11 Things You Need to Know About Used Beds For Sale

slept in bed

11 Things You Need to Know About Used Beds for Sale

Buying a used bed could be a great way to save money, but there are a few things you should know before committing to secondhand furniture.

Is Buying a Used Bed Safe?

Buying used bedroom furniture is a great way to save money, but there are a few red flags that you should be aware of before purchasing an old mattress or bed frame. You’ll sleep better at night knowing that you took precautions before using your new secondhand furniture.

11 Things You Should Know About Buying a Used Bed

You never truly know what you’re getting when you buy something used. Whether it’s a laptop or a mattress, there’s always a risk associated with buying things used.

The good news is, there are 11 things that you can look for when buying a used bed to make sure that you’re keeping yourself safe and healthy.

1. Check the Mattress Thoroughly

It’s important that you check out mattresses thoroughly before buying them secondhand. Look for any rips, holes, or inconsistencies. You’ll want to do this carefully because old mattresses could be hosting bed bugs that are hard to get rid of and can be a hazard to your health (we’ll talk more about bed bugs later).

Just like buying anything else that’s been used, it’s important to know exactly what you’re getting. You wouldn’t buy a used laptop without turning it on first. Checking out the mattress is a good way to see what you’re getting. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about rips or holes because they could be masking bigger problems.

messy bed with green pillows

2. Ask About the History of the Bed

While you’re with the sellers, ask about the history of the bed. This seems silly, but you can gain crucial information when asking the right questions. 

Ask if they bought it new and when they bought it. The answer to this question will provide great information about the bed, where it came from, and how old it is. If they bought the bed new and within the last two or three years, it’s likely going to still be in great shape, which is good news for you. 

If they bought the bed used (or it was given to them from someone who used it), this should lead you to more questions. Ask about how long the previous owner had it. They may not know the answer to that question, but if they do, it will provide you with some insight into how old the mattress is. 

If they bought the mattress used, ask how long they have had it since buying it secondhand. Ask about information from its previous owner (again, they may not know the answer to this, but it’s worth a try). If they bought it new, ask if they had a warranty and if they’ve had any issues causing them to use the warranty. 

3. Know the Lifespan of Various Mattress Types

The average rule of thumb for any mattress is 7-10 years. This number is higher for some mattress types and lower for others. You’ll want to do some research before buying a used mattress to know the specific lifespan of the mattress type you’re looking to buy. 

Spring Mattress 

A standard innerspring mattress has a lifespan of 5-7 years when bought new from a mattress store. This is important to know because if you are looking to buy a secondhand mattress and the person you’re buying from has used the mattress for five years, it’s already at the end of its lifespan. In this case, you’ll probably want to look for another option or consider buying a new mattress. 

Memory Foam Mattress 

A typical memory foam mattress has a lifespan of 8-10 years. This is good news if you’re looking to buy or sell a used memory foam mattress because they stay good for a bit longer. It’s important to remember that this type of mattress often starts to form dips on the sides where people typically sleep. If you’re buying a memory foam mattress secondhand, you might want to look at the bed from an angle to see if there’s a severe dip on the sides or in the middle, which could make sleeping uncomfortable. 

slept in bed

Latex Mattress 

A new latex mattress has a lifespan of 10-12 years. Because that is longer than other types, these mattresses are often more expensive. They’re made with natural latex, which feels similar to memory foam, but stronger. 

If you’re buying a used latex mattress, ask if it’s real latex or synthetic latex. If you have extreme latex allergies, you’ll probably want to stay away from a natural latex mattress. Synthetic latex mattresses should not trigger allergies but won’t last quite as long as natural latex.

Hybrid Mattress

The typical lifespan of a hybrid mattress is 8-10 years. Hybrid mattresses are typically made with memory foam or latex and have springs for additional support. If you’re buying a used hybrid mattress, ask about the materials in this specific hybrid mattress. Latex hybrid mattresses will last longer than memory foam hybrid mattresses.

4. Consider How Long You Need to Use the Bed

Before buying a used mattress, you need to consider how long you plan to have the mattress. If you’re looking for a bed that will last you at least five years, but you’re set on buying used and saving some money, you’ll want to look at memory foam or latex mattresses because they have longer lifespans. Buying a used memory foam mattress or latex mattress will allow you to have the bed much longer than purchasing a used spring mattress.

If you plan on buying a used mattress for a guest room and it will only get used a few times a year, you’ll have more buying options. On the other hand, if the bed is for you and will be used every night, it’s essential to consider how old the mattress is and how long you plan to use it.

This means you might have to shop around for a while until you find a used bed that still has enough life in it to last you for a few years. That’s one of the downfalls of buying secondhand furniture, but it can certainly be accomplished with some patience. 

slept in bed in the morning

5. Consider the Type of Mattress You’re Looking For

Now that you know the lifespan of different mattresses and you have an idea of how long you need a used mattress to last, you can make a confident decision in buying a secondhand bed.

If you’re looking for a used spring bed, you’ll want to make sure it’s less than five years old. That will give you a few years before it reaches the end of its lifespan. 

If you’re looking for a used memory foam bed or hybrid bed, you’ll want to make sure it’s less than eight years old. Again, this will give you a few years to use the bed before it starts to wear out.

If you’re looking for a used latex bed, make sure it’s less than ten years old. You’ll have more options since these mattresses last longer, but they’re also a bit more expensive, so you’ll have to keep that in mind as well. 

6. Compare New and Used Prices

Most of the time, buying secondhand furniture is the better option if you’re trying to save money. However, there are a few instances when buying new mattresses might actually save you money. 

