According to the Federal Trade Commission, federal law requires that any mattress containing used stuffing must bear a tag or label stating this information. If labeling and processing requirements are met, used mattresses can be resold. However, not all states require labels, and the state requirements for used mattresses tend to vary.
Some states allow recovered old mattresses to be sold when they have new ticking or fabric and after they have been sanitized or disinfected. In other states, only the springs can be reused. When purchasing a mattress, ensure that there is a viewable tag or label, and read the content information prior to purchase.
The FTC further advises that most new mattresses include a white tag to indicate it is made of new materials. Used mattresses may contain a red or yellow tag warning consumers that the mattress contains used materials. The department that regulates mattress labeling varies from state to state, but consumers can check bedding labeling laws in a particular state by contacting its departments of health, consumer affairs, agriculture or licensing. The FTC suggests that if a mattress does not have a tag that includes information about its contents, a consumer should contact another retailer.