• Used mattresses are an affordable alternative to new bedding. However, there are laws and regulations in place to protect consumers from unscrupulous retailers and potential health concerns.


    Federal law requires all mattresses containing used stuffing to have a tag or label with the necessary information. Individual states have their own laws regarding the sale of used mattresses, with most requiring either a red or yellow tag be attached to alert the consumer.


    The red and yellow tags on used mattresses serve different purposes. The red tag includes information about the mattress filling. The yellow tag means the mattress has been sanitized and includes the methods used, whether heat or chemical.


    Used mattress laws are in place to protect the consumer's health and well-being. Mattresses collect dirt, sweat, and other bodily fluids, possibly spreading bacteria, viruses, and parasites.


    Some consumers will keep a used mattress covered in plastic for added safety.


    If there is any question about the safety or legality of a used mattress, contact the local Department of Consumer Affairs.


    Federal Trade Commission

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