Condo Blues: Would You Buy a Thrift Store Mattress?

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Would You Buy a Thrift Store Mattress?

I popped into my favorite Thrift Store. It often has donations from retail stores. That day it had new furniture. A sofa, a chair, and a few mattresses and box springs were so new they were still wrapped in plastic. The quality was that of a low end discount store, but the prices were excellent. If you were buying furniture for a dorm room or first apartment, this is your place! A queen size mattress was selling for $199 and the matching box spring was $75.

Thrift store shopping is an affordable way to shop green. Husband and I needed a mattress for our guest room. We don’t want to spend thousands on a super duper uber green guest room mattress since we have overnight guests maybe once or twice a since we moved in six years ago. A more affordable option with an allergy ban cover to keep the flame retardants and such at bay will do just fine. It's working out well in our room.

Unlike regular retail stores, thrift shops and consignment stores have to treat everything that comes into their store for pests, including bedbugs. This is good to know because Columbus is one of the top 10 cities in the US for bedbug infestations. Um, yay? (Actually I think I'd rather my fair city be known as a college football town than a bedbug town but that's just me.)

I might be less likely to bring those little nasty bedbugs into my home from a new thrift store mattress wrapped in plastic than if I bought it at a regular store wrapped in plastic. It's not a major concern for me, but apparently it's a concern in some parts of the city.

Of course, thrift store, usually equals used. A used mattresses usually equals all sorts of Ick Factor I don’t even want to begin to think about. While this particular place sells a donated new in the plastic mattress, it might creep out my guests if they knew I bought it at a thrift store.

What would you do? Would you consider buying a new mattress at a thrift store?

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Frances said...

Well, your guests could either appreciate the used bed at your apartment or go sleep in a hotel bed. Which is worse? We sleep on a mattress that has been handed down for generations. I don't see how that's any more "ick" than buying used (especially when you know your family was conceived on that bed). We bought our guest bed second hand on craigslist, after letting it sit in the sun. We put a new cover on it and even sleep on it from time to time. Many of our guests know we could never afford to pay top dollar for the amazing furniture we have acquired! Of course it's used!
Besides the price, there are many reasons to buy a used mattress. The chemicals they are treated with have off-gassed already so you don't have to breathe them all night. Also it spares a landfill, and the non-renewable resources used to produce and transport such a large product.

Jess ( said...

I've been debating this for awhile. My husband and I are in desperate need of a king-sized mattress, but can't really afford it right now. I know when things like mattresses are donated to thrift stores, they have to sanitize them, right?

Lisa Nelsen-Woods said...

Frances & Jess - Upholstered thrift store furniture has to be sanitized before they can sell it in Ohio. In this case, the mattress was 100% new and donated by a local company to the thrift store.

mrs green @ said...

I've never considered the bedbugs thing; maybe it isn't an issue over here? I've always bought second hand mattresses for guest areas, I managed to get one from freecycle ones; it was the base of a futon and just perfect :)

Debbiedoos said...

I love thrifting..but got to be honest..I would not buy a thrift store bed.
I would be as someone mentioned fearful of bedbugs...and after knowing people that have had is a horrible and very tough bug to get rid of.

Erin aka Conscious Shopper said...

I bought my boys' boxsprings from a thrift store for $40 a piece but went with new mattresses. The ick factor of a used mattress is too big of a hurdle for me to get past, but since you're not actually sleeping on the box springs...

Jenn @ Peas and Crayons said...

I think the next mattress I buy will be organic... thrift store mattresses wouldn't help me extreme allergies! I'm convinced i'm equally allergic to people and dogs =) haha i love both though!

ohmygosh and to answer your question! I think there were about 5 full coverage coats involved? I overkilled the coverage a bit by using 1/2 of the small sized stained glass paint bottle and could have very well used less I think and gotten the same super rich color =) Stores will charge anywhere from 20-80 dollars for similar vases so considering my project cost under 5 bucks... so happy!!! <3

ooh and i'm totally rambling! But nice to meet you! <3

Jenn @ Peas & Crayons

Lisa Nelsen-Woods said...

Jennifer - My back decided it didn't like the one organic mattress I found in the store when we went shopping for a new master bedroom mattress. I put an allergyban mattress cover on the conventional mattress we ended up buying. I can definitely tell the difference. It might be an option for you if you can't find an organic mattress you like.

Robj98168 said...

Interesting question. I suppose I would, knowing that the mattresses at my favorite thrift store are new/and or fumigated. Of course I sleep on a used mattress now, (it came from my mom's guest room when she downsized) and it is pefectly fine, although I think it needs a topper.

Dmarie said...

couldn't do it. If I really could NOT afford a new mattress, I'd visit garage sales in the best neighborhoods until finding a mattress that passed the same bedbug test that is recommended for checking out hotel mattresses. I'd sleep on the floor until I found a decent one!

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