Fiberglass has got a wide range of uses. Because of its durability and low cost, manufacturers love to use it in various industries ranging from automotives, constructions to mattresses. It is flexible and thus can be molded into different shapes. In the mattress industry, fiberglass acts as a thermal barrier. As you may already know, mattresses contain highly flammable materials. Fiberglass, in this case, provides temperature insulation, thus slowing down the combustion of the other materials.
Not all mattresses contain fiberglass. However, a good number of them in the market do have some layers of fiberglass. And even though it is for a good cause (fire safety measure), there are many risks associated with fiberglass when it comes into contact with the skin.
Is Fiberglass Safe?
Although fiberglass isn’t associated with any long term health effects, when it makes contact with the skin, according to Medical News Today, a rash may appear, or one may experience itching or redness . When particles of fiberglass are inhaled, one is likely to irritate the throat, nose, and eyes. Due to these side effects, having it beneath your mattress cover is risky.
In their defense, brands that use fiberglass in mattresses claim that sleepers have nothing to worry about as long as the cover is in place. But what happens if the mattress cover wears out because of age?
What is the Purpose of Fiberglass in Mattresses?
As we have mentioned earlier, most mattresses in the US are made using flammable materials. To mitigate this risk, the authorities recommend that all beds have some form of fire protection measures. Out of all the different approaches, the use of fiberglass as a thermal barrier is the cheapest.
In case of a fire, glass fibers melt and do not combust freely as other materials do. As this happens, the fire will not be able to spread to other parts of the room. As the most affordable thermal barrier in the market, you can expect fiberglass to be in cheap mattresses as well as memory foam beds.
Where Do Manufacturers Put Glass Fibers in the Bed?
Manufacturers understand that glass fibers pose a health risk to their clients. That’s why they would never use it on the surface. If a mattress contains glass fibers, it will be beneath the mattress cover. When you open up the mattress cover, you can find a layer of fiberglass below it. Unlike in other applications, glass fibers in mattresses resemble a woven material with specks of glass attached to it.
Understandably, the idea of sleeping on fiberglass can be frightening. But, it would be best if you didn’t forget why it is there in the first place. Be as it may if your mattress has got glass fibers beneath the cover. Whenever it starts to wear out, replace it right away, as this material can be detrimental to your health. Also, if you happen to buy a mattress that contains a sheet of fiberglass, investing in a mattress protector can keep you safer.
Can You Find Fiberglass in Expensive Mattresses?
Even though the price doesn’t always mean the product is better. In the world of beddings and mattresses, the higher the cost of the mattress, the better features it will have. And you won’t find even a pinch of fiberglass in the layers. Fiberglass is only standard in affordable beds. In expensive mattresses, you will find the likes of thistle or wool instead of glass fibers. High-end beds contain organic materials which are safer for sleepers.
The Risks of Putting Glass Fibers in Mattresses
You have probably seen some fiber glass in your home because it is the most commonly used insulation material. In a mattress, you may never even come to realize that it contains fiberglass because manufacturers layer it beneath the cover, somewhere it is out of sight.
While the cover is on top of the fiberglass, you have got nothing to worry about. But, if the cover gets old and exposes the glass fibers beneath. Or even worse, if you remove the cover intending to wash the mattress, glass fibers will fill the room, and you will start to feel irritation in the eyes, nose, and skin. So, what are the risks of sleeping on mattresses with glass fibers?
It is dangerous to your health
Sleeping on a new mattress is very safe, even if it has glass fibers. Over time, however, the shards of the fiberglass can find their way to the top and make contact with your skin. This will irritate the skin and cause rashes, itching, or redness. On paper, this may not seem like a huge health hazard. But, wait till the fiberglass comes to the top, and you, unfortunately, inhale them. You will experience something that you will live to tell the tale.
It isn’t easy to get rid of fiberglass in your home
The other drawback of owning a mattress with fiberglass is that should these particles come to the cover, they will spread all over the room. Glass fibers are tough to get rid of. When they settle on carpets, sofas, or even clothes, you will have a hard time removing them. Several homeowners have reported that fiberglass is almost impossible to remove, forcing people to replace the items that fiberglass has stuck to. The situation worsens when fiberglass finds its way into the ventilation systems.
Fiberglass contamination can leave you homeless
As you can see from above, fiberglass is hard to remove from surfaces. When your mattress cover wears out and the fiberglass spreads all over the room, failure to fix this situation can result in total contamination of your home. This makes the house uninhabitable. You will have to call in the experts to decontaminate this stuff from your house.
How Do I Avoid Mattresses that Contain Fiberglass?
After reading the above, have you decided that fiberglass mattresses are not right for you? Well, this is how you can void buying such mattresses;
- Always read the label – If you are buying a bed from a reputable vendor, they will indicate that it contains glass fibers on the label. If that information is not there, always ask their customer reps about the materials used in the mattress. When you come across the warnings sign, “do not remove the cover”. There is a chance that it contains fiberglass.
- Be on the lookout for warning signs – Some scenarios can indicate that your mattress contains glass fibers. For instance, if the bed price is surprisingly low, there is a big chance that it is made using glass fibers. Secondly, mattresses made in China tend to use fiberglass.
- Invest in an organic mattress – The surest way of avoiding beds that contain fiberglass is by investing in an organic mattress. Organic mattresses use wool as thermal barriers instead of fiberglass. Though expensive, an organic mattress can save you from all the risks associated with beds that contain glass fibers. The problem with organic beds is that finding one that is 100% natural isn’t easy. Tons of manufacturers nowadays use ambiguous wording to confuse innocent buyers. Always look for certifications as these also prove the mattress is organic.
What Should I Do If My Mattress Contains Fiberglass?
After doing some digging, have you discovered that your mattress contains fiberglass? Are you confused, wondering what to do next? Here are some approaches worth trying.
- By all means, avoid removing the cover. Whether it is by accident or intentional, never remove the cover of a mattress that contains fiberglass. If you do so, you would be releasing toxins into the air that can lead to full contamination of your home. This will put your family and pets’ health at risk.
- Look for signs of damage. Immediately you realize that your mattress has glass fibers, look for openings or damage on the cover. The importance of doing this is to handle the situation before it becomes severe. Should you see signs of wear, get rid of the mattress as soon as possible.
- The best alternative is to replace your bed with a fiberglass-free hybrid mattress like Saatva. Owning a mattress that contains fiberglass is almost the same as sleeping on a ticking time bomb. Eventually, the cover will wear out, and the fiberglass will infiltrate your home. This will force you to part with several thousands of dollars and pay a professional cleaning company to decontaminate your home.
Which Mattress Brands Do Not Contain Glass Fibers?
In an era where it is hard to find out which mattresses contain fiberglass or not, here are those that are fiberglass-free;
- Saatva – They have comfortable hybrid mattresses that contain zero fiberglass.
- Puffy – One of the most renowned mattress brands, Puffy uses wool instead of glass fibers.
- Casper – This brand also keeps off glass fibers.
- Tempur-Pedic – A popular memory foam brand that doesn’t use glass fibers in its beds.
- Tuft and Needle – This is a very popular brand on Amazon, and it doesn’t use glass fibers either.
Here is a quick list of mattress brands that use glass fibers; Amazon Basics, Ashley Furniture, Vibe, and Zinus.
Finding out whether your mattress contains glass fibers shouldn’t be difficult. Just read through the label. And even though it is harmless when it is shielded by a cover, with time, it will get to the surface, and that might put your health at risk. There are a couple of safety measures you can follow when sleeping on a mattress with fiberglass. However, the best solution is to avoid such beds altogether.