I asked How Do I Make a Futon Work as a Bed? Hilariously enough, you all told me to never try and use a futon mattress over a regular mattress. Well...I didn't listen! Last year I purchased a dingy futon off of craigslist for $50 and struggled through back pain (hey, I'm only 23!) and sleepless nights. I feel as though I may have to apologize to you, my trusty readers, for not listening to your advice. I'm always trying to save money and do things the cheapest possible way. I now know the importance of owning a great mattress, but what if I can't afford one? So, it's time to look to Craigslist again. I think everyone is a little wary of buying something like a mattress of of Craigslist. Might as well be purchasing someone's used tighty wighties right? Well, I've come up with a list of tips to make your Craigslist mattress search much easier! Look for honesty: You want to seek out the listings where the seller is completely honest. It's okay if they mention some minor wear on one of the corners. The best option is when they state how old the mattress is, what brand or manufacturer, or an explanation as to why they are purging. Look for personality: Find a seller that seems to give a little personality into their post. You want to interact with a seller that is going to be personable. That way you can feel more comfortable asking questions and hopefully they'll be nice enough to give you answers! Quality of photographs: This one is super important. Look for the posts where the mattress is well photographed. Never go for a mattress where the image is clearly the stock photo taken off a mattress store website. Bonus points if the seller takes a photo of the minor damage or label of the mattress. Search "By Owner": If you select "By-owner" rather than "By-dealer" you won't get those cheap looking ads that almost always look like a scam. Yes, they are trying to sell you brand new mattresses, but usually from a warehouse or back alley. If you've had experience with the "by-dealer" option, let me know in the comments. I've always been curious to see if these mattresses are authentic. I would personally rather buy my mattress from a real person who can tell me the history of the mattress. Watch grammar: A lot of bots that post spam on Craigslist use weird grammar or throw in sentences that don't make sense. Unfortunately, you may just be looking at an ad coming from someone with terrible grammar. Be wary of bed bugs: Check the mattress for tell-tale signs of bed bugs — small red or brown spots and other signs of the little critters. If you see even the slightest indication, run the other way! Image: Flickr member robotpolisher. Licensed for use by Creative Commons.