There are many new cheap online mattresses you can buy instead of a used mattress

Buying a Used Mattress: Money-saving Idea or Health Risk?

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Once upon a time, good quality mattresses were expensive. No so any more. The proliferation of cheap online mattresses means you can get a high quality mattress for half or even a third of what they cost in brick and mortar stores.

So really there’s no excuse for buying a used mattress.

New mattresses have not only gotten cheaper, most sellers provide easy financing opportunities through services like Klarna and Affirm. They allow you to pay for a mattress in manageable chunks rather than the paying the whole amount at once.

If you are still thinking about springing for a used Serta or Stearns & Foster on eBay, here are five reasons why it’s a bad idea.

1. Bedbugs

Your used mattress might have bedbugs

You won’t notice them until you’ve started sleeping on the mattress. By then, they’ve spread to your bedding and other furniture and you have to throw everything out.

Removing bed bugs in a mattress is notoriously difficult. Why put yourself through it?

These critters are the reason why it’s also a good idea to stay away from used upholstered furniture.

2. Internal damage

Pictures can tell you a lot. But they may not give you the whole story.

Buying a used mattress online is risky because you cannot tell whether there is any internal damage just from the pictures posted. You’ll realize too late that some of the springs are broken or the mattress sags one side when you sleep on it.

Even when you get the chance to examine it physically before buying, you may still miss the damage. You’ll only realize a few nights later when you keep turning at night and wake up daily with an aching back.

It’s not worth it.

Sleep is extremely important for your health, mental well being and productivity. A good quality mattress is important for good sleep. Buying a new good quality mattress is essentially an investment that pays off in many ways.

3. Short lifespan and no warranty

Unlike cars, I’ve yet to find a mattress manufacturer that allows a transfer of warranty. Only the original buyer is covered.

So you are left with a used mattress with a shorter lifespan since it has already been slept on and no warranty to cover you in case of anything.

Compare that to a brand new mattress that is comfortable, will last 10-15 years and comes with a 10-20 year warranty. Some online mattress brands nowadays even offer lifetime warranties.

4. No returns

What are you going to do if the mattress turns out to be really uncomfortable? Maybe too soft to support you or too firm that it hurts your hips.

Well, you just have to suck it up and live with it or spend extra money on a mattress pad. It's not like the mattress is visibly damaged that you can demand a refund.

New online mattresses on the other hand come with 100-night trial periods and other companies let you test the mattress for a whole year.

If you don’t like it, just send it back for free. No questions asked and no risks taken.

5. The icky factor

Mattresses get dirty, really dirty. It’s easily the dirtiest object in the bedroom.

A used mattress will harbor pounds of dust, dust mites, pet hair, cockroach dander, bacteria (including oral and genital bacteria), dead skin cells and gallons of old sweat.

That’s not to mention the weird stains, rotten bits of food and whatever else may have made a home in the mattress.

This is not just about feeling disgusted. It could actually affect your health. Imagine spending hours a night on that bed, breathing in all that stuff and getting your skin in contact with it.

Do you still want to buy a used mattress?

Tips for Buying a Used Mattress (If You Really Have To)

  • Buy a lightly-used or a bought-but-never-used mattress.
  • Buy from well-known retailers who’ll often sanitize and refurbish a used mattress before selling it. Some add a label showing the condition of the mattress.
  • When you buy the mattress check carefully for signs of bedbugs before you bring it inside the house. To be safe, even if you don’t find anything, use a water and bedbug proof mattress cover.
  • Sanitize a used mattress before using it. Use an antibacterial household cleaner to wipe the surface and leave the mattress in the sun for at least a full day.

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