Is It Illegal To Sell a Used Mattress?

The legality of selling a used mattress is a subject that causes many controversies. Is it illegal to sell a used mattress? For the most part, it isn’t. However, it’s not as simple as it seems.

There are many things to consider, such as state laws and regulations around tags and cleanliness. We'll walk you through it all so you can stop worrying about getting rid of that old mattress.

This article will dispel misunderstandings and give you information on how to sell your mattress.

The Laws for Selling Used Mattresses in Each State

As you ponder if it's illegal to sell a used mattress, it is crucial to look at the laws in your state. Each state has different regulations for selling a used mattress. If you are unsure about your state’s requirements, contact your local health department or the Attorney General's office for more information.

In Which States is it Legal To Sell Used Mattresses?

In most states, selling a used mattress is legal if you comply with regulations.  

Let's first look at the states that allow you to sell a used mattress after disclosing it to the buyer. You can sell your mattress in the following states by following these rules:

  • Clearly label the mattress as a used mattress
  • Completely sanitize the mattress
  • Do not claim that the mattress is new

Here are the states where retailers and individuals can sell a used mattress.

  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Illinois
  • Iowa
  • Kentucky
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin

Individuals can sell used mattresses in these states, while retailers cannot:

  • Indiana
  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • New York (retailers can sell with a special license)
  • Washington

You should contact your health department in the last set of states for legal specifics:

  • Alaska
  • Idaho
  • Maine
  • New Hampshire
  • North Dakota
  • Oklahoma
  • Rhode Island
  • South Dakota
  • Wyoming

Which States Prohibit the Sale of Used Mattresses?

Kansas is the only state that precludes retailers or individuals from selling a used mattress.

Federal Flammability Standard

The Federal Flammability Standard is the national regulation applied to mattress manufacturing. The Consumer Product Safety Commission(CPSC) enforces it. The Standard applies to all mattresses sold in the United States.

All mattresses must meet the Federal Flammability Standard, which includes passing tests like being placed on top of smoldering cigarettes or burned matches. The mattress becomes compliant if it does not ignite within a specific time.

Legal Specifics in Certain States

In some states, additional regulations for selling used mattresses exist. These include the following.

  • California:There cannot be any noticeablestain on a mattress.
  • Alabama:You cannot state that the used mattress is new.
  • Hawaii:Clearly label the condition of the materials.
  • Texas:Sanitize and use clear labeling.

Legal Considerations Before Selling a Used Mattress

While you should be confident about selling your used mattress, you should take the time to research your local laws and regulations. Before making the sale, take into account the following legal concerns.


Cleaning is one of the most critical steps in selling a used mattress. Make sure to sanitize and properly dispose of any debris before selling it. You may be at risk and held responsible for an infestation or other contamination if it is not clean.


Most states require labeling practices before selling a used mattress. You should label it with "used" or "not new." You might want to include information about the overall condition, prior owners, or any repairs made to it.


Some states require you to declare the filling before selling a used mattress. Be aware of the regulations around this aspect of the sale.


In some states, you must use a yellow or red tag system to indicate the condition of the used mattress. Please read the following tagging information carefully.

Yellow tag: A yellow tag on a mattress means the owner cleaned and sanitized it, indicating that it is safe to sleep on.

Red tag: The red color reveals a rebuilt mattress. Or that it includes recycled or used materials.

Both tags: You must include the yellow and red tags if the mattress is rebuilt from recycled or used materials and you cleaned and sanitized it.

White tag: A white color indicates that a mattress is brand new.

Do not take these tags lightly when selling your used mattress. Only the buyer should remove the tags after completing a sale.

Selling an old mattress without meeting your local tagging requirements may result in legal consequences. Always double-check your state's laws.

How To Sell Your Used Mattress Legally?

Have you checked your local regulatory requirements? If you've followed all the regulations and tagged your mattress, you might wonder how to sell your used mattress.

Where Can You Sell Your Used Mattress?

Many platforms exist where you can successfully sell used mattresses; below are a few suggestions.

Facebook Marketplace: You can reach your audience on the Facebook Marketplace, making it easy to find the right buyer for your mattress.

Amazon: Amazon provides an extensive network of buyers looking for used mattresses.

eBay: On eBay, create a specific listing for the mattress, so potential buyers know what they're getting.

OfferUp: OfferUp is an online platform that allows people to buy and sell items locally. It is often easier to find local buyers this way since shipping is unnecessary.

LetGo: LetGo is a place to find buyers in your local area. You can use the app to post mattress pictures and let potential buyers know the tagging details and overall mattress condition.

Craigslist: Craigslist is one of the most popular places to buy and sell items online, including mattresses. It is essential to list comprehensive details of the mattress for buyers to decide.

Garage Sale: Hosting an in-person garage sale is one way to sell your used mattress. Ensure you have all the required labeling and clean the mattress before hosting a sale.

Consignment Store: You can reach out to local consignment stores and see if they want to purchase your mattress.

How Should You Prepare for Selling Your Used Mattress?

Once you've chosen a platform to sell your mattress, you should prepare it for sale. Here are some tips on how to do that.

Advertise the Condition of Your Used Mattress

To successfully sell a used mattress, you must think through the advertising process.

Picture: Take good photos of the mattress and include them when listing it for sale.

Fabrics: Make sure to mention the material used to cover the mattress, such as cotton or polyester.

Materials: Specify the internal materials, such as latex foam, spring coils, memory foam, or poly foam.

Size: Include the mattress size and whether it is a twin, full, queen, or king.

Age: Mention how old the mattress is and for how long you have had it.

Its use: To offer potential purchasers a sense of the mattress' condition, describe how you utilized it.  

Setting resale price: Determine a reasonable price based on the age and condition of the mattress. You can go on any of the above-mentioned sales platforms to get an idea of pricing.

Any issues related to the use of the mattress: Mention any potential problems or concerns buyers should know before they make a purchase.

State-by-State Guide to Selling Used Mattresses

To abide by all legal requirements, you must be familiar with your state's laws. The easiest way is to get in touch with your local health department. Rather than wondering if you're following the correct regulations, you will learn precisely how to succeed in successfully selling a used mattress. 

Other Than Selling, What Else Can You Do With a Used Mattress?

There are alternative possibilities for disposal if you can't sell your old mattress. You could donate the mattress to local organizations such as a homeless shelter or charity organization or recycle it through programs in some cities and states.

Wrapping Things Up

Is it illegal to sell a used mattress? Selling a used mattress is legal in most states, but it is essential to understand the laws and regulations about selling it. It is best practice to appropriately label, clean, and sanitize the mattress before selling it and to ensure that the buyer is aware of any potential issues.

Now it's your turn! Your next step is to contact your local department of health. Ask them for the specific laws regulating the sale of used mattresses in your state. Then, you can follow the information above to sell it and earn some extra cash.