What is a Refurbished Mattress? New vs. Refurbished: Which is Better?

What is a Refurbished Mattress? New vs. Refurbished: Which is Better?

While we all love the idea of buying a brand-new mattress, we can’t all justify the eye-watering price tag that often comes with it.

But one way to get around this is to order a refurbished mattress, which is considerably cheaper while still boasting premium features. 

In some cases, it will be 50-60% less expensive than if you bought it as new. 

In this article, we explain what is a refurbished mattress and is it really worth buying one? 

What Is A Refurbished Mattress?

A refurbished mattress is a mattress that has been used before. It is a second-hand option that allows you to get different mattresses at an affordable price. The previous owner may have used the item heavily or lightly.

In recent years several “mattress in a box” brands (such as Simba, Emma, and Eve) have started to sell their returned mattresses as refurbished.

These brands offer a 100 night trial and when a person decides to return their new mattress, the company cleans and sanitizes and then resells it as refurbished for a lower price.

On the other hand, thrift store owners mainly sell used products by labelling them as refurbished mattresses. They typically sell items that are in good or excellent condition.


The main benefit of owning a refurbished mattress is the lower price. Another important factor to consider is that many are thoroughly cleaned and sanitised before being sold back to customers. Read full pros below:

1. Cheaper

The primary benefit of a refurbished mattress is that it is much cheaper than a new product. So you will not have to worry about breaking your bank when getting a refurbished model. You can save around 50-60% off the original price by purchasing such a mattress.
Some places also allow you to get a 70% discount on refurbished mattresses. The exact cost varies, depending on the place you’re getting the product from.

2. It has been cleaned and inspected 

Granted, not everyone will be inspired by the thought of sleeping on a refurbished mattress. But in reality, some reputable companies sell refurbished mattresses which are in excellent condition.
They have been slept on for less than 100-200 days. What’s more, the mattress has been fully sterilised and passes a number of quality control checks before it is repackaged and shipped to you. 

3. Used for a few weeks only

Some mattress companies in the UK offer a trial period on their mattresses, which can last between 100-200 days (depending on the brand). Some customers return the mattress early on, if they don’t find it comfortable. The manufacturer then cleans it and resells it as refurbished. 
For example, Emma Sleep has stated the following about their refurbished models: “Most of these mattresses have only a few days of use, more rarely a few weeks.”


There are a few disadvantages of buying a refurbished mattress. Read them carefully, so you can decide what’s the better choice for yourself. 

1. You can find a new mattress with low price too

While refurbished mattresses have a lower price tag, you can still find some high quality new mattresses that are around £250-£350 for a double size

What’s more some mattress retailers have seasonal and holiday sales, offering a discount of 20-40% from the regular price of their products.

This means that you can still buy a new item at an affordable price, but you’ll also get longer warranty, free delivery, and in some cases a trial period. 

Here are top 3 affordable new mattresses that are worth checking out:

  • Silentnight Ferndale 800 Pocket Sprung Eco Mattress – has 800 pocket springs and is available in “medium” comfort level. It’s priced at £449 for a double size (but when it’s on sale it can be as low as £329).
  • Fogarty Mattresses by Dunelm – affordable mattresses handcrafted in the UK with 10 year warranty. Their prices range between £269-£399 for a double size. 
  • Simply Benson Mattresses from Bensons for Beds – are made in the UK using eco-friendly materials and come with 5 year warranty. Their price is £199-£369 for a double size. 
Silentnight Ferndale 800 Pocket Eco Mattress Review
Silentnight Ferndale 800 Pocket Eco Mattress

2. It may not be completely clean

While many well known mattress brands who sell refurbished mattresses clean them thoroughly, this may not be the case if you buy one from a thrift store.
Some thrift store owners take cleaning seriously when refurbishing a mattress. However, that cannot be said for all store owners in the UK. Some places may sell you a mattress with bed bugs. This can cause discomfort and other health issues.
However, this drawback can be solvable in different cases. You can use an antibacterial agent to disinfect the mattress yourself before taking it inside your home. This will help you ensure the product is completely clean.

3. Limited or no warranty

New mattresses come with a guarantee of 1-10 years, depending on the brand. Generally, well known quality mattress have a 10 year warranty as standard. 

However, such a long lasting warranty is not provided for refurbished mattresses. Usually they come with 1 year warranty and in rare cases no warranty at all. 

4. Limited choice of sizes and models

One of the drawbacks of buying a refurbished mattress, is that you might not be able to find the size you need. The seller might have only a limited number of sizes and models with a comfort level that might not suit you, for example: medium, firm or extra firm. 

Do Mattress Companies Resell Returned Mattresses?

Some mattress companies in the UK resell returned mattresses. Usually these are mattresses which have been used during a trial period (100-365 days) and returned by the customer for some reason. 

These products are sent to the manufacturer’s warehouse and refurbished to excellent condition.

Brands such as Simba, Emma Sleep and Eve sell their own refurbished mattresses. You can save significant money by getting your product from these brands instead of a thrift store.

1. Simba Refurbished Mattress

Simba also allows you to get refurbished mattresses, pillows, and blankets at an affordable price. For example, a new Simba Hybrid mattress has a regular price of £1,149 for a double size, but the refurbished mattress is £459.60, which is 60% cheaper. 

The Simba refurbished mattress comes with free delivery, 30 night trial, and 1 year warranty. The best part is that this brand also lets you pay the total amount in monthly instalments on some refurbished mattresses. 

simba hybrid refurbished mattress

2. Emma Refurbished Mattress

Emma Sleep also sells its original mattress in a refurbished condition at a price of £309 (king size). According to the company “Most of these mattresses have only a few days of use, more rarely a few weeks.” Emma sterilises the returned mattresses and replaces the cover with a new one. 

The best part is that you are eligible to return the product within 14 days of purchase for a complete refund. The brand also offers a warranty of six months on the refurbished product.

emma refurbished mattress uk

3. Eve Refurbished mattress

Eve allows you to save 60% by getting a refurbished mattress. The best part is that Eve also offers a 30-day trial and 1 years warranty with the refurbished product. Its price ranges from £175 to £469.

4. Bensons for Beds Refurbished Mattresses

Bensons for Beds is one of the leading UK bed and mattress retailers. They have a 40 Night Comfort Guarantee for all the mattresses that they sell. Which means that if a person is not happy with their new mattress, they can return it during the first 40 nights and get a different one.

Many of the returned mattresses are in perfectly good condition and have been used for less than 40 nights. Bensons for Beds has a deep cleaning process up to par with hospital standards, and they use a UV light for sterilisation.

Some of their most popular mattress collections, such as the iGel cooling mattresses can bought as refurbished at 50% off the original price.

How Do You Tell If A Mattress Has Been Refurbished?

A primary feature of refurbished mattresses is that you can identify them in different ways. 

This can prevent you from losing money if a store owner sells you a refurbished mattress at a high price by claiming it to be new (read our guide on how to spot a fake mattress?).

So here are the top things that you can use to identify such a mattress:

1. Inspecting the mattress carefully

Viewing the mattress with attention will allow you to know whether it has been refurbished. This is because such products may have a minor damage on the surface. You can easily notice tears and stains on the mattress if you see the item carefully.

Fabric thickening may also be present on the mattress. Many store owners apply this on a refurbished mattress to prevent potential buyers from seeing the actual state of the product. The main feature of fabric thickening is that you can notice it easily due to its thickness.

2. Plain plastic wrapping

Another difference between new and refurbished mattresses is their packaging. The new models come in a box, and the plastic wrapping around the mattress usually has the brand’s watermark. This may be missing from your refurbished mattress.

Thrift store owners primarily use plain plastic wrapping with no logos or brand name to repack the mattress. An absence of a branded and sealed box is also an indication that the product is not new.

3. Shorter warranty

product warranty

You can also identify a refurbished mattress using the warranty information.

New products come with a guarantee of three or more years, depending on the brand. Such a long-lasting warranty is not provided with refurbished products.

The store owner may tell you that the product does not have any warranty. Some places may also sell you a mattress with three to six months of warranty. Such information indicates the product is second-hand.

Final Words

This is all you need to know about a refurbished mattress. Buying a refurbished mattress from a renowned company is reliable because of the efficient cleaning and repair. Of course, such items will also be available at nearby thrift stores.