

While it’s nice to get some cash for your old mattress, sometimes it just doesn’t work out. Fortunately, you are not stuck with your old mattress forever. You have a couple of good options for getting rid of it.

  • Donating. There are several places where you can donate your mattress. You can choose one that supports an issue that is close to your heart, like providing furniture for the poor or for veterans. Many of these organizations will pick up your mattress in exchange for the donation, so you don’t have to worry about that. As long as the organization is registered as a non-profit, they can also give you a receipt so you can write it off on your taxes.
  • Recycling. Different types of mattresses will be recycled in different ways, so you will need to figure out what will work for you. Most places that recycle mattresses will ask you to drop the mattress off, which can prohibit some people from taking advantage of this option. However, recycling a mattress is good for the world and provides materials for many different industries. If you can’t get yours to sell and you can get it to a recycling center, it’s worth the effort to do so.

Getting rid of an old mattress can feel daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. If yours is in good condition, try to sell it. If you don’t want to bother with that or don’t think it will sell, donate it or recycle it so you can do some good in the world while still saying goodbye to your old mattress.


by: Sarah Winfrey