If you are looking for a mattress that you can use for years to come, you might be better off buying a new mattress. A used bed might save you money right now, but you’ll likely have to buy another one in the next few years anyway. Buying a new mattress will be more expensive up front, but you know exactly how many years you’ll get out of it. 

Buying a new hybrid mattress may be expensive right now, but you won’t have to purchase another bed for the next 8 to 10 years — a nice, long period for you to enjoy stress-free sleep. 

Comparing prices between old and new beds might surprise you. If you have coupons or catch a mattress store during a sale, you might find a new mattress for the same price or cheaper than secondhand. You may have to be patient, but the right timing could save you hundreds of dollars and earn you a new mattress. 

modern bed with messy sheets

7. Buy a Mattress Protector

Whether you purchase a new or used mattress, it’s a good idea to buy a mattress protector. These covers prolong the life of your mattress and protect them from spills and other unexpected accidents, dirt and dust, and even bed bugs. 

One of the main benefits of using a mattress protector is that they’re water-resistant. If you have kids or pets, you know that spills can happen fast. Using a mattress protector will keep your mattress free of spills, and all you’ll have to worry about is cleaning the sheets

Another benefit of mattress protectors is that they keep your mattress free of dust, skin cells, and bacteria. It’s not a fun thing to think about, but we stir up dust that contains skin cells and bacteria that could get stuck in our mattresses every day. Over time, these particles can cause allergies and even mild cold symptoms. 

You can purchase a mattress protector at almost any mattress store or online for around $20. That extra expense will go a long way toward increasing the lifespan of your mattress and boosting your health. 

8. Ask About a Bed Frame

Chances are if someone is selling a used mattress, they probably also have a bed frame that goes with it. Most sellers will be getting rid of an old mattress because they are upgrading or moving. This means they will need to either find a new bed frame for their new bed or get rid of the bed frame they were using. 

It’s not a bad idea to ask the seller if they are still using the bed frame they had for the mattress or if they’re trying to sell it. Sometimes sellers post things separately, and they might have posted their bed frame for sale without you knowing about it. Asking them might prompt them to give you a two-for-one deal, and you might get a discounted price on the set. It’s always worth asking about instead of assuming you’ll have to go out and buy a new bed frame. 

bed with orange pillow

9. Bring Your Own Measuring Tape

This one might seem silly, but sometimes people get their measurements wrong. If you’re looking for a bed to fit in a specific space or room in your house, it’s a good idea to bring your measuring tape and make sure it will fit. A mattress retailer will have specific dimensions of each bed, but if you’re buying secondhand, or from yard sales, the seller may not know the dimensions. 

Most queen-size beds are 60 inches wide by 80 inches long, and most king-size beds are 76 inches wide by 80 inches long. This is a good guide to help you before you purchase your secondhand mattress, and this lets you know what the dimensions should be before you go.

10. Ask Questions Before You Leave

When you get caught up in the moment, it might be difficult to remember all the questions you plan to ask a seller. It’s a good idea to write down a few questions before you meet the seller, so you don’t forget them once you start talking with each other. 

Ask specific questions about the history of the mattress (which we covered earlier), and ask about who was using the bed. If a child was using a queen-size mattress for just a few years, it’s probably in better shape than if a couple was using it. 

Also, ask about bed bugs. It’s not a fun topic, but it’s important to know the history of the mattress and find out if there have been bed bugs present. This is a very important conversation because if there were bed bugs, you’d want to take extra care in sanitizing and cleaning the bed before bringing it into your home. 

You may also want to ask about a return policy. If you’re buying from an individual seller, they won’t be able to give you an official warranty, but they may let you bring it back after a couple of nights if you don’t sleep well on it. Again, it never hurts to ask!

unmade bed with grey sheets

11. Sanitize the Bed Before Using It

When you buy a used bed you’ll want to sanitize it before bringing it into your home and using it. Once you bring it home, check it outside for bed bugs one more time. You’ll be able to see them in the corners of the bed, and there will also be small dark spots present on the mattress when you have bed bugs.

If you notice bed bugs, keep the mattress outside until you completely sanitize and clean the bed. When you’re sanitizing a used mattress, there are a few steps that you can take to make the process fairly easy.

First, you’ll want to vacuum the entire mattress thoroughly. Make sure you vacuum both sides, the corners, and the edges. After you finish vacuuming, you can spot clean any stains that you might see with a stain remover. After that, you’ll want to steam clean the entire mattress with baking soda and an antibacterial spray.

Steam cleaning will allow tough dirt and grime to come up without you having to use too much elbow grease. Once it’s been steam cleaned, let it dry outside. You’ll want to check it again after you’ve sanitized it for bed bugs, but once you know it’s clean, you’re good to go!

What To Do After Buying a Used Bed

Now that you’ve successfully purchased your used bed, you’ll want to find an appropriate bed frame for it. If you like saving money and you enjoy vintage furniture, you could look for bed frames at yard sales, antique shops, and estate sales. 

Remember that the bed frame should be a few inches wider than your mattress, so make sure you bring your measuring tape if you are buying a used bed frame. 

Once you’ve got the perfect bed frame, you can find the best place in your house for it. Stay patient during this process because you might have to try a few different options before finding one you love. 

Depending on the mattress size, you might have to position the bed in creative ways to maximize your space. Try to get an idea of where you’ll want things to go before getting the bed and bed frame in the room. Knowing how you’re going to arrange your furniture will save you (or your movers) time while installing the furniture. 

Remember to keep up with the age of your mattress. Switching your mattress out when it reaches the end of its lifespan will help you continue getting restful sleep for years to come!

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