We spend almost a third of our life in our bed, and it’s important that our bodies can rest well and get a good night’s sleep. In our countless hours of research when trying to determine the best foam mattress Canada, we came across startling information that many of the cheap foam mattresses contain fiberglass.
Keep reading to learn how to find a memory foam mattress without fiberglass.
Why is there fiberglass in my mattress?
In response to concerns of chemical treatments being used in mattresses to meet fire-safety standards, mattress companies had to look for something else to use that made their foams fire-retardant, or a layer they could put around a foam mattress to make it fire retardant.
So much of the information found online is about mattresses destined for the USA market, and we know that Canada is not always the same. In fact, the flame test for mattresses in the USA uses a blowtorch, where as in Canada, the mattresses must only withstand a “cigarette burn” test before heading to market.
Of course, since a blowtorch certified mattress will also withstand a lesser smoldering cigarette, many mattresses that are marketed to the USA end up in Canada. That means that cheaper, imported mattress, could contain harmful chemicals or a fiberglass layer to meet the necessary blowtorch requirement.
Fiberglass is an inert substance that doesn’t burn. In addition, it’s cheap! It works as a fire proof wrapper for the mattress and it doesn’t cost very much to produce.
These tight wrappers are made out of woven fiberglass that is designed to melt and encase the mattress during a fire to keep the mattress from burning.
Fiberglass is most commonly found in memory foam mattresses, as that type of foam is extremely flammable.
Is fiberglass in mattresses safe?
Sort of. The woven fiberglass is always part of the inner cover, inside the mattress cover. If undisturbed, it is relatively harmless. The Consumer Product Safety Commission even says it’s safe.
“CPSC staff is not aware of any health risks from the type of fiberglass used in textiles. This is a larger diameter continuous fiber. The type of fiberglass used in household insulation, which has shorter narrower fibers, may cause skin irritation on contact, or throat irritation if inhaled. Any concerns should be reported to www.SaferProducts.gov.”
However, over time, the fiberglass fibers can bend and break, and start poking through the outer cover. You can test by shining a flashlight horizontally along your mattress in a dark room, and if the fiberglass is poking through, you’ll see them glistening in the light.
Another problem, if you don’t notice the warning labels and decide to use the zippered on cover (yes, some mattresses with ‘do not remove cover’ warnings have a zipper on them!) and remove the outer cover, you can cause the tiny fiberglass fibers to become airborne and land on everything from clothing, to furniture, toys, and even wall-to-wall carpet. Clean up can cost thousands of dollars once that happens.
How can I tell if there is fiberglass in my mattress?
The mattress tag (you know that thing that says it’s illegal to remove unless you’re the customer?) will tell you if there is fiberglass in the mattress. Luckily, companies can’t really hide it under secret ingredients or different names.
What companies make a memory foam mattress without fiberglass?
There are many different companies that make mattresses without fiberglass. In fact, any mattress that is Made in Canada and sold to the Canadian market only needs to pass the cigarette test, and that can be done with much less harmful products like polyester, natural products like wool, or even unique treatments like Tuft & Needle’s salt treatment.
Keep reading to learn how specific mattress companies include, or avoid, fiberglass mattress.
Zinus Mattress Fiberglass
Zinus is a very popular mattress, and there have been tens of thousands of them sold. It seems that Zinus is taking most of the heat for fiberglass mattress issues since these mattresses are everywhere. Keep in mind that there are also thousands of positive reviews for these mattresses on Amazon and on Wal-mart, likely from people who have heeded the warning label to not remove the cover.
Nectar Mattress Fiberglass
Nectar mattresses probably uses fiberglass in their inner mattress cover to provide fire resistance. The mattress tag lists rayon and polyester as materials used, but a response directly from Nectar says that their proprietary mattress sock “does contain fiberglass”.
Tuft and Needle Fiberglass
Tuft & Needle does not use fiberglass in their mattresses. Instead, they use a fire barrier that is made out of a polyester and cotton blend. Tuft & Needle is a foam mattress without fiberglass.
In order to make it fire-proof, they treat it with food-grade salt that acts as a natural fire retardant by cutting off the oxygen supply to the flame. There is no fire-retardant chemicals or fiberglass used.
This fabric is permanently installed around the foam core of the mattress, and then it is fully encased within the outer cover. The outer cover is not removable for cleaning, so if that is a concern, Tuft & Needle recommends using a waterproof mattress cover.
Lucid Mattress Fiberglass
Lucid does use some fiberglass in their mattresses as well as chemical spray to achieve the needed fire rating on their mattresses.
Purple Mattress Fiberglass
Purple uses fiberglass in their mattresses, but they say it’s deeply embedded and unlikely to cause any troubles.
Casper Mattress Fiberglass
All of the foam in Casper foam mattresses are CertiPUR certified. The website lists the Casper mattresses as being designed in California, but doesn’t list where they are made. In a customer service chat, I was told the mattresses are made by “carefully selected global partners”, and that can vary depending on where you are ordering the mattress from and which mattress you purchase.
