Should You Buy a Second-Hand Mattress?

second hand mattress

Buying second-hand is easy on your pocket. But when you get a pre-owned mattress, you may get some pre-owned bonus stuff, too – dust mites, bed bugs, and stains. 

So, is buying a used mattress a wise thing to do?

Keep reading our guide for buying a second-hand mattress and find out!

Pros of Buying a Second-Hand Mattress

It’s Budget-Friendly

If you’re on a tight budget for mattress shopping, buying a used mattress can easily split your costs in half, and you’ll still have a new comfortable bed. Think of this: even a mattress that has been taken out from its package, and never really slept on, is considered a used mattress. The same goes for guest-room and showroom mattresses

It’s Eco-Friendly

In Australia, around 1.6 – 1.8 million used mattresses are sent to landfill each year. Recycling duvets and mattresses is challenging because their structure contains many artificial materials, such as latex, timber, coil springs, and foam. Simply throwing the bed away is bad for the planet, not to mention each of them takes up to 0.75 m³!

Why You Shouldn’t Buy a Used Mattress

Though the ultimate satisfaction of bargaining for a cheap deal sounds tempting, here’s why you should reconsider buying a used mattress: 

Hygienic and Health Risks

A quality mattress is crucial for a good night’s sleep. If you suffer from allergies or want to improve your neck or back pain, buying a used mattress might be the total opposite of what you’re aiming for

Consider the hygienic risks as well – the average person sheds 3.6 kg of dead skin cells every year. Bacteria, sweats, intimate liquids, and human oil are what you’ll get along with the bed. Not to mention spilt foods or drinks.

Bed Bugs and Dust Mites 

These pesky creatures are the number one thing causing allergic reactions, irritated skin and infection, heavy breathing, and asthma. Mites are impossible to spot when purchasing, and second-hand retailers can easily cover up the bed bug stains and smell. Moreover, infecting the house with bed bugs could bring you additional fumigation costs

Internal Damage

Second-hand retailers will cover up the merchandise’s flaws. The mattress might be broken and damaged, improperly maintained, or held in storage for way too long. Some areas of the mattress will start feeling used and wasted only after your body adapts to it. The sagging of the mattress might not be visible at first. This is why new mattresses come with a trial period. In the case of a used mattress, you’re unlikely to get one.

Shorter Lifespan

A high-quality bed’s lifespan is around eight to ten years. Thus, buying a five-year-old mattress might last you just a couple of years before needing a replacement.

No Warranty

Warranty is proof of the quality of the materials, the company’s name, and the product’s functioning. Used mattresses normally don’t come with a warranty. If you missed on inspecting the damages or realised something was off only after you’ve slept on the bed for some time – there’s no return!

Buying a Used Mattress Tips

If you’re still set on purchasing a pre-owned mattress, read our tips on buying a used mattress:

Check for Internal Damage

Buying a used mattress is always better on-spot. You shouldn’t buy a used mattress online because you’re limited to photos, and of course, there’s no return option. Check for broken springs, sagging, stains or loops.

Buy from a Reputable Source

There are ways to get a good deal and still be satisfied with the condition of your used mattress. Reputable retailers won’t hide any info from you and disclose all the details you might inquire about. Here are some things to ask:

  • How old is the bed? – a solid age for a used mattress is one or two years old.
  • For what purpose was it used (guest-room or regular use)? – maybe the owner didn’t use it much or held it in storage without bothering to return it for some reason.
  • Has it been sanitised? – most second-hand mattress sellers sanitise and restore the mattresses before putting them up for sale.

Sanitize It

If you’re wondering how to make a used mattress safe, here are the steps: 

  1. Vacuum it first – taking the dust away is the first step.
  2. Treat the stains – make a solution using equal parts of dish soap, hydrogen peroxide, and water; spray the mattress, and let it dry off.
  3. Finish with a layer of baking soda – spreading baking soda all over the mattress will help with cleaning liquid stains and take the unpleasant odour away; let it rest for 24 hours and vacuum it off.
  4. Expose it to natural sunlight – UV rays will kill most of the leftover bacteria.

What’s the Average Price for a Used Mattress?

It’s common for used mattresses to be sold for 20% to 30% of their original price. Thus, you can easily purchase a $1,000 mattress for $300 or even less

Try visiting a second-hand mattress sale, and there’s a good chance you’ll bump into a terrific deal!

Best Rejuvenated Mattresses 

While many Australian mattress companies, such as Koala, Eva, and Ecosa give their returned mattresses away to charities, others re-sell them for an attractive price, as rejuvenated or refurbished mattresses

Emma Rejuvenated Mattress

Emma’s rejuvenated mattresses are those that came back before their 200-night trial period ended. The company ensures there’s no internal damage and replaces the inner and outer covers. The mattress is then re-packaged and sold for a bargain price that can easily be at least 50% off the regular one.

Simba Refurbished Mattress

The Simba company sells mattresses that have been returned within their 200-night trial period. The Simba Refurbished Mattresses are hybrid mattresses combining coil springs and foam. They are sterilized and professionally refurbished by the Simba company and come with a very generous 30-day free return policy and an additional one-year warranty

Is Second-Hand the Best Option For a Mattress? 

Considering that people spend approximately one-third of their entire lifespan sleeping, choosing a perfect mattress sounds like a big deal.

Though mattresses are one of the most commonly sold second-hand objects, it is not very safe nor recommended.

Bed bugs, bacteria, sickness, infections, and allergies might come for free along with second-hand beds. 


1. Do people buy 2nd-hand mattresses? 

Safer than just using the mattress in the condition found from the previous owner, sanitized mattresses are still a potential source of allergies, bed bugs, sickness, and infections. 

3. How do I know if my mattress has bed bugs?

Tiny red dots on the mattress could be a sign of bed bugs. Also, recent stains (moisty ones) sized no more than a little dot or a circle, and yellow-pale coloured small stains, are a sign of bed bug presence, too.  

4. Is buying a used mattress a bad idea? 

Considering the health risks as well as hygienic risks, and the fact there are more cons than pros to the whole idea of second-hand mattress shopping, buying a second-hand mattress might be a bad idea, both for your comfort and your health.

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