Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection

Purchasing A Mattress In Chicago

Before buying a mattress, there are certain things every consumer should know.

New or Used?

In most parts of the country, including Illinois, used mattresses can be resold as long as they meet certain labeling and processing requirements.

Also, in the City of Chicago, the law requires that deteriorated, secondhand, reconditioned, or altered products cannot be advertised or sold as new.

How to Know If You Are Buying a Used Mattress:

  • By law, there must be a conspicuously posted label describing the contents of the
    mattress and any bedding.
  • The label must state whether the bedding is made from all new materials, or is made in whole or in part from secondhand material, otherwise called “refurbished.”

Requirements for selling refurbished mattresses:

  • All used bedding must be taken apart by a refurbisher, and inspected for stains, pests, odors.
  • No material or component of used bedding that is soiled, has odor, or is infested may be reused.

Consumer Tips:

  • Ask if the retailer sells used or refurbished bedding.
  • Look at the label attached to the mattress to know if you’re buying a new or a used mattress.
  • If you’re looking to buy a new mattress, make sure your mattress has a “new” mattress tag.
  • Ask the retailer to write “new” on your sales receipt if you’ve been told you’re buying a new mattress.
  •  If you don’t see any tag, consider doing business with another retailer. Otherwise, you simply don’t know what you’re buying.
  • Ask about the retailer’s return and refund policies, and get copies in writing.

Beware of Bed Bugs:

  • When buying a used or refurbished mattress, the possibility of bed bugs arises.
  • Bed bugs are small wingless insects that bite people and pets and do not transmit diseases.
  • Their name comes from their preferred living quarters: mattresses, sofas and other furniture.
  • A bed bug problem may not be detected in the store and typically begins after bringing it home.
  • Signs to watch out for are clusters of black specks on your mattress.
  • Bed bugs have an oval body and range in color from white, to a golden brown or orange.
  • If you suspect bed bugs, take immediate action by contacting the retailer.

If you feel you have been a victim of fraud click to file a consumer complaint with the City of Chicago or call 311.

Click to download the Purchasing A Mattress in Chicago Fact Sheet