Casper has an outer mattress cover made of recycled polyester, polyester, upcycled cotton, rayon, and lycra. It is not removable, and is spot clean only.
In a chat with a representative from Casper foam mattresses, when asked about fire-retardant ratings, was told there is a firesock under the outer mattress cover. “The [inner] firesock is composed of an inherently fire resistant (FR) rayon yarn with a fiberglass core, blended with small amounts of polyester and modacrylic. The fiberglass is fully encapsulated in the FR Rayon fiber, so no fiberglass should be exposed. In the event of a fire, these fibers are designed to char and form a barrier over the foam, preventing the flame from spreading into the foam layers.”
Ikea Mattress Fiberglass
Although specifically for the US (and since their is no entry for Canada, can we assume it’s the same?), IKEA says:
Mattresses/mattresses sets have a fibre fire barrier made of rayon/polyester batting with an inherently fire-resistant property. Flame retardant chemicals (non-halogenated phosphorous-based inorganic salts) are only used for some stitch bonds, piping and zippers on spring mattresses in the US.
Read their PDF for full information
Juno Mattress Fiberglass
The foam inside the mattress is CertiPUR certified which means they are made without using harsh chemicals or flame retardants.
The Juno foam mattress has a cover made with a polyester viscose blend. The mattress cover does not contain glass fibers, but the cover is not meant to be removed – it is spot clean only.
With the proprietary materials used in the mattress cover, the fiber at the center of the yarn melts that leaves a protective lattice behind that physically prevents the fire from spreading into the foam core of the Juno foam mattress. Juno is a mattress without fiberglass.
Cherry Budget Foam Mattress Fiberglass
The Cherry budget foam mattress has a cover made with a 100% polyester. Since Canada does not require mattresses to be flame retardant the same way the USA does (and these are only sold in Canada), there is no need for fiberglass or flame retardants in the mattress cover or the mattress foam. The Cherry is a mattress without fiberglass.
Silk & Snow Mattress Fiberglass
All of the foams used in the Silk and Snow foam mattress are Certi-PUR US Certified, which means they are made without ozone depleters, PBDE flame retardants, mercury, lead, formaldehyde, phthalates, and they are low VOC.
The mattress cover is antimicrobial and fully removable so it’s easy to take it off and clean it. It’s made with polyester and spandex.
The Silk and Snow mattresses do not contain a fire sock or any harmful flame retardants. Made and sold in Canada (so not needing to meet the USA requirements), the foam mattress is made to resist fire from a smoldering cigarette.
Puffy Mattress Fiberglass
The Puffy foam mattress is designed and manufactured in Canada. The foam mattress uses CertiPUR-US foam (although suspiciously, 1 of the 5 layers is not listed as CertiPUR-US certified on their “How it’s made” page).
The hypoallergenic mattress cover is 100% polyester, and is designed to stop dust mites, dust, and other allergens from entering the mattress while you sleep. The cover is Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certified and is stain-resistant, and fully removable for cleaning.
Puffy’s customer service assured there is no harmful chemicals or materials used to achieve the fire rating, so the 100% polyester cover must be able to meet the requirements so they can make their memory foam mattress without fiberglass.
Serta Mattress Fiberglass
The Serta Spectrum bed-in-a-box mattress is listed as using foam that is CertiPUR-US certified. After reaching out to Serta via the online chat function on the Serta website, they responded saying that the cover is made with polyester, poly-cotton and spandex.
Serta also said that there is no fiberglass in the Spectrum foam mattress. “Fiberglass is traditionally used as part of a fire barrier for mattresses – a requirement for mattress in the US. We don’t have this FR requirement or chemicals in Canada.”
The Serta Spectrum is listed as being designed and built in Canada, so you can be sure the mattress doesn’t contain any fire-retardant chemicals or fiberglass.
Polysleep Mattress without Fiberglass
Polysleep makes a memory foam mattress without fiberglass. It’s handcrafted in Montreal, Canada, and they carefully select suppliers “for their knowledge and expertise, but also for their commitment to sustainable development”.
Their mattress cover is made of 88% polyester, 1% spandex, and 11% organic cotton, and it’s removable for cleaning.
Their website chat support confirmed that they do not use any chemicals or fiberglass for flame retardants.
Only mattresses sent to the USA are required to have extra fireproofing, and to meet those requirements they add a mattress ‘sock’ that they wrap those USA bound mattresses with.
SleepEnvie Mattress Fiberglass
The SleepEnvie website mentions that the State of California requires fire retardant. To meet this requirement, a chemically-treated sock is placed on the mattress.
“The fire barrier sock is made of 180-200g/m2 one end fiberglass filament and one end spun modacrylic fiber closed with kevlar thread stitching.”
A support member responded to our email and said that the fiberglass is in the cover of the mattress.
Cocoon Mattress Fiberglass by Sealy
There is no mention of how the Cocoon mattress meets fire resistance requirements, and our only hint is that there is a cover that is ‘spot clean only’. That could mean there is a fiberglass sock underneath, or it could mean nothing. We’ve reached out to the company to find out, and we’ll update this when we learn more.