Upcycling Tips for Repurposing Bed Bug-Infested Furniture

Bed bugs are notorious for their resilience and ability to infest furniture, making them a significant nuisance in households.

When confronted with bed bug-infested furniture, the instinctive reaction might be to dispose of it immediately. However, upcycling offers a sustainable alternative that not only addresses the infestation but also transforms the furniture into something new and useful.

Here are some practical tips for repurposing bed bug-infested furniture safely and creatively.

1. Thoroughly Treat the Infestation

Before starting any upcycling project, it is crucial to ensure that the bed bugs are completely eradicated. Here’s how you can do it:

Heat Treatment

Heat is one of the most effective ways to kill bed bugs. Expose the furniture to temperatures above 120°F (49°C) for at least an hour. This can be done using professional heat treatment services, which guarantee thorough extermination.


If heat treatment isn’t feasible, using insecticides specifically designed for bed bugs can be an alternative. Apply the insecticide according to the manufacturer’s instructions, focusing on crevices and hidden areas where bed bugs are likely to hide.

Steam Cleaning

Steam cleaning can be particularly effective for upholstered furniture. The high temperatures of the steam will kill bed bugs on contact. Be sure to reach all the nooks and crannies where bed bugs might be hiding.

2. Disassemble and Inspect

Once the furniture is treated, disassemble it as much as possible. This not only ensures that all bed bugs are eliminated but also allows you to inspect for any damage that needs repair before upcycling.

Check all joints, seams, and hidden areas for any remaining signs of bed bugs or structural issues.

3. Clean and Sanitize

After treatment and inspection, clean the furniture thoroughly. Use a combination of vacuuming, washing with soap and water, and sanitizing with a disinfectant. This step is vital to remove any residual bed bug eggs, dirt, or debris that might have been missed during the initial treatment.

4. Repair and Reinforce

Bed bug-infested furniture may have suffered some damage. Repair any broken parts, reinforce weak joints, and replace any components that are beyond repair. This ensures the structural integrity of the furniture is restored before moving on to the creative aspects of upcycling.

5. Redesign and Repurpose

Now comes the fun part – transforming the old furniture into something new and exciting. Here are a few creative ideas:


For upholstered furniture, consider reupholstering with fresh fabric. This not only gives the piece a new look but also eliminates any lingering traces of the infestation. Choose durable, stylish fabrics that match your decor.

Repaint and Refinish

Wooden furniture can be sanded down and repainted or refinished to give it a completely new appearance. Use non-toxic paints and finishes to ensure safety, especially if the furniture will be used in a home with children or pets.

Convert and Repurpose

Think outside the box. An old bed frame can be converted into a bench, a dresser can become a bathroom vanity, or a dining table can be transformed into a desk. The possibilities are endless with a little creativity and effort.

6. Seal and Protect

After your upcycling project is complete, seal the furniture with a protective finish. This not only enhances the durability of the piece but also provides an additional layer of protection against any potential future infestations.

7. Regular Inspection and Maintenance

To ensure your upcycled furniture remains bed bug-free, perform regular inspections and maintenance. Check for signs of bed bugs periodically, especially if you live in an area prone to infestations. Keeping your furniture clean and well-maintained will help prevent future issues.


Upcycling bed bug-infested furniture is not only an environmentally friendly solution but also a rewarding creative endeavor. By thoroughly treating the infestation, repairing any damage, and applying your artistic touch, you can transform old, unwanted furniture into unique, functional pieces for your home.

Not only does this practice reduce waste, but it also offers a satisfying way to reclaim and personalize your living space.