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Is It Legal to Sell a Used Mattress? A State-by-State Guide

Is It Legal to Sell a Used Mattress? A State-by-State Guide

by

Aoife O.
 | 
Sep 23, 2020

Buying a used mattress may be inconceivable for most people with the general consensus being that they are dirty and unhealthy. But, this is not always the case. Buying a used mattress or a mattress made with used fillings could save you money and be environmentally friendly. 


Selling used mattresses law varies state-by-state. Some states have an outright ban on selling used mattresses, and others allow it on the strict condition that the mattress is sanitized before the sale. Federal law requires mattress resellers to label the mattress as being used. This ensures you’re buying a clean used mattress that is healthy and comfortable. 


Used Mattress FAQs

Can You Sell a Used Mattress?

Regulations on selling a used mattress for retailers are typically quite stringent. The mattress must be clearly labeled and sanitized. A mattress can be labeled used if it’s removed from its packaging and not been slept on. A used mattress, as long as it’s sanitized, could be comfortable and save you money. 

For an individual who is selling a used mattress to another individual is typically not regulated and up to the consumer to decide if buying a used mattress is suitable for them. 

Is It Legal to Sell a Used Mattress?

The regulations for the sale of used mattresses typically just apply to retailers. A retailer selling a mattress that contains recycled materials must be clearly labeled. An individual can buy a used mattress from another individual but it is advised to ensure the mattress is sanitized before buying to ensure a clean sleep space. 

Should I Buy a Used Mattress?

When buying a used mattress from an individual it is advisable to ensure the mattress is sanitized before buying. A used mattress could provide a comfy sleep space and save you money. See our guide Practical Tips for Buying Used Mattresses for more information. If you do buy a used mattress, we recommend using a mattress protector or mattress topper with it.


Federal Laws on Selling Used Mattresses 

The laws and regulations for selling and buying a used mattress vary from state to state. Legal considerations to consider before buying a used mattress include:

  • 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: Federal law in some states require that the used mattress displays a color-coded tag to highlight its condition. 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 and What They Mean

  • Yellow Tag: The mattress has been sanitized

  • Red Tag: The mattress contains used material, typically the filling

The tagging system applies to businesses and retailers only—they're not required for individual-to-individual sales. The rules for selling used mattresses differ from state to state, so check yours before selling or buying.


Federal Flammability Standard

Federal flammability standards have been in effect since July 2007 and ensure the mattress is made of materials that are not as easily flammable. The mattress must not exceed 200 kW peak heat in the first 30 minutes of safety tests. This makes mattress fires less likely and enures a fire does not spread as quickly if one occurred. Your used mattress must meet the federal flammability standard.


State Laws on Selling Used Mattresses 

Is selling mattresses illegal? California prohibits the sale of mattress with visible stains. In Texas, the used mattress must be cleaned and has a tag to indicate the mattress is used. Individuals in New York can buy a used mattress. State law differs in every state, contact your local department of health for full details on selling used mattresses law.  

The laws and regulations for selling and buying a used mattress vary from state to state.


State-by-State Guide to Selling Used Mattresses 

*Disclaimer: Contact your local department of health, as regulations on used mattresses could change. 

  • 1) Is it illegal to sell a used mattress in Alabama? (AL): No, but it is illegal to claim a used mattress is new.
  • 2) Is it illegal to sell a used mattress in Alaska? (AK): Contact your local department of health.
  • 3) Is it illegal to sell a used mattress in Arizona? (AZ): No, but used mattresses must be sanitized before sale.
  • 4) Is it illegal to sell a used mattress in Arkansas? (AR): No, but it is illegal to claim a used mattress is new.
  • 5) Is it illegal to sell a used mattress in California? (CA): No, unless the mattress has visible stains .
  • 6) Is it illegal to sell a used mattress in Colorado? (CO): No, but used mattress must be sanitized before sale.
  • 7) Is it illegal to sell a used mattress in Connecticut? (CT): No, but used mattresses must be sanitized and correctly labeled.
  • 8) Is it illegal to sell a used mattress in Delaware? (DE): No, but used mattresses must be sanitized before sale.
  • 9) Is it illegal to sell a used mattress in Florida? (FL): No, but used mattresses must be sanitized before sale.
  • 10) Is it illegal to sell a used mattress in Georgia? (GA): No, but used filling must be labeled.
  • 11) Is it illegal to sell a used mattress in Hawaii? (HI): No, but the condition of materials must be clearly labeled.
  • 12) Is it illegal to sell a used mattress in Idaho? (ID): Contact your local department of health.
  • 13) Is it illegal to sell a used mattress in Illinois? (IL): No, but the condition must be clearly labeled.
  • 14) Is it illegal to sell a used mattress in Indiana? (IN): Yes, for a retailer. However, individuals can sell a used mattress to another individual.
  • 15) Is it illegal to sell a used mattress in Iowa? (IA): No, but the condition must be clearly labeled.
  • 16) Is it illegal to sell a used mattress in Kansas? (KS): Yes.
  • 17) Is it illegal to sell a used mattress in Kentucky? (KY): No, but the condition must be clearly labeled.
  • 18) Is it illegal to sell a used mattress in Louisiana? (LA): Yes, for a retailer. However, an individual can sell a used mattress to another individual.
  • 19) Is it illegal to sell a used mattress in Maine? (ME): Contact your local department of health.
  • 20) Is it illegal to sell a used mattress in Maryland? (MD): Yes, for a retailer. However, an individual can sell a used mattress to another individual.
  • 21) Is it illegal to sell a used mattress in Massachusetts? (MA): No, but the condition must be clearly labeled.
  • 22) Is it illegal to sell a used mattress in Michigan? (MI): No, but the condition must be clearly labeled.
  • 23) Is it illegal to sell a used mattress in Minnesota? (MN): No, but used mattress must be sanitized before sale.
  • 24) Is it illegal to sell a used mattress in Mississippi? (MS): No, but the condition must be clearly labeled.
  • 25) Is it illegal to sell a used mattress in Missouri? (MO): No, but the condition must be clearly labeled.
  • 26) Is it illegal to sell a used mattress in Montana? (MT): No, but the condition must be clearly labeled.
  • 27) Is it illegal to sell a used mattress in Nebraska? (NE): No law on selling used mattresses.
  • 28) Is it illegal to sell a used mattress in Nevada? (NV): No, but used mattresses must be sanitized before sale.
  • 29) Is it illegal to sell a used mattress in New Hampshire? (NH): Contact your local department of health.
  • 30) Is it illegal to sell a used mattress in New Jersey? (NJ): No, but used mattresses must be sanitized before sale.
  • 31) Is it illegal to sell a used mattress in New Mexico? (NM): No, but used mattresses must be sanitized before sale.
  • 32) Is it illegal to sell a used mattress in New York? (NY): No, but retailers need a special license.
  • 33) Is it illegal to sell a used mattress in North Carolina? (NC): No, but used mattresses must be sanitized before sale.
  • 34) Is it illegal to sell a used mattress in North Dakota? (ND): Contact your local department of health.
  • 35) Is it illegal to sell a used mattress in Ohio? (OH): No, but the condition must be clearly labeled.
  • 36) Is it illegal to sell a used mattress in Oklahoma? (OK): Contact your local department of health.
  • 37) Is it illegal to sell a used mattress in Oregon? (OR): No, but the condition must be clearly labeled.
  • 38) Is it illegal to sell a used mattress in Pennsylvania? (PA): No, but the condition must be clearly labeled.
  • 39) Is it illegal to sell a used mattress in Rhode Island? (RI): Contact your local department of health.
  • 40) Is it illegal to sell a used mattress in South Carolina? (SC): No, but used mattresses must be sanitized before sale.
  • 41) Is it illegal to sell a used mattress in South Dakota? (SD): Contact your local department of health.
  • 42) Is it illegal to sell a used mattress in Tennessee? (TN): No, but the condition must be clearly labeled.
  • 43) Is it illegal to sell a used mattress in Texas? (TX): No, but used mattresses must be sanitized and clearly labeled.
  • 44) Is it illegal to sell a used mattress in Utah? (UT): No, but the condition must be clearly labeled.
  • 45) Is it illegal to sell a used mattress in Vermont? (VT): No, but it is illegal to claim a used mattress is new.
  • 46) Is it illegal to sell a used mattress in Virginia? (VA): No, but used mattresses must be sanitized before sale.
  • 47) Is it illegal to sell a used mattress in Washington? (WA): Yes, for a retailer. However, an individual can sell a used mattress to another individual.
  • 48) Is it illegal to sell a used mattress in West Virginia? (WV): No, but the condition must be clearly labeled.
  • 49) Is it illegal to sell a used mattress in Wisconsin? (WI): No, but the condition must be clearly labeled.
  • 50) Is it illegal to sell a used mattress in Wyoming? (WY): Contact your local department of health.

Conclusion

In many states, the law for retailers to sell used mattresses typically expects used mattresses to be clearly labeled. Contact your local department of health for current legislation on selling used mattresses law as it could change as time goes on.


Many people consider buying a used mattress to be unsanitary, but, a mattress that is removed from its packaging and has not been slept on is considered used. A used mattress that has been professionally sanitized and clearly labeled could provide a clean and comfortable sleep space if you’re keen to save a little money.

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