Have you always wondered why most foam mattresses are made with fiberglass? In our article today, we will discuss all you need to know about fiberglass, its uses in memory foam beds, and the safety issues associated with it.
Why Do Memory Foam Mattresses have Fiberglass?
There are a couple of reasons why manufacturers put fiberglass in their mattresses. These reasons include;
- Fiberglass is an excellent fire retardant, and memory foam mattresses contain highly flammable materials. The biggest downside of memory foam mattresses is that they are very flammable, and the regulations require these beds to be fitted with a fire retardant. Fiberglass here is used to slow down the spread and intensity of the fire. A memory foam bed with fiberglass won’t be engulfed in flames as fast as another bed would. Therefore, fiberglass assists in enhancing memory foam bed’s fire safety.
- The other reason is that fiberglass is an affordable fire retardant. Different materials can play the same role as glass fibers. Examples include wool and silica. The problem with these is that they are costly. Memory foam mattresses fall in the spectrum of low price range beds. Using expensive materials such as wool would increase their prices, and this would affect sales. To ensure the costs of memory foam mattresses remain low, manufacturers opt to use fiberglass, which is cheaper and effective at reducing fire intensity.
- Glass fibers allow memory foam mattresses to pass fire-resistant regulations. Here in the US, the laws are stringent against mattress fire safety. It is unlawful for a mattress brand to release a bed into the market without any form of fire retardant inside it.
Is Fiberglass Safe to Use in Memory Foam Mattresses?
The safety of fiberglass in memory foam beds has always been a hot topic of discussion that has evoked varying emotions amongst sleepers. We understand why manufacturers may use fiberglass. It is a cheap fire retardant. However, is it worth risking the health of your consumers?
The presence of fiberglass in memory foam mattresses does have a bunch of consequences. For instance;
- One’s skin can easily be irritated when they touch the glass fibers.
- It’s even more severe should you inhale the shards of glass or get them in your eyes.
- If you have some form of allergy or suffer from asthma, glass fibers suspended in the air can trigger such conditions.
- Health complications aside, fiberglass can also damage your property and belongings. If it gets into contact with clothes or furniture, getting it off is very hard.
Is My Memory Foam Mattress Made with Fiberglass?
Most consumers unknowingly buy mattresses with fiberglass for their bedroom. If you have never heard about the health risks of fiberglass, how would you know it’s wrong to sleep on a bed that contains layers of it? Now that you do, you will make wiser decisions when shopping for your next memory foam mattress.
If you already own a memory foam mattress and don’t know whether it contains fiberglass or not, here are some of the ways you can find out.
- Read through the label and look for terms such as glass fiber, fiberglass, or glass wool. When you were buying the mattress, you may not have been so keen on what was written on the label. The surest way for you to find out is by looking if fiberglass has been listed as one of the materials used.
- The other way to find out if your memory foam mattress is made with glass is by looking for signs such as do not remove the cover. This is often a clear indication that there is some glass fiber beneath the cover. And the manufacturer is afraid that your health will be at risk should you open it.
- In case these two don’t give you the answers you are looking for, the other option is to look for warning signs. How much did that memory foam mattress cost you? If it was very cheap, then it does have fiberglass. The lower the price, the cheaper the materials used. And fiberglass is the most affordable fire retardant. The other warning sign is the origin of your mattress. If it was made in the US, you can take a sigh of relief because the standards here are quite strict. But if it was made in China, there is a possibility that it contains fiberglass.
These are the best ways for you to know whether a memory foam mattress contains fiberglass. No matter how curious you are, never open the cover.
What Should I Do If My Mattress Contains Fiberglass?
Using the above tips, have you just found out your memory foam bed contains fiberglass? Do not panic. You are not the only one who has been sleeping on a fiberglass mattress. A considerable amount of the population still does both knowingly and unknowingly. Here are the do’s and don’ts once you discover your bed contains fiberglass.
- Do assess the mattress cover. Doing this will help you identify whether there is some damage on the cover, and you can take immediate action to prevent further spread.
- Do invest in a mattress protector. Whether there is a hole in the cover or not, a mattress protector will ensure the fiberglass has no room to escape. This way, it won’t get on your skin, into your body, and neither will it spread in the air.
- Do replace it as soon as possible. It can be heartbreaking when you find out that your mattress contains fiberglass. But for the sake of your health and peace of mind, replacing it is the best solution. Meanwhile, you can use the protector as a safety mechanism.
- Do not remove the cover. Once you have learned that your mattress contains fiberglass, the last thing that should be on your mind is to open the cover. When you do that, you will be exposing your home to a contaminant that isn’t very easy to get rid of.
- Do not store the fiberglass mattress in your home. When you finally buy another fiberglass-free mattress, do not keep the old one. Discarding something that you spent money on isn’t easy. But having such a mattress lying around in your home is dangerous. Your kids or spouse may use it unknowingly. Or, if there are holes on the cover, it can start spreading glass fibers all over your home.
What’s So Special about Fiberglass-free Memory Foam Mattresses?
Memory foam mattresses appeal to a unique group of sleepers – those who love a soft bed that conforms to the shape of their bodies and relieves pressure evenly. Just because fiberglass is a material commonly used in memory foam mattresses, that doesn’t mean you should restrict yourself to the joy and comfort of sleeping on such beds. As we have mentioned earlier, there are memory foam mattresses without fiberglass that have good customer feedbacks.
Currently, consumers are aware of the effects of fiberglass in beds, and manufacturers have to meet their needs. Therefore, today, there are hundreds of fiberglass-free memory mattresses. These have all the features of a standard memory mattress. The only difference is that they use safer fire retardants such as wool or fireproof cotton. These materials have no impact when you make contact with them. And unlike fiberglass, even if the cover wears out, wool doesn’t spread all over the air sticking itself on furniture and clothing. And, these materials do not affect the comfort of memory foam beds.
Is Fiberglass a Compulsory Requirement in Memory Foam Mattresses?
What most people don’t get is that fiberglass isn’t a compulsory requirement in memory foam beds. The only legal requirement is that all memory foam beds must have a fire retardant. The authorities are not specific on what material should be used as a fire retardant. It’s only that glass fibers are inexpensive, and manufacturers prefer to use them to minimize production costs. Nonetheless, if wool was as cheap as fiberglass, bed-making companies wouldn’t hesitate to use a safer option.
Do manufacturers know the impacts of using fiberglass in beds? They are well aware of what fiberglass is and what it can do. The problem is that they do not care. Most mattress brands are in it for profit. As long as their products are being sold, nothing else matters to them. But from an ethical point of view, it is wrong for fiberglass to be used in foam mattresses.
The market has got both fiberglass and fiberglass-free memory foam mattresses. If you love the comfort of memory mattresses, you can either go with the cheaper options containing glass fibers or invest in one that uses other safer fire retardants. If you choose the first option, do not forget to buy a mattress protector as well.