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When thinking about second hand mattresses you really may want to think again before accepting one. Look back to the day parents and grandparents often would hand down their old mattress to their children or grandchildren and ask yourself is this really a good idea?
Today there are even more resources to locate used mattresses through community type websites like Craigs List, Backpage and Freecycle. Landfills don’t want them, buyers of new mattresses don’t want them, and most people in general don’t want them yet people knowingly or unknowingly are taking the risk.
One reason may be our checking account which can benefit the most from sleeping on a used mattress not to mention landfills won’t complain considering today’s environmental concerns of composting issues, and lack of space. One big advantage for persons buying a used mattress is that they should have weathered the storm from potentially harmful VOC’s often found in new mattresses because they have had years to off gas. This seems to make a pretty solid case for why a person might want to buy a used mattress but as we look deeper into this subject we find another side to this story.
Concerns of dust mites for mattresses are a potential danger just like the well publicized old stuffed animals for kids. Mattresses are different from a child’s stuffed animal which can be tossed in a dryer or place in a freezer for a couple days to kill dust mites. In addition to dustmites old mattresses can and usually are full of mold or mildew an obvious health hazard. After looking at a mattress under the microscope we think you would gracefully say no thank you to the free or cheap mattresses which can be so easily obtained.
Other more obvious signs are worn and stained surface materials which also can severely affect allergies and breathing. Mattress odor is another more obvious sign that can be a combination of many things. Perspiration, body oils, blood, urine, saliva can be absorbed in to what is essentially a giant sponge making old mattress a haven for germs and bacteria. In addition in mere 10 yrs. it can have absorbed 3000 liters of perspiration which is saturated salts.
Used mattresses have been responsible for allergies, sickness, and even deaths and should not be considered safe. Used mattresses are not allowed to be sold in most states without properly sanitized and the required law tagging. Mattress sagging is a dead giveaway of a mattress lacking proper support while less obvious wear stems from fatigued steel, foams, and padding which are underneath of what otherwise looks to be a very clean, unstained unworn mattress.
A healthy recommendation is a new mattress or one that has been properly sanitized and marked as such with a required law label. Please only accept a hand-me-down mattress from someone you know or trust and even then we are not recommending accepting such a mattress. Don’t ever buy a mattress from online sources mentioned above including yard sales and thrift stores.
Mattresses built before July 1 2007 do not meet the new standards put in place by the Consumer Products Safety Commission possible putting you or your child at risk in the case of fire.