By Amy Feldman

By Amy E. Feldman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Thinking of buying or selling a used mattress? There are more laws about it than you think.

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A couple in Portland, Oregon got back their beloved cat, who had accidentally been taken when the mattress and box spring – his favorite hiding spot – was sold on Craigslist.

Buyers of used mattresses may consider themselves lucky if all they get is a hidden cat since the down filling and fabric is more likely to absorb mold, mites, and bodily fluid than other furniture. That’s the reason why laws regulate the sale and resale of mattresses and bedding more strictly than other upholstery.

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Under federal law, mattresses containing used (or the more politically correct term: recycled) bedding material has to have a tag telling customers it’s not 100% new. You have the right to remove that tag once you take it home but read it first to see what you’re getting.

If you are selling or buying a used mattress yourself, you need to know that states have laws that may require sterilization before the sale, so Google your state laws on mattress resale.

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Regardless of the law, if you’re buying a used mattress, read up on how to sanitize it so you aren’t surprised by a cat, mouse, mite, or other organism sharing your bed.