Why you should never buy a second hand mattress

There are times when you may be tempted to go for a second hand mattress, even if the idea of sleeping on someone else’s old bed doesn’t exactly fill you with joy. It could be that a friend has bought a new mattress and offers you his or her old one for free, or a change in family circumstances means you could inherit a used mattress. Alternatively, money could be tight and although you need a child’s mattress, you’re looking to save every penny you can. Whatever the circumstances, if at all possible, resist the urge to take the second hand option – no matter how well intended the offer of a used mattress may be.

What’s the harm?

Apart from not being sure just what the mattress has been through – remember Tracey Emin’s used and unmade bed as art installation that caused so much fuss ( and disgust, for some) when it went on show at London’s Tate Gallery? – second hand mattresses can be bad for your health. Studies have shown that in some cases used mattresses could be to blame for ‘cot death’ or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). An old mattress is likely to be harbouring a range of bacteria, moulds, and dust mites which could be linked to cot death, according to the Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths.

The ‘yuk’ factor

Mattresses have a natural life span depending on how regularly they’re used, but if a mattress is seven to eight years old, it’s probably past its best. Using a mattress this age – or older – means you’re sleeping in a lot of ‘stuff’ that’s been accumulated over time, and none of it’s yours! On top of that, you could be sleeping in someone else’s groove and actually end up with some new aches and pains from the lumps and bumps in the mattress you’ve inherited. The good news is that you don’t have to buy or inherit an old mattress when new mattresses are so affordable and let’s face it, even the cheapest new mattress has to be a better option than a second hand